First stages in typesetting

OK, I’ll confess, I’m a bit of a geek when it comes to typesetting. I like to make my score look as professional as possible. I also like to get some of the music into Sibelius (my preferred choice of score writing package at the moment) and then continue to work in pencil on the half-finished score. If you look closely at the image below, you’ll see that I’ve already started to do this – adding tempo direction that wasn’t there before, some repeat bars as I decided to repeat the opening theme – first time with a solo treble, and the full treble line joining on the repeat.

Early draft of typeset work.

Early draft of typeset work.

You’ll also noticed that I’ve started to think more carefully about the harmony of the accompaniment. I think that I said in an earlier post that writing a piece based on a single melodic line, without other voices to build the vocal textures, is something that I haven’t done for a while – my other mst recent pieces have been for full SATB choir, sometimes with further divisions. I’ve been thinking in terms of chords, and reasonably conventional chord sequences – at one point I found myself writing a complete cycle of fifths, but decided that was too obvious! Despite this, my use of harmony includes a number of added non-harmonic notes; these can be dissonances that may or may not be resolved, they can be notes that are added as part of hidden counter-melodies within the accompaniment, or it may just be a chord that seems to ‘work’ – yes, I firmly believe that composers should trust their ears and if it sounds right, use it! However, the caveat to that is to ensure that it really does sound right, and you’re not just settling for something that might be ok, but could be better; is that phrase really as good as you can make it? I’m not pretending to get it right every time, but I do question everything that I write.

By the time I write again, I’m expecting that I will have a complete first draft… better get on with it!

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