Welcome to the official blog of the Highstrung String Quartet!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Step two: The paper part

Some quartets go out and purchase the music they are going to preform and use the originals for their performance. Personally, I think that is the most crazy idea I have ever heard! For one, I have never met a second violinist who could keep track of their parts for longer then a month... but even more basic then that is that using the originals seems to just beg for drama on concert week. “Hey guys........have any of you seen my Haydn part?” Those are the worst words to hear the week of the concert! Add to these facts another, we have found that there is always at least one terrible page turn in the original. Most of the time you will have two beats to turn the page and once you've turned the page you have to play a solo! How dumb is that? It is because of these facts that most quartets photocopy the originals and then but the photocopies into a black three-ring-binder called a “performance notebook” (while at the same time locking the originals in a vault.) It goes down like this:

First, a responsible member of the quartet takes the originals to Office Depot and breaks the law by illegally photocopying them. Secondly, This person brings the copies home and turns them over to the other members so that they can but them into their own performance notebooks. Finally, it takes about five or six weeks for the two procrastinators (they would argue that they are the “busy” members) to get their copies organized into a notebook.

What really irks me is that one part ALWAYS gets lost somewhere in this process. This time it seems to be the second violin part to the Borodin that has decided it wasn't getting payed enough to put up with Justin's terrible hand writing. It truly boggles my mind. We photocopied the originals. I gave Justin his copy while I put the original in the file. Then Justin says he can't find his Borodin part. Figures. So I go to grab the original.....it's gone. Poof! This happens with someones part every time. Although I have noticed through the years that is seems to be always be one of the middle voices. Have no fear, it will show up at some point.....usually delivered from Sheet Music Plus by FedEx.

- The responsible member


Maren said...

One of you guys is responsible????? I don't believe it. ;)

Hahahaha, I hear you on page turns! I have some pretty rad taping jobs in orchestra that have baffled my stand partner on more than one occasion...I think that's where publishers get their kicks and giggles...going to concerts and watching the whole orchestra rustle as they frantically botch their page turns.

I'm looking forward to (hopefully) hearing your concert!

Keep it real,


Bisceglia Family said...

I read this post at just the right moment. I came home late several evenings ago, feeling very tired, went to check our emails, and found your blog minimized. I am not one to laugh out loud when reading, but your post really got me going...and the next morning at a string orchestra rehearsal, when the conductor began talking about how to efficiently organize our music, and I tell you I had to work to keep silent! (Thankfully, I did manage to wait until I got out to the car, where I shared it with Sarah and Janna.)

-Kathrina Bisceglia