Scordatura question

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Scordatura question

Menu Jacques
Hello folks,

String instruments sometimes use scordaturas: I’ve wondered how this is noted in modern scores, but couldn't find examples on the Internet.

Can anyone give pointers to actual scores showing that?

Thanks!

JM


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Re: Scordatura question

SoundsFromSound
On 4/10/2018 5:08 PM, Menu Jacques wrote:
Hello folks,

String instruments sometimes use scordaturas: I’ve wondered how this is noted in modern scores, but couldn't find examples on the Internet.

Can anyone give pointers to actual scores showing that?

Thanks!

JM




Although I don't use these tunings, a lot of composers use scordatura and I think many of them just include details about the tuning and setup in the program notes / performance notes.

The actual notation should be fairly straightforward once that much has been explained to the performers, but there are exceptions in more extreme situations. :)
There might also be a little 'legend' showing the notes and how they relate to the tuned 'played' (fretted) notes and so forth as well.

Hope this helps!

PS. If you want some examples specifically in LilyPond, I believe Trevor Baca uses scordatura in several pieces - check out his GitHub if you'd like to see the scores and source code.
https://github.com/trevorbaca/akasha






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Re: Scordatura question

Vaughan McAlley-2
In reply to this post by Menu Jacques
On Wed, 11 Apr 2018, 07:10 Menu Jacques, <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hello folks,

String instruments sometimes use scordaturas: I’ve wondered how this is noted in modern scores, but couldn't find examples on the Internet.

Can anyone give pointers to actual scores showing that?

Thanks!

JM


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Do you mean modern scores of old music?


I like the one with both performed and sounding staves. The performer has to deal with the notes sounding wrong or working out new fingerings from a sounding score. You might as well give them the choice.

Vaughan


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Re: Scordatura question

Vaughan McAlley-2
In reply to this post by Menu Jacques
On Wed, 11 Apr 2018, 09:47 Vaughan McAlley, <[hidden email]> wrote:
On Wed, 11 Apr 2018, 07:10 Menu Jacques, <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hello folks,

String instruments sometimes use scordaturas: I’ve wondered how this is noted in modern scores, but couldn't find examples on the Internet.

Can anyone give pointers to actual scores showing that?

Thanks!

JM


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Do you mean modern scores of old music?


I like the one with both performed and sounding staves. The performer has to deal with the notes sounding wrong or working out new fingerings from a sounding score. You might as well give them the choice.

Vaughan

Ugh, the link didn't copy properly. Google an image search of Bach cello suite 5...



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Re: Scordatura question

Ralph Palmer
In reply to this post by Menu Jacques
Old Time fiddler's and Mozart have been known to use scordatura. I'm currently away from my computer and my music, but I believe the original viola part for the Mozart violin/viola concerto was in scordatura. Not complicated, just up a half tone, and Mozart wrote the part the way it was to be fingered (i.e., play it like it looks, and it'll sound right). I hope that makes sense. 

When Ruth Porter Crawford was doing transcriptions for "America Sings", and she transcribed William Stepp's "Bonaparte's Retreat", she transcribed it twice: once as it sounds, and once as fingered (in Stepp's tuning) as if the fiddle was tuned "normally". Make sense? (Aaron Copland later lifted Stepp's version note for note, without, as far as I know, giving Stepp any credit.)

Hope this helps,

Ralph

Ralph Palmer
Brattleboro, VT, USA
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On Tue, Apr 10, 2018, 4:10 PM Menu Jacques <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hello folks,

String instruments sometimes use scordaturas: I’ve wondered how this is noted in modern scores, but couldn't find examples on the Internet.

Can anyone give pointers to actual scores showing that?

Thanks!

JM


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Re: Scordatura question

bill@wolfcomposer.com
In reply to this post by Menu Jacques

Today, i believe it is standard to include both a fingered score and a sounding score.  i did, anyway, when i wrote my scordatura piece.  It had a complex tonality, and i thought it fair to give the performer a sounding score so they could more easily spot errors.  It might not be as necessary for a simpler language and approach.

H.I.F. von Biber, in the generation before Bach, wrote extensively in scordatura tunings.  His cycle called, The Rosary Sonatas, has a different tuning for nearly every piece, including one where the D and A strings are switched.  That one is called the Cross Sonata.  A friend of mine performed the cycle and switched between four violins to cut down on the constant retuning.  Anyway, Biber only had fingered scores, and it's wild to follow the score while listening.  You see parallel tritones on the page while listening to thirds float by.

Well, there you have it:  an open-ended answer.  Because scordatura has fallen out of practice for nearly all string players but guitarists, i'd include a fingered score with a sounding score no matter what--a bit like a courtesy accidental.

Take care!
bill


Hello folks,

String instruments sometimes use scordaturas: I?ve wondered how this is noted in modern scores, but couldn't find examples on the Internet.

Can anyone give pointers to actual scores showing that?

Thanks!

JM

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Re: Scordatura question

Jacques Menu Muzhic
In reply to this post by Vaughan McAlley-2
Hello all,

Thanks for the pointers and explanations. 

I thought there might be a specific way to indicate a scordatura, and it turns out there are many possible ways, including providing a second scores with the actual pitches or a staff fragment showing the various string pitches vertically:


It would be nice to add the string number at the left of the notes, in case only some strings are tuned differently than usual.

\version "2.19.80"

\header {
  title = "Guitar tunings"
}

\relative c {
  \omit Staff.TimeSignature
  \hide Stem
  \mark "EADGBE"
  < e a d g b e >
}

\relative c {
  \omit Staff.TimeSignature
  \hide Stem
  \mark "DADGAD"
  < d a d' g a d >
}


JM
 

Le 11 avr. 2018 à 01:49, Vaughan McAlley <[hidden email]> a écrit :

On Wed, 11 Apr 2018, 09:47 Vaughan McAlley, <[hidden email]> wrote:
On Wed, 11 Apr 2018, 07:10 Menu Jacques, <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hello folks,

String instruments sometimes use scordaturas: I’ve wondered how this is noted in modern scores, but couldn't find examples on the Internet.

Can anyone give pointers to actual scores showing that?

Thanks!

JM


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Do you mean modern scores of old music?


I like the one with both performed and sounding staves. The performer has to deal with the notes sounding wrong or working out new fingerings from a sounding score. You might as well give them the choice.

Vaughan

Ugh, the link didn't copy properly. Google an image search of Bach cello suite 5...


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Re: Re: Scordatura question

Mats Bengtsson-4


On 2018-04-11 23:17, Jacques Menu Muzhic wrote:
> Hello all,
>
> Thanks for the pointers and explanations.
>
> I thought there might be a specific way to indicate a scordatura, and
> it turns out there are many possible ways, including providing a
> second scores with the actual pitches or a staff fragment showing the
> various string pitches vertically:
>
I can add some examples from around 1900: In Mahler's 4th symphony, 2nd
movement, all strings of the solo violin are tuned one tone up, and the
notation corresponds to the fingering. In the solo violin part for
Saint-Saëns' Dance Macabre, the top string is down tuned to e flat,
again the notation corresponds to how you play (though you only play an
open string on the top string). For me as a violinist, it would be more
or less impossible to play the music if the notation corresponded to the
sound instead of the fingering (not the least for Biber), but there are
certainly cases where it would have helped to have a parallel line of
sounding notation, to assist in deciphering the music. The situation may
be different for guitar or double base, where it's not that uncommon to
at least tune down the lowest string to extend the range of the instrument.

    /Mats

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