Is there anywhere a nice set of guidelines for numbering measures in orchestra parts? Questions include but are not limited to:
(1) Do you start numbering again at 1 for each movement of a concerto or other multi-movement work?
And other questions that I'm guessing will arise organically in the ensuing discussion thread ...
As I understand it, it's generally printed measures excluding any partial measure at the beginning. (This means a second ending gets the measure number after the first ending.) Always start over at 1 for every movement, unless something different is printed in the part.
Andrew is correct. Beware of partial measures at the ends of lines.
I agree with the above. Just makes more natural sense that way
First and second endings in different places in different parts may save ink and, occasionally, paper, but it wreaks havoc with bar numbering. You'd have to solve it by putting two sets of numbers above the affected bars, or even numbering something like "58a" and "58b" in the parts where the 1st and 2nd endings are the same and not printed separately.
If this is for music in an ensemble, you should ask your conductor how he/she wants the endings numbered. There is no universally accepted system for doing this, although I tell the members of my ensembles to number straight through so the first measure of a 2nd ending gets the number immediately after the number of the last measure of the 1st ending, as others have said.
Thanks so far ... I'm kind of taking charge here because our director is not super communicative.
I agree with Paul about numbering parts from a previously numbered score. I have played chamber music in which one of the parts is written out where others have repeats - BEWARE of those.
I think Paul is waiting for the conflicting advice to start coming in as usually happens. Mine would be to use your common sense and, if in doubt, your fingers
Haha Steve I might be an evil troll but hopefully not bad enough to hope that my own thread will turn into a dumpster fire.
Minuet and Trio can be numbered either way successfully -- Calling out "Measure 17 in the Trio" works fine, just as does numbering from the start of the minuet continuously through the trio.
I think trios are usually numbered separately but it doesn't make any difference as long as everyone does it the same way.
I prefer rehearsal numbers to rehearsal letters because there are conductors who do not speak clearly enough when enunciating rehearsal letters B, C, D, E, G, and other letters ending in the "ee" sound. This causes confusion to those of us of the "Silent Generation", and even its successor Generation X, whose ears can easily misinterpret the subtle high-frequency start of the consonant in the letter name, and hear "B" instead of "D", for example.
As has been said, the thing that matters most is matching to the conductor's score. Whatever choices have been made for numbering in the score should be made for the parts.
Lydia, yes, that's what we did in the case of our contretemps. We replaced the German rehearsal letters in our parts with numbers corresponding to those in the conductor's score.
Somewhat like Trevor's experience, it always annoys me when a conductor calls out "14 after C"; half the orchestra then starts in the fourteenth bar and the rest at the fourteenth barline, not including the barline of C. From my strategic position underneath his left nostril I'd ask "Do you mean "the fourteenth bar of C?"". This of course would annoy the conductor who would then find something trivial in our playing to whinge about.
The correct way to call this--or so we were instructed by one of our conductors--is like this: the conductor would call out: "From C (or "before C" as the case may be): one, two, three...(counting loud)., fourteen". The musicians were expected to count right along as the conductor counted the measures (silently, with a finger pointing at the counted measures) so that at the end everybody would know simultaneously where to start. There were of course always a few who only began counting measures when the conductor stopped speaking, causing the conductor to whinge about wasting time.
"From C count one two three ... fourteen" ... that works just fine unless that "fourteen" lands you somewhere in the midst of an 8-bar rest and there are meter changes (Respighi!). If the counting is deliberate enough then it's not that hard to count out a portion of the multi-measure rest, but it's also easy to be wrong.
Surely you don't mean Respighi planted meter changes in the middle of a rest block without marking them? The only composer I've encountered who did that was Emile Jaques-Dalcroze. He also invented "Eurhythmics" but we don't play that Euro-stuff any more on this side of the Channel
Steve -- no, all the meter changes are properly marked. Respighi was likely smoking something but not enough to become uncivilized.
Traditionally, there were only three instruments playing. (Most typically two oboes and a bassoon.) Haydn moved away from that.
Our conductor uses modern composers. "S for Stockhausen."