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Managing music in orchestras

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3 Author(s)
Bellini, P. ; Florence Univ., Italy ; Fioravanti, F. ; Nesi, P.

The typical orchestra manages a huge amount of information. A symphonic work's main score often runs to more than 100 pages, while an operatic score can run 600 or more. From the main score, the conductor draws some 15 to 30 different instrumental parts and distributes them to 40 or more lecterns so that 70 musicians can play from them during rehearsals and performances. This overhead increases significantly if the piece requires a chorus as well. A typical performance ranges from a few minutes to more than two hours. Individual musicians often make simple changes to the score, writing them manually on their parts during rehearsals, most often by adding interpretation symbols such as dynamics, expression marks, and string bowings. More complex changes-such as arrangements for different instruments, transpositions, and the deletion or addition of music sections-must be decided by the conductor. Operas, ballets, and new symphonic works frequently require such time-consuming modifications. Many performing organizations and publishers could benefit from a computerized option that allows storage of multiple versions and reduces the amount of repetitive work involved. The authors discuss their approach: the Music Object-Oriented Distributed System

Published in:

Computer  (Volume:32 ,  Issue: 9 )