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Encyclopedia > Rehearsal letter

A rehearsal letter is a boldface letter of the alphabet in an orchestral score, and its corresponding parts, that provides a convenient spot from which to resume rehearsal after a break. Rehearsal letters are most often used in scores of the Romantic era. An alphabet is a complete standardized set of letters — basic written symbols — each of which roughly represents a phoneme of a spoken language, either as it exists now or as it may have been in the past. ... Melbourne Symphony Orchestra Melbourne Symphony Orchestra Orchestra at City Hall (Edmonton). ... Score can mean one of several things: A score is a group of twenty things; four score means eighty. ...

In the course of rehearsing a piece, it is often necessary to stop and go back to some point in the middle, in order to master the more difficult passages. Many scores and parts have bar numbers, every 5 or 10 bars, or at the beginning of each page or line. But as pieces and individual movements of works became longer, bar numbers became less practical in rehearsal. In musical notation, a bar or measure is a segment of time defined as a given number of beats of a given duration. ...

For example, a conductor can tell his musicians to resume at bar 387, so that the musicians have to find bar 385 or 390 in their parts and count back or forward a couple of measures. Even if the number 387 is written at the appropriate bar, it might not particularly stand out. But if there is, say, a big, bold letter M in the score and parts, it's much easier for the conductor to just say "letter M." Even if the conductor were to say "one bar before letter M," that would still be more convenient than saying "bar 386."

Rehearsal letters are typically placed over the flutes' (or piccolo) staff, and duplicated above the first violins' staff. For typical pieces or movements of the Romantic era marked allegro, the letters A to Z can be used up, though the letter I or J (or both) may be skipped. For slow movements, approximately the first half of the alphabet might suffice. The letter A is the first (1st) letter in the Latin alphabet. ... Z is the twenty-sixth and last letter of the English alphabet. ... Due to MediaWikis uppercase algorithm, ı (lower case dotless i) will bring you here. ... For the programming language, see J programming language. ...

The letter A is almost always used for a point close to the beginning, but not for the very beginning itself because it is much easier to say "from the top" or "start over." Likewise, rehearsal letters are not necessary at tempo changes. For example, in some editions of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, letter A of the Finale does not occur until bar 140, when the relatively late entry of the first violins with the "Ode to Joy" theme might not stand out enough to the other players to be a convenient point of reference, whereas the reminiscences of the previous movements are more easily referenced by their tempi than by either bar number or rehearsal letter. Ludwig van Beethoven Ludwig van Beethoven (baptized December 17, 1770 – March 26, 1827) was a German composer of Classical music, the predominant musical figure in the transitional period between the Classical and Romantic eras. ... The Symphony No. ...

In some cases, A to Z might not be enough. After Z, Aa may be used, followed by Bb, and so on until Zz (though Ii and/or Jj might also be skipped). But in the case of some composers, such as Gustav Mahler and Dmitri Shostakovich, twice through the alphabet might still not be enough. Mahler's and Shostakovich's scores use rehearsal numbers rather than letters. These are typically in bold and enclosed in a box, or less commonly, a circle. Confusingly, however, some editions enclose bar numbers in boxes, though they're usually not boldface. Gustav Mahler Gustav Mahler (July 7, 1860–May 18, 1911) was a Bohemian-Austrian composer and conductor. ... Dmitri Dmitrievich Shostakovich   listen? (Russian: ) (September 25, 1906 – August 9, 1975) was a Russian composer of the Soviet period. ...

For this reason, some editors prefer rehearsal letters to rehearsal numbers. Advocates of rehearsal numbers counter that even 26 letters are not enough for some scores.

A rehearsal letter usually breaks a multimeasure rest in a part, except of course in cases where a given instrument does not play at all in a given movement of the work.

Because rehearsal letters are independent of edition and in some cases even version, they are also useful for telling applicants for positions in the orchestra what passages they need to play at the audition. And they are also useful for easy reference in scholarly essays about orchestral works. An audition is a sample performance by an actor, singer, dancer or other performing artist. ...

Rehearsal letters might be used in chamber ensemble music, but they would have very little point in unaccompanied instrumental music (such as the solo piano repertoire), since the instrumentalist wouldn't need to communicate to a fellow player where to resume playing. For songs, it is more useful to refer to the lyrics of the song to indicate where to resume rehearsal (except of course in songs where the lyrics consist of a single word or phrase repeated dozens of times).

The Finale notation program does not handle rehearsal letters or numbers very well. While it's capable of putting them in the score, it is incapable of renumbering or relettering if a large portion of the music is cut. Finale logo Finale is a scorewriter, a computer program for producing musical notation, created by software company MakeMusic! (formerly known as Coda Music). ...

Musical notation edit
Staff : Clef | Key signature | Time signature | Leger line | Barline
Notes : Note value | Dotted note | Accidental | Rest
Expression marks: Tempo | Dynamics | Articulation | Octaves

Music notation is a system of writing for music. ... In musical notation, the staff or stave is a set of five horizontal lines on which note symbols are placed to indicate pitch and time. ... A clef (French for key) is a symbol used in musical notation that assigns notes to lines and spaces on the musical staff. ... In musical notation, a key signature is a series of sharp symbols or flat symbols placed on the staff, designating notes that are to be played one semitone higher or lower unless otherwise noted with an accidental. ... The time signature (also known as meter signature) is a notational device used in Western musical notation to specify how many beats are in each bar and which note value (minim, crotchet, quaver, and so on) constitutes one beat. ... Figure 1. ... In musical notation, a bar or measure is a segment of time defined as a given number of beats of a given duration. ... Parts of a note In music notation, a note value indicates the relative duration of a note, using the color or shape of the note head, the presence or absence of a stem, and the presence or absence of flags. ... In music, a dotted note is a note that is 1 1/2 times the main note of the same kind. ... An accidental is a musical notation symbol used to raise or lower the pitch of a note. ... A rest is an interval of silence in a piece of music, marked by a sign indicating the length of the pause. ... In musical terminology, tempo (Italian for time) is the speed or pace of a given piece. ... In music, dynamics refers to the volume or loudness of the sound or note, in particular to the range from soft (quiet) to loud. ... For the numerical computation software, see GNU Octave. ...


  • Kent Kennan & Donald Grantham, The Technique of Orchestration, Sixth Edition.
  • Gardner Read, Music Notation: A Manual Of Modern Practice.
  • Kurt Stone, Music Notation In The Twentieth Century.

  Results from FactBites:
Rehearsal - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (279 words)
A rehearsal is a preparatory event in music and theatre (and in other contexts) that is performed before the official public performance, as a form of practice, and to ensure that all details of the performance are adequate for professional presentation.
The dress rehearsal is often the last rehearsal before the concert performance and falls at the end of technical week.
Rehearsal letters can be very helpful for this purpose.
Letter (disambiguation) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (109 words)
Letter (alphabet), a grapheme, part of an alphabet, abjad, abugida, or syllabary.
Letters can also mean literature, as in arts and letters.
Lettere is a town in the province of Naples, Italy.
  More results at FactBites »



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