Studying Scores

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Young Trumpeter, Mar 2, 2008.

  1. Young Trumpeter

    Young Trumpeter Pianissimo User

    Jun 10, 2006
    What exactly is meant by the term "studying a score"? I've been getting into composing and conducting lately, even starting a few pieces of my own. I'm even thinking about buying scores to famous pieces. Any ideas on where to start? and when i get a new score what do i do to "study" it? I'm really starting to love this side of music.

  2. np7

    np7 New Friend

    Dec 17, 2007
    You can study a score from a trumpet perspective, or as an analysis of the work as a whole. I'm guessing you are talking about orchestral scores..
    If going from the trumpet perspective, I suggest starting with a piece that you really enjoy and would play. If going for full analysis, I would start with a Mozart or Beethoven symphony.

    If from trumpet perspective:

    look at what other instruments are playing with the trumpet parts (orchestration)
    -is anything doubling the part?
    -What is the balance between the different lines

    What role is the trumpet playing---main melody, secondary line etc etc etc

    if as a whole:

    -you can start with figuring out the form of the movement/piece.
    -harmonic analysis
    -look at what main motives are used and how they are developed.

    along those lines
  3. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Studying a score can be so much more than the notes. Finding out about the life of the composer, what other pieces were composed during that time, playing practice, what instruments were used back then. The notes themselves are sometimes different. If there is a facsimile of the original score, you often find that the editors of modern editions have taken great liberties (that many times could be questioned).
    As a trumpet player, I would buy the score to the Haydn Concerto. In many cases you will see orchestra phrasing and articulation that differs greatly from the trumpet parts we use!
    Phrasing, dynamics, musical themes, form are all your first stop. Once you have some more experience, you will find other important clues to the composers personality. That leads to a better understanding of what was really meant.
  4. BlackWhite

    BlackWhite Pianissimo User

    Feb 27, 2008
    I'm not exactly sure what it means by studying a score,but this is what I feel and what I do when I get a new score:

    -Check the conductor's score.Look which part you are plying with the rest of your section,or other sections etc. This helps you know which part of the balance you should be and how loud to play.Another thing is the different chods,so you know how to take care the intonation of any notes and so on.

    -Do some research about the song.What it means;,where,when and why it was composed;understanding and interpreting the lyrics;knowing the history or story of the songs etc. Helps you set the mood for the particular song,so that when you play,you have the right "feel" in you,allowing you to appreciate the music much better and play better.This helps m alot,especially when I need to play expressive phrases or music.

    -Now the technical part comes in.Working out notes and tempo.Start slow and then gain speed only when you are confident in slow speed.I would suggest that you make yourself able to play faster than required for fast peices and slower than required for slow peices,jus to ensure incase the conductor gets too excited(you never know).

    -Be confident in your own playing,and meet up with your section or people playing the same parts as you,so you can work out and make sure when you ply in the orchestra/band,you know what to do and stuff.

    That's how I practice my songs,or as you might call it,study the score.
  5. utu

    utu New Friend

    Mar 6, 2008
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2008

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