Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Axial Fugue: Toward a Fair Copy (Pt. 1)

Well, I have the flu. This is actually OK, since the active ingredients in stuff like Alka Seltzer Plus and NyQuil ruin my playing almost as effectively as alcohol does. This way, I can finish this project without feeling guilty about slacking off in my practice routine. In fact, I actually feel good about doing so much work during this "downtime."

The Lord works in mysteroius ways.


I'm not much of a stickler about how my scores look, and the traditions of notational typesetting do not interest me in the least. In fact, the iconoclastic side of me fairly rebells at notational traditions. I just want my scores to be easy for me to read. In other words, If I had a nickel for every beautiful score I've seen of music that sounded like crap... You know? The audience does not see the score, they just hear the music.


The first step in this process for me is to create an urtext of the final version of the music with absolutely no performance indicatiors at all. Then, if it is a solo guitar piece in open score like this one is, I go back through and level off all of the beams. I know this isn't the way it is "supposed" to be done, but it makes the music easier for me to read once I add all of the fingering indicators. You can download a PDF of the urtext as well as a MIDI to MP3 of this final version at my .Mac Download Page if you are interested.

I'm not going to bother posting the urtext version, since this post is about how I set the music up so that I can learn it most efficiently. Yes, I have decided that I am going to make learning this thing a priority, since I do consider it to be the most masterful thing I've ever come up with for the guitar. Due to my technical limitations, my idealized tempo of 160 BPM will certainly be out of the question - hell, I'll be happy if I can achieve a smooth Grave with it - but I'm going to do the best I can.

See, this looks clean as a whistle, doesn't it? I don't know why angled beams irritate me so much, but they do. This just looks technically superior to me.

One of the nice things about doing a project like this in multiple steps is that you catch mistakes and omissions at every stage of the process: I found several errors when creating the urtext and a dozen or so mistakes and omissions were found when copying the fingerings off of the old rough.

This way, when I get to memorizing the piece - which is the very final stage of the process - I won't be beset with a lot of error corrections that would slow me down.

You may have noticed that there are no page or measure numbers anymore. This is because of a wretched, blasted bug in the wretched, blasted software (I love that new HBO series, "Rome") that cropped up when Apple - and I - went to OS X.4. There is no patch for it because Encore 4.6 will address the problem, along with adding several nice new features. The problem is, when a score reaches a certain size - about 325K - you can not add any more elements to it without the program quitting unexpectedly (A nice Appleized euphemism for crashing).

So, at the present time, I have to break scores down into sections when they exceed this limit. I was two wretched, blasted pages away from getting it all into one wretched, blasted file too.

You may have also noticed that we're five pages in at this point, and I have not needed to employ the c finger of the right hand either: Not only is this piece perfectly possible to play, but Andres Segovia could have played it thus far.

Even here, at the half-way point, the technique required is perfectly traditional.

Not until the final two systems of page seven - the end of the first development area - is the c finger required. But from this point on, it will be used quite a bit.

I'll post the second wretched, blasted file tomorrow.


Think I'll hve her make my wretched, blasted fair copies from now on.


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