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"G. P." in Beethoven score

Discussion in 'Music Theory [DB]' started by PCPlod, Dec 20, 2005.


  1. PCPlod

    PCPlod

    Sep 30, 2005
    Belgium
    Hi,
    Could anyone tell me please what "G. P." over a (tacet) bar means?
    It crops up quite a bit in Beethoven's 5th.
    Thanks!
     
  2. "Generalpauze", i.e. general pause, i.e. a moment in which no instruments play.

    Cheers,

    Vincent
     
  3. PCPlod

    PCPlod

    Sep 30, 2005
    Belgium
    It's that simple when you know!
    Thanks Vincent.
     
  4. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    That's like :

    "This page left intentionally blank"

    in books!! ;)
     
  5. Ashley Long

    Ashley Long

    Jan 3, 2004
    Yeah! Why do they do that?? That bemused me throughout college..........
     
  6. christoph h.

    christoph h.

    Mar 26, 2001
    Germany
    correct spelling is "generalpause", though.
     
  7. JayR

    JayR

    Nov 9, 2005
    Los Angeles, CA
    and here, my entire life, I thought it just meant "Grand Pause."

    Shows what I know.
     
  8. dragonetti11

    dragonetti11

    Jun 20, 2002
    I always thought grand Pause too.....thats because I heard a conductor saying it....I believe it was in La Forza Del Destino Overture
     
  9. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    I always thought that it indicated a potty break.
     
  10. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member


    If you look in the Oxford Dictionary of Music :

    G.P.

    1.General Pause, of 1 or 2 bars for all performers.

    2. (French) Grand et Positif, i.e. great and swell organs to be coupled.

    Maybe that conductor was also an organ player and got these terms mixed up ....?
     
  11. Jeremy Allen

    Jeremy Allen Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2002
    Bloomington, IN
    I've only ever heard conductors call it "grand pause" also. Maybe it's an American thing to do so...
     
  12. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Well - all the terms used in Classical Music were developed in Europe and most of the commonly-used score markings are Italian - but you have to have an accepted terminology across the world for orchestras - so Beethoven and Mozart had no objections to using Italian...;)
     
  13. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    If everybody stops like they should, it doesn't matter much what it 'actually' means, duzzit? :)
     
  14. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I think 'Grand' has implications for largeness or length...?

    Whereas 'General' just means nobody plays!! ;)
     
  15. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    I have always heard only 'Grand pause'. Grand also meaning big like in the 'entire orchestra'. It doesen't matter if it's a single beat or an entire measure. It's a BIG Pause untill the Stick comes down.

    I think there is more that one way to describe G.P. but there is only one notation for it, G.P.!

    There is General Chao's and Mrs. Pause but that's after the gig...lol
     
  16. christoph h.

    christoph h.

    Mar 26, 2001
    Germany
    in germany it's definitely "generalpause", but maybe "grand pause" is the "translation" for the originally german term?
     
  17. Conductors think everything is GRAND!!! :rolleyes:

    gomez
    ______________________
    so many notes, so little time
     
  18. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Except conductorless orchestras. :)


    As fas as the "G.P.", while studying score reading and conducting in undergrad, I learned it as the German term "Grosse Pause". And considering the question comes from markings in a Beethoven score...

    At any rate, they all seem to mean pretty much the same thing, so what's the fuss?
     
  19. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Well - no fuss but that was the question asked in this thread!!

    Presumably the original poster wanted an answer - not just that it doesn't matter....? ;)

    I trust the Oxford Dictionary of Music!! :)
     
  20. christoph h.

    christoph h.

    Mar 26, 2001
    Germany
    well, the different terms seem to be interchangeable:

    The generalpause or the long pause serve the same function, and are identical in function to the fermata when used over a rest or barline. The function of these pauses is to create a silence for a period of time at the discretion of the performer (or conductor with an ensemble). As indicated in the name, these are intended to be pauses of longer duration than any of the others. These marks are always shown over rests. They also interrupt the normal tempo of a composition.

    Also G.P., [Eng.] Grand Pause, [Ger.] Grosse Pause.