question about markings in score

Discussion in 'Orchestral Technique [DB]' started by tbassist4, Jan 18, 2006.

  1. I'm working on Bottesini's Elegy in D. I've heard that when you get a score from a publisher for an older work like this, markings for bowing, like slurs and finger positions and such are just recommended or suggested by the publisher, but may or may not be the original composer's markings. Is this so?

    I ask because I may do this piece for the state highschool contest next year, and what I see on the page is different from what I hear in recordings. The pitches are all the same, but there are left handed plucks in my score, and I may just not be able to hear it (not to boast, but this is unlikely, besides, a left handed pluck makes a much different sound than a bowed note), but I'm pretty sure that there aren't any in any recording that I've heard. It doesn't even seem like a type of song that would include that.

    I'd like to alter a few minor things like that when I perform this, would this be allowed at a competetition? It's a very soloistic piece, with room for expression anyways. I'm not changing anything as big as the pitch, just taking out a few plucks and moving or removing a few slurs. Any help would be apprieciated. Thanks!
  2. bierbass


    Sep 5, 2005
    Knoxville, TN
    I've never heard of left hand plucks in the Elegy. Are they notated as plus signs and could the intention be that you use thumb as a fingering? Look at the fingerings before and after the plus signs and see if thumb wouldn't make sense. To answer your other question, players often personalize their fingerings and bowings. There are several different editions of Bottesini's music. Some better than others. That said its not a good idea to randomly change bowings and articulations. You need a reason that can be musically justified. My suggestion would be to seek out a good teacher in your area. Good luck.
  3. BGreaney

    BGreaney Guest

    Mar 7, 2005
    I think that whatever you decide to do, you might want the second opinion of your teacher before you go ahead and do it. In my experience with auditions like that in high school, change the bowings in the part you'll give to the judge so they reflect the bowings you're using. I had a similar problem playing the 2nd mvt of the 2nd concerto. There are as many editions of it as there are ways to play it. No two editions were alike. After all, the judge is judging your ability to play, not the bowings you choose.
  4. Johnny L

    Johnny L

    Feb 14, 2002
    Victoria, TX
    My version is the Oscar Zimmerman edit with a bunch of other songs in it. It drops some lines down an octave but I have them tagged in pencil with "8va" so I know what Gary Karr does. But it's all bowed and there are no hammer-on's or pull-offs requested in his edit.

    Well at least you aren't being asked to leap off tall buildings that would definitely require some interpretation on your part LOL
  5. The fact is that even if the fingerings and bowings are what the composer intended, it doesn't mean you have to play it that way. There aren't many pieces where a particular fingering is the one and only fingering, because what works for me won't always work for everyone else. Slurs don't always indicate bowings, either. Sometimes they're there to highlight phrasings. Bowings are, in my opinion, completely up to the performer. They can alter phrases in interesting ways, and bring a completely different shape to the piece if changed even slightly.

    Do what you want. Also, there aren't any LH pizzicatos in the Elegy. It's probably just a "+" sign, which indicates a thumbed fingering.
  6. oh okay, that must be it, thank you. Haha the troubles of not having a orchestra teacher said they were left handed plucks though, but i cant quite remember if she looked at the score or I just told her. I prolly just told her, Alright, thanks a ton guys!
  7. Peter Ferretti

    Peter Ferretti Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2005
    Yea man, doin the elegy without a teacher is going to be a nightmare.