Weird musical notation?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by hintons1, May 8, 2019.

  1. hintons1


    Jan 1, 2017
    Hi bassists, I'm doing a production of My Fair Lady and keep finding these weird marks all over the book with the instruction (?) "tew tew tew". It's not a problem for the show but was just curious if anyone had seen this before and knows what it means of if it's maybe just an obscure joke/quirk the orchestrator put in or something?

    Thanks guys!

  2. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    are the "tew"s always over rests? no clue really
  3. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Inactive

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    I'm guessing some sort of OCD that forced the last guy to have to put some sort of syllable in place if a rest. Or perhaps it was someone with horrible timing who had to assign a sound to rests.
  4. ForestFriend


    Apr 14, 2019
    Not familiar with the music, so maybe it's just a reminder that some instrument/voice is playing 3 quarter notes before that? Maybe since there's an "a tempo" right after that, it could be an indication that the 3 notes being played (or maybe 3 beats/cues being given by a conductor) are not in time, but they are indeed quarter notes.

    I know things like that have caught me when playing in concert band and the conductor decides to place fermatas/rits wherever he/she feels appropriate even when they're not written in.
    mrcbass likes this.
  5. mrcbass


    Jan 14, 2016
    Sacramento, CA
    Never seen that either, but based on the 'A Tempo' after bar 38, I'm guessing it has something to do with a tempo shift. Is there some sort of dufus or half time happening there?

    Looked for it on wiki, and there is no reference to that notation.
  6. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Columbia SC
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    What's happening on stage? Most of the time when you see words written in over an entrance, it's a cue to give the player a "head's up" that you're about to kick into the next number or pick the music back up after an interlude of dialogue in the play part of the musical, so someone will write in the words in the play that will indicate the music is about to start.. Since MY FAIR LADY concerns the attempts of a linguistics expert to change the Cockney accent of a young woman, I wouldn't be surprised if this was a verbal entrance cue....
    Last edited: May 10, 2019
    BassChuck, OldDog52 and Jon Moody like this.
  7. Bob_Ross

    Bob_Ross Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 29, 2012
    If it occurred once in OP's chart I would agree that that's a very plausible explanation.
    But multiple times? ("all over the book") I know My Fair Lady has some verbal leitmotifs, but I've played and seen the production enough times to confidently say "tew tew tew" doesn't occur throughout the libretto.

    The thing that's most striking -- and befuddling -- to me is that the calligraphy doesn't appear to be something a previous player or MD added after the fact, it looks like something the copyist wrote into the bass part. Curiouser and curiouser...
    hintons1 likes this.
  8. viribus

    viribus Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 1, 2011
    Pacific Northwest
    I never actually learned to play very well
  9. hintons1


    Jan 1, 2017
    Hey everyone, after asking everyone at the band call, one person said apparently it's actually "ten ten ten" which is short for tenuto on each note to everyone's surprise! Very much liking all the theories though, not entirely sure why MTI chose to print a hand-written version to give to all the bands playing the score!
    HaphAsSard and Bob_Ross like this.
  10. hintons1


    Jan 1, 2017
    Also very glad I'm not the only one who didn't see "ten ten ten"!