April 15, 2009

a day in the life

We have been in the market for music notation software recently, since we are undertaking a project to create professional parts for our last two Baroque operas, which our assistant conductor created himself. While researching both Finale and Sibelius for the proposal I put together here in the music library, I came across a review which complained about the colloquial nature of the Sibelius handbook. Certain examples they mentioned did actually border on condescending. In the end, though, the overwhelming consensus I found was that Sibelius was the better option for us (not a single person, in fact, recommended Finale), and we just got our copy in yesterday. The handbook is smaller than I anticipated (Finale's manual is big enough to use as a blunt force murder weapon), and, uh, hilarious.

"British readers may be interested to know that in America, both 'bar' and 'measure' are used (so for universality we've opted for 'bar') and 'staff' means British 'stave.' Any British readers who are offended by the American spelling of 'center,' 'color' and so on will just have to use a pen to amend the spelling in the Handbook or (less effectively) on the screen."

"Unless you have X-ray vision, you've already managed to open the box to get at this Handbook."

This is all in the first three pages. I haven't even cracked open the part where it tells me how to use the program.

Mid-install, I remarked on Twitter how I was having some problems with my Sibelius disk. A few hours later, one of the senior project managers sent me a message. He must be periodically scanning Twitter for mentions of the software. I had already resolved the issue on my own, but I'm impressed.

Otherwise, in the life of the music librarian: Today I stepped into the rehearsal room for a moment, to touch base with the conductor, who needed some rehearsal numbers marked into the orchestra parts. When I left, the General Director (who is stage directing this show) called, "There goes the concubine!" This is certainly one of the few lines of work where that sort of thing is completely normal. I start concubining on Friday. They tell me I'm going to be riding the title character like a horse. My coworkers are having an absolute field day with it; today they tried very hard to coerce me into sitting with the cast at the meet & greet. I demurred.

Lastly: as I was rifling through my photostream on Flickr, I came across the alternate photos I took as I was marking these parts. I love this one. It's so emphatic.

tacet, damnit

"Tacet," for those of you who don't spend your whole lives in music rehearsals, is from the Italian tacere, to be silent. In music, it means "don't play this."

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