Mood Killers in Scoring Sessions

An orchestra is not only an ensemble of different instruments but also a group of human beings. Psychological factors can influence the performance quite heavily, not only whether it is a rainy day or things like that but also by the way you write your music.

It is particularly frustrating for musicians to have badly notated music in front of them, maybe missing accidentals, phrasing, including wrong notes, unnceccessarily tricky passages, constant playing in a weak or possibly bad sounding register etc. All these things might be manageable from a technical standpoint: you could fix wrong accidentals on the stage, the player might have the ability to pull off even the unneccessarily tricky passages but the effect that this has on the mood is tremendous.

First of all, after a few of such “problems” they start losing the respect for you as a composer, also by the fact that they are doing their best and it still sounds bad because technically it is not possible to make it sound better is even more frustrating. It is highly important to show professionalism as composer in order to get the best out of your players.

Professionalism includes a good knowledge of the instrument and a feeling for what is difficult and what is easy to play and decently notated score sheets. I cannot stress the latter one enough. Bad notation including errors will not only slow you down in the recording due to the need of fixing things but it will push the mood quite a bit and you might not even be able to get a real enthusiastic performance by your musicians once all problems are fixed. Keep that in mind and try your best to keep these annoyances to a minimum.

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