Music Composers Unite!
Hello and thank you all for your great help and feedback regarding my first attempt at making a score. I have taken many things from that discussion, and present my second attempt, this time to a whole new song. I hope i have fixed many of the issues I had previously, tho im certain its far from perfect. I dont have the actual mix yet to share, tho it is complete. Hopefully i can post it soon. but for now here is the score in pdf and xps for any helpful and amazing composers who have time and desire to share their knowledge.
one thing to note.. I still dont really understand the clarinet thing regarding the clef and it being a transposing instrument... so i just treble cleffed er.
Hi Steve, sorry for the slow response, I just saw this just now when browsing through older discussions.
The score certainly looks better now, as far as instrument order and barlines are concerned. I still find it a bit jarring to have instrument labels on top of the staff as opposed to being in the left margin next to the corresponding staff, but I suppose this is just a cosmetic issue.
Also, the barline on the far right also should be broken up by section, and should not extend all the way down the page (this includes the final double bar). It should just be like the barlines in the middle of the page. The only line that connects everything should be the single line that runs down the left side of the score.
About the clarinet, treble clef is fine, that's what's usually used for clarinet anyway.
The transposition thing is important, though. Basically, the usual clarinet is the one pitched in B-flat. What that means is that if you play a C on it, the actual sound that is produced is not C, but Bb. Because of this, in order to actually produce a C, you need to write D in the clarinet staff. Similarly, to make it sound an E, you need to write F#, and so on. So to make the clarinet play a C major scale, for example, C D E F G A B C, what you actually need to write is not C D E F G A B C, but D E F# G A B C# D. So when the other non-transposing instruments are playing in C major, the clarinet part should be written in D major instead, with every note transposed up a whole tone. So for convenience, we usually write the D major key signature in the clarinet staff when the piece is written in C.
There's also the less common A clarinet, which sounds a minor 3rd lower than what's written. That is, when you write C on the staff, the sound that's actually produced is A. To make the A clarinet sound a C, you'll need to write D# or Eb instead. Basically, everything needs to be written 3 semitones higher than what you want it to sound like. So if the piece is in C major, the A clarinet part needs to be written in A major.
Your current score doesn't use horns, but if you do, the usual horns these days are the F horns, which sound a perfect 5th below written pitch. Meaning that if you write a C, the sound that comes out is not C but F (below the C). So to make it sound a C, you must write a G instead. So a piece in C major would need the horns to play in G major in order to sound at the correct pitch.
I know this can be very confusing for beginners, but it's something that's quite important to learn, because conductors and clarinet / horn players will expect their parts to be properly transposed. If they are not, it may cause confusion at rehearsals, since they will have to transpose the music in their head as they play it. It may also confuse the conductor, who is used to reading transposed scores. And many other people who are used to reading transposed orchestral scores will also find your score difficult to read. Software that scans orchestral scores (e.g. Sibelius 7.5) may produce wrong results if given a non-transposed score. So for best results, you should make sure that the score is transposed correctly in all parts.
Oh another thing: in your score you should indicate how many flutes, clarinets, tubas, etc., you are using. If you have only one flute or one clarinet, then what you have now should be OK.
But it's quite common in orchestras to have pairs of woodwind instruments: 2 flutes, 2 clarinets, etc.. In that case you have to be a bit more careful how you write the parts, so that it's clear which instrument(s) should play which notes, and when they should play together, etc.. But more on that later, if you need to use more than one of each instrument.