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October 3, 2011

Name ________________________

Complete Score Proofreading Checklist


Class ________________________

GENERAL All parts of the score are legible (appropriate size; no collisions; no printing errors; no staves too close to each other). ORDER Instruments appear in the standard order for the given ensemble (if there is one) or a reasonable and consistent order, or if not, there is a sufficiently good and well-explained reason for the order. CLEFS Instruments are rendered on the appropriate clef(s) (e.g. tenor voice; viola; cello; French horn; unpitched percussion; tab; etc.) and notes on the grand staff (keyboard/harp) are properly grouped within and across staves. TEXT Special indications are given accurately and thoughtfully (e.g. toggles are toggledopen/mute; pizz./arco; col legno tratto/normale; div./unis., etc.). All words used in the score are correctly spelled, including capitalization, accents and the punctuation of abbreviations (such as rit., Pi mosso, etc.) with periods. Multiple directions are placed in the proper order (e.g. mp legato and Allegro q = 120, not vice versa). Font choices are appropriate. Text is roman or italic as appropriate: expression text should be italic (non-bold), except for dynamics, which are italic and bold; technique text should be roman (non-bold); lyrics text should be roman (non-bold) unless a foreign language version is given in addition to English, in which case the other language is italicized. Instrument changes should stand out clearly. They may, for example, be displayed in boxed text in percussion and other doubling parts to make them stand out clearly. ACCIDENTALS Reminder accidentals are used when appropriate. Accidentals are named appropriately for the context (e.g., to fit the melodic movement if appropriate; to fit the harmonic context if appropriate; for ease of the performer, given the particular instrument). DIVISIONS and UNITIES Any section markings that appear (such as rehearsal marks or double/final barlines) are used sensibly. New movements or sections have appropriate indications at the beginning. The appropriate measure division is shown in notes and rests (mid-measure, beat, or as appropriate).
Rests are of appropriate lengths (not covered by above: e.g., rests of small duration created by note erasure have been regrouped to form largest possible appropriate rest); multirests are created, when appropriate. Notes are of appropriate lengths and beamed or flagged as is appropriate (e.g., there are not more beats than fit in measure in hand-scored piece; beaming is accurate). In notating drum set/kit, the context has guided the stemming decisions.

Copyright 2003 by Mary Elizabeth.


SPACING Spacing both vertically and horizontally lends itself to maximum readability. Scores prepared with music notation software have had notes re-spaced. LYRICS Lyrics line up properly with the notes on which they are sung, and with each other and the staff vertically on a per system basis, with appropriate spacing between lyric verses. Elision is properly shown. Lyric lines (word extensions) appear after words and final syllables that are sung on more than one note. Any punctuation appears before the lyric lines in such cases. Words are properly divided into syllables and hyphens are visible. Punctuation is well spaced. A single well-spaced hyphen or multiple hyphens (depending) is used if syllables are sung on several notes. Notes that belong to the same syllable are marked with a slur. If notes are sung on a single syllable in one verse and multiple syllables in another verse, a dotted slur may be used to convey this.
Breath marks are helpful if rests do not clearly give time to breathe at adequate intervals.

All elements added to notes/score are accurately positioned (accents, slurs, ties, hairpins, metronome markings, dynamics, etc.) (Lyrics are handled in separate category.) Technique text is placed above an instrumental/vocal staff and as appropriate for grand staff; Expression text is placed below for instrumental, above for vocal and as appropriate for grand staff. Multiple piano and harp notes sounded simultaneously or two voices on a single staff have stems in correct directions. Any cross-staff notes are handled correctly.

Work should begin with title, composer, lyrics credit and copyright information if applicable, all appropriately spaced and sized. Initial indications should include meter, tempo, key signature (if appropriate), and initial dynamics. Special instructions such as initial timpani and harp tunings are given appropriately. Doublings are marked on staves as appropriate. Required special instrumental indications are given in the score as necessary: e.g. harp pedal settings and changes; timpani number, keys, changes; brass accessory changes; doubling switches; etc. Re-entrances after several measures of rest are marked with a dynamic level. The score indicates whether it is for midi or acoustic performance and the level of player. The composer/arranger has assessed that everything is as he or she wishes.

Tempo, expression, and technique indications are consistently in one language, chosen with good reason, or if not, mixed languages is appropriate in the context of the piece. The score has a consistent level of attention to detail or an explanation of why there are inconsistencies (e.g. if articulation and phrasing is carefully marked in some sections but not in others, the performer may wonder if something is missing) Nothing is inexplicableany unusual marks or non-obvious elements are either explained on the score itself or in a statement of artistic intention, or are interpretable through good knowledge of the instruments involved and a study of the score.

Key signatures were designed only for Major and Natural Minor tonalities. When use, they should accurately reflect the tonality and be used or not according to the standards for the instrument (e.g., timpani and French horn may be scored with or without key signatures). If a C score, rather than a transposed score is used, this should be noted. The score matches any accompanying recording in length, pitches played, tempo, instrumentation, dynamics, articulation, etc., or if not, there is an explanation attached.

All pitches noted are available on the instrument or are within the range of the vocal part indicated and within the performers ability, if for a specific ensemble. Sufficient time is given for players to switch instruments if doubling, switch positioning to apply techniques that the score requires (pizz./arco), retune as required by the score (timpani, harp), etc. For players who double or require mutes or other accessories, text above the staff should provide (1) a preparation instruction to switch instruments or pick up an accessory (e.g. take Harmon mute or to piccolo), followed by (2) a clear indication at the moment the mute or instrument is actually used or played (e.g. Harmon Mute, Piccolo). Multiple pitches notated for simultaneous production on a single instrument are capable of being produced simultaneously on that instrument (and by the number of performers indicated). Parts are not beyond appropriate complexity/difficulty for intended performance group (though simplicity is always appropriate if it meets composers intention). consider tempo, articulation, range, key signature, key changes, number of accidentals, style, dynamics, phrasing, etc. Scores have a reasonable number of measures per page for performance purposes. Page turns are thoughtfully placed (including strategic placement of rests) so that performance is not interrupted. Any unusual instructions are capable of being followed by a careful performer. Lyrics match the meter so that the natural accentuation of the words is not contradicted by the scoring (unless for some good and sufficient reason). Breath marks, slurs, phrase marks, and other indications that require endurance are reasonably spaced for practical purposes.