Friday, October 10, 2008

Got My Proofs

I'm up to the next step in the exciting publication process - my editor sent me proofs of the engraved music. When I submit new music, I mail a recording and a printed Finale file of each piece. When they tell me which pieces they've selected, I e-mail the digital Finale file their way. They then mark it up with changes (more on that later) and send it to the engravers, who make a final, finished version of the score and parts. So in this step of the process, my editors send those engraved versions back to me to double-check and make sure everything is correct and there are no typos before hundreds of thousands of dollars are spent printing out all the music.

It's not a foolproof method, but in my experience it is 99% effective. In my ten years as a part of the process, there's only been one serious mistake: in "Flambeaux," some of the measures got mixed up near the beginning in the 'Cello and Bass parts. I didn't notice until I heard the recording and I went back to look at my original file and the proofs they sent. Everything matched, so it must have gotten mixed up between my approval and the final engraving.

So this week, I received proofs for "A Hero's Welcome" and "Quicksilver." The editor, Bob Phillips, had a few editions, which he penciled into my original score. They never make changes to the content - only to little things. Mostly he recommended more bow markings and fewer double-bars. Also, I prefer to use ties, where Bob recommends using more dotted notes. Other than that, it's pretty straightforward.I only found a few minor changes - two misplaced bow markings and a missing dynamic.

Sometimes pieces check out with no changes at all. A few times, it requires a complete overhaul. As it was explained to me my first time out, the folks who do the engraving don't necessarily know music, so besides obvious stuff like wrong notes, clefs might be mis-aligned, articulations missing o,r sharps and flats in key signatures might appear in the wrong places.

I'll be looking for the proofs for my third piece , Porcupine Pantomime. The next step is to send it to press.

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