Re: Silly notation
Reply #15 –
That's pretty much right, at least in my experience - dunno 'bout orchestral wind... Just brass band and jazz ensembles (although most jazz apart from big band is largely improv...)
While I feel it isn't the norm, I agree - we should be able to read anything put in front of us - that said, some of the very best musicians I've ever heard can't read a note! Or are so out of practice at it that they might as well not be able to.
It is my observation that the average monophonic instrument player simply does not visualise things the way a pianist can. Can't comment on strings aside from guitar who mostly seem to play chords by rote rather than actually reading music. Most of the guitarists I have contact with are very poor readers, but are good to listen to.
Diff'rent strokes I guess. The ideal is to be well rounded and be able to both read fluently and improvise easily - in reality the two don't seem to go together very often.
Add to that, most of us also have "day jobs" - curtails time effectively...
So, to get back on topic - I reckon it's best if the player - especially wind players - are presented with charts that fit the conventions they normally use, even, or perhaps especially, when it isn't technically correct. Afterall, the goal is to have the music played, not argued about...
<edit> As an after thought, I play in groups with 2 very different styles and genres of music.
On Sundays, and Tuesday night practice it's stuff for Church - mostly rock 'n roll/pop styles in, usually E and A. Do see some other keys occasionally, but to make it easy for guitars these are the keys we usually see.
On Mondays and Thursdays when I play big band or I'm at my improv class we usually see F, Bb, Eb and Ab.
Add to that the very different feel in the rhythm etc.... If I were to put something in F or Bb, or even (Heaven forbid) Ab in front of my church band they'd recoil in horror!
Likewise, E and A seem to be almost as foreign to the big band guys, though I reckon I'd get less complaint from them