I met a musicologist on the plane last night

September 12th, 2007 at 2:35 pm by james

So what do you do?
I advise orchestras on what to play, how to prepare, and I write the blurb for their programs.
What sort of advice do orchestras need?
They might want to know which edition of a piece of music they should be looking at. Orchestras (in the US) prepare very thoroughly before rehearsals begin because the musicians are unionised and having a hundred musicians sitting around while you organise things is a very bad idea. So they might tell me who their conductor will be and I can say “Well, being Polish he will have learned that piece of music from a particular Russian edition that calls for four more french horns than you’re planning for.” So then they can go to the conductor before the time and say “Maestro, would you like four more french horns?” It’s not easy to get four more french horns on the day.

Isn’t that cool? I’d enjoy doing that. Except for the part about having to know so much about music.

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