May 06 2013

Jen’s Ten Commandments of Marking up Music



1. Thou shalt use pencil and only pencil. Thou shalt not use colored pencil, erasable pen, or a quill dipped in the tears of a unicorn. Pencil, well-sharpened or mechanical.
2.  Thou shalt scribe legibly, for thou does not know who will need to read thy scribblings.
3. Thou shalt not draw pictures, exchange witty notes with thy stand partner, or share thy snarky opinions of the conductor on thy music.
4. Thou shalt not mark up thy music in such a way that other musicians cannot read the notes.
5. Thou shalt employ the use of an eraser if so warranted.
6. Thou shalt not write Db for C#, or F# for Gb, for they are different notes. They may have the same fingerings and produce the same lovely tones, but they are not the same.
7. Thou shalt indicate an accidental by placing the sign to the left of the note head, and nowhere else.
8. Thou shalt mark where to breathe with a checkmark, and the letters BB to indicate Big Breath. And then breathe there.
9. Thou shalt keep thy markings short, sweet, and understandable.
10. Thou shalt get into the habit of marking up music, for it will make you a better and more consistent musician.

1 comment

  1. Kasi

    Oops, I’m guilty of number 3 except that I would write little love letters to my then bf to surprise him. We’re married now, so it worked… 🙂

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