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How to use a musical score: Track 1

Featuring: Video Video

Do you know how music is written down? How do musicians use scores in their work? Catherine Tackley and Naomi Barker, of the Open University, explain about different types of music, how it is written down, and what that notation means to performers.

By: The iTunes U team (Programme and web teams)

  • Duration 55 mins
  • Updated Monday 13th July 2015
  • Introductory level
  • Posted under Music
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Track 1: What is a score?

Open University lecturers Catherine Tackley and Naomi Barker outline how music is written down, what a musical score is and what it does. You will also learn how musicians use and interpret musical scores in their work.


© The Open University


Tracks in this podcast:

Track   Title Description
1 What is a score?    Open University lecturers Catherine Tackley and Naomi Barker outline how music is written down, what a musical score is and what it does. You will also learn how musicians use and interpret musical scores in their work. Play now What is a score?
2 How do scores work?    Overcoming the challenge of writing down how sounds relate to the time they occupy was a major breakthrough in the history of Western music notation. Professor Susan Rankin talks to Open University Professor David Rowland about how difficult it was to convey both pitch and rhythm in a way that was relatively easy to learn and easy for musicians to use. Play now How do scores work?
3 Pianist Alexander Panfilov performs Mozart's KV265    In this video, pianist Alexander Panfilov performs the first six variations of Mozart’s Twelve Variations on ‘Ah, vous dirai-je, Maman’. Alexander is a postgraduate student at the Royal Northern College of Music and will be performing in the Leeds International Piano Competition. Play now Pianist Alexander Panfilov performs Mozart's KV265
4 How does a pianist view a score?    Pianist Alexander Panfilov explains how he works with the score to discover more about textures and structures of the piece as he prepares for his performance. Play now How does a pianist view a score?
5 Schubert’s Piano Quintet in A major, D. 667    The final movement of Schubert’s Piano Quintet in A major, D. 667, known as the Trout quintet. The performance was filmed at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester and features Siobhan Doyle (violin), Kimi Makino (viola), Christopher Mansfield (cello), Filipe Dandalo (double bass) and Jeremy Young (piano). Play now Schubert’s Piano Quintet in A major, D. 667
6 How do players work collaboratively with a score?    Siobhan Doyle (violin), Christopher Mansfield (cello), and Jeremy Young (piano) discuss how they use a score to work together as they rehearse and create a performance. Each player will have a slightly different view of the music, as he or she will generally only see the line of music that they play as an individual. This notation for a particular player is often called a ‘part’. The performance was filmed at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester. Play now How do players work collaboratively with a score?
7 How do you use a score to add tone and colour?    Siobhan Doyle (violin), Christopher Mansfield (cello) and Filipe Dandalo (double bass) talk about different elements of instrumental colour that they work into their performance of this variation of Schubert's Trout quintet. The performance was filmed at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester. Play now How do you use a score to add tone and colour?
8 How do you use a score to add layers and balance sounds?    Siobhan Doyle (violin), Kimi Makino (viola), Christopher Mansfield (cello), Filipe Dandalo (double bass) and Jeremy Young (piano) talk about how their parts fit together in layers in variation Number 3 of Schubert's Trout quintet. The performance was filmed at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester. Play now How do you use a score to add layers and balance sounds?
9 How do conductors use scores?    Conductor Mark Heron talks to Catherine Tackley, of the Open University, about what happens in rehearsals. He talks about ‘rehearsal marks’, letters placed in the score to help a conductor to identify a particular place to the players when starting and stopping to practise particular parts of a piece. Play now How do conductors use scores?
10 How does a score help in rehearsals?    Conductor Mark Heron talks to Catherine Tackley, of the Open University, about ‘rehearsal marks’, letters placed in the score to help a conductor to identify a particular place to the players when starting and stopping to practice particular parts of a piece. Play now How does a score help in rehearsals?
11 How does a score help develop the performance?    Conductor Mark Heron talks to Catherine Tackley, of the Open University, about the different types of information which can be found in a score and how conductors go about interpreting this to develop a performance. Play now How does a score help develop the performance?
12 How does a score help develop the interpretation?    Conductor Mark Heron talks to Catherine Tackley, of the Open University, about some of the different ways in which conductors have approached performing established classical works such as Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5. Play now How does a score help develop the interpretation?