Can any French-speaking percussionists interpret this?

Can anyone interpret the text on the cymbal parts in these two snippets?

The first looks something like “a l’ordin…” which I guess means “naturale”. The second one “B. de T.” (or possibly “B. de J.”) doesn’t mean anything to me.

To help read the chicken scratch, the instrument names on the first one are II Timp [i.e. two players], T. mil., T[ambour] Basque, Gr. C, Tri, Cymb, Cast[anets], Xyl, Gong, Piano.

And the second, Timp, T. mil., Tambourine, T. Basque. Gr. C., Tri, Cymb, Cast, Gong, Piano.

My guess is “baguettes de jonc”

It’s possible it’s a contraction of “à l’ordinare” which I suppose would be natural. Interestingly, l’ordin also seems to be used in Italian so it might be a rarely used Italian term.

In another work, the composer uses “baguette de timbales”, “baguette de triangle” and “baguette de tambour militaire” (amongst other sticks), and lists the sticks required in the preface. I don’t have this score, however. I am pretty sure that it will refer to one of those.

That makes sense. The preface lists “2 triangles (2 players)” and “2 cymbals (2 players)” but it looks a reasonable bet you only really need two players in total, each with 1 cymbal + 1 triangle.

BTW you can probably guess the name of the person who transcribed this earlier as “words???” :wink:

French dictionaries on Google give “jonc” as “bulrush” - so is that “rutes”? (or “brushes”?) i.e. something less solid that a wooden stick?

It’s best translated as “cane” or Rohrschlägel in German. It applies to the shaft of the stick. The head is usually made of silk cotton, hence Stravinsky’s nomenclature: “baguette en jonc avec tête de capoc”.

What is clear to me is why we take the time to make nice scores : to avoid this kind of unreadable markings!


Nah. It’s the feeling of omniscience that editors and typesetters get, knowing that most people are going to believe whatever is in the score just because it’s in print, even when the editor didn’t have a clue what the manuscript really said! :wink:


The passage you reproduce comes from the supplementary score (p. 267). Compare it with the first bar of p. 294: the two instruments that are called for here are a “Baguette de timbale” (or, as Frazer also suggested, “triangle”) and a “Baguette de tambour militaire”. The proximity of similar shapes makes it possible to conclude that the first letter of the key word is a t. Furthermore, the indication that is abbreviated elsewhere as “à l’ordin.” reads “à l’ordinaire” (with an i between the a and the r).

The listing of instruments at the start of the score is no help with regard to the array of sticks that the percussion players need to have at hand. It may be useful to note that the supplementary score calls for a “Tambour de Basque”.

Since Rob did not identify the composer, I left it at that. It remains for someone to identify from whose orchestral music is quoted…