Figured Bass - just a sharp, please

Even the most meticulous scholarly transcriptions usually correct obvious mistakes, and list the correction in critical notes, while making the alteration noticeable by using italics, small notes, brackets, etc.

If a keyboard player starts noticing mistakes in the score, he won’t know whether they were in the original, or introduced later: but he won’t trust it.

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For critical editions one has to meticulously copy 1:1. It is a small path, if one starts correcting mistakes, their will be a trace of yourself, and the whole thing becomes an edition.
If I have no idea about Figured Bass, I should still be able to copy what is written. In that case how should the person correct, whilst having no clue? One could leave the careful corrections to an expert on that field.

Thank you Claude, of course I don’t want any Figured Bass in the Viola part… I never knew of that setting, but I guess I know how this happened: I started inputting the Figured Bass into the viola staff - as in the bass staff there was just a sustained long bass note. My plan: to move the numbers down to the bass staff with Alt-M. This did not work, so I reviewed my plan and started inputting the figures into the bass staff. My procedure must have automatically changed the Layout Settings.
This built in service is confusing if one does not know about these settings.

I cant agree with that, for re-publishing any feature in any musical score (not just figured bass).

If you don’t know what the original is supposed to mean, you don’t know how to copy it intelligently. If you want to make a facsimile edition, there is a tool for that: it’s called a camera.

Consider the examples in the attachments, which are from a published first edition that I happen to be working on right now. I could easily find hundreds more examples, these are just what is in front of me right now.

In the first one, If you don’t understand how an orchestra string section “works”, you can claim on the authority of Gould that the “pizz” should apply to the fourth 32-note on the staff below it, because that is how playing techniques are supposed to be positioned. But don’t expect anybody to take you seriously if you publish (or perform) that sort of nonsense!

And in the second, if you want to claim that the f dynamics are intended to start on the second grace note on the top two staves, but on the first grace note of the bottom one, feel free to “copy what is written” exactly :slight_smile:
score interpretation.png
dynamics positioning.png

I can’t resist adding a third example from another forum that I happened to see today. Somebody was asking what the “x” symbols mean in this cello part (by Beethoven).

And someone else, who presumably knows how to read a music dictionary but is otherwise clueless, stated that they are all double sharp symbols, and the music should really have been written a tone higher to avoid them.

(Full disclosure: I have no idea what they mean, but I would happily bet $10,000 they aren’t double sharps!)
Double sharps - not.jpg

Rob, your first example looks a bit tight, that’s why they put the pizz. of that octave, where there was space.
In the second example the engraver was probably a bit careless, when he put the fortes down - or he copied the exact positions of the original.
In your Beethoven example the symbols don’t look like x - more like some playing instruction (could be accents with strong individual vibrato). Because it is ambiguous the editor probably copied from the autograph as close as possible and left the interpretation of those signs to the interpreter. I actually prefer it that way, if I was the musician to play the piece.
I am not a cellist, but it would be interesting to know, from which piece this example derives.