I come across several instances in which I am writing a section that repeats on all instruments except for one (specifically the drums in a case I’m currently dealing with). What is considered best practice in those scenarios? Would it be best in Dorico to have a repeat section (saving a lot of notes and reducing pages for almost all parts), but manually override that for only the drum part? If so, how would I go about that in Dorico?
If you are writing for a single group of players who don’t get confused by the convention, then use it.
But in general this sort of thing causes time wasting in rehearsals (or worse, mistakes in performance), especially if the director/conductor decides to change the repeat structure or make cuts and the “odd guy out” with a part different from all the others misunderstands the instructions about what to play!
Right. So what I’ve been doing in the past is basically set up the first bar in the section for the groove (I haven’t had any super-complex where multiple bars needed to be notated), then the second bar with the groove I want for the second time around, with annotations explaining this. Problem is that I can see that being real confusing for the drummer.
I can’t be the only dude who’s written music that’s come across this, is there a standard way of dealing with this? Just not having the repeat at all and having both sections through-written?
I absolutely think that repeats should be the same everywhere. Different repeats cause questions and confusion. Not worth the paper saved. Through-written definitely. Repeats should not only be a paper-saver, but should be an indication to the performers that the music is exactly the same.
Not only should everyone have the same repeats, they also should have the same structure in repeat endings, even if, for some parts, they’re equal. I have seen it happening in practice that a conductor asks the orchestra to recap e.g. at the ‘2’ after the repeat, only to be interrupted by some musicians complaining they don’t have any ‘1’ or ‘2’. Add confusion over weird bar numbering in the repeat endings and you waste a lot of time rehearsing…
Nothing new to add, except a +1 for clarity and uniformity for the sake of rehearsal. Stick with convention.
I say: through-write the whole thing with no repeats. And then, of course, making sure there are multi-bar rests for the people who don’t play while the percussion is doing it’s thing.
I once wrote out a simple piece for string-band with three repeats and a third ending that was rather longer than the first two endings. No dropping in or out for anybody, no verbal explanations needed (I thought!). With smart competent musicians it took FOUR rehearsals before they all understood the structure. The varying ending lengths were throwing them for a loop. Since then, I always just through-write the whole thing. Clear to everyone, no verbal explanations needed.
Gentlemen (assuming y’all are indeed male), excellent input all around, glad I waited for your responses before pulling any triggers.