I copied a French baroque opera and try to prepare the parts now.
I structured the score in the way by giving each Scene a new flow.
These scenes often consist of an instrumental Introduction, followed by a part for the voice. Or it starts with a singer and leads into an instrumental Ritornello.
Typical for the notation of the singing part are constant time signature changes, to follow the word and text pattern, to emphasize the rhythmical structure of the text. Very nice and very typical:
When it comes to the layout of the parts though, I run into a problem: The time signature changes get very much into the way and leave hardly any space for the instrumental music:
No conductor will ever conduct this, nor is it needed. I might give the instrumentalist a little cue… I seem not to be able to reduce the spacing of the empty bars. What would be a good way of making these instrumental parts more informative? Thank you for tipps.
With forced System Breaks it looks like this:
Move some of the rests out of the first line and redistribute them within the first 3 lines. They all should appear to have equal width. It just looks better.
You can change the minimum width of empty bars in Engraving Options > Rests.
My recollection is that recitatives and lengthy instrumental interludes/introductions are often handled as separate “numbers” which would suggest to me to put them in as separate flows.
Thank you Lillie, I will check that setting and have a look at the results when changing them.
Derrek, I thought of that too, but it will
make the whole thing less structured. Also these bits most of the time do overlap. Quite often the instrumental introduction will be followed by the same musical material for the voices, being interrupted by Ritornellos or concluded with some instrumental bars. Structuring by scene is the closest at reflecting the musical structure.
Sometimes one scene overlaps with the next one, someone stepping in from the side, resulting in two musical events happening at the same time. In these cases I guess one has to finish event one in a flow and start a new flow as if things were happening one after the other.
One suggestion that comes to mind (because it has come up for me in other contexts) is to make the vocal cues (at the end of the recitative-like sections) longer, so that they are unmistakeable, and the player can use them as “get ready to play” signals, with little need to count all those empty bars.
Rinaldo, thanks, that sounds like a good idea I will keep in mind.