Workflow - how not to do it

I was asked to help make instrumental parts for a long (early baroque) opera, where the source is a scan of the score, available open on imslp. It is about 300 pages of music.
My reply, this is too much for one person in the given time frame, please split it up between at least three people.
Oh no, it’s not that bad, we don’t need all 300 pages, most of it are recitativos, we only need the symphonies and ritornelli.
Ok. I start copying the relevant pages.
At the same time they have two people working in the background trying to cut the opera into a performable length. They do it by cutting out pages, making snippets from the pdf and putting them together with some pdf application, I don’t know which one. They provide me with new versions of that pdf file (now it is already version 60). The best part of it is, they do renumber the pages every time, so it is extremely difficult to keep track of where one actually is… In the mean time I was also asked to copy the ensembles (choirs), as they might be needed to be doubled by instruments. New challenges turn up, some of the recitativos have to be transposed - so they can’t use their original pdf for that. Those pages have to be copied into Dorico too before being transposed. Ok, the workload is growing, so are the demands from my “coworkers”, they ask, if I could format my transposition snippets, so they can paste them into the original pdf…
And please, btw. keep the now actual page numbering, otherwise we get lost…
At the end they will have a terrible, mistaken prone edition, which might fail, when it comes to the rehearsals. I am expecting SOS calls… Much time has been wasted by people trying to make it cheaply.
We are down to 200 pages now (or better to say, at the moment?).
I feel, I should have done the transcribing completely by myself, and they would have saved themselves from this chaos…


Boundaries are healthy. Sounds like it’s time to walk.


I cannot help but think your last sentence is spot on.