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Orchestral Etiquette and Common Sense Thread


violinnewb
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The numerical inside player turns pages, Which means that the even numbered violinists have to reach across the music turn the page, I’ve always thought that stupid but it’s not an issue for the cellos so I don’t really care…Unless we have one of those exotic European conductors who wants cellos on the left.

The numerical outside player( the odd number) has the right to write fingerings above notes, and to mark the part in general. Inside player is allowed to make fingerings underneath notes: any other marking, such as a dynamic reminder or an eye glasses, must be accompanied by a, “… Just for me,” comment.

inside or outside, make as few markings as possible.

If it’s hard to see, the outside player wins.

If the stand is too close too far too left too right, the outside player wins.

The outside player gets the original part. The inside player must make do with a photocopy.

The outside player must do everything possible to accommodate the inside player, who is probably younger and better than you, and from whom you will seek mercy when the time comes.

Buuuut for now, the outside player still wins.

(everyone wants to be the outside player when they they grow up)

If you have a complaint, talk to the principal of the section, who will either approach the offender, or slap you down with a “get over it” comment. Occasionally the principal will go to the conductor and ask him to deal with the matter.

Dont yawn with your mouth open, especially when looking right at the conductor. They may be looking at you at the same time, and might take umbrage…

ask me how I know…

When playing, make sure you can hear your partner. If you can’t, you’re too loud.

When your partner makes a mistake, don’t glare at him. Ignore it. He has done the same for you many a time.

If YOU make a mistake, continue to look right at the conductor. This way, he will assume that you are blameless and credit your partner with the misdeed.

Bathe.

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I prefer the way our community orchestra has it set up.  Everyone gets their own stand.  No stand partners.

I much prefer it that way.  I prefer to see only my own notes and markings and I prefer to be able to actually see the music without having to worry about the angle I'm at and how my progressives/other glasses, interpret that angle.

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It shouldn't have to be said, but sadly, not everyone seems to know:

Show up early, well prepared, with part marked with bar numbers if it doesn't have them, instrument in good shape, a pencil or two, and the right attitude. 

Don't hog the stand.

Don't put your case on the backstage table in "landscape" position, put it in "portrait" position so there's room for plenty more. 

Don't talk during rehearsal unless absolutely necessary.

Listen to the conductor when he/she is talking to other sections - you might learn something about the desired articulation or color. 

Practice with a metronome on all rhythmically challenging sections or parts where you are with other sections - do it at tempos well below, all the way up through well above, the target tempos. 

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59 minutes ago, PhilipKT said:

The numerical inside player turns pages, Which means that the even numbered violinists have to reach across the music turn the page, I’ve always thought that stupid but it’s not an issue for the cellos so I don’t really care…Unless we have one of those exotic European conductors who wants cellos on the left.

The numerical outside player( the odd number) has the right to write fingerings above notes, and to mark the part in general. Inside player is allowed to make fingerings underneath notes: any other marking, such as a dynamic reminder or an eye glasses, must be accompanied by a, “… Just for me,” comment.

inside or outside, make as few markings as possible.

If it’s hard to see, the outside player wins.

If the stand is too close too far too left too right, the outside player wins.

The outside player gets the original part. The inside player must make do with a photocopy.

The outside player must do everything possible to accommodate the inside player, who is probably younger and better than you, and from whom you will seek mercy when the time comes.

Buuuut for now, the outside player still wins.

(everyone wants to be the outside player when they they grow up)

If you have a complaint, talk to the principal of the section, who will either approach the offender, or slap you down with a “get over it” comment. Occasionally the principal will go to the conductor and ask him to deal with the matter.

Dont yawn with your mouth open, especially when looking right at the conductor. They may be looking at you at the same time, and might take umbrage…

ask me how I know…

When playing, make sure you can hear your partner. If you can’t, you’re too loud.

When your partner makes a mistake, don’t glare at him. Ignore it. He has done the same for you many a time.

If YOU make a mistake, continue to look right at the conductor. This way, he will assume that you are blameless and credit your partner with the misdeed.

Bathe.

Is it legal to take you’re firearm to a rehearsal/concert in Texas?

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1 hour ago, violinnewb said:

Inside stand partner who doesn’t turn pages. Boo.

I once had a stand partner lick her fingers every page turn. Gross.

One rule I have adopted on my own is to make sure you turn the page soon enough so that you can play the first note on the top of the next page. And yes, you frequently have to lick your fingers.

Oh, what barbarians we be!

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1 hour ago, Rue said:

I prefer the way our community orchestra has it set up.  Everyone gets their own stand.  No stand partners.

I much prefer it that way.  I prefer to see only my own notes and markings and I prefer to be able to actually see the music without having to worry about the angle I'm at and how my progressives/other glasses, interpret that angle.

But you play bassoon. You get your own stand anyway, don’t you?

Etiquette for wind players would probably be centered around where to dump your spit cup….yick.

Edited by PhilipKT
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1 hour ago, Zeissica said:

Not at all! But I want to be as far away from them as possible. That's what motivated me to practice in college - made it to 1st chair my 3rd year!

Lately, as I have learned what violin is about, I get these minor guilt trips for a few moments every few months wondering if I ever caused hearing problems for string players who sat in front of me long ago.

My advice for conductors, at least for the community orchestras, is to mold the low brass players into what you need and want them to be, not what they choose to be.  Example - If you love the sounds of violins and violas working together as a unit let them know about it.   

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Only women are allowed handbags on the platform

When the oboe gives the A, try not to drown it with your concerto

Try to look like you're enjoying the music

Try to keep up with the soloist

Wait for the chorus to catch up

Try to figure out if the conductor is giving the beat or an impression of what he wants to hear later

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16 hours ago, uncle duke said:

My advice for conductors, at least for the community orchestras, is to mold the low brass players into what you need and want them to be, not what they choose to be.  Example - If you love the sounds of violins and violas working together as a unit let them know about it.   

Reminds me of the Richard Strauss quote "Never look at the trombones, it only encourages them". But I like your approach - one conductor I had often said something to the brass like "concentrate on intonation and tone, not volume" and it worked. 

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Remember that you are in an ensemble and you are not the star (unless you are a soloist or have a solo part).

Another thing that I noticed a few times as a spectator of community orchestras is that random player who always looks over to see who played a wrong note.  I know that sometimes it is habitual, but its a bad habit.

Cell phones on vibrate, or off. This one still ticks me off.

Tuning very loudly when you can't seem to understand that you are actually out of tune.

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17 hours ago, PhilipKT said:

One rule I have adopted on my own is to make sure you turn the page soon enough so that you can play the first note on the top of the next page. And yes, you frequently have to lick your fingers.

Oh, what barbarians we be!

Yes to the early turning.

NO to the licking of your fingers.  bend the corners of the pages slightly. No licking....Covid or no Covid, its just gross.

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2 hours ago, violinnewb said:

....

Another thing that I noticed a few times as a spectator of community orchestras is that random player who always looks over to see who played a wrong note.  I know that sometimes it is habitual, but its a bad habit.

...

Also, speaking of community orchestra...I am very aware if I play a wrong note at rehearsal. I also know when I lose count and am (quietly) trying to find out where we are...so I can sneak back in.

No need to point out. Every. Single. Error. I make.

As my nerves fray and my confidence drops...I KNOW I will make more errors. So you are also shooting yourself in the foot.

If you want to play in an error-free environment, maybe community orchestra isn't the best place for you.

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