Sourcebook for Wind Band and Instrumental Music by Russ Girsberger

Sourcebook for Wind Band and Instrumental Music by Russ Girsberger

Author:Russ Girsberger
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: Meredith Music
Published: 2014-11-30T16:00:00+00:00

Chapter 14 | Program Notes and the Concert Program

Program notes are a convenient way to communicate with your audience and your musicians. They provide more information than can easily be shared during a stage announcement or rehearsal and they give the reader the opportunity to prepare for what they will hear or reflect on what they have just experienced.

Good writing, like a good performance, requires rehearsal. Writing and rewriting to achieve the proper language, tone, and detail can be a difficult task but the result should be a clear, easily understood story about the music.

A good writer also writes for the audience. Find a tone that is interesting for the musicians in the audience, but don’t write over the heads of the interested amateurs or musical enthusiasts. Typically you will want to save the detailed theory and analysis for the musicologists—don’t make your concertgoers turn to their companions and ask, “What is a cancrizans?”

Reading an article on how to write program notes won’t make you a better writer, but it may give some ideas about how to structure your own writing. Furthermore, reading the works of good writers on music will give you a sense of what to include and how to frame the information. There are several collections of program notes in print from esteemed writers such as Michael Steinberg, D. Kern Holoman, and Donald Francis Tovey, and collections of writings from critics and essayists including Nicolas Slonimsky, Virgil Thomson, and Alex Ross. Read widely and be influenced by quality literature wherever it is found.


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