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How to interpret Volta Brackets with Coda in Imperial March?

Discussion in 'Notation' started by Eric Nething, Jul 20, 2022.

  1. I am not sure how to interpret the combination of volta brackets and codas in this piece (see attachment). From my understanding, it looks like I should do the following:

    1. Play the entire first page.
    2. Go back to the beginning of page 1, but skip over volta bracket 1, and instead play volta bracket 2 until the coda sign (?)
      1. Here is another repeat section with a volta bracket 1 and 2. Play through those and stop at the coda.
    3. Go back to the beginning of page 1, but skip over volta bracket 1, and instead play volta bracket 3, and play until the coda sign (?)
      1. Here is another repeat section with a volta bracket 1 and 2. Play through those and stop at the coda.
    4. Go to the coda and finish playing.
    There are several other ways I can interpret this, but this is just one. Is this correct? Why is it so confusing?

    Attached Files:

  2. This is really clumsy, and it's wrong. You can follow it, but it's not even a good approximation. Shit can this. Are you looking specifically for a piano reduction? Because if not, get the actual score from Hal Leonard!
  3. I am looking for a piano reduction to play for piano practice. I feel this arrangement is just at or slightly below my current level, so it was easy (and fun) to play. I'm also looking for a playable piano arrangement of the Main Theme. Any suggestions?
  4. I don't know what your goals are, but what I do with my 11-year-old is have him actually make piano reductions from the full scores. It is infinitely more informative, skill-building, and develops deep musical understanding. You might consider it.
  5. You've talked in the past about not creating piano reductions for scores before. I assume I have the difference correctly assessed, but I assume the main distinction is trying to play a bunch of instrument parts on the piano at the same time and trying to imitate rhythmic patterns as opposed to boiling down the essence of the chords, melody and structure of the piece overall when transcribing?
  6. My main goal here is to improve at playing the piano before continuing my study of composition, because I enjoy playing the piano, and my lack of ability is holding me back from being able to use it as a composition tool.

    Wouldn't it make more sense to begin by comparing the orchestral score with a good piano reduction to learn how it is done? I have done some transcription by ear for small parts of other popular songs, and I am often wrong, but close enough to get the idea across. I have several wonderful piano collections of orchestral soundtracks from Japanese video games which I often prefer to the original. It hadn't occurred to that I could compare the two if I can get ahold of the full score (which may or may not be possible).
  7. Comparisons don't teach as much as actually doing it. Simplest solution would be to transcribe/learn simpler piano songs by ear, ones for which you can get a hold of a score. Or learn some jazz progressions/standards and practice voicing/extending them. Piano chops won't improve by simply comparing scores. If you're looking to improve composition chops on piano, the piano reduction method of trying to figure out what a composer was playing on two-handed piano when they wrote the song is extremely useful (i.e. chords, progression, melody lines).
  8. If you want to play something fully orchestrated, you're going to need to do a piano reduction of it; there's no way around that. But my issue with piano reductions is that they don't often reverse engineer the piece to its original piano version, so they're not particularly useful in the study of orchestration. And yes the best way to improve piano chops is to transcribe, and play pieces. Learn Bach's Invention 8 and 13. They're fun and you can learn a ton about your technique in the process.
  9. This would make a nice masterclass ;)
  10. You don't go To Coda until you've been through the D.C. to Coda. That means the sheet music tells you to play it like this:
    Play first page
    Repeat first page - only first two systems
    Play first 6 bars of page 2
    Play second system of page two
    Play bar 7 of page 2
    Play the first 6 bars of page 1
    Play first two bars of page 2

    Really clumsy
    Eric Nething likes this.
  11. Thanks for the explanation @Thomas Bryla.

    Before this one, I had never encountered sheet music that uses volta brackets or codas at all. Luckily, the vast majority of my piano books contain the full scores. Without all of these symbols, it may take 4 pages instead of 2. I don't see the point of using these confusing symbols, even after reading explanations for why. It seems like a cheap way for publishers to save on paper and ink. The sheet music in question is from an offical publisher.
  12. Right, gotcha. So the issue is people creating pseudo-reductions with a bunch of unnecessary accessory parts (like interpreted winds runs and the like) rather than boiling it down to "how did this guy write this first".

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