Miniblog #2 - Your Sheet Music is Incorrect!
This is a favorite one of mine. There are certain songs that make their way through the audition circuit that have errors in the published sheet music. I'm going to highlight 4 of them. But they are by no means a complete list. There are LOTS of errors in lots of published sheet music.
The best way to avoid such errors is by taking your music to a pianist and asking them to play through it EXACTLY as it appears on the page. Now, most audition pianists do what I refer to as "audition magic" to your sheet music and play more than is printed on the page. We also get rid of that melody line that's in the right hand for most Pop/Rock tunes. We ignore the incorrect chord symbols. There is a lot we do behind the piano that you have NO clue about. Here are 4 quick examples.
I CHOSE RIGHT from BABY:
In measure 50 of I CHOSE RIGHT from the musical BABY there is a D natural. In fact there are 3 Ds that should be D#s. Though thankfully in measure 51 they've given us a courtesy accidental to cancel out what should have been the D#. Whenever anyone sings this in an audition room I take out my trusty pencil and correct the wrong notes. I'm not blaming anyone for this error, it's a mistake on the copyists part. But you should have taken your music to a pianist and had them play through it and then you can easily fix it with a pencil. Lesson of the story, guys and gals, if this song is in your book, turn to it right now and fix measure 50. If you've had me play an audition for you, it's probably already been fixed. You're welcome.
NOTICE ME HORTON from SEUSSICAL:
This one is amazing. Like Mayzie. In the 3rd and 5th measure above there is a rogue Dnatural. It should be a Db. Now the fact that it happens twice is the best part of this. COME ON! This is from the MusicNotes/SheetMusicDirect version of NOTICE ME HORTON. If you've purchased this copy of the song, write to whomever you purchased it from and ask for a refund. If you got your copy of the song from the Piano/Vocal score you are fine. I've also turned those 2 natural signs into flat signs quite a bit. Though it adds a nice little jazz element to play a Dnatural. That's a lie. It sounds terrible and Stephen Flaherty would not be amused.
MISTER SNOW from CAROUSEL:
This is just a random forward repeat sign that shouldn't exist. The thing about this repeat sign that makes me happy is that it's been around FOREVER! There's really not much of a rant here. Just a phantom repeat sign. If you look through the rest of the song there is no backward repeat sign to bring you back here. So it's literally just a waste of ink. Seeing as VE Day was on May 8, 1945 and Carousel opened on April 19, 1945 this ink could have been used toward the war effort. Though the type set version of this score probably happened later on, so now I'm just ranting for no good reason.
HOLDING TO THE GROUND from FALSETTOS/FALSETTOLAND:
This missing measure is a crapshoot in the audition room. Some people do it as written in the songbook version of this song, some people do it like the original cast recording. There was a time I would ask which version you were doing, but that question baffled most people. So now I just play the song on a wing and a prayer and you can usually tell which version is going to be sung. But there is a missing measure! Although, in the 2016 revival this measure isn't missing from the cast recording, so perhaps this one will fade into the distance. But it's annoying to not really know what people are going to be singing. Again, just have a pianist play through your stuff! It's so easy to be prepared.
There are a million more examples of this. I won't get into what's currently being written for music theater. A majority of the new musical theater writers apparently have no idea what a properly notated piece of sheet music should look like. It's embarrassing. If you purchase a piece of sheet music from a new composer, make sure it is notated correctly, especially on NewMusicalTheatre.com. There are a lot of new composers that clearly care about the notation of their music, but there are also a lot of new composers that couldn't care less, but if you are paying $8-10 for a piece of sheet music (too much money), then you damn well better be getting an edited and correct version. If it isn't notated correctly, or you aren't sure if it is notated correctly, pay a pianist to look through it. Or email it to SaveMyAudition, I'll gladly look over it and let you know if you should be getting your money back.
And that is that. It's time for Thanksgiving. Everyone have a wonderful Thanksgiving and I'll post a new blog on Monday!
Until then, every audition counts!
Also here's a treat, not a music theater song, but just a great song. Loudon Wainwright III is a hell of a writer.