Mudcat Café message #1090460 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #55223   Message #1090460
Posted By: PoppaGator
11-Jan-04 - 02:53 PM
Thread Name: Using a music stand
Subject: RE: Using a music stand
I hesitate to participate because I'm basically inactive as a performer these days. As an audience member, I can toss in my opinion that music stands are OK if used for occasional reference, but they are odious and obtrusive when performers rely on them too heavily. Who wants to witness someone reading every note or every word (or both) of a piece? Might as well attend a rehearsal!

Standards should be looser, of course, for situations where there is no perfomer/audience dichotomy, where everyone is a participant. But not totally loose -- as more than one of the above posts have pointed out, it's rude to put oneself forward at a session only to "read" a song that hasn't yet been thoroughly learned/internalised/interpreted.

A lot depends upon what's on the page: lyrics only, complete standard musical notation ("dots"), lyrics and chords, or just a simple set list.

Bands/groups generally need set lists, and that's no problem.

Someone wrote disparaginly of jazz combos reading from sheet music. WRONG! Those guys aren't reading anything, because they're improvising the entire perfomance. They require *charts* (not complete transcriptons) as a reference in order to stay "on the same page" with each other no matter how freely they play, to assure that they stay together when making transitions from verse to chorus to bridge to coda, etc.

Way back when, when I was a full-time (if not professional) performer, I was siging almost exclusively on the street; needless to say, a music stand was not part of my kit. I had a pretty large repertoire (at one time, I counted up to 200 tunes and quit without exhausting all the numbers I knew) and knew all the words. Of course, (a) I had no other life, and (b) if I made a mistake, sang verses out of order, etc., no one would be the wiser. Putting in a lot of time, of course, was the key to learning so much material so well. Couldn't do the same thing today, not hardly.