Musicians’ Shorthand

This image of a conductor’s abbreviated note to the orchestra (referenced on Arts Addict’s New Year’s Eve post) inspired me to pull one of my Rossini opera scores off the shelf.

See, when you get into a Rossini finale, the piano score reduction covers about 2 measures per page. (Once everyone gets singing, and each individual vocal line is stacked on top of another, it takes up all of the available vertical space on the page.) Add to this the fact that most of these finales are moving at an Allegro-or-faster pace, and you begin to see the problem. You end up playing the piano with one hand and turning pages constantly with the other.

Hence, my shorthand version of the first act finale to L’italiana in Algeri. A thing of beauty, representing 56 pages of the score and eliminating 28 page turns!

I’m a bit of a music theory nerd. If you’re lucky, maybe someday I’ll pull out my Schenkerian analysis of Salome. Or not.

Happy to report that has welcomed an opera interloper. Brian Dickie of Chicago Opera Theatre will be representing all things operatic for the Inside the Arts blog portal. Check it out! (Although I have been teasing Drew that he does need a chick on the roster…!) Looks like there’s a new blogger coming next week – keep the faith, ladies!



Well, the Book Review blog plans on using some direct input from his daughter for the children’s books reviews, does that count in the meantime? :)


Of course, Drew. And don’t take the recreational whining too seriously :)


you’re my hero Kim. I’m inspired never to read actual notation again!

Your notes are so much prettier than mine are though!

Add Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to Blog