Thursday, 6 June 2019

More on Russian cymbal notation.

Last week I wrote THIS article. While investigating other issue which keeps me bussy, I found more music that proves what I wrote there: that "+" means suspended cymbal with a soft mallet and "o" means crashed cymbals.

Rimsky-Korsakov wrote an opera titled "Mlada", and he selected some music from the third act, which became a symphonic poem titled "Night on Mount Triglav". I found the score at that gold mine named Petrucci Music Library. We can find this in the performance notes:

Observation I. Le signe |-| dans la partie des Piatti indique un coup avec une baguette molle (Colla bacchetta da Timpano); le signe o un coup sur les cymbales.

"Observation I. The symbol |-| in the cymbal part indicates a stroke with a soft mallet (Colla bacchetta da Timpano); the symbol o a strike of cymbals".

This opera was composed between 1889 and 1990, exactly the same time frame as Glazunov´s "La Mer" (1889).

There´s a small graphical difference between "|-|" and "+", but that´s something I attribute to Rimsky and Glazunov being published by different editors. In both cases "o" means crashed cymbals.

So, we now have even more clues proving the Russian notation explained in my previous article. For two geniuses like Glazunov and Rimsky-Korsakov, both professors at the Saint Petersburg Conservatory, having influenced the next generations of Russian students and composers and transmited them their cymbal notation, can be considered nothing but the normal thing.

No more worries when playing Russian repertory! 😉

…et in Arcadia ego.
© David Valdés

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