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Score and Part Preparation

Score Format

  • all scores submitted for readings, performances, and juries should be printed on both sides and bound
  • do not print two single-sided sheets and tape them together back-to-back
  • each page should be numbered (rh pages are odd numbered, lh pages are even numbered)
  • the score should be prefaced with a title page and an instrumentation page listing the exact instrumentation, including any doublings, as well as any necessary performance instructions
  • for vocal or choral works each score should be also be prefaced by reproductions of the text(s) set
  • each score should have a front and back cover, the front cover should display the work's title and the composer's name

Part Format

  • instrumental parts submitted for readings and performances should be printed on both sides and bound
  • do not print two single-sided sheets and then tape them together back-to-back
  • all instructions, including the music itself, should be large enough to be read from one or two feet away from the music stand
  • each page should be numbered
  • the top of each page should show the instrument name
  • each instrument should have its own separate part; do not, for example, put Horn 1 and 2 on the same part, instead make a different part for each player
  • an exception to this rule occurs with string parts; if you are writing divisi orchestral parts put all of the music on the one part (separate staves may facilitate ease of reading). Generally for orchestral strings you should supply only one set of parts, single-sided and unbound. The orchestral librarian will make the necessary copies

Page Turns

  • be sure that your players can turn pages without interrupting their playing
  • this issue is mitigated somewhat with orchestral string writing, where a stand partner can turn pages
  • remember that this may be impossible in certain divisi passages
  • you might need to squeeze staves closer together or leave a considerable amount of blank space on some pages, this is perfectly acceptable if it enables page turns to be made easily


  • do not be sparing with instrumental cues
  • unless the music has clearly apprehended points of change (new tempi, new time-signatures, etc.) provide performers with plenty of opportunities to find their place after a passage where they have not been playing
  • cueing depends very much on context, but short cues every 10 measures or so can be helpful
  • put the cue in the transposition appropriate to the part it appears in (e.g. if you write a flute cue into a Bb clarinet part transpose the cue itself to Bb)


  • any kind of binding is acceptable provided it secures the pages along the full length of the score's spine
  • stapling through a top corner is not binding
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