(This is a re-post of something I posted earlier; now that the mailing list is working better, I’m really looking forward to hearing everyone’s thoughts about this.)
As a player, when sight-reading new music, I really prefer not to see too much information. Sure, you need the essentials – time and key signatures, tempo and the notes. But I’ve played many pieces of music that have so much detailed information that it distracts me from listening to the other instruments. Listening is so very important, and I’m afraid many of us including myself, don’t pay enough attention to it.
Of course, a lot depends on what the composer intends. If the composer has a very clear, specific goal for how a piece should be played, then perhaps there should be as much information as possible? But if the composer is willing to allow for personal and group interpretation, the musicians will be more able to find their own voice in a piece, if there aren’t too many markings and instructions.
Another thing to be considered is: what do the musicians prefer? I’ve already said that I really like openness, not too much instruction and allowing for more interpretation. But I realize that some ensembles and individuals prefer to see a lot of information, and if they don’t see it, they’ll be wanting to ask the composer “How do you want me to play this?”
So, I sincerely welcome any feedback regarding my own compositions and arrangements – I’ve even considered making two versions of each arrangement; one with very little information, and another with a maximum directions! That’s it for today, looking forward to your comments!