User talk:Justin Tokke

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

If you have a message for me, please put it at the bottom and I will get back to you.[edit]

Symphony No. 3 (Mahler) and orchestration format[edit]

Before I should again edit the orchestration section against your format, I should complement you on your contributions to Wikipedia thus far. With your format to the Mahler third, I understand that you also used a similar format for the orchestration to The Planets by Holst. It is unnecessary to capitalize the first letter of instruments. Most articles do not. They are not proper nouns.

Also, your grammar on timpani bothers me. I have made similar mistakes on "timpani"; I should not critisize you much; however, timpani refers to the number of individual kettledrums. When you state "2 timpani, 3 drums each" on the Mahler third symphony, you actually mean two timpanists handling 3 timpani. (There are six timpani, two players.) I admire that you are using a reference to make edits, though.

I am not sure about "in a high gallery", but conventionally, "in the distance", when performed, is "offstage". What is stated in a score can, but not necessarily, be copied exactly, but keep in mind of plagiarism. A Wang (talk/contrb.) 23:14, 6 September 2006 (UTC)

I shall go ahead and just change the number of timpani. Please take a look at your own edit to The Planets. A Wang (talk/contrb.) 23:18, 6 September 2006 (UTC)

Orchestration[edit]

Hello Justin,

Please stop reformatting the orchestration sections of music articles. Your format is very space consuming, giving the orchestration much more importance on the page than it deserves. It also goes against the standard presentation, which you can find by web-browsing symphony concert programs. Thank you for your cooperation. Opus33 19:00, 9 September 2006 (UTC)

I'm inclined to agree with Opus33. Your formatting is non-standard and space consuming, with no real benefits that I can see; it's not easier to find, if you're looking for it, and not easier to understand, if you're willing to read. Actually, I would say it is if anything harder to read. You are of course right in saying that orchestration deserves some attention in the articles, but making the list of instruments larger, physically, doesn't add anything. If you want to propagate the importance of orchestration, why don't you instead make some actual additions about how the works are written and how the instruments are used? In fact, that is the primary definition of the word "orchestration" as I see it. EldKatt (Talk) 20:59, 11 September 2006 (UTC)

EldKatt, Please see my response to Opus33's message on his/her talk page. Maybe this will shed some light on the matter Justin Tokke 03:35, 12 September 2006 (UTC)

I had read it prior to my message here, and my opinion hasn't changed. EldKatt (Talk) 16:26, 12 September 2006 (UTC)

Perhaps a compromise may be in order. I do find Justin's format more readable, but it does take up a lot of space. What if the list was arranged in two or three columns instead of one? Would that still be too long for pieces with a large number of parts? Or perhaps showing a one-line list of instruments under each of the four sections (Woodwinds, brass, percussion, strings)? Powers T 15:26, 13 September 2006 (UTC)

I guess columns would work. I am not an advanced wiki editor, so I don't know how to format this. If someone would like to do this, I think it would make it really great for pieces like the Beethoven Symphonies. However, pieces like Mahler's Symphony No. 3 has so many instruments and additions, it would be impractical.
Also, I would like to add that the originals did not have the transpositions/instrument doublings that I have added. Justin Tokke 23:24, 13 September 2006 (UTC)

Nice work on the Mahler second. I am not sure if you would like the second word of certain instruments (like English horn) in lower case. What are your feelings if it would be used on all pages? -- A Wang (talk/contrb.) 16:34, 16 September 2006 (UTC)

Now that I looked at the score itself. All words of all instrument names are capitalizes. E.g. "English Horn" vs. "English horn". The former is written. I am editing Symphonies 7,8,10 of Mahler as I type. (10 may be problamatic though.) Justin Tokke 16:38, 16 September 2006 (UTC)


I've already expressed my concerns regarding your format, and I see no need to repeat them, but I have a few additional comments that you might want to consider in any case.

First, you've capitalized all instruments. I can see no good reason to do so. They're not proper names. If your justification is that they look that way in the original score (which is what I infer from your comment above), I would like to remind you, firstly, that a score is not the same as an encyclopedia, and secondly (and perhaps more importantly) that the scores you're looking at are editions. Another edition might have different capitalization, and no edition is for our purposes more correct than another, unless it is an original or urtext edition. In this case, if we were to follow the original edition in this respect, we should, in the case of Mahler, have all instrument names in German. Obviously we can't do this, so we should instead follow standard English capitalization rules, and thus not capitalize any of the instruments.

My second comment regards your sometimes arbitrary grouping of instruments. On Symphony No. 2 (Mahler), you've listed "3 Clarinets in B-flat, A, C" as separate from the two clarinets in E-flat, which is nothing but confusing. You might want to be aware of such issues, considering the large number of edits you are making, and considering that you're intending to make some sort of standard.

I could of course go after these issues myself in the vast number of articles that are affected, but I would rather talk to you about it first to avoid misunderstandings and pointless labour. EldKatt (Talk) 10:57, 17 September 2006 (UTC)

Returning somewhat to Wikipedia after a long absence (which is continuing, in that I'm still very busy), I've noticed that you haven't yet responded to my comments. Be aware that if this is deliberate and I still don't hear for you, I will begin finally implementing the changes I've suggested. The reason I ask again is that I don't want to see this work going to waste in a bunch of reverts, and I like explicit agreements. EldKatt (Talk) 15:36, 20 January 2007 (UTC)
What's the big deal? No one since September has said anything abot the orchestrations and no changes in regard to the format I have created have been changed. The orchestration sections look much more organized as I have put them. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. I try to stay authentic to the original source: the score. If an encyclopedia isn't authentic, then how can it have any credibility? I would gladly like to explain any specific concerns you have. However, at this moment, it is not neccessary to change anything. Justin Tokke 22:10, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
I have explained my concerns above, and you have not responded to them. I don't see any need to say what has already been said on this very page, especially if you do not intend to read it. Several people has remarked on your format—whether it was prior to September doesn't matter. I have also explained why I haven't actually changed anything: you've made a great number of edits, you seem prone to defend your format, and I have no intention of spending an hour editing stuff that will be reverted. Nothing of this really matters, though. What I request is an answer to the questions I've raised, and if your format is perfect I can't see why they would be unanswerable. EldKatt (Talk) 07:26, 24 January 2007 (UTC)

My Response:

First, you've capitalized all instruments. I can see no good reason to do so. They're not proper names. If your justification is that they look that way in the original score (which is what I infer from your comment above), I would like to remind you, firstly, that a score is not the same as an encyclopedia, and secondly (and perhaps more importantly) that the scores you're looking at are editions. Another edition might have different capitalization, and no edition is for our purposes more correct than another, unless it is an original or urtext edition. In this case, if we were to follow the original edition in this respect, we should, in the case of Mahler, have all instrument names in German. Obviously we can't do this, so we should instead follow standard English capitalization rules, and thus not capitalize any of the instruments.

In an orchestra, the instrument names are always capitalized. You're right, it does not follow standard English grammar. However, this is common practice and has been for three centuries. I don't see a reason to change 300 years of standards just for the sake of an encyclopedia. Orchestral instruments are referred to as proper names even if English grammar says they are not. A person in an orchestra is not referred to as "Barry" or "Mr. Manzzini" on a regular basis. The conductor will say "Can I hear the English Horn at 57, please?" or something to that effect. This concept of the players being called by their instrument has been around since the orchestra's creation. That is why in every score (usually regardless of language) is capitalized. (In case you were wondering, the edition which I edited Symphony No. 3 (Mahler) was all in German. No English within the score whatsoever. And every instrument name was capitalized in all words.)

My second comment regards your sometimes arbitrary grouping of instruments. On Symphony No. 2 (Mahler), you've listed "3 Clarinets in B-flat, A, C" as separate from the two clarinets in E-flat, which is nothing but confusing. You might want to be aware of such issues, considering the large number of edits you are making, and considering that you're intending to make some sort of standard.

The reason for splitting the clarinets up is for two reasons. First, the Clarinet in Eb is a very different instrument from the Clarinet in Bb, while the Clarinet in A is very similar to the Bb. The Eb Clarinet is sort of a Piccolo Clarinet. Most scores will separate these rather than say Clarinets in Eb, Bb, A because of these differences. It is the same concept as Flutes being separate from Piccolos. Secondly, is because of doubling. In the Mahler Symphony No. 3, three players play Bb Clarinets and double on A clarinets, hence their distinction. Two separate players play Eb Clarinets (with one doubling on Bb for a short period of time). If you look at the symphony as a whole, this distinction makes sense, and anyone who knows the differences between the two instruments will understand why this is done.

I hope this has explained the reasons behind some of your concerns. Justin Tokke 01:50, 26 January 2007 (UTC)

I've never seen capitalization of this kind in prose discussions of music (scores do follow other typographical conventions, but an encyclopedia should follow the conventions of prose, not conventions of scores). Not being a native speaker of English or residing in an English-speaking country, my knowledge of this could of course be limited, but my suspicions are also backed up by the fact that other editors have remarked on your capitalization. To be convinced that this is some sort of standard practice, I would like to see a source of some sort. The case of your Mahler score using this convention is not convincing as a reference for two reasons: first, it's a score, not an encyclopedia. Different conventions apply. Second, it's in German, and per German spelling conventions all nouns are capitalized even in prose.
Your clarinet grouping argument does make sense, and I appreciate the explanation. However, it surprises me slightly that you're talking about "anyone who knows the differences between the two instruments will understand why this is done", though; I thought one major goal for your format was to make it understandable by laymen? The problem of doubling must be solved on a case-by-case basis, I guess, but as they stand I could imagine some lists being confusing to those who don't know. And even to those who do, who can tell whether "3 clarinets, A, B-flat" refers to three players, all three doubling on both, or to a consistent use of two clarinets in A and one in Bb or something of the sort?
On a perhaps more productive note, I still think your format is rather too space-consuming, although I'm growing slightly more convinced of its usefulness in other points (complex doubling or horn crook-changing issues are easier to deal with in list than in paragraph form). I can't at the moment think of a nice way of improving this aspect, but do you have any ideas? EldKatt (Talk) 10:45, 26 January 2007 (UTC)
Despite not being a native speaker of English, EldKatt is quite correct in asserting that instrument names should not be assigned capital letters. As he notes, German is different - all nouns should be capitalised when writing in German, and so care should be taken when copying the formatting from a German source into this English "encyclopaedia".
On a related note to this discussion, you stated that the 1st trombone part in Tchaikovsky's 6th symphony was written for an alto instrument. I have never heard this asserted before, and moreover, the tessitura of the part makes it clear that an alto instrument was not what the orchestrator had in mind (e.g. the jumps down to D and C towards the end of the 3rd movement when jumps up would make more sense balance- and phrase-wise - the higher notes would be in the standard alto trombone range, but are not in the standard tenor trombone range). I've changed it, but I'm intrigued to know your source. Dave Taylor 10:51, 6 June 2007 (UTC)

I'd just like to point out that your entire scheme for showing instrumentation (which is really what is being shown as opposed to orchestration) is not helpful and not an improvement over the standard, compact form most readers of musical literature expect to find. Just read any text on music, any notes on symphonies from live performance or on the back of record albums, to see that the rest of the world simply lists it in a single sentence, instead of unrolling it into a space-consuming bulleted list that doesn't impart more information. +ILike2BeAnonymous 17:18, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

Too many capitals[edit]

Hello. Your edit to Frank Sinatra School of the Arts prompts this tip: The "External links" section heading should have a lower-case initial "L". Generally you shouldn't capitalize an initial letter merely because it's in a section heading. As with article titles, the first word should start with a capital and subsequent words should be capitalized only if there's a particular reason for it. Michael Hardy 04:58, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

Timpani[edit]

It's misleading to specify the number of drums in orchestration sections because of contemporary performance practices. For example, I noticed in The Planets you specify six timpani. I recently performed this piece, and both timpanists used sets of four drums. Timpani should be considered a single instrument, and it's the timpanist's (not the composer's) choice of how to produce the pitches the composer writes. For example, many timpanists will use an extra large drum to play the low Ds in some Mahler symphonies, and The Rite of Spring definitely doesn't need 10 timpani. It can be done with 7 set up such that two timpanists are sharing certain drums. Hopefully these examples are enough to convince you that listing a specific number of drums is futile and misleading. – flamurai (t) 22:02, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

It's also misleading to specify specific number of instruments, like "two pairs of cymbals", e.g. in Symphony No. 2 (Mahler). Once again performance practices differ. Percussionists will use multiple crash cymbals and suspended cymbals. It's best just to leave it at "cymbals". In the Mahler 2 cymbal part (Becken und Tam-Tam), he writes for "Becken mit Teller" (pair of cymbals struck together), then two bars later "Becken mit Schwammschl." (suspended cymbal with a soft stick). These are played by two separate percussionists on different instruments. And in many cases large cymbal crashes will be doubled, suspended cymbal notes will be played on two cymbals. You can't treat percussion the same as other orchestral instruments. – flamurai (t) 04:57, 17 February 2007 (UTC)

My reply[edit]

Hello, Mr. Tokke. I have reverted the 7th and 8th. I started a discussion here:

Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Classical_music#Instrumentation.

I think you can bring your issue to light there. Once discussed, the "format" will be written on the page and used as a guideline. I hope this helps. — Andy W. (talk/contrb.) 03:02, 13 April 2007 (UTC)

Formatting of instrumentation list for First Suite in E-flat for Military Band[edit]

It's not the instrumentation per se that I object to; it's the formatting of the list here. Just because some dusty old volume from 1948 capitalizes the instruments doesn't mean we should do so here; I refer you to many, many other instances of such names here. Capitalizing them is just plain wrong. As is using shorthand like "&" instead of writing out the word "and". +ILike2BeAnonymous 17:07, 24 July 2007 (UTC)

Rite of Spring[edit]

Thank you for defending the ballet template on Rite of Spring. There is enormous hostility to ballet on the part of a teeny minority of classical music fanatics. I write on Wiki. mostly about ballet but spent eleven summers singing at Tanglewood and as many winters at Symphony Hall so am not about to take it lying down. In the case of Stravinsky this is most peculiar as he and Balanchine were close friends and collaborators for decades. The placement of the ballet template below the infobox was not accidental; it is definitely subordinate. Thank you again for having the good sense to know a ballet when you see one! Good sense being a scarce commodity these days, here on Wikipedia as well as anywhere else. — Robert Greer (talk) 22:34, 11 December 2008 (UTC)

Your welcome. Justin Tokke (talk) 23:36, 11 December 2008 (UTC)

Baritone Horn X Tenor Horn[edit]

Hi, Justin ! On your recent edit to Mahler's Symphony No. 7, I think that the printed score brings "tenorhorn" because that's the name of the relevant instrument in German. In English, however, we call it "baritone horn" (that's why the very link on tenor horn leads to the Wiki article on the baritone horn). Since this is the English language Wikipedia, it seems to me that baritone horn is more appropriate in this case. Best regards, MUSIKVEREIN (talk) 19:45, 16 March 2009 (UTC)

I don't think it's that simple. In the score it says Tenorhorn in German, but that would mean a different thing in England and North America. Baritone Horn says that it's called a Tenor Horn in the US but called a "Baritone Horn" in England. Conversely, the Alto Horn is called a Tenor Horn in the UK. There literally is no article called Tenor Horn (just a redirect). Clearly Mahler asked for the former, the B-flat saxhorn, not the higher E-flat one. So whether you use Baritone Horn or Tenor Horn is up to debate on which side of the pond you're on. I'd prefer Tenor Horn (re-directed to Baritone Horn) and with a note that it is the Baritone Horn in england or something like that. That way both sides of the pond and the German definition are satisfied. Justin Tokke (talk) 22:19, 16 March 2009 (UTC)

That's good enough for me, Justin. Thanks ! MUSIKVEREIN (talk) 17:55, 17 March 2009 (UTC)

Hyphens in key names[edit]

See my reply to your message on my talk page (I like to keep the conversation in one place). --ILike2BeAnonymous (talk) 05:41, 22 August 2009 (UTC)

Error in File:Orchestra layout.svg[edit]

Hi Justin. As I assumed you've spotted an error in the orchestra layout picture, would you please explain it in the discussion page of the picture so that someone can correct the file? Thanks. sentausa (talk) 14:32, 23 December 2010 (UTC)

WikiProject Classical Music, Composition Task Force Revival[edit]

Hello, I'm Tal Brenev. I've recently left a message at Wikipedia Talk:WikiProject Classical music/Compositions task force, in an attempt to revive the WikiProject. I will try to send a message to everyone on the list of participants, so as to get more suggestions and/or ideas. If you would like to participate, leave a message at the WikiProject Talk Page, or on my talk page. Thanks!

---Tal Brenev (talk) 22:27, 23 January 2014 (UTC)