Comments by the Librarian:
(Helpful Hints to the Band Members)
In a typical season, many folders must be prepared for each concert, one per instrumentalist.
In such a season the band uses several sets of folders, and this means handling dozens of sets of music, each
containing a dozen or two individual parts. Carrying out this paper-shuffling task is arduous; it is
a task for which the librarian can use all the help s/he can get. For your consideration, here are a few
helpful rules for you to follow.
1. Never leave the parts in your folder in play-list order. Leave some upside down, some facing backwards.
2. If more than one folder is used in a rehearsal or concert, try to mix parts from each folder into the other.
3. When you take folders home for practice, forget to return them, or better still, leave some parts at
home in the piano bench. A similar comment applies especially to small band books, since loss of a single
book may render an entire set of books and all the pieces in them useless at one stroke. This keeps band
members from being annoyed by having to play from the collection. Also note that you can get high quality
commercial copies for your home music library by Xeroxing the part and returning the Xerox instead of the
4. Always bring an orange Day-Glo marker with you to rehearsal so that you can render any changes in parts
illegible. It is not sporting to make changes in pencil, but if you must use one, make certain it is a very
soft one and bear down hard.
5. Be sure that at the end of a rehearsal or concert some of the parts’ pages overlap the fold in the folder,
so that the paper gets creased when the folder is closed.
6. Never ever put your folder back in the crate in score order. If possible, put it into the wrong crate, or
at least put it into the crate upside down, so that all the music will spill out when the folder is removed
from the crate.
7. At rehearsal, when a particular piece is called, mutter in a loud voice “I don’t have that part!” and
then say nothing when you discover it was hiding behind or inside another part all along. This is particularly
effective if you come in to rehearsal 5 or 10 minutes late, as it loosens up the band director. Forgetting your
music stand or spilling all your music on the floor is also effective.
8. If a part happens to be missing from your folder, DO NOT consider looking on with your neighbor. After
all, it’s a free country and you’re entitled to your very own part! If you usually play, e.g., 2nd trombone,
consider it an insult if you are asked to play a 3rd trombone part or, heaven forbid, a bassoon part.
9. When you make Xerox copies of parts, be sure to cut off the last note or two in the right-hand measure on
each staff. At the bottom of the page, cut off those funny doodles [script letters, railroad tracks, etc.]
under the staff, along with any notes that accidentally happen to have slid down there. An excellent
procedure is to Xerox at an angle so that the last notes on the final staff slide slowly, Titanic fashion,
beneath the paper’s edge. If the part has several pages, carry out these gambits on the last page only, to
surprise the next hapless user of the part.
10. Regarding those slick folders that contain the music – they’re advertising, right? They must be free,
right? You betcha! To make them easy to handle, place them on the floor and stomp on them, then turn the
edges over in places and repeat the process.