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Legally Blonde reed parts

Discussion in 'Pit Orchestra Stories' started by snakeman5001, Jan 18, 2013.

  1. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

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    I'm going to say that this is the new thing I've learned today. I had never heard of a license that said that you couldn't cut material from a play. I think that every play I've seen has had at least something cut or modified in some way. I've also been in a bunch of productions where we've made either huge changes or cobbled together something from several different sources. Mind you, I've only administrated copyright through CCLI.

    What difference would it make if you cut or changed something? If you've bought the music and/or you have purchased the right to put on a particular show, everyone's properly paid. I supposed you could argue that you're corrupting the author's work, but I've seen performances that would have corrupted it even if the song was performed in full.
     
  2. snakeman5001

    snakeman5001

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    I feel that I shouldn't be complaining because I'm just a pit musician, but those two are really good songs and I believe they're important to the plot. I was just really surprised to see it. And yes, the MTI Performance License states "You may not delete, in whole or in part, any material existing in the Play".
     
  3. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

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    Complaints? That's what we're here for :p.

    Speaking as a former director, I wouldn't mind one of the musicians asking me if I could exclude or include something -- provided the musician can accept "no" for an answer. Sometimes the "no" is for a very good reason, like the production was planned and staffed that way for months in advance. (It'd be a bad thing if I scheduled to have a particular singer scheduled that can't sing that part because it's too high/too low.) Sometimes the "no" might be for no particular reason. In either case, just remember that a band member isn't the director.

    I'd also recommend against saying something like, "If you don't do it this way, I'll tell the licensing company!" I guarantee that won't end well.
     
  4. snakeman5001

    snakeman5001

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    Well, as of 3/25/13, the pit orchestra will be joining the cast of Legally Blonde. And to say the least, pit orchestra really hasn't been fun for me. Maybe it's because I'm really bad at keyboards and I would switch to woodwinds for this production ANY DAY! Maybe it's just me but our pit just sounds barren. It's comprised of 3 keyboards, drums, guitar, guitar/violin, and bass. I'm Keyboard 2, and I don't like it that much. Our director always tells us to simplify, but I don't like that. I'd actually prefer to play what's written. And some of the stuff on Keyboard 2 is really hard, but I prefer a challenge and sure I've had to simplify some stuff, but it takes the fun out of pit orchestra. It'll be nice once I'm playing pit orchestra for summer musicals playing woodwinds and maybe getting back my keyboard skills. Whew! That was some rant! Anyway, that's what my thoughts are on my experience with Legally Blonde pit orchestra right now. The pit sounds barren where you could have other musicians fill in, I feel dumbed down, and I should've played Keyboard 3 instead. I know I need to see things through to the end, and I'll be glad to see the end of this.
     
  5. snakeman5001

    snakeman5001

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    And a news flash, the director (not the band director) has censored the show and it now barely resembles Legally Blonde. It's pathetic and the show is just stupid and boring. Anything risqué or adult (like Gay or European and Bend and Snap) have been cut and everyone says "OMG" instead of "Oh My God". The show feels dumbed down and the cast isn't given a challenge to act out the subject matter. I'll actually be glad when this is over!
     
  6. JohnnyV

    JohnnyV

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    I'm sorry to hear about your negative experience with "Legally Blonde". I'm currently rehearsing a High School production in Ohio and we are using the full pit; what you are using plus two reed books (six kids) and two trumpwts and a trombone. It's a hard brass show for some of the songs at the proper tempos. I'm not sure why your director wouldn't have wanted you to use the reed parts.
    We haven't cut any songs but have changed a fair amount of qustionalble language. Sometimes the rental company will provide alternate script and lyrics for 'racy' shows; I'm not sure if that is the case here. There have been problems with Directors being fired or disciplined for doing this show because of complaints from the community or school administration. Seeing that you are at a Catholic High School and recent developments, I'm not that surprised your director took some action. It's too bad though because both songs they cut are good and important to the show.
    Another drag, the rental parts are the final orchestration used for the London production and are slightly reduced from the original broadway pit. The combined two guitar books and cut a whole reed book (bassoon, tenor and bass clarinet are gone) The bari is in the reed 2 book and plays alot of tenor lines. Also gone, french horn, viola & cello. Oh well...
     
  7. snakeman5001

    snakeman5001

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    Well, it's finished and it did turn out pretty well. The audience liked it. I thought I did pretty well. Anyway, the reason we didn't use any of the brass or woodwinds is because our band director determined the instrumentation from what the actual director said: guitar, drums, piano, synth, bass. Our final instrumentation was 2 synths (me on Keyboard 2), piano, drums, bass, and guitar/violin. I still think this is pretty sad because its the pit director who determines the instrumentation, not the director. If I was the pit director, I would search for the particular musical's show license, find the instrumentation, and determine the final instrumentation by the max number of people that can fit in the theater's pit (the only exception to this would be if the show had different licenses). I was also frustrated by my own piano playing abilities and the show itself, so that's what caused the rant. But it's all behind me now.
     
  8. TrueTone

    TrueTone Clarinet, Sax, Oboe, History

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    Well I'm playing the reed 2 book (sans flute, someone else is covering that as I can barely make a sound on Flute) for my school performing this later this school year. Any advice on the book?
     
  9. TrueTone

    TrueTone Clarinet, Sax, Oboe, History

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    I suppose I should reply back to this.
    It's been pretty fun so far, other than rehearsal is from 6:30-11ish, which I'll say is really rather taxing to be playing until that late and still have school at 8 AM; though.
     
  10. TrueTone

    TrueTone Clarinet, Sax, Oboe, History

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    And now having been in my first performance of it, I want to play in more musicals when it's done. (and preferably one with a more traditionally scored lower reed book, so I'm not sitting out during a lot of flute stuff.)
     
  11. Gandalfe

    Gandalfe Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    I used my C clarinet to cover flute parts when I was in a pit situation. But I really liked playing the low reed book.
     
  12. TrueTone

    TrueTone Clarinet, Sax, Oboe, History

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    So: now that I'm currently sitting in a restaurant waiting on the rrst of the pit to get here; I'll say a bit about my first musical.
    Was fun overall, other than not playing flute on a flute-heavy book.
    And out of all the numbers, Blood in the Water was my favorite to play.
     

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