Journals Higher Education

Arthur Sullivan
Edited by Colin Jagger

The Yeomen of the Guard

The Merryman and his Maid

Conductor's score and parts on hire - reduced orchestration

Forces or Category: Operetta

Orchestration: fl(picc opt), ob, cl, bn, hn, bell, perc (opt), str (db opt)

  • This re-orchestration is designed to be both practical and flexible. The minimum total number of players is nine, or ten if including double bass (which is recommended for balance and fullness of sound), and extra string players can be added as desired - the ideal numbers being 22221. The score also incorporates optional piccolo (in I/9) and - performing space permitting - optional percussion, which is taken from the OUP edition of the original work. The timpani's few independent passages found in the original are here cued in other instrumental parts.
  • This reduced version attempts to preserve the character of the original orchestration wherever possible. The string parts are almost exactly the same (divisi passages are rescored for single strings), and the woodwind and horn parts, though changed, maintain the 'Sullivan sound'. The main emphasis is on covering for absent colleagues.
  • Four types of cues are provided in the parts. These assist players with entries; allow important solos to be played by a different instrument; aid rehearsal in Act II/5, which is largely unaccompanied; or, finally, cover the double bass and percussion parts. The final kind is also shown in the full score.
  • Bowing and fingering is provided by the editor in the violin and viola parts in the hope of saving rehearsal time. The bowing also appears in the score so that this can be easily altered by the conductor if necessary.
  • This reduced orchestration includes all dialogue and stage directions, and significant discarded material that was either re-written for or cut prior to the first performance.
  • A specially commissioned Narrator's part is also available on hire for use with the reduced or full orchestration. This part facilitates a concert performance of the opera, with dialogue replaced by spoken narration.
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