From the Orchestra Library

Nerds? You Betcha!

Posted in Preparing Parts,The Music by kschnack on November 9, 2009

This actually happened [with minor edits for appropriate content].

Orchestra Librarian X writes to Orchestra Librarians Y and Z and sends this video:

OL Y’s response:

I have been fascinated with what can be done on a button accordion.  Been watching lots of these for the past weeks.   Does that mean I’m a nerd?

OL Z’s response:

That’s incredibly amazing, and I never thought I’d say this, but he’s more musical than many of the fiddle players I’ve heard!  As for the nerd question, do we even need to go there??


Anyone get down which cuts he takes?


I was actually trying to catch the cuts as I was listening, but I’ll have to go through it again. Does that make me a nerd?


Of course the answer from his management would be “the usual accordion cuts.”

OLs X, Y, and Z then broke up in much cyber silliness and giggling [heavily edited for appropriate content].

PS. If you are not ROF LOL after reading that you are probably not an orchestra librarian.

PPS.  When librarians, prior to part preparation, ask if the soloist will be taking cuts in the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto, and, if so, what the exact cuts will be, the first answer is always “the usual cuts.”  Then the librarian has to go back to the artistic administrator, artist manager, or artist, and ask again for the cuts with the specific measure numbers.  Because standard as they may seem, not everyone does them exactly the same, even though they call them the “standard” or “usual” cuts and you really don’t want to have the wrong cuts in the parts at the rehearsal.  Highly embarrassing, especially if said librarian is a violinist too….

PPPS.  To assuage the curiosity of anyone who cares:  the young accordionist took the following cuts in the last movement of the concerto (of course, while playing all the orchestral parts in addition to the solo violin part): the end of bar 68 to the beginning of bar 81, the end of bar 258 to the beginning of bar 271,the end of bar 422 to the beginning of bar 431, the end of bar 475 to the beginning of bar 488.  Standard cuts?  Some?  All?  You tell me.


6 Responses to 'Nerds? You Betcha!'

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  1. Amy said,

    You do mean to assuage the curiosity of the NERD who cares, don’t you? Respectfully submitted by a fellow proud nerd, of course. 😉

    • kschnack said,

      Uh, good point Amy, because NO one will care unless they are a nerd!

  2. Alison DePollo said,

    I’m not an orchestra librarian (I’m a violinist…) and I still think it’s a hoot 🙂

    • kschnack said,

      Oh goodie, that made me smile, Alison!

  3. Bill in Dallas said,

    Great blog! I have seen you and your staff on stage for years, and I’m glad to find out so much about the difficult job you have to perform.

    I found this young man’s videos a few weeks ago…. actually I think his Bach Passacaglia is even better than the Tchaikovsky.

    • kschnack said,

      Thanks so much, Bill!

      I watched several more of the videos — he’s quite amazing. Certainly more than defies the stereotypical accordion music.

      I appreciate you reading,

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