I’m proofreading parts for a piece I’m about to send off to the players. I always proofread at the piano, playing through each part, rests and all. Beats the hell out of scanning the page for errors. As I play, I get the performer’s perspective on how the piece reads. Little things I wouldn’t notice on the screen suddenly catch my eye, ear and hand.

Occasionally, when I’m playing through a part at the piano, I’ll get a new idea for the piece. That happened once in this piece, when I realized a cello phrase would make more sense ending on an Eb than a B. I hadn’t noticed it, with everything else that was going on at that moment, but when I played the cello line by itself it was obvious.

Mostly, though, playing each part through at the piano the best way I know to spot all the funky slurs, odd misspellings and awkward line breaks.

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