Yesterday’s blog went to print with a rogue apostrophe still in place. I am still horrified by the fact that I typed it in the first place, because it was so obviously wrong, but also baffled by its slipping through multiple readings and proofings.
I place great value on getting my musical scores as accurate as possible before they go out to performers, and feel a small dagger to the heart when a mistake is brought to my attention, but it is some consolation that on average I am fairly efficient at these types of things. Brindisi lacked a single tie, for example, and one small mistake for eighteen pages of orchestral score is not so bad.
Still, sometimes the brain works in strange ways. A few years back in Anghiari the programme for Rigoletto went to print with Puccini’s name on the cover rather than Verdi’s, necessitating a spoken correction from yours truly. The programme had been proofed multiple times and, to add insult to injury, somebody had actually corrected an error in the spelling of Puccini.
Sbagliando si impara, though, as they say in Italian – it is by making mistakes that we learn – and I listened to a TED talk the other day that contradicted NASA’s famous “failure is not an option” to say that in terms of self-improvement failure is most definitely an option, and only fear is not. I might even write that on a note and stick it to my computer.
Fear of failure certainly inhibits this composer from writing more, so I should certainly write more, commit and correct those errors, and learn from them rather than fear them. Maybe then I would be able to do more with the vague musical thoughts that have been hiding in the back of my head these part few days.