Brigadoon – Piano Part

So the mystery is finally solved about the Piano part in the orchestration for the Brigadoon musical.

I just received my scores. The piano part is “boom-chucks” during the cut time pieces, glissandos into sections and occasional celeste parts. I wouldn’t say it’s an essential part, but definately will add to the rhythm section.

The official Brigadoon orchestration calls for the timpani player to double on snare and brushes – there is no dedicated trap set drum part.

For my orchestra I split the rhythm section up like this:

Percussion – Timpani, snare drum, cymbals
Percussion – Bells (have keyboard player cover bell parts from percussion score)
Piano – Have piano player play the piano part lightly as written.

If you listen to the CD soundtrack of Brigadoon, you’ll hear the piano come in and out, especially on the glissandos. My assumption is this was orchestrated at a time when dedicated rhythm section and trap set drummers weren’t the norm yet in Broadway orchestra pits. If it was orchestrated today I think it would lean towards a regular drum kit, with a couple keyboard players covering bells and accentuating rhythms.

If you’re conducting this show you’re probably using the piano/vocal reduced score – know that the piano part in the orchestration is not a doubling of the reduced piano score – it mainly focuses on rhythm and light chord flourishes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.