Lately I've been uploading music manuscripts to Commons and setting up texts at Wikisource. It's quite interesting and I'd love to make text pages for them all, but English Wikisource has a policy of hosting only English and several of these manuscripts are rather hard to read, let alone translate.
The dilemma reminds me of a long-ago episode. You've seen people describe the dedicated teacher who inspired them with love of a subject and gave them direction to do great things in life?
Frau Winter, my tenth grade German teacher, was not that person. It was Frau Winter who misspelled a vocabulary word and failed to catch her own error until after the test. She explained her mistake as she returned our answer sheets and every one of us who had memorized her instructions had also been marked down. Frau Winter, someday you will meet your maker and when you do the souls of two dozen fifteen-year-olds will howl for justice.
But until that happens, this post salutes Frau Winter's unforgettable style by grading the great composers
(displayed at top) is a typical C student. Notice the smudges and the slapdash bars on Dolci d'amor parole. It's legible, but certainly not easy on the eye. Neatness counts, Niccolò. Next time recopy before you turn in your composition if you want a better grade.
This is just sloppy. The whole top wasted on crossouts, but no margin at the bottom. Don't you keep a ruler at home, Felix, to draw straight lines? Surely Elijah deserves more attention. D.
Not great, but an improvement. The scratchouts prevent Moïse from doing better. I'll give it a B.
This orchestration of Mussorgsky's Boris Godunov is clean, precise, but the lettering is just a little tight. A-.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Impressive, but you crowd too much onto one page and those sixteenth notes are shaky. B+. I'll consider raising the grade if you redo this by Tuesday. And try to come up with a better title than Phantasie für eine Orgelwalze, Allegro and Andante in F Minor.
Those squiggly lines say you didn't think ahead and align your work properly, Franz. B.
Next time turn in your assignment without so many smudge marks. B-.
"Vier Lieder für Singstimme und Klavier" has a pleasant look to it, but those lyrics are chicken scratch. C.
I don't like red ink on the page unless I put it there myself, Richard. Still, this is very well done. That Flying Dutchman of yours sounds like a silly title, though. A-.
John Philip Sousa
Now this is what I like to see. Class, come here and look at John's paper. Everything is in neat lines with clean notes and legible lettering. A.
Ludwig van Beethoven
Ludwig, Ludwig--what are we going to do with you? You may say this is the fourth movement to Piano Sonata no. 28, but I can barely make out a note of it. You'll never go anyhere with penmanship like this. Go move your things and sit next to John Philip Sousa. I'm writing you up for Saturday detention; come with plenty of paper and pencils. F.