Music Guidelines for Proofreaders

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DP Official Documentation - Proofreading


The primary directive for proofers, as for any project, is to follow the Project Comments and read the Project Discussion. The PM will, ideally, have given specific instructions on how to proof any text elements in the music.

In the absence of specific instructions, proofers should do the following when encountering music in a project:

  • Treat music illustrations as illustrations; that is, leave the markup to the formatters.
  • Proof text elements such as the title, composer, and any lyrics.
  • Lyrics are often hyphenated to indicate that the syllables are to be sung on different notes; leave the hyphens in, unless otherwise instructed.
  • You may also encounter ellipses or long dashes in lyrics, indicating that a single syllable is to be sung on more than one note (a "melisma"). These can be ignored.
  • Ignore text elements that are actually part of the music, such as tempo and dynamic markings (e.g., Allegro, rit., cresc., p, f, dim., etc.). If you're not sure, leave it in, with a [**note].
  • Mark music symbols in the text as [**music symbol], or, if you know the name of the symbol, include it, e.g., [**crescendo].
  • Ask in the Project Discussion, or leave a [**note], for anything you're not sure of.
  • See Music Guidelines re: Writing Instructions for Proofers for more information.
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