Like when you didn't notice from day one that a piece starts in 3/4 time and not 4/4. And that the difficult part at the end, which you've been struggling to count-sing in 4/4, doesn't work because (oh, the shame!) it's not in 4/4 at all, but in 3/4.
Well...dip me in batter and fry me in the pot. I was that stupid person.
I do think that in a singer's score, the time signature should be repeated where the *singer* starts, not just be given six pages earlier...but oh well. In fact, it would help if the time signature were repeated at the head of every page...and every line wouldn't hurt.
I should've looked. I did look at the end section after someone else mentioned it , but I thought it switched back to 4/4. Why did I think that? Because there was no other time signature and when there's nothing stated it's always 4/4, right? Wrong.
Despite having that help, I'm still struggling a bit to count the many measures during which we sing one tone, but at least now it's a very fast 1-2-3 rather than 1-2-3-4. It feels more like a 6/8 than a 3/4.
Today's work began with the CD, to ensure that the twiddly bits stayed fresh and crisp, and went on to the piano for anything that was still fuzzy, then went back to the CD for work on diction. I'm also working on getting the musical gesture up to Peter's speed, in the fast opening movement. ("It's not just a sequence of notes--it has shape; emphasize that..." David has said, in several ways.) My throat is just feely, so I didn't do much actual singing and nothing at volume...just very softly. I'll do another session, a half hour or so, this evening after supper. Also tomorrow morning and maybe in the afternoon, but not using my voice much, and then zip to town ("zip" being of course a euphemism for "struggle through traffic") to the orchestra rehearsal. Wednesday we have no group rehearsal but you can be sure I'll be working on it again. Thursday's the dress rehearsal and then...then it's show time.
My score looks appropriately messy. Highlighting to pick out the alto line. Notes scribbled all over, including the staring eyes thing I do to remind me to look up at the conductor *right this instant*. Hash marks dividing syllables, so I know which notes go with which (not always easy in runs of sixteenth notes.) Every accidental is circled. Every syllable to be emphasized is underlined. Dynamics not in the printed score are noted and circled; the space above the alto line is full of cryptic little marks that mean things to me.
Email today told us the seating chart is "completely different." Oh, joy. Not. I mean--you need to be next to someone several times to know how to set up the alternate breathings and stuff, and whether they have a tone or a habit that might throw you off and you need to be ready to withstand. What I need to be--what every singer needs to be--is a combination of both leader and "greeter." Only if we all know it perfectly can we support each other through the inevitable times of exhaustion/vocal flutter, etc., so we all need to be "leaders' in the sense that no one is waiting for someone else to hit the note first. But we also need to be fully aware of each other's sound, and match it, not being the loud sticky-out voice or the blurry inaudible one that confuses a neighbor. (Anyone who's sung in a choir knows that if the person next to you suddenly dies down, or goes blurry, your instinct is to drop out with them, on the grounds that you probably goofed and that wasn't your entrance or your note after all.)
But--all will be well. I certainly hope.