Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
If you study music properly learning to 'hear' what you're reading is part of the process. Some people get very good at it. I can follow a score, but I haven't had enough practice to do the sonic equivalent of visualising it completely.

It's a little different for composers because music of that period was constructed according to fairly rigid rules, and as long as a composer followed the rules something listenable would fall out.

Scores were more written rather than heard, if only because most people couldn't afford to keep a symphony orchestra or string quarter in the house. Usually a composer would try out lines or chord sequences on a piano or some other instrument to sketch out an outline, but the orchestration, elaboration and arrangement were all done on paper.

Doing everything mentally was a step, but for someone with thirty years of experience it wasn't as huge a step as it might seem.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Mon Jan 12th, 2009 at 05:30:02 PM EST
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