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What is a Music Copyist?

A music copyist or engraver is responsible for preparing notated music in the best possible visual way for performance or study.  Often times, a music copyist needs to consult existing manuscript music scores for errors while translating the material into a legible score — and, in the case of a scenario for performance with multiple players, should optimize parts to be read in an accessible, logical way.  In many cases, the music preparer can also be thought of as an "arranger," who is given the responsibility to make educated decisions (with the appropriate level of license) as to add certain elements and prime others, all to suit the environment and comfort level of the performers. 

The art of music preparation can also include a great deal of transcription work, which involves listening intently to a specific recording, demarcating on the page (via agreed-upon guidelines of specificity) exactly what is played on the recording, and, in many cases, making appropriate decisions (based on the needs of the client) on how to format them for a new body of players who are realizing the music. 


With years of experience working as a freelance music copyist, Robert has completed a wide body of work that prepares music to look presentable and consistent using modern, accepted Western-notation copyist procedures — for example, taking something that looks like this older, pixelated manuscript and interpreting/arranging it into a more legible and understood edition.


The Process

Simply from word of mouth, Robert has been fortunate to complete editorial arrangements, transcription work, part preparation, and copy work for respected clients such as: well as many others.

Check out a preview of some of Robert's work!

Copy Work / Engraving

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Big Band Score

Excerpt from "Smile Pretty" for Big Band (R. Buonaspina)

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Piano/Vocal Score

Excerpt from "Une Belle Histoire" (Delanoë/Fugain)

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Orchestral Score

Excerpt from "The Little Drummer Boy" for SATB/Full Orchestra

(Davis/Onorati/Simeone, Arr. R. Buonaspina)

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Hymn (SATB)

Excerpt from "O, St. Pancras"

(Smart, Arr. R. Buonaspina)

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Chamber Score

Excerpt from "Blood Count" for String Quartet (Strayhorn, Arr. R. Buonaspina)

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Psalm (OCP Style)

Psalm composed/engraved in the style of Owen Alstott and OCP Publications (Respond & Acclaim), respectively. (Arr. RB)


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