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I found this writing on a certain sheet music, but I can't read it:

close-up of handwritten script fragment

Can someone please tell me what this writing says, and what it means?


The composer is G. Donizetti, and the title of the piece is Par le rang et par l'opulence, it's from Act II of La fille du régiment.

The writting can be found on page 283 of the first edition (IMSLP link):

full page of score, showing the handwritten script fragment in context

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    It does need more context, though my guess is "Vlo. so.," an abbreviation for violino solo (violin only). Apr 17, 2023 at 17:52
  • @AndyBonner But Violin does not play anywhere near this text. It might be Violoncello primo. But it is a bit weird, as this was definitely added using a broad tip pen rather than pencil which is suppose is what’s used for the Instrument markings.
    – Lazy
    Apr 17, 2023 at 18:59

1 Answer 1

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The handwritten script fragment says "No. 10.", as in "(movement) number ten".

It looks like the handwritten script is just a re-organisation of the movement divisions, because a printed "№ 10" appears quite a few pages later (p. 301). Marking a new movement at the start of snare drum solo seem like a reasonable idea.


To confirm this, later in the document (p. 329) we see "No. 12." in the same handwritten script, directly above the printed "№ 12":

The start of the 12th movement of the score, with "No. 12" printed and  handwritten (in the same script) above.

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    It's odd that No. 10 is also marked again later in this score, and this aria is actually No. 9.
    – Aaron
    Apr 17, 2023 at 19:42
  • @Aaron Since the aria ends with rehearsal mark 20 in the original graphics, and the recitative follows, this seems to fit nicely (assuming the writing matches the score above.)
    – guidot
    Apr 17, 2023 at 20:02
  • @guidot Maybe I misunderstood. Are you saying the marking in question actually comes at the end of the aria, rather than denoting the beginning?
    – Aaron
    Apr 17, 2023 at 20:08
  • Looking very carefully at the movement numbers, they all seem to have been added/changed after printing (by the same hand that wrote in the rehearsal marks). It's just that the script No. 10 is the only one at a position that wasn't originally at a movement division (which is why it's been written so big and fancy). Perhaps it'd be better to call this No. 9B. Apr 17, 2023 at 20:24

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