Sarah Palmer

Notes on My Arrangements


  • For instruments, I use the abbreviations listed here.
  • For organ-related terms, I use the following abbreviations:
    • Gt.: Great
    • Sw.: Swell
    • Ch.: Choir
    • mixt.: mixtures
    • v.h.: vox humana
    • fnd.: foundations


  • The registration indications I provide are general suggestions on what sounds to aim for as opposed to specific directives.
  • My indications don't always correspond exactly to the score; if they did, it would be impractical and cumbersome. Also, I occasionally make editorial suggestions (for instance, I might suggest using foundations for a part scored for choir.)
  • "+tpt" means to add the trumpet to the previously indicated registration.
  • "tpt 4'" means 4' trumpet; "tpt (+4')" means 8' and 4' trumpet.


  • Hairpins denote the use of expression pedals. I place them below the system because it makes the score more readable.
  • “Cresc.” and “dim.” denote a more prolonged dynamic change that involves the addition or reduction of stops respectively.
  • To avoid cluttering the score, I often avoid inserting dynamic markings that seem obvious (for instance, if the pedal is obviously paired with one part against a solo melody, I will provide a single dynamic marking for both parts).
  • I generally use the dynamics provided by the composer, unless I am transcribing the piece by ear, in which case the dynamic markings are simply my suggestions. This also applies to articulation and tempo markings.


  • To denote playing on two manuals with a single hand, I use stems pointing in opposite directions.
  • Thumbed-down melodies are distinguished from ordinary instances in which two lines are present on one staff by the presence of registration indications.
  • Sometimes the precise deliniation of the voices can be ambiguous (for instance, when the notes in both the thumb and fingers are whole notes). Use your judgment.
  • A line pointing from one staff to another denotes the transferring of a voice.

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