Composers can be notoriously careless in being helpful here. To mention one of the worse though not worst examples I know of, at least half the publisher's fault and not even relevant until 2022 since Brian died in 1972, consider the published score of Brian's symphony 1 (1919-27 iirc.) The published score, unlike many, has a list of instruments inside the cover, I think, or near there. However- unfortunately, in a score that uses an extraordinarily non-standard orchestra* especially for its time - the list is extremely, horribly inaccurate.
Consider other works for more conventional orchestral layouts - symphonies for standard large orchestra, say that we already have here, or tone-poems in multiple movements also here. The first movement's first page will specify the instruments used in that movement- usually. (Don't make the mistake of assuming that those are all the instruments used in the work when preparing the instrument field, point 1! Find all the movements of the work and combine the instrumentations.) But then some composers will introduce instruments in the middle of the movement - sometimes just briefly - assuming maybe that the orchestra will have a harp. Or that they're writing for their orchestra, and it does have a harp. So never mind that the first page of that movement said nothing at all about a harp, a harp we shall have and hear!... er right. and so optimally- hopefully always, since it does not to hurry (but I need to slow down too...) - one should start (eventually, not necessarily, and in my opinion!) going through the whole orchestral score when one has it and looking for oddities, not just looking for the first pages of movements - and then, going back to the work page and editing accordingly :) Anyhow- my opinion, sort of and not strongly held.
*See Havergalbrian.org for the (actual) instrumentation of the Gothic - I wasn't kidding. Eric 00:39, 23 September 2010 (UTC)
When determining the instrumentation of a manuscript orchestral score, take time to read the whole thing. Example: the one-movement Diepenbrock Hymn I uploaded a little while back listed some instruments on the first page of the manuscript- then proceeded to introduce others, unmentioned there, at points within, specifying their crooks (Horn in F, e.g.) only at that point too. So the harps, iirc, were only introduced halfway through, and only mentioned at that point too. If one's goal is a mostly accurate instrumentation list, read through the score :). Time and care, not speed- especially with manuscripts. (And multi-movement works whether published or manuscript will require combining instrument lists from the various movements- in the case of manuscripts, reading through each movement is not just a case, as with published works, of extra caution, but almost necessary caution here now.) Eric 14:58, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
(maybe not on this page, maybe not in this guide, but where) is a good place to put a gentle hint not to: (1) write the date of composition if what you really know is the date of publication, (2) vice versa (e.g. date of composition=1893, date of first publication... hrm... must be ca.1893, I'll write that!.. (not hardly, truly could be 2011- and I don't just mean '2011 by us', either..., and of course it matters :) ) I'm never quite positive if anyone actually has done that, mind (since it's only with date of publication that we encourage providing evidence, usually a HMB link if available) and it does get frustrating, I fear. If nothing else, people quote this as a source of information and one of those innocent mistakes may be not as innocent. Don't know! Eric 16:11, 28 February 2011 (UTC)
hrm. suggested addition somewhere again, not sure it's necessary but it might be a good idea... was thinking about this... while I realize that we would understandably prefer :):) to have a workpage with recording, score, parts, typeset new score and parts, critical material, libretto as applicable, and - well, everything - if all someone has is a violin part for one movement of a score of a work we don't have yet, they should understand it's ok to create a workpage and contribute that part, for example- and others will probably add to that later. Examples that come to mind immediately are the Dvořák symphony workpages we have which, for the longest time, were mostly each more or less two individual instrument parts apiece - nothing more - and which now boast full scores, etc. It's in the nature of Wiki and a good thing :) (Submitting incomplete movements I do understand is frowned upon. So I probably won't be submitting the finale of the Yon concerto gregoriano, for instance, as the only scan I have of that is missing a page! If I can find another scan sometime... of course I have to upload the scans of the inner movements first anyway.) Eric 17:45, 9 March 2011 (UTC)