Thursday, November 11, 2021

Correcting EH Proofs

I've corrected my first proofs of Edifying Hymns. One last step remains before the book goes live on Lulu-dot-com: riffling through one of the copies I just ordered to make sure all the pages are there, and printed right-side-up, then clicking a button on Lulu to approve it for distribution. My first pile of copies also include ones I plan to send to the contributors as a thank-you gift. This time around, they include hymn writers and composers Alan Kornacki Jr., John Kleinig, Andy Richard, Tapani Simojoki and Theo Kavouras, of whom only Alan is a repeat recipient after his contributions to Useful Hymns.

To give you an idea of how error-riddled my proofs were, to start with, I only ordered two proofs because I'd already ordered one when I realized that I'd omitted the accompaniment to the Order of Divine Service included in the book. So, upon adding that as an appendix, I ordered Proof 2, and both arrived at the same time. The duplicate copies made proofing easier, because they allowed me to enlist the help of a friend – a very good friend, I must say – to check the accuracy of the section headings, table of contents and indices.

The types of mistake I found and corrected are many and varied; and correcting them wasn't easy, since on two separate occasions, I had trouble starting the computer I've been using for this project and had to take it, both times, to a local repair shop. Here, in general terms, are the types of mistakes I had to fix:
  • A punctuation error literally in the first paragraph of the preface.
  • A notehead missing from a hymn tune.
  • Four hymns whose meter was omitted from the tune's credit line.
  • Three hymns whose staff text saying "insert the relevant stanza, then skip to the final stanza" wasn't italicized like other instances.
  • One or two hymns whose credit lines were too close to the title, a spacing issue that seems to have developed in MuseScore all by itself.
  • A copyright notice in which I inadvertently, and erroneously, claimed credit for somebody else's hymn text.
  • Two hymns in which the section name wasn't consistent with the TOC or the other hymns in that section.
  • A commandment, in my melodic setting of Luther's Small Catechism, in which I'd incorrectly typed the word "steal" instead of "kill." Boy, would that have been embarrassing!
  • Multiple hymns in which I omitted the period at the end of a line, usually the end of the final stanza.
  • Several hymns where I caught a misspelled word, or a homophone mistake like "heal" for "heel" or "our" for "are."
  • A couple hymns in which I decided to change a word choice to fit the meter better, or to correct a grammar mistake.
  • One hymn in which I'd inserted a space above, instead of below, the last line of a stanza.
  • A stanza number that I'd forgotten to delete from a hymn of the "insert the relevant stanza" type.
  • A hymn with a repeat sign in the tune, in which I'd forgotten to type the lyrics for the second time through.
  • Two hymn-tune harmonizations and a liturgical accompaniment where I caught and corrected voice leading errors – the dreaded Parallel Perfect Fifths, which I don't doubt will continue to jump out at me every time my eye falls on one of those pages.
  • Three hymns whose placeholder hymn numbers didn't get changed to their final numbering in the first line, tune title and metrical indices.
  • One hymn that I'd omitted from the first line index.
  • One hymn tune that was listed under the wrong meter in the metrical index.
  • A tune title that was partially left out of its listing in the metrical index.
  • A tune harmonization where I'd forgotten to put breath marks between phrases and a fermata at the end.
  • A mistake in the title of the accompaniment to a piece of liturgy.
Correcting these mistakes required me to open 24 MuseScore documents (hymn layouts with the first stanza under the melody line and the other stanzas below in two columns) and six Finale files (scores of the accompaniment). Have I mentioned that I use a different laptop for each scoring program? Then, after saving each corrected file, I had to export it as a PDF (Finale likes to crash during this step, adding to the fun). Then, I took the PDFs to a third computer, which happens to have PhotoShop, and turned the PDFs into JPGs. Then I took the JPGs back to the first computer (the laptop with MuseScore) and updated the links in my InDesign document, where I also had to make all those corrections to the preface and indices. Finally, after repackaging the whole document (and learning by trial and error that just adding the corrected JPGs to the links folder, saving the InDesign file and exporting a PDF didn't result in a file Lulu would accept), I uploaded the whole shmeer to Lulu and ordered a bunch of copies.

If Proof 3 comes back riddled with mistakes, it can only be because of what I noted when I was proofing UH: My work is nothing if not an unbroken tissue of error. What more can I say but "Duhhh...."

EDIT: The book is now live at Lulu-dot-com, here.

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