scoreless, adj.scorer, n.
/skawr, skohr/, n., pl. scores, score for 11, v., scored, scoring.
1. the record of points or strokes made by the competitors in a game or match.
2. the total points or strokes made by one side, individual, play, game, etc.
3. an act or instance of making or earning a point or points.
4. Educ., Psychol. the performance of an individual or sometimes of a group on an examination or test, expressed by a number, letter, or other symbol.
5. a notch, scratch, or incision; a stroke or line.
6. a notch or mark for keeping an account or record.
7. a reckoning or account so kept; tally.
8. any account showing indebtedness.
9. an amount recorded as due.
10. a line drawn as a boundary, the starting point of a race, a goal line, etc.
11. a group or set of 20: about a score of years ago.
12. scores, a great many: Scores of people were at the dance.
13. a reason, ground, or cause: to complain on the score of low pay.
14. Informal.
a. the basic facts, point of progress, etc., regarding a situation: What's the score on Saturday's picnic?
b. a successful move, remark, etc.
15. Music.
a. a written or printed piece of music with all the vocal and instrumental parts arranged on staves, one under the other.
b. the music itself.
c. the music played as background to or part of a movie, play, or television presentation.
16. Slang.
a. a success in finding a willing sexual partner; sexual conquest.
b. a purchase or acquisition of illicit drugs, as heroin or cocaine.
c. a single payoff obtained through graft by a police officer, esp. from a narcotics violator.
d. a successful robbery; theft.
e. any success, triumph, happy acquisition, gift, or win.
f. the victim of a robbery or swindle.
17. pay off or settle a score, to avenge a wrong; retaliate: In the Old West they paid off a score with bullets.
18. to gain for addition to one's score in a game or match.
19. to make a score of: He scored 98 on the test.
20. to have as a specified value in points: Four aces score 100.
21. Educ., Psychol. to evaluate the responses a person has made on (a test or an examination).
22. Music.
a. to orchestrate.
b. to write out in score.
c. to compose the music for (a movie, play, television show, etc.)
23. Cookery. to cut ridges or lines into (meat, fish, etc.) with shallow slashes, usually in a diamond pattern, before cooking.
24. to make notches, cuts, marks, or lines in or on.
25. to record or keep a record of (points, items, etc.), by or as if by notches, marks, etc.; tally; reckon (often fol. by up).
26. to write down as a debt.
27. to record as a debtor.
28. to gain, achieve, or win: The play scored a great success.
29. Slang.
a. to obtain (a drug) illicitly.
b. to steal.
c. to acquire; be given.
30. to berate or censure: The newspapers scored the mayor severely for the announcement.
31. to crease (paper or cardboard) so that it can be folded easily and without damage.
32. to make a point or points in a game or contest.
33. to keep score, as of a game.
34. to achieve an advantage or a success: The new product scored with the public.
35. to make notches, cuts, lines, etc.
36. to run up a score or debt.
37. Slang.
a. to succeed in finding a willing sexual partner; have coitus.
b. to purchase or obtain drugs illicitly.
c. to elicit and accept a bribe.
[bef. 1100; (n.) ME; late OE scora, score (pl.; sing. *scoru) group of twenty (appar. orig. notch) < ON skor notch; (v.) ME scoren to incise, mark with lines, tally debts < ON skora to notch, count by tallies; later v. senses deriv. of the n.; akin to SHEAR]

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In music, the parts of all the instruments or singers of an ensemble notated with simultaneous sounds aligned vertically, on a system of parallel staffs arranged one above another.

Polyphonic (multivoiced) music was being composed for some 600 years before the score came into regular use in the 16th–17th centuries. Early examples of scores exist for works of the Notre-Dame school, and early composers may have used temporary scores during composition, perhaps on chalkboards, from which the parts for individual singers were then copied.

* * *

      notation, in manuscript or printed form, of a musical work, probably so called from the vertical scoring lines that connect successive related staves. A score may contain the single part for a solo work or the many parts that make up an orchestral (orchestra) or ensemble composition. A full, or orchestral, score shows all the parts of a large work, with each part on separate staves in vertical alignment (though subdivisions of related instruments frequently share a stave), and is for the use of the conductor. (The notation for each performer, called a part, contains only the line or lines he or she is to perform.) Thus, the conductor can see at a glance what each performer should be playing and what the ensemble sound should be. Some conductors prefer to commit the score to memory in order to concentrate entirely on guiding the performance.

      The reduction of a full score to fit the scope of the piano is called a piano score. Such a score, especially when it is of a complex piece, is often divided between two pianos. A vocal score, used for large works, such as operas and oratorios, in rehearsal, contains the piano reduction of the orchestral parts, along with the vocal lines indicated separately above the piano. The normal arrangement of groups as they appear in a full orchestral score is, from top to bottom of the page, woodwinds, brass, percussion, harps and keyboard instruments, and strings. Within each category, the parts range from highest to lowest in pitch. If there is a solo part, as in a concerto, it customarily appears immediately above the strings. In vocal works the standard arrangement from top to bottom is soprano, alto, tenor, and bass, resulting in the often-used acronym SATB on the title page of scores for four-part vocal works.

      The practice of writing music in score dates from the schools of polyphony (many-voiced music) in the early Middle Ages but declined during the 13th–16th century. At the beginning of the 13th century, it was replaced by the choirbook—a large manuscript in which soprano and alto parts usually faced each other on the upper halves of two opposite pages, with the tenor and bass parts occupying the lower halves (an economical arrangement because the upper parts, which sang (singing) the texts, required more space than the slow-moving lower parts). The music was read by the entire choir grouped around the choirbook set on a stand. In the 15th and 16th centuries, vocal and instrumental music was published in partbooks, each containing music for a single part. The parts of madrigals (madrigal) (a genre of secular partsong) were sometimes published crosswise on a single sheet, allowing singers to be seated around a rectangular table. The modern form of score, in which the bar lines are scored vertically throughout the parts, appeared in 16th-century Italy in the madrigals of Cipriano de Rore and the instrumental ensemble music of Giovanni Gabrieli.

      One of the most demanding accomplishments a musician can attain is the ability to play a full orchestral score at the piano, without the aid of a piano reduction of the work. Score reading requires the player to bring out all essential features, such as harmony, melody, and counterpoint, so that an acceptable duplication of the full orchestra is achieved. To add to the difficulty, the player must be able to read at sight the alto and tenor clefs as well as the treble and bass clefs and to transpose the parts of those woodwinds and brass instruments whose notation is different from the actual sound. Following the performance of orchestral and choral works with the score generally enables experienced listeners to grasp more easily the general design of a work and to identify the ingredients of orchestral effects. A pocket-sized miniature score, although impractical for performance, is useful for study.

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Universalium. 2010.

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