(German: Partitur, French: partition, Italian: partitura)
The score is the combination of all the separate parts forming a piece of music. While the musicians have only their own parts in front of them, the conductor has to be able to follow all the parts. In the score each instrument of the orchestra has its own staff with the notes or measures performed at the same time in a vertical "stack." As a rule, the composer produces the score during the compositional process. Numerous older works are performed directly from the separate parts; in such cases, the corresponding scores have to be (re-)produced after the fact for modern editions.
The classical-romantic Orchestral Score usually adheres to the following vertical alignment, from top to bottom: the woodwinds (flutes, oboes, clarinets, bassoons), brass instruments (horns, trumpets, trombones, tuba), percussion instruments (timpani, bass drum, etc.), harp, solo instrument (vocal soloists, choir), and the strings (first and second violins, violas, violoncellos, double basses).
The Choral Score contains the voice parts in the order, from top to bottom, of first and second sopranos, alto, tenor, and bass and a piano summary for use in the rehearsal sessions.
Chamber Scores usually have the piano part at the bottom.
It almost goes without saying that the score is an indispensable tool for the recording engineer in her or his role as recording director during the recording sessions.
[The way to the Classical-CD]