For most of my working life I've been writing, arranging and conducting musical theatre in NYC and around the US. In over 200 shows, ranging from initial readings all the way to full productions and original cast albums, I’ve been called upon to transcribe, edit and arrange composers’ work.
From source material as basic as “tune sung into recorder” and from a wide range of notation levels I've had to create fully-realized piano accompaniments, vocal arrangements, and orchestrations of every size and configuration.
My practical experience planning and running rehear-sals, coaching sessions and performances has taught me how important it is that vocal and instrumental parts be graceful, logical, well thought out, and notated clearly and legibly. I focus on the practical as much as the artistic:
Notating parts so singers of any level of music-reading skill will be able to follow along the first time they see it.
Writing harmony lines so singers will instinctively go to the right pitch rather than try to "pick it out of nowhere." Even a harmony line should "sing" like a melody.