Here are some of the things I am looking for in a score to tell one composer from the other.
- Scarlatti: More figured-bass oriented. Looks almost like Mozart.
- Donizetti: a little more adventurous than Bellini. Use of ornaments, Alberti bass. Some chromaticism.
- Bellini: many short piano and voice pieces.
- Donaudy: more bel canto in that the accompaniment supports the voice, but richer than bel canto. Lots of instructions on the page. Strophic.
- Tosti: more sophisticated than Donaudy.
- Puccini: piano parts look like orchestral reductions.
- Respighi: elaborate piano parts, frequent modulations, advanced harmonic language. Italian Wolf. Chromatic, lush.
- Brahms: Hemiolas. Accents on weak beats. Flok like. 1+1+2 phrase structure.
- Schumann: tempo markings often "Nicht Schnell." Middle voices. Strong dynamic contrasts.
- Strauss: orchestral, thick chords, long phrases.
- Wolf: very chromatic, shorter phrases. Piano part motivic, not broad. Lots of changes.
- Offenbach: more operetta than Massenet.
- Massenet: a cross between Gounod and Offenbach.
- D'Indy: looks like Franck
- St Saens: harmony very romantic, close to Schumann.
- Chausson: more harmonically out there.
- Duparc: orchestral piano parts, really big.
- Hahn: like Faure, set the same texts as Faure, but not as advanced as Faure. More than one mood in a song. His songs look like light Faure.
- Debussy: declamatory vocal lines. Stresses don't always match the right words. 4ths, 5ths and octaves.
- Millhaud: short songs. Polytonal.
- Messiaen: octatonic scales.
- Barber: really hard piano parts. Romantic and lush.
- Copland: very spare, wide chords on the piano. Lots of open fifths.
- Bernstein: very rhythmic, more popular influence.
- Ives: polytonal, cluster chords, motives.
- Bartok: one motif in one voice, picked up by other voices.
- Hindemith: neo classical, traditional concepts of organization and design combined with newer material.
- Prokovief: more rhythmic drive.More playful.
- Shostakovitch: spare textures.
Photo from http://guides.library.ubc.ca/music