Questions tagged [arranging]

In music, an arrangement is a musical reconceptualization of a previously composed work. It may differ from the original work by means of reharmonization, melodic paraphrasing, orchestration, or development of the formal structure.

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23
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10answers
7k views

How would you live perform a piece whose recording has a faded ending?

Much recorded pop music has endings that fade to silence. If a live all-acoustic band is trying to perform such pieces, it's not really feasible to do a fade. So what other techniques are available to ...
13
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9answers
5k views

How to transcribe an arpeggiated 4-note chord to be playable on a violin?

I finished arranging the first movement of Beethoven's Piano Sonata in F minor for a string quartet, only to find out that the chord at bar 7 is impossible for a violinist. My instinctual reaction was:...
13
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7answers
3k views

Can chords be inferred from melody alone? [duplicate]

Some vids about arranging on fingerstyle guitar say to figure out the chords first either by ear or through tabs, then to play the melody on top of them. But that seems like too much work. For one, ...
13
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4answers
22k views

What does an arranger do?

When you see the "arranged by" attribution on a score, what did the arranger (typically) do?
12
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4answers
4k views

How do I approximate instruments when arranging an orchestral piece for brass ensemble

I am going to arrange Wagner's Prelude and Liebestod for British brass band. I am not sure if it will be a good fit, but it is worth a try. The instrumentation that I am writing for is standard: ...
12
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3answers
3k views

What can I do to make cover song to be more interesting?

If I want to cover some songs, I don't want cover it like the original one. Then, I need some refreshment on my cover version right? What can I do to make it more interesting? What are the techniques?...
11
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5answers
2k views

“Only open voicing below middle C!” Really?

Every resource I've seen and person I've talked to has said that putting low voices, usually trombones, in close spacing anywhere below C4 is to be avoided at all costs, due to muddiness. As I arrange,...
11
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4answers
930 views

Double basses in Beethoven's Eroica

I have just been listening to Beethoven's Eroica while following a miniature score: Eulenburg score at Amazon. I was paying particular attention to the double basses and I noticed that frequently ...
11
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2answers
14k views

Composing/Arranging for a String Quartet

I've been taking arranging and composing classes at the college I'm attending and I have recently been tasked with writing a piece for a string quartet. I would like to know in general, what should ...
10
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3answers
1k views

What's the most comfortable key for a group to sing “Happy Birthday”

I am planning on surprising my wife for her birthday, with a montage video of all of her friends and family singing "Happy Birthday" from their own homes. To do this, I need to create a video they ...
10
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3answers
8k views

What exactly is the difference between arranging a piece of music and composing it?

I was always under the impression that the composer wrote the piece, and the "arranger" was the one who made it "fuller" by arranging additional instruments for the piece, adding chords behind the ...
9
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2answers
15k views

Parallel octaves vs doubled octaves

I've read this Wikipedia article on parallel fifths, which also touched on parallel octaves. However, I'm having difficulty understanding the difference between doubled and parallel octaves. I think I ...
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5answers
2k views

Writing Arrangements

I play in a youth brass band and I've been writing basic arrangements for it for the past year or so. The thing is, I use MuseScore. I just enter what I think will sound good, play it back and make ...
8
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5answers
1k views

Can chord substitutions take place unrestrictedly without invalidating a progression?

Assume the following rudimentary progression in a major scale: (Progression 1) I - ii - V7 - I - ii - V7 - I Progression 1 starts with the tonic. Starting with the tonic, Progression 1 may go ...
8
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6answers
2k views

Ledger Lines vs. 8va notation

As musicians sight reading music-- are you very comfortable reading parts in ledger lines or is it more convenient having higher/lower parts notated within the staff with an 8va (or 8vb) symbol? For ...
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2answers
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Can a baritone be used for a trombone part?

I am making a brass quintet, and I need two trumpets, a horn, a trombone, and a tuba. I have all except the trombone. Can a baritone substitute for the trombone part? Will it have a similar tone and/...
7
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2answers
2k views

Do I have to pay royalties for using my own rearrangement of a famous song as videogame bgm?

Some friends of mine are developing an indie visual novel, so I thought I would contribute a few tracks. Inspiration struck me while working on other stuff, so I ended up creating a slowed-down, ...
7
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3answers
7k views

Is there a way to turn sharps and flats into natural notes?

I realise this might be kind of a silly question, but I recently got a kalimba and I am trying to turn various piano songs into kalimba songs! My kalimba is tuned to C major and has 17 keys; no ...
7
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3answers
604 views

Do first violins take precedence over second violins for the main melody or the higher pitched part?

I know that in general within an orchestra, if the violins hold the melody it's usually the first violins which play the main melody and the second violins act as a support to them, but if the main ...
7
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1answer
663 views

Over/under pitch note

I know there is a quarter tone notation, but is there a symbol for music score that will simply say over/under pitch? I think quarter tone notation might be too strict/rigid in music arrangement that ...
6
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4answers
2k views

Why are so many pieces originally written for the lute now arranged for guitar?

While looking for baroque music on Spotify (mainly Bach), I noticed that all of the pieces originally written for lute are arranged for guitar when played by contemporary artists. NOTE: This wasn't a ...
6
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4answers
993 views

How to monitor a song with a low budget

I'm working a lot with home recording but the loudspeakers of my computer are a bit old, so I might get new ones. The problem I frequently had while recording was, that my speakers had a very full ...
6
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4answers
598 views

Will arranging a song in piano increase my overall arrangement ability?

Will arranging a song in piano increase my overall arrangement ability ? Is arranging in piano some what of basic ? or essential or fundamental for arranging in orchestra or any other genre with ...
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3answers
3k views

Strategies for choosing chords for an arrangement

So I am becoming more curious about arranging things for solo style (melody and harmony at the same time) playing on guitar or piano. So to simplify this discussion, lets say we are trying to make an ...
5
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7answers
11k views

Key choice for brass instruments

I've been told several times that brass instruments prefer to play in keys with flats, rather than sharps. As a trumpet player myself, I cannot relate to this preference. E major is just as easy or ...
5
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4answers
1k views

Is there room for an electric guitar in Superstition (Stevie Wonder)?

Long story short, we are going to be playing an instrumental accompaniment to this song at school. I can play either a guitar or bass. I know that the lead riff is a clavinet and there is a bass line: ...
5
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4answers
2k views

Writing SATB arrangements so that the bass voice is still audible

When writing the bass voice part for an SATB arrangement, what should be done so that the bass singers voice is not "swallowed" by the other 3 voices - being the lowest of all? (Also most choirs in my ...
5
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6answers
422 views

Can an original composition be an arrangement?

Sometimes I'll see on discogs.com a song will say string arrangements by so and so... and it's an original song by them. Can original compositions be arrangements? What makes an arrangement? Can ...
5
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1answer
793 views

Is John Williams “cheating” when he plays Asturias?

Even though I still have a long way to go before I can play Asturias somewhat decently I like it so much that I am taking a stab at it. It was going OK until I got to the 37th bar in which the chord ...
5
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2answers
1k views

Suggestions for transition from 6/8 to 4/4 (Piano accompaniment)

I am playing an accompaniment for a choir on piano with one song in 6/8 and another in 4/4. The choir insists that I shouldn't leave a gap between the two songs and I should try to play continuously. ...
4
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2answers
135 views

Simple way to add an additional octave in Musescore?

I wrote an arrangement in Musescore, and I got complaints that some (most) notes on a particular instrument were too high for a beginner. So now I want to add an additional lower octave for each note. ...
4
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3answers
977 views

How to add extra notes to the original music sheet

I am learning guitar by myself. I see that the tab composer usually adds more notes that are not in the original sheet to make song more impressive. Please look at the notes in the circles in my ...
4
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3answers
144 views

How should I think when I arrange music for tuba AND electric bass?

I'm arranging a lot of music at the moment, and I find it difficult to combine tuba and electric bass. For most parts, I just make them equal with very few exceptions. For example, I do make them ...
4
votes
1answer
176 views

Fingerstyle - Alternating Bass, Pinch or Bass Alone?

In this arrangement it seems the creator, Mark Hanson, sometimes plays the alternating bass with the melody note (in a pinch) and sometimes, randomly it seems, he plays the bass note then the melody ...
4
votes
2answers
5k views

Quantization for recorded audio tracks

I am currently working with Reaper to record my audio tracks (guitar, bass and vocals). I frequently use drum tracks to play more precise than with a metronome, but I think it's still not "tight" ...
4
votes
1answer
127 views

Guessing the chord by notes

Most of the time I can figure out what chord is being played by just seeing the notes. I do this by looking at the first note (note in which I feel the chord is changed) when I think the chord changed,...
3
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3answers
824 views

Changing compound intervals into simple intervals to simplify a piano arrangement

I am learning to play "raindrop keep falling on my head". In the sheet I have there are in the base line there are tenth interval that I simplified into thirds: My questions are: Is it very ...
3
votes
4answers
2k views

How do I know which position to use when I'm playing by ear

I come from a piano background ( and I know enough theory to read intermediate piano sheet music) and I want to learn fingerstyle guitar. but It's so difficult because there is more than one way to ...
3
votes
1answer
351 views

How to arrange a song written on piano for guitar?

I am starting to learn classical guitar, and one of my goals is to learn how to sight read standard musical notation. However, I am beginning to notice that it's hard to find guitar sheet music for a ...
3
votes
1answer
529 views

How do I create tremolos in Musescore

I have a section of music from brahms hungarian dance no. 1 that I am trying to arrange but am having some trouble writing this in musescore. Any ideas?
3
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2answers
155 views

Can violins change notes in the middle of a double stop?

I am arranging Mozart's Piano Sonata for a string trio, because, when I listen to it, I hear 3 voices, with the bass voice in the Alberti bass being the first note and the lower melodic voice as being ...
3
votes
2answers
194 views

Trumpet low range in a big band

A common voicing technique in big band music is to have the 4th trumpet play an octave below the lead trumpet. Is there a limit to how low this can go and still be effective, other than the hard limit ...
3
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1answer
90 views

Chord spelling help for piano arrangement

I'm working on an arrangement of a song and my theory knowledge is mainly as a vocalist, so I'm a bit stuck on what would be the best option for a pianist to read/play on this certain bit of music: ...
3
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3answers
3k views

Arranging a piece for full Orchestra

I have recently finished writing an intermediate level piece for piano duet, and think it would sound pretty good when played by a full orchestra. Only problem is I don't know any one who can arrange ...
3
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2answers
133 views

4th octave Eb in Chopin, should I trust that the flutist will get the note?

I am arranging Nocturne in Eb Op. 9 no. 2 for Flute and String Quartet and I have reached a spot where it is difficult for me to decide whether or not I should stick with the notes that Chopin wrote ...
3
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1answer
198 views

How to make jazz covers? [closed]

I'm pretty new to the genre of jazz and would love to arrange some popular songs as jazz covers. One that I really like is this one: Sadly you can't see so easy ...
3
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1answer
191 views

How can I arrange a children's song for choir, to make it more interesting?

Our church choir would like to perform some children's songs. (I won't go into the reasons why, right now.) How can I make the songs more interesting? The kids are so cute when they sing them, that ...
3
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2answers
205 views

Help! I need advice on how to adapt an arrangement

I have an arrangement of Bobby Darin's song "Don't Rain on My Parade" for Vocal, 2 alto saxophones, 2 tenor saxophones, 1 baritone saxophone, 5 trumpets, 4 trombones, piano, guitar, bass and drums - ...
3
votes
1answer
60 views

Arrangment/voicing vs EQ/production

When composing rock/pop music, I am wondering, when considering the timbre of the guitars, whether focus should be placed on voicings (power chords vs barre chords vs single notes etc) or simply on ...
2
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3answers
692 views

Using SATB arrangements with a SAB choir

I do not have any tenors but I have lots of music arranged for four parts. Can I simply leave out the tenor parts? Will it adversely affect the music?