Questions tagged [orchestra]

A sizable instrumental ensemble that contains sections of string, brass, woodwind, and percussion instruments.

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1answer
57 views

Modern (Hollywood) score convention for Solo & Tutti

I've written my first orchestral score, and I've engraved it, as best I can, in a style to serve recording it by a conductor and orchestra on a sound stage in a short session, Hollywood soundtrack ...
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Why does the exponential curve that shows up in the orchestra not overwhelm anything?

So, I've noticed these ratios of range in the modern orchestra, which is primarily strings: Soprano:Alto - Factor of 4 or 5 more soprano than alto Tenor:Bass - About twice as much tenor as bass Alto:...
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1answer
68 views

How to conduct a fermata over a rest?

I'm currently learning how to conduct Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique - Reveries and Passions. In the first few bars there are fermatas over a few rests and I know I'm supposed to prolong and hold the ...
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141 views

How does a symphony orchestra play in such perfect harmony?

I'm talking about live performances. I respect all musicians who allow us to enjoy beautiful art of music. The number of musicians in a modern symphony orchestra may be up to 100 and each person has a ...
2
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1answer
94 views

What is the biggest chord ever written for orchestra?

Firstly I must define what I mean by "biggest". I mean the chord that has the most differently named notes in it not counting duplicates. Initially I was assuming equal temperament but if ...
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2answers
491 views

How do I transpose an orchestral piece if it will push some of the instruments out of their range?

Chord inversions seem to be the obvious choice, but sometimes it changes the overall harmony or disturbs the voice leading. Am I stuck with that key of whatever the orchestral piece is originally ...
2
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1answer
61 views

Why are keys changed away from the original in some orchestral pieces

I have noticed recently, take this piece for example, The Thieving Magpie Overture by Rossini. There seems to be several versions in different keys. Why are versions made that are different to the ...
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4answers
106 views

Are there note patterns on each string instrument that can not be played?

I am a high school band kid who is trying to compose orchestral music for the first time. I have done several band compositions, be it jazz or classical, but this is my first time composing orchestra ...
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1answer
41 views

I need help to identify the instruments of a composition (in a movie)

Probably this is very easy to answer for people who know the composition of an orchestra and which sound comes from which instrument. My question is, what is the instrument (or the composition of ...
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4answers
2k views

How does an orchestra hold groove?

I am used to symphonic orchestras playing classical music which does not take a rhythm as a constant, but rather as a variable which could be adjusted based on stylistic demands of the context (I ...
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2answers
72 views

Which should I record first?

So my problem is that I don't know which is recorded first, do you record the orchestra first or do you record the drums or guitar first? I've tried recording the drums first but it didn't sound ...
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0answers
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Name of orchestral styles of Krzysztof Penderecki and Elliot Goldenthal

I just came across Krzysztof Penderecki's Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima after learning of his death this morning. The orchestral style is much like that heard in Elliot Goldenthal's score for ...
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2answers
106 views

Two Stringed Instruments in Unison?

I have been receiving conflicting information from orchestration bigwigs. Some say that composers should never orchestrate two stringed instruments together because they will be ever so slightly out ...
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2answers
74 views

Alternate Criterias for MA in Music (or any other Degree that increases likelihood of getting Orchestras play my works) [closed]

Greetings MusicStackExchange, I put my intention first (I'm in HighSchool, You might need this information to understand why I'm asking this question) : I wish to work with Orchestras and Hopefully ...
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2answers
63 views

Orchestra with basses and percussion swapped

I recently attended a concert by the CBSO (City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra) and was surprised to see an unfamiliar layout of the instruments. I frequently attend CBSO concerts and most of the ...
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0answers
36 views

Looking for “big & brassy” band finales [closed]

I apologize for the crude example, but the last part of "Kyle's Mom's a Bitch" (timestamp: 1:17) is a direct reference to the trope I'm talking about. I've heard finales like these in countless ...
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2answers
83 views

Where can I read more about Monteverdi's role in the evolution of the orchestra?

I have seen it mentioned here and there that Claudio Monteverdi was the first composer to score for a specific set of instruments, for his opera Orfeo in 1607, and that this had a significant impact ...
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4answers
97 views

Problems composing transitions and bridge passages

Background: I have been composing orchestral sketches (non-professionally) for some time now. I see the progress and notice, that everything becomes much simpler after practicing multiple hours a day (...
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2answers
95 views

Has it always been the tradition for conceto soloists to have their music memorized?

At all the performances of concertos I've attended, the soloists perform without sheet music, whether it is a concerto for piano, viola, or horn. Has this always been the performance tradition for ...
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2answers
248 views

How to determine BPM by timestamps/events

I'm currently taking part in a scoring competition where the task is to score the music for a product trailer. As common in trailer music I now want to sync my music with the trailer almost ...
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4answers
2k views

What is this sound, instrument? (Rheingold, Wagner)

I am currently composing something and I really want to have this sound in my piece. It sounds like a small hammer hammering on metal. It starts at 1:08:07 (...
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1answer
75 views

What are the common instrument blends in classical/romantic symphonies? [closed]

The motivation of my question "What are the common instrument blends in classical/romantic symphonies?" is to learn which instrument combinations (e.g. clarinet + violin, horn + oboe + bassoon etc..), ...
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1answer
58 views

Learning the sounding of classical orchestra instruments with Noteperformer, Sibelius Sounds 7

This question is a follow-up of: How to distinguish between different instruments in a classical orchestra? If I transcript some of my compositions (which are now written for piano) and make ...
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7answers
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How to distinguish between different instruments in a classical orchestra?

I want to train myself into distinguishing the instruments being played simultaneously in orchestral music (primarily Wagner and Bruckner, maybe Mahler). Ideally I want to be able to say at each point ...
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1answer
373 views

When working on a excerpt that is difficult for one section, what should the director do to not waste practice time with the rest of the sections

When MDing, if a section has an excerpt of the music that is quite difficult and may require 10-15 minutes of work in order to build understanding of that section, what should the Music Director do so ...
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649 views

Players of unusual orchestral instruments

Consider a professional orchestra with a fairly wide repertoire. Obviously it will need players of all of the strings pretty much all of the time. However, for many of the other instruments, the ...
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Non-Chromatic Orchestral Instruments?

I would like to know which instruments of a modern orchestra are not able to play a full chromatic run? I know that the harp for example is in a certain key and you have to use the pedals to change ...
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Why is the saxophone not common in classical repertoire?

Other than the fact that its relatively new compared to other orchestral instruments (e.g. the violin), why is the saxophone (any of them from the family, alto, baritone, tenor etc) not more prevalent ...
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1answer
195 views

What does a small slash through a line on the staff mean?

The slash mark is shown multiple times in the piece, and it’s not just shown on the top line. The slash goes between notes and on any of the staff lines. I just want to know what it signifies.
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Why are almost all the people in this orchestra recording wearing headphones with one ear on and one ear off?

I was watching this video showing the behind-the-scenes recording of Ed Sheeran's 'Perfect' single, and I noticed that everyone in the orchestra (that I could see) is wearing headphones with one ear ...
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1answer
102 views

Is it possible to learn to play the violin for a year and be able to play in an amateur orchestra afterwards? [closed]

A little bit of background: when I was younger (around middle school) I played the piano for approximately 4 years. We're talking about around 10 years ago. I used to take regular lessons and also ...
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6answers
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Parallel fifths in the orchestra

I started to learn orchestral music with four part harmony for choirs and there you always try to avoid parallel fifths and octaves... How does this relate to a whole orchestra? Do you have to take ...
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1answer
2k views

What does this shorthand mean?

I was reading an article on the Internet and saw this notation: 3*3*3*3* – 4331 – tmp+3 – hp – cel/pno – cds (14/12/10/8/6) Then, searching on Google, I could see that this is a shorthand for ...
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1answer
446 views

Transcribing from Orchestra to Piano [closed]

I was wondering what the standard procedure for transcribing an orchestra piece for a solo piano. Obviously, the large number of parts being reduced to a single instrument results in certain ...
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2answers
124 views

Advice on arranging an orchestral work for piano duet? [closed]

So, I am starting again with my arrangement of The Nutcracker Suite. I was debating whether or not to do the whole ballet but I decided on the Suite because it is shorter and more widely known than ...
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7answers
2k views

Orchestral Composition Process

I'm trying to find out about the process of composing for the multiple instruments in an orchestra. Do you just write on the piano for all the instruments and then present the finished piece to the ...
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6answers
946 views

Can synthesizers match orchestras in terms of complexity and quality? [closed]

To what degree can technically demanding scores such as Tom and Jerry's (Scott Bradley's music) be performed on synthesizers? Which specific synthesizers are capable of the best quality performance? ...
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2answers
166 views

Question about intonation of enharmonic notes on the trumpet [duplicate]

I've been told that, ideally, a note like an e sharp or a b sharp should be slightly different in pitch from an f natural or a c natural. (especially when it is written as a leading pitch in a minor ...
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7answers
4k views

Should I learn to play from memory in an orchestra

I play in an amateur wind orchestra and I noticed that generally people do not play from memory at all and look into the sheets for the entire piece. I'm no exception for the most part but here and ...
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7answers
4k views

Can I have two different instruments play the same melody at the same octave?

I am writing an orchestral track and so far I have written the melody of strings (violins and such) and I want to add trumpets and here are 3 things I consider. 1) Have the trumpets play the same ...
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2answers
47 views

How do I correctly mix my lead bass strings?

My orchestral composition has a bass lead line composed of a cello and a bass played in pizzicato. No matter how I mix my ensemble, the bass line does not stand out as I want. I tried: Double ...
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1answer
347 views

Realistic jazzy sound with VST

I've been quite impressed with the orchestral sound of Nina Simone's "I put a spell on you". The part which interested me can be heard at first 17 seconds. So is it possible to simulate such warm and ...
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1answer
827 views

How to practice orchestration?

How can I practice composing for an orchestra? Should I take Beethoven's Fifth Symphony, analyze and then copy everything down on manuscript paper? I would like to hear some techniques for ...
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2answers
373 views

I find composing for transposing instruments hard

So I have gotten into writing orchestral works and I have a bit of a problem. You see, I can transpose, but I am not used to adjusting the notation of the transposition. So if I transpose from C to ...
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2answers
186 views

Prepared myself for symphonic writing, still very nervous

History of my compositions and how I feel about composing a symphony I have been composing music for years but it was mostly intermittent and studying music theory. Now it is more regular. I have ...
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1answer
95 views

What is this string/violin technique called?

In this song, from 2:40 to 2:41, the strings play a series of very short notes. It sounds almost like vibrato. I hear this string technique quite often in orchestral music. Is there a name for this ...
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1answer
148 views

Are pieces for orchestra written mainly by pianists and keyboard players?

I'm just wondering if pieces for orchestra are/were mainly written on pianos or synthesizers. Is it just written on piano for all the instruments since on the piano it's easiest to play both harmony/...
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4answers
2k views

Loudness of A Contrabass

I was watching a play called The Contrabass and the actor stated that "the contrabass is different from other instruments in that, it is heard better as one moves further from it" (please note that ...
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3answers
68 views

Causes of the problems with hearing the singers over an orchestra

Recently I have been to a concert, where Carmina Burana was presented. It was my first time hearing a live performance of this masterpiece. However, I have found out that live performance differed ...
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2answers
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Aren't conductors like Valery Gergiev hard for orchestras to follow?

All of the conductors I've had in the past have had a very... English style of conducting. They show you what they want with the baton and then you play it, but God forbid that you play with or (gasp) ...