Questions tagged [orchestration]

The study or practice of writing music for an orchestra or of adapting music composed for another medium for an orchestra.

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1answer
59 views

Clarinets in the Rite of Spring

I am studying a miniature score of Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring (Dover Miniature Scores). For the clarinets, I see this in the instrumentation page: Clarinetto piccolo (D, Es) 3 Clarinetti (B, A)...
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1answer
122 views

Bass clarinet notation in the Rite of Spring and other pieces

I am a clarinettist so I am a little embarrassed to need to ask this. I have not played the bass clarinet. I am looking at a miniature score of Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring (Dover Miniature ...
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2answers
130 views

How should I write a tutti chord?

Somebody commented on my Pathetique Sonata orchestration that it is all wrong and how it is wrong. Here I will focus on the part of the comment related to tutti chords. Here is the link to my ...
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1answer
51 views

Will a forte tympani overpower a quiet orchestra?

So far, I have been mainly using the tympani in my orchestration of the Pathetique Sonata for the purpose of adding an accent. It might change later on to having a more important role but right now, ...
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2answers
97 views

Should I raise this chord up an octave?

Okay, I asked somebody else for advice on my orchestration and he went a bit into lower interval limits. He did however give me advice on orchestration for the first chord. Here is what he gave me: ...
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1answer
93 views

How would Mozart have learned orchestration?

In the time before classic books on orchestration by Berlioz and Rimsky-Korsakov had been written, how would a composer such as Mozart have been able to learn to write for orchestra?
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2answers
109 views

Stuck orchestrating the melody of a Beethoven sonata

I have been orchestrating the Pathetique Sonata for months. I looked on IMSLP and saw no orchestral transcription. And I figured, if I am going to orchestrate a piano sonata, this would be the sonata ...
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2answers
519 views

Will characteristic acoustical properties of real instruments also be observed when using high quality digital samples?

This - comment - has stuck with me, because it described an unintuitive property of oboes. I wouldn't have thought oboes in parallel thirds sounds out of tune. Then I wondered if it would be the same ...
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7answers
341 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
548 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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6answers
566 views

Is it better to learn scales or chords first in Music Theory?

I'm a novice when it comes to music composition and I'm trying to expand my knowledge on scales, chords, intervals and progressions. I've been playing lead guitar in a thrash metal band for quite a ...
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2answers
107 views

Is it bad practice to score a E major piece for Bb Clarinet in 6 sharps/flats?

I'm currently writing my first piece for a full orchestra, to be played by a high school orchestra and band. The piece is in E major, but it is somewhat chromatic and modulates to different keys for ...
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1answer
420 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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1answer
213 views

Harmonics in composition

As a composer, I never took under consideration the harmonics and natural overtones of note frequencies and never had trouble, as long as it all sounded well and was not very dissonant (unless I ...
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2answers
261 views

Such a thing as a “timbral/orchestrational progression”?

When we study harmony, it is considered obvious that we must consider chords in relation to the chords that come before and after them (chord progressions). However, I have yet to find any resources ...
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1answer
224 views

What chords should I use in an aggressive orchestral track? [closed]

I am trying to learn how to make epic (trailer) music. When I write melodic songs I use mostly major and minor chords and they work great, they give me exactly the sound I want, however those types of ...
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1answer
195 views

How do I start learning digital orchestration?

I'm a high school student who's played piano for about a decade, and was hoping to learn orchestration. I've written several advanced piano compositions, so I'm familiar with the music-writing process,...
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1answer
90 views

What is the high violin note in Scheherezade? [closed]

What pitch is the very high note held by the solo violin near the end of Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherezade (here)?
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2answers
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What are “horn 5ths”?

I encountered the term "horn 5th" in a book on orchestration. I have difficulty understanding the exact meaning of the term. Unfortunately, couldn't find anything about this term by googling, except ...
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1answer
389 views

How Fast Can French Horn Play?

I'm just wondering, how fast can a French Horn play 16th notes? Like, I've got this 1 measure passage of a descending 16th note chromatic scale at 152 bpm - is that too fast? It's to be played ...
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4answers
174 views

Music Arranging

I write some of my own material, and I work them up to get them ready to perform, but I don't consider myself an arranger. I've been thinking about getting deeper into developing songs for performance ...
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1answer
79 views

What instruments are best paired with womens choirs? [closed]

I don't work with choir samples often, but I want to add more depth to an austere choir sound. What kinds of instruments typically pair well with a women's choir?
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3answers
728 views

Can I play an English horn part with a viola?

I want to perform music in class for a Shakespeare play. Can I play an English horn part with a viola?
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0answers
81 views

Books on composition as insightful as Goeschius [closed]

I've been a magpie for books on composition/orchestration, and it seems to me that the books written by Percy Goeschius are the best, most insightful and well-written that I've come across. Hia ...
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6answers
6k views

Impossibly long flute note

I sometimes compose for my own amusement but I have no delusions of creating anything that anyone else would like to hear. In one of my ideas, I want a long sustained flute note to bridge two ...
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4answers
106 views

Orchestras in real environments (for artistic effect)

I have a really neat idea for an interesting orchestra performance, which takes place in an outside setting. What would happen if you decided to actually place the players in different places across a ...
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2answers
138 views

How can I make my music less dull, dry, and orchestrate better? [closed]

I recently worked on my new track 'Awakening' which was modeled off of 'Star Sky' by Two Steps From Hell. I had to use spaces in the links to post them because it wasn't letting me. Just remove the ...
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2answers
194 views

Sample Library: Orchestra vs Band

I'm an amateur composer interested in purchasing a high quality orchestral sample library like Garritan Personal Orchestra. The problem is that I plan on composing a piece for my schools concert band, ...
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1answer
537 views

Instrumentation of the Rite of Spring

I am studying Stravinsky's Rite of Spring (just for my own pleasure) and I have the Dover Miniature Score. On the instrumentation page, I see entries such as these: Piccolo 3 Flutes (Fl. III = ...
3
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1answer
126 views

Reason for voice-crossing in Mahler's Symphony 1

I was reading through the full score of Mahler's Symphony No. 1 today to see how it's orchestrated and hopefully learn a few things from it. This particular bar from the first movement interested me: ...
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2answers
91 views

Writing for Violins and Violas

I'm studying some classical compositions to see how to write properly for the string section. One thing I've noticed is that the Viola bar often has two notes playing at the same time whereas the ...
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6answers
7k views

What are overtones?

Can someone please explain what overtones are and why they are important? I read a lot on the web about them but didn't understand. Also how can they be used when writing for orchestration?
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4answers
944 views

Scoring for the harp

I would like to know more about scoring for the harp. I don't really intend to attempt to write music for the harp but I would like to improve my understanding and appreciation. I am considering ...
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2answers
1k views

Beginning composer wanting to know where to start

I'm a seventeen-year-old aspiring film composer. I have twelve years of piano and theory experience, but beyond that, I have no experience with anything else musicwise. I am homeschooled with no easy ...
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2answers
885 views

How are the 4 French Horn parts in an orchestral piece paired/arranged range-wise?

I am composing a piece for full orchestra and want to make sure that my parts are conventional. I know that there are typically four horn parts, but are 1 and 2 high parts, 1 and 3, or something else?
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2answers
227 views

What is the term for out of key playing with a singular monophonic instrument?

Lets say im playing a violin piece that's primarily in C major/G mixo-Lydian but i start to use notes outside of the scale without any chord accompaniment , technically those notes wouldn't be ...
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2answers
580 views

What combinations of wind instruments could mimic or closely resemble the timbre of a pipe organ?

When I say "wind instruments," I am mainly referring to those you would find in a concert band, to be more specific, here's a mock-up list of instruments I could potentially choose from: Piccolo, ...
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3answers
138 views

In strings bowed instruments, is it possible to play a chord in two not adjacent strings?

Or would it be only possible if arpeggiated? For example in cello, to play G string in a chord with Bb in A string (being D string on the middle)
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3answers
893 views

a flute question - low B status

This question is for flute users and experts, including flutists, flute sellers, flute repairers, flute teachers, and others who know the current state and keying system of the transverse flute in ...
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3answers
1k views

Incorporating the piano into the orchestra - when and why?

Having heard a few orchestral works that incorporate a piano merely as accompaniment (see below for some examples), I'm now curious: When (approximately), and under what circumstances, was the ...
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1answer
127 views

Orchestra notation and harmony

For instance I have 3 groups of violins and 3 instruments in each group. I want a clean C major chord from those 3 groups. What's my best choice? To have 1 group play a C, another one an E and the ...
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3answers
5k 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 ...
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3answers
152 views

How to express exhaustion without rallentando or diminuendo?

I'm working on a track that has more of an EDM feel to it, so the obvious methods of expressing exhaustion—rallentando and diminuendo—do not fit the music I'm imagining, since I want it to keep a ...
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1answer
121 views

Garritan Personal Orchestra 4: Strings Quality

How can I create realistic sounding string sections in Garritan Personal Orchestra 4?
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12answers
2k views

Fundamental and In-Depth Music Theory for an Absolute Beginner [closed]

I know nothing about music theory, but I have been playing the guitar for over 5 years and have been only working with tabs. I want to learn music theory from scratch, fundamentally and meticulously. ...
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1answer
512 views

Theories of Orchestration

Obviously there are several well-known orchestration treatises throughout history; Berlioz's is perhaps the most famous, and Adler's is perhaps the one most in use today. My question is whether ...
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4answers
292 views

The term for voice effect in orchestral music

What do we call those voices (it feels like lot of people singing together) in an orchestral music or epic music which make it more epic?
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2answers
141 views

Orchestration question: when can basses get muddy?

I have a passage that I've composed at quarter note = 175, containing a melody that contains mostly eighth notes and quarter notes, all in pizzicato. The cello and bass parts are doubling each other ...
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4answers
2k views

In classical music scores we often find French horns of different pitches. Why is that?

For example, in many pieces, there are two horns in F and two in E flat. What is the reason? Divide the horns to be able to give each group the better matching parts concerning intonation? For pitch ...
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4answers
678 views

Why do so many symphonic works that are named “minor” end “major”?

For example, Schumann's Symphony No. 4 in d minor has the 4th movement end in D major. There are many many other examples that I have seen of this pattern; some that end on the major version of the ...