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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0answers
29 views

What authors have tried to compare a wide variety of styles, specifically with regards to orchestration?

I have never found a guide to orchestration which systematically discusses differences in the theory behind the orchestration/composition choices with regards to different typical stylistic genres, ...
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7answers
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Does the difference in harmonic series between instruments have a significant effect on the consonance of the sound?

We all know that an instrument's timbre is uniquely determined by its harmonic series. Harmonic series are also very effective in describing whether an interval is consonant or not. For example, the ...
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1answer
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Is there a certain way to voice chords for an orchestration?

I am new to composing, and I am working on a piece for an orchestra. Currently, I am working on the string section. I have four parts so far (violin, viola, cello, double bass). I am considering ...
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1answer
31 views

What is the techniques used at the beginning of “Victory” by Two Steps From Hell?

Apart from the drums and piano at the beginning of this piece, there is some kind of string arrangement happening. I'm not sure what technique is being used, it is also used in several of their other ...
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3answers
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How am I supposed to orchestrate a D7 when the chordal seventh is emphasized?

This is something I have come across as I try to orchestrate Eine Kleine Nachtmusik for a symphony orchestra. A sort of harmonic ambiguity on Mozart's part. I'm talking about the chord at the repeat ...
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1answer
53 views

Difference between Martele & accent

I’m studying string articulations and I’m having trouble finding the difference between these off the bow articulations. Why should a composer choose to use martele in a situtuation instead of ...
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2answers
73 views

Writing a score in C (as it will sound)

I want to learn how to write a score for transposing instruments as it will sound (in C). I have a vague idea of how to do this, like for example, you need to know the transposing intervals of the ...
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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
87 views

Orchestration: how to know a comfortable playable speed to low register instruments?

During the orchestration of a piano piece, sometimes there are fast passages (with long intervals) in the lower register, like that Villa-Lobos "Saudades das Selvas Brasileiras" passage: Or this ...
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4answers
1k views

What are the typical trumpet parts in classical music?

So I'm a pianist looking at one of my favorite concertos ever, the Rachmaninoff 2. I had been listening to some symphonic works prior to it, so for some reason I noticed that in the concerto, there ...
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2answers
59 views

Orchestration question: Should I change which woodwinds get which lines?

I have orchestrated the exposition of Eine Kleine Nachtmusik and gotten several comments. Here I will concentrate on a single comment that I got, that the oboes are too high in bar 11. I got no ...
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2answers
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Duplicate instruments in unison in an orchestra

Theoretically, each addition of a sound identical to the previous one results in a 6db increase in the final sound result. I ask: is that why in some orchestrations we see, for example, 6 clarinets ...
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1answer
74 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
221 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
234 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
62 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
113 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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2answers
201 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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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
521 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
897 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
668 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
1k 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
199 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
582 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
306 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
270 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
503 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
245 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
93 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
2k views

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
579 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
269 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
82 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
815 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
90 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
108 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
144 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
235 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
624 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 = ...
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1answer
146 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
158 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
10k 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
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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
2k 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
1k 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
242 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
700 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
155 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)