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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7
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3answers
77 views

What is the effect Ravel is after here?

This is part of the snare drum part from Ravel's Miroirs No. 4: Alborado del Gracioso (The jester's aubade). What is the effect of both sticks playing the same note? If the sticks coincide precisely ...
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 ...
2
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1answer
55 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 ...
11
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4answers
923 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 ...
-3
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3answers
71 views

What instrument(s) lend themselves to playing different dynamics rapidly? [closed]

I'm a composer. What instrument(s) would it be easiest to play parts like this on? Thinking along the lines of unpitched percussion, but I'm open to anything. For example:
2
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2answers
41 views

Layout of Instruments in Piano, Cello and Flute Trio

So I've written a trio for piano, cello and flute, but was unsure of which order vertically in each system they should go. My initial thought was that it would be highest pitched to lowest pitched - ...
3
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2answers
83 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 ...
1
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1answer
73 views

Is there a place to get scoreless film clips to practice with? [closed]

I have written a lot of pieces that I feel would fit nicely for a film or commercial and I would like to practice doing some scoring for films. Rather than filming myself, is there a website made for ...
0
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0answers
62 views

Emulating the Beethoven's Fifth Finale without making it sound like it isn't original? Sounds hard

So, I got a comment from someone on a composers forum about the C major ending of my 10 minute orchestral piece, Escape from the Minor Trap, saying this: Bar 187: I can hear a very triumphant ...
14
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2answers
980 views

Trumpet type or technique?

In Wagner’s “Rule, Britannia”, the orchestration calls for two trumpets. I’ve had no luck searching for what “vent.” and “ord.” mean. “Open” and “muted”, or ...?
1
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1answer
40 views

Do I need to worry about Tympani glissando here?

So I have come across another thing that some people have said about my Pathetique Sonata orchestration. That is that my tympani pitch changes are too quick and that there will be glissando on the ...
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0answers
69 views

Should I have the time signature change from 4/4 to 2/4 or from 2/2 to 2/4?

So, I am composing another piece that involves time signature switching. I'm starting with the piano solo improvisation that I recorded and I'm thinking of expanding it from solo piano to orchestra. ...
0
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2answers
170 views

Viola and Cello diamond notehead notation interpretation

I'm attempting to transcribe (for playback) Dukas' L'Apprenti Sorcier into Musescore. I don't understand what the following notation means, how it should be played, or possibly be approximated, ...
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0answers
34 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, ...
43
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8answers
2k views

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 ...
1
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1answer
46 views

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 ...
1
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1answer
32 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 ...
2
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3answers
139 views

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 ...
3
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1answer
69 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 ...
1
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4answers
135 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 ...
17
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7answers
4k views

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 ...
2
votes
1answer
111 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
2
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2answers
84 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 ...
8
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2answers
1k views

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 ...
2
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1answer
89 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)...
5
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1answer
292 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
423 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 ...
4
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1answer
64 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, ...
2
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2answers
131 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: ...
6
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2answers
239 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
157 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 ...
5
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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
1k 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 ...
4
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6answers
854 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 ...
3
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2answers
293 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 ...
6
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1answer
755 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 ...
1
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1answer
356 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 ...
4
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2answers
283 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 ...
0
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1answer
822 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
306 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,...
-1
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1answer
97 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)?
13
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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 ...
2
votes
1answer
808 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
309 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 ...
1
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1answer
85 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?
5
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3answers
851 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
93 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 ...
13
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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 ...