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Topic: books on string arrangements

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  1. #1

    books on string arrangements

    Hi, can any one recommend a good book dedicated to arranging for strings. I got gpo a few weeks ago and love it and I'm trying to do some sinatra style soft/mellow orchestral string arrangements but cannot emulate the voicings, due to lack of experience and theory knowledge. Can anyone think of where I might find such a book, if it exists at all: not necessarily jazz, but strings in general.

    thanks

  2. #2

    Re: books on string arrangements

    I'm not aware of a book specifically targeting string arrangement, though I'm sure something is out there somewhere. In any case, it may not help much if you don't already have some knowledge of theory and counterpoint. How are you with those subjects?

    There are many excellent orchestration books which cover strings. While the examples they have will not likely cover the style you are talking about, the knowledge is directly transferable.
    - Jamie Kowalski

    All Hands Music - Kowalski on the web
    The Ear Is Always Correct - Writings on composition

  3. #3

    Re: books on string arrangements

    You might want to check Paul Gilreath's The Guide to MIDI Orchestration (http://www.musicworks-atlanta.com/Gu...roduction.html).
    It explains the basics of orchestration, sequencing techniques, and reviews and techniques for orchestral libraries like GPO.
    It might be helpful since you want to use GPO.

    Here's the table of contents:

    Introduction to the Orchestra
    The String Section
    The Woodwind Section
    The Brass Section
    The Percussion Section
    The Harp and Piano
    Orchestration Basics
    How to Begin
    Introduction to Sequencing
    Sequencing Techniques for Strings
    Sequencing Techniques for Woodwinds
    Sequencing Techniques for Brass
    Sequencing Techniques for Percussion
    Sequencing Techniques for Harp and Piano
    Creating Tempo Changes
    In Search of a Hall
    Effects Plug-Ins
    Software Samplers
    Using Sampled Voices
    The Mix Process
    Broken Pony Studios
    Interviews
    Achieving Specific Moods
    Introduction to Orchestral Libraries
    Orchestral Libraries
    Piano Libraries
    Appendix A: Instrument Ranges
    Appendix B: EQ Graphic
    Appendix C: Resources
    Index

    Here's a brief review of the book: http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/aug0...essentials.htm

    It's a bit expensive U$70, but might be what you need.

    Serge

  4. #4

    Re: books on string arrangements

    Thanks for these suggestions.I already have the guide to midi orchestration and have found it useful and I know the basics but need some more advanced tutoring on chord voicing etc, which instruments go where in the chord etc. I tend to learn best by example though and was wondering if there are any books that break down common techniques to capture certain moods etc.

  5. #5

    Re: books on string arrangements

    Quote Originally Posted by dearmonty
    Thanks for these suggestions.I already have the guide to midi orchestration and have found it useful and I know the basics but need some more advanced tutoring on chord voicing etc, which instruments go where in the chord etc. I tend to learn best by example though and was wondering if there are any books that break down common techniques to capture certain moods etc.
    Here's two.

    Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov.......Principles of Orchestration (the bible)

    Berlioz and Strauss (richard) .................Treatise on Instrumentation.


    Alex.

  6. #6

    Re: books on string arrangements

    Orchestration is as personal of an art as composition. Give the same chord to several orchestrators and you will get back as many differering solutions, even for just strings. To look for "hard and fast" rules for chord voicings doesn't work because so many variables factor into the equation. Note spacing, range, ensemble size,and voice weight consider into this - among many other factors, and can vary from chord to chord in one passage.

    The simplest solution to voicing strings is to start Vlns 1 on the top and work down (or vice versa). That is pretty vanilla, but perfectly valid and very common. To get into the intricacies you will probably need to crack open some scores. Throw on a recording and follow the score. Mark the parts that appeal to your ears. Go ahead, mark up the score. That's why you have it, to learn from. Stop the recording often and study the orchestration in detail. Go back after listening and restudy the parts you marked. Ask, "Why did the composer/orchestrator do it this way? What results does it achieve?" You have endless examples in studying the masters. It will take time, but is worth it in the end.

    Melody is easier to give guidelines to orchestration. There are fewer factors than dealing with chords, especially if dealing with unison or octave arrangements. There are several books dealing with melodic orchestration.

  7. #7

    Re: books on string arrangements

    Ah yes. I understand the question better now. I am familiar with the Berklee Press book. It is an excellent choice. I believe William Russo also had some titles dealing with this topic. If they are still in print and anyone is more familiar than me, please list the title(s).

  8. #8
    Senior Member
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    Re: books on string arrangements

    Just so that it is said, buy some pocket scores of string compositions you like. If still uncertain, look at the slow movement of almost any Mahler symphony. But the purely string repetoire is huge and goes back a long way.

  9. #9

    Re: books on string arrangements

    thanks for all your suggestions. I bought the "arranging for large jazz ensemble book" but that is way too advanced for where I am in theory. It explains the what and where but not the why. I've always composed and arranged just by ear. I know there's no substitute for sitting down and learning it all, but I've now reached the point where I've got to knuckle down now my projects are becoming more complex, because I'm wasting too much time figuring out what chord should be next, when I should know it. But this thread has been really helpful to me so thanks all.

    monty

  10. #10

    Re: books on string arrangements

    Quote Originally Posted by dvincent
    Ah yes. I understand the question better now. I am familiar with the Berklee Press book. It is an excellent choice. I believe William Russo also had some titles dealing with this topic. If they are still in print and anyone is more familiar than me, please list the title(s).
    I know this question was a long time ago, but I've just joined the forum.

    The Russo Books are:
    "Jazz Composition and Orchestration", William Russo, University of Chicago Press, 1968.
    "Composing for the Jazz Orchestra", William Russo, University of Chicago Press, 1961.

    The first book is much bigger than the second (825 pp vs 90) and seems to contain all the material in it.

    Sorry, I have no idea whether they are still in print. But did I notice that you live in Chicago? Why not wander over to U of C and ask them?
    Martin
    Canberra, Australia

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