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Topic: Conclusion to the course, and a look ahead

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  1. #1

    Talking Conclusion to the course, and a look ahead

    If you have followed the whole online course, congratulations! Rimsky provides a very solid basis for a beginning orchestrator. Although we will be offering other opportunities to learn orchestration, I have a few comments here.

    - Once you have learned what is reasonably easy to play, it is not hard to orchestrate tolerably. Because of the history of instrumental design, most of what can be played without much difficulty will sound at least acceptable. However, GOOD orchestration is another matter altogether. Because something does not sound like a catastrophe does not mean it is well orchestrated!

    - Debussy said that Ravel had the most sensitive hearing of anyone he had ever encountered. Good orchestration is not only about what is obvious at first hearing. In particular, it is worth paying attention to what is going on in the background. An orchestration which merits repeated listening will show more interesting and subtle detail as you get to know it, and most of that detail will be in the background planes of tone. Learn to distinguish what makes really good orchestration REFINED.

    - Real orchestras cost money, LOTS of it. Unlike GPO, when a non-virtual orchestra uses a tuba player for only 4 notes, they have to pay him for being there the whole time! Make sure you make reasonable use of the instruments you demand, proportional, of course to their role (the tuba player will rarely play as much as the concert-master).

    - Many of the most important things in Rimsky are mentioned only ONCE in his book. Keep in mind that a real teacher would hammer away at these things again and again. Go over the material again and make note of the main PRINCIPLES.
    Alan Belkin, composer
    Professor of Composition
    University of Montreal

    http://www.musique.umontreal.ca/pers...n/e.index.html (links to examples of my music, as well as my online textbooks)

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Dallas, Texas
    Posts
    311

    Re: Conclusion to the course, and a look ahead

    Garritan/Belkin and the Rimsky team,

    It has been a real ride. Thank you.

    Like other fine journeys, the details of every scene along the road fade quickly to mere highlights. To absorb more, the trip has to be taken many times. A good tour guide helps.

    So, what time does the next train leave?

    Thanks again,
    best
    tony

  3. #3

    Re: Conclusion to the course, and a look ahead

    Thank you very much you all good people, who made this course possible. It was a great experience.

    Aleksandar

  4. #4

    Re: Conclusion to the course, and a look ahead

    Quote Originally Posted by belkina
    If you have followed the whole online course, congratulations! Rimsky provides a very solid basis for a beginning orchestrator. Although we will be offering other opportunities to learn orchestration, I have a few comments here.

    - Once you have learned what is reasonably easy to play, it is not hard to orchestrate tolerably. Because of the history of instrumental design, most of what can be played without much difficulty will sound at least acceptable. However, GOOD orchestration is another matter altogether. Because something does not sound like a catastrophe does not mean it is well orchestrated!

    - Debussy said that Ravel had the most sensitive hearing of anyone he had ever encountered. Good orchestration is not only about what is obvious at first hearing. In particular, it is worth paying attention to what is going on in the background. An orchestration which merits repeated listening will show more interesting and subtle detail as you get to know it, and most of that detail will be in the background planes of tone. Learn to distinguish what makes really good orchestration REFINED.

    - Real orchestras cost money, LOTS of it. Unlike GPO, when a non-virtual orchestra uses a tuba player for only 4 notes, they have to pay him for being there the whole time! Make sure you make reasonable use of the instruments you demand, proportional, of course to their role (the tuba player will rarely play as much as the concert-master).

    - Many of the most important things in Rimsky are mentioned only ONCE in his book. Keep in mind that a real teacher would hammer away at these things again and again. Go over the material again and make note of the main PRINCIPLES.
    In deference to your last comment about the course (repeating the material!). Will a version of this course be released on DVD for purchase at a later date. I do feel this would indeed help in learning the techniques by having this source material at hand.

    Regards Stamak

  5. #5

    Re: Conclusion to the course, and a look ahead

    I believe Gary has already mentioned his intention to put out a hard copy eventually.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stamak
    In deference to your last comment about the course (repeating the material!). Will a version of this course be released on DVD for purchase at a later date. I do feel this would indeed help in learning the techniques by having this source material at hand.

    Regards Stamak
    Alan Belkin, composer
    Professor of Composition
    University of Montreal

    http://www.musique.umontreal.ca/pers...n/e.index.html (links to examples of my music, as well as my online textbooks)

  6. #6

    Thumbs up Re: Conclusion to the course, and a look ahead

    Quote Originally Posted by belkina
    Good orchestration is not only about what is obvious at first hearing. In particular, it is worth paying attention to what is going on in the background. An orchestration which merits repeated listening will show more interesting and subtle detail as you get to know it, and most of that detail will be in the background planes of tone.
    You are so right. It's probably why I'm addicted to "La Mer" From Debussy.

    Thank you for sharing you time with us and I second Stamak for his suggestion.


    SergeD

  7. #7
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    Join Date
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    11,454

    Re: Conclusion to the course, and a look ahead

    We have reached the end of the course already! We started last April and have gone thrpough quite a bit of material. It has been a worthwhile learning adventure and I thank you all for participating.

    To my knowledge, nothing like this has been done before. I hope it serves as a model for other courses.

    And a big thank you is in order for Prof. Alan Belkin and the other professors who asissted in this course.

    In this extensive orchestration course, you have built a foundation for learning more about orchestration. There are many resources available. This course will remain here so people can come in and learn at their convenience.

    If you'd like to learn more, we'd love for you to continue to join us for future courses.

    Gary Garritan

  8. #8

    Re: Conclusion to the course, and a look ahead

    My sincere appreciation to Gary Garritan and Prof. Alan belkin for this marvelous course. Although I have studied continuously for a number of years and have traveled the path through academia, I learned a lot from this online course.

    It's really inspirational to know that it will reside here for awhile as a musical research instrument.

    Again, to Gary: thank you for your vision and leadership in making this course possible; to Alan: thank you for your professional, analytical and pedagogical talent in interpreting RKs narrative for all of us.

    Jack
    Jack Cannon--MacBook Pro (2015, 13") GPO4/5, JABB3, Auth. STEINWAY, YAMAHA CFX, Gofriller CELLO, Stradivari VIOLIN, COMB2, WORLD, HARPS, PIPE ORGANS, FINALE 2014.5, Mac Pro 2.66 GHz CPU, 8 GB RAM, DP 9.5, MOTU Traveler, MOTU Micro Express, MacBook Pro (2012, 13") 2.2 Ghz CPU, 8 GB RAM.

  9. #9

    Re: Conclusion to the course, and a look ahead

    What happened to the chapters at the end of the book, dealing with orchestrating for vocalists? I suppose that would have been too hard to illustrate aurally. However, since I have a copy of this book and am thoroughly familiar with it, the real value of this course for me was the input from more modern composers. I was looking forward to what they would have to say about arranging vocals and how to score accompaniment for singers Perhaps, that should be the next logical step for the next course.

  10. #10

    Re: Conclusion to the course, and a look ahead

    Hi Gary and company - Thanks and thanks again for this course . It is truely an amazing and inspiring contribution. I haven't been able to work on the course for a while, but I hope it will stay available so I can catch up. I look forward to what comes next from you.

    Steve

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