by Professor Alan Belkin


Welcome to our new series of three online orchestration lessons by Alan Belkin, presented by Gary Garritan. This course is designed to follow up and add to the Garritan/Rimsky-Korsakov online orchestration course. It will add to the concepts and skills in orchestration you have already learned from Rimsky-Korsakov’s book.

Course Structure

There are three mini-courses here to start with. If the response is good, we will very probably add more as time goes on. Each mini-course presents a specific problem in orchestration, and discusses various possible solutions to it.

Scores with Real-time Examples

In this course we have provided interactive scores, allowing the learner to simultaneously listen and visually follow the music. The ability to hear various orchestral realizations of the different examples is invaluable; and printed notation alone cannot provide this kind of instruction.

Some Guidelines

Professor Belkin does not have time to correct individual assignments for online students. However general questions which are relevant to everyone will get replies.

A few guidelines: We are here to learn so please be courteous to others. Constructive criticism is welcomed - especially if it will improve the course and provide for a better education. Encouragement helps learners much more than unbridled negativity. Try to be helpful to others and avoid demeaning less experienced learners. Please do not flame, name-call, banter or disrupt the learning experience for others. This course is offered as a free service and if you are against it for competitive, philosophical, political, religious or psychological reasons; we would rather you do not participate. Just as in a bricks and mortar class, disruptive behavior may lead to being suspended or expelled.

We reserve the right to make changes if circumstances so dictate. We reserve the right to change the dates, change the structure of the course, or to withdraw any part or the entire course at any time.


Thanks to Andrew Schartmann for his help in preparing the musical examples. And thanks the Sean Hannifin for animating the scores. And thanks to Sean Hannifin for doing all of the Flash work so that the music follows the score. And thanks to Mark Simon and Dave Burnett for hosting this course on Northern Sounds.

Let the Course Begin...

As mentioned above, this is an online experiment. If there is interest and serious demand, much more is possible. Let us know if you find this course of use.


Alan Belkin

About Alan Belkin...

Alan Belkin is a composer of 8 symphonies, as well as of numerous works for smaller ensembles and soloists. Trained at the Juilliard School, he has taught musical composition and related disciplines at the Faculty of Music of the University of Montreal for over twenty years now. He maintains a large website, offering free pedagogical articles and booklets he has written, on various musical subjects. These booklets, based on two decades of teaching experience, offer information and methods which complement and complete those found in standard texts. Examples of Alan Belkin’s music can be heard via his worklist page. To contact Alan Belkin: private message him on this forum or send an email to: belkina (insert the @ sign) yahoo dot com. He maintains a large website at this link.