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Topic: To all composers

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  1. #1

    To all composers

    Greetings,

    After listening to some of the wonderful mp3\'s that have been placed online I was wondering can you guys offer some tips on how to lay down stuff for orchestra\'s. For example, what are the steps from the brain/heart to the final performance of the note.

    Do you treat each section as a choir and compose/voice in that type of style? Do you write the string parts first etc.... stuff like that is what I\'m after.

    I spent most of my 24 years playing solo piano but now I\'d like to tackle some orchestal things. What do you all recommend? I know I can do this stuff but I just don\'t know quite where to start and how to develop a strategy. I\'m all ears and so are others in this forum who are ready to \"orchestrate\".

    Note: I\'ve done orchestra courses in college but... hmmm I\'d still like to hear it from people who do this stuff on the regular.

    Thanks

  2. #2

    Re: To all composers

    Here are my suggestions:

    Since you are pianist, you should probably create your initial compositions on two (or more if nessessary) staves.

    Your next step would be to decide what instuments that you want to use.

    Create the orchestration and see how you feel about what you have created.

    Try to make your piano scores appear as though it were an orchestral reduction.

    Begin by using small groups. This is much simpler to start with. You could try a string quartet or quintet. Four woodwinds and a horn (flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, horn in F). Here is an interesting idea: Try three woodwinds with various doublings, three brass (either 2 trumpets and a trombone or trumpet-horn-trombone), three misc. instrumets which could include percussion and three strings (violin, cello, Bass).

    Keep in mind that when you write for small groups to have a harmony instrument in mind such as a guitar, piano, harp, banjo, ect. when writing. Of course it depends on the music itself. Not all types of music would work that way.

    Good luck

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    Burbank, CA. US of Mexico
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    Re: To all composers

    I\'d suggest picking up \"The Study of Orchestration\" by Samual Adler. I used it in college and it\'s a fantastic resource to the beginning orchestrator.
    Good luck!
    -J

  4. #4

    Re: To all composers

    esteven-

    Im not sure if im talking under u, so please forgive if I am.

    The most important thing to me is to make sure that u have your themes(melodies) together first. That way u have a solid jumping off point no matter how which instruments u imagine playing it, and material from which to grow.
    If you read Arnold Schoenberg\'s fundamentals of theory he explains the essentials of a theme.

    Second, since you play the piano I would definately check out a couple of different harmonizations of your themes- that way u have some variations to play against- and can easily use different orchestrations.

    Hope this helps-

    El-Sim

  5. #5

    Re: To all composers

    Man... You guys are wonderful and so helpful!! This is a great board. Thanks for the responses thus far. Those are some excellent tips. IOComposer: I actually have that Orchestration book buried in my house somewhere. Never had too much time to read it during schoool because of a CS Minor and a wife and family to take care of... I will dig into to it now though.

  6. #6

    Re: To all composers

    \"Instrumentally Speaking\" by Robert Russell Bennet is also good, and great reading.

  7. #7

    Re: To all composers

    All those book recommendations above are good ones. At the risk of making an obvious point, I\'ll add a suggestion that it\'s also a good idea to study scores by composers whose orchestrations you admire. There are lots of composers who handle the orchestra exceptionally well. One possibly non-obvious composer to look at is Respighi - I think he does some stunningly imaginative things with the orchestra.

  8. #8
    PatS
    Guest

    Re: To all composers

    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size=\"1\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by ursatz:
    All those book recommendations above are good ones. At the risk of making an obvious point, I\'ll add a suggestion that it\'s also a good idea to study scores by composers whose orchestrations you admire. There are lots of composers who handle the orchestra exceptionally well. One possibly non-obvious composer to look at is Respighi - I think he does some stunningly imaginative things with the orchestra.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Excellent reminder, ursatz! BTW, I\'ve been looking far and wide for several Respighi scores (the Roman trilogy and the Three Botticelli Pictures) to add to my personal collection, but I can only find the Fountains. I can survive without these scores, since I\'m only 10 minutes from the university. Still, I\'d like to study and mark them in the comfort of my home. Any suggestions as to where I might look next?

    I would add that Mahler, Stravinsky, Debussy, and Ravel, to name but a few, have done wonders with the orchestra. The Dover editions of their works are readily available and inexpensive.

    Pat

    [This message has been edited by PatS (edited 09-03-2001).]

  9. #9

    Re: To all composers

    Pat,

    Extraordinary! Fountains seems to the only readily accessible one. You might try Ricordi ( http://www.ricordi.it ); they seem to have them, but if you don\'t read Italian it\'s hard to tell how you\'d order them. This is of interest to me as well - my copy of Pines was \"borrowed\" many years ago by someone who is now dead. Seems like there\'s some element of justice in this.....

    BTW - \"Mahler, Stravinsky, Debussy, and Ravel\" - those would top my list as well.

  10. #10
    PatS
    Guest

    Re: To all composers

    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size=\"1\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by ursatz:
    Pat,

    Extraordinary! Fountains seems to the only readily accessible one. You might try Ricordi ( http://www.ricordi.it ); they seem to have them, but if you don\'t read Italian it\'s hard to tell how you\'d order them.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Hey, Andrea: Can you help us out here? I found the following at the Casa Ricordi site, which, believe it or not, I bookmarked a few months ago, but I couldn\'t make heads or tails of the listing. Here\'s what I found by searching for \"Respighi\" at http://www.ricordi.com/vendita/p-catalogo_classica_uk.html:

    PR 1333
    Respighi, Ottorino
    FONTANE DI ROMA, PINI DI ROMA, FESTE ROMANE
    Partiture e mat. Orch.: Musica Sinfonica
    pp.297
    L.32.000
    M-041-91333-9

    PR 1342
    Respighi, Ottorino
    GLI UCCELLI, TRITTICO BOTTICELLIANO
    Partiture e mat. Orch.: Musica Sinfonica
    pp.134
    L.23.500
    M-041-91342-1

    Specifically, what is \"Partiture e mat. Orch.\"? I suspect \"L.32.000\" is the price, but I want to make sure I\'m ordering just the conductor\'s score and not a set of parts. The site lists several \"Ricordi Media Stores\" (under \"Printed Music Editions,\" then \"Addresses for orders and/or purchases\"). Are there any you would recommend?

    Pat

    [This message has been edited by PatS (edited 09-03-2001).]

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