Author Topic: A Petite Undertaking for Orchestra  (Read 2077 times)

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mjf1947

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A Petite Undertaking for Orchestra
« on: October 24, 2016, 02:05:09 PM »
I am re posting in the works in the progress section because I am now fully orchestrating my work which originally was a string orchestra work.

So here is what I have so far.  Still playing about with it .....  :-*

All suggestions to improve my work welcome.

Mark
« Last Edit: October 24, 2016, 02:18:12 PM by mjf1947 »

Michel.R.E

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Re: A Petite Undertaking for Orchestra
« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2016, 02:12:42 PM »
quick notation note (sorry for the involuntary alliteration):

percussion go between brass and strings.
timpani is always the top staff of the percussion section.
the rest of the percussion are usually placed from highest to lowest, starting with tuned percussion first, then unpitched percussion.
if you have a staff with multiple instruments, then you have to name the instruments directly on the staff.
"Writing music to be revolutionary is like cooking to be famous: Music’s main function is not revolution. – Alan Belkin "

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mjf1947

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Re: A Petite Undertaking for Orchestra
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2016, 02:15:03 PM »
I corrected the score above.

Mark

« Last Edit: October 24, 2016, 02:17:29 PM by mjf1947 »

Ron

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Re: A Petite Undertaking for Orchestra
« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2016, 02:36:22 PM »
Interesting work.

A few minor pointers: the square bracket joining first and second violins should be inside the strings group bracket (and should be repeated in every system)--and the strings bracket is not quite lined up where it should be. It is not really necessary to write those initial pizz. notes in the cellos and bass as 1/8th notes. Quarters are fine, though in the 2nd measure the offbeat notes are correct as 1/8th notes. You do not need to repeat the pizz. expression in m.5 (in fact, you shouldn't do this). When the players encounter that 2nd "pizz." they will stop playing and look back in the score to see where they missed an intervening arco.

Having one each of the winds and brass you risk balancing issues. I think you'll find that the brass overwhelm the woodwinds.

Horns go above trumpets in orchestral scores.

Keep at it.

PS. Can you explain the title? As a general rule I do not like mixing languages like this.
Ron
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mjf1947

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Re: A Petite Undertaking for Orchestra
« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2016, 02:55:26 PM »
Interesting work.

Thanks!

A few minor pointers: the square bracket joining first and second violins should be inside the strings group bracket (and should be repeated in every system)--and the strings bracket is not quite lined up where it should be. It is not really necessary to write those initial pizz. notes in the cellos and bass as 1/8th notes. Quarters are fine, though in the 2nd measure the offbeat notes are correct as 1/8th notes. You do not need to repeat the pizz. expression in m.5 (in fact, you shouldn't do this). When the players encounter that 2nd "pizz." they will stop playing and look back in the score to see where they missed an intervening arco.

Will review and adjust

Having one each of the winds and brass you risk balancing issues. I think you'll find that the brass overwhelm the woodwinds.

Ron and others ... this is my next challenge and where I could use some assistance .... how do I fill in the second winds without creating "mud".  For example where 2 trumpets should play the same line and where thirds etc .. or supported harmony should be used.....if the harmony is supported in the other instrumental sections .... and/or seeing each section as a voice as in a choir.
 



Horns go above trumpets in orchestral scores.

Will fix. 

Keep at it.

Thanks for the encouragement!

PS. Can you explain the title? As a general rule I do not like mixing languages like this.

Old title .... will change. :)

Mark
« Last Edit: October 24, 2016, 04:39:55 PM by mjf1947 »

Ron

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Re: A Petite Undertaking for Orchestra
« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2016, 07:56:36 PM »
I can only suggest that you read as many scores as you can get your hands on to learn how others deal with the various instrument families in an orchestra. I've recommended this before and can't say enough good things about it, as it is such a fantastic resource for modern orchestration: www.orchestrationonline.com

Ron
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mjf1947

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Re: A Petite Undertaking for Orchestra
« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2016, 09:11:36 AM »
I can only suggest that you read as many scores as you can get your hands on to learn how others deal with the various instrument families in an orchestra. I've recommended this before and can't say enough good things about it, as it is such a fantastic resource for modern orchestration: www.orchestrationonline.com

Thanks Ron.

Right I am going to keep it simple and double the winds ... I think the balance is good .....  I am re posting with a few tweaks.

All suggestions appreciated.  I am going to meet with my Music Director and see what he thinks too.  Still trying to get something performed.   The last one didn't go!   :(

Mark

PS: The work needs a new NAME  .... all suggestions taken under consideration.  ;)
« Last Edit: October 25, 2016, 09:28:56 AM by mjf1947 »

Michel.R.E

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Re: A Petite Undertaking for Orchestra
« Reply #7 on: October 25, 2016, 10:15:37 AM »
I'm not seeing double winds.

One difficulty with getting started working with a larger ensemble is that you need to start thinking in terms of that larger ensemble, rather than "orchestrating this piano sketch".

Starting from a string quartet piece it's a challenge to go from that to a full orchestral work. The original conception is of four more-or-less equal voices, while the orchestra version is a completely different animal.

So you are going to have to look at your material and deconstruct it.
Where are your main thematic elements, where should specific elements carry weight.

Double woodwinds of course does not mean using all 8 woodwinds non-stop throughout the piece.
But you use them to create colours.

So a flute and an oboe playing in unison does not sound the same as a flute and a clarinet. Likewise, those same instrument combinations won't sound the same if they are separated by an octave.

You will find that sometimes you need to create accompaniment figurations in your woodwinds. Not because you need to invent stuff for them to play, but because that is what is called for in the piece.

A string them over pulsing woodwind chords will not sound the same as a woodwind theme over pulsing string chords.

And you will have to consider combinations of instruments from different families.
For example, the horns fit very well in with the woodwinds, they are "honorary" members of the woodwind family.
But a solo trumpet can also blend beautifully with a grouping of woodwinds.
And a group of trombones can create a beautifully lush harmonic backbone over which to place the rest of the orchestra.

******

There are still layout issues with the way your score brackets are set up.
Take a look at one of my orchestral scores and you'll see how the brackets are supposed to be done.

Brackets always go from thickest to thinnest, working outward from the initial barline.

So the group bracket (thick with either  straight wings or flared wings) goes immediately next to the barline, and the wings must be aligned with the top and bottom staves of the group (ie: top line of top staff, and bottom line of bottom staff).

If you require additional brackets, for example one for violins 1 and 2, then you use a thin square bracket, which will be offset a fractional amount to the left of the thick group bracket.

If you needed to once again divide your strings (for example dividing violin 1 into two staves) then a second thin bracket would be added, again fractionally further to the left.

these secondary brackets are, like the group bracket, aligned with the top and bottom staves they affect.

« Last Edit: October 29, 2016, 02:15:39 PM by Michel.R.E »
"Writing music to be revolutionary is like cooking to be famous: Music’s main function is not revolution. – Alan Belkin "

"Saying something new about something old is still saying something new. – Jamie Kowalski"

Ron

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Re: A Petite Undertaking for Orchestra
« Reply #8 on: October 25, 2016, 02:22:57 PM »
Don't forget that clarinets, horns, Bb trumpets, and double basses are all transposing instruments. If you are presenting a concert pitch score you need to make that clear on the first page of the score.


Sorry, I realize that I misspoke myself early about brackets in the string section. Attached is an image of how it should look. If you are using a notation package like Finale this should all be done automatically.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2016, 03:16:35 PM by Ron »
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mjf1947

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Re: A Petite Undertaking for Orchestra
« Reply #9 on: October 25, 2016, 03:45:18 PM »
Don't forget that clarinets, horns, Bb trumpets, and double basses are all transposing instruments. If you are presenting a concert pitch score you need to make that clear on the first page of the score.


Sorry, I realize that I misspoke myself early about brackets in the string section. Attached is an image of how it should look. If you are using a notation package like Finale this should all be done automatically.

Ron .... no problem.   :angel:

Thanks for the interest in my endeavors.   

Yeah ... sometimes I forget and post in concert pitch!  :P

I sent an .xml file to my son-in-law who is a music teacher .... waiting for some feedback.

Just a small point for all ..... very pointed suggestions on specific measures go along way to be helpful; especially for people such as myself.


Mark


mjf1947

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Re: A Petite Undertaking for Orchestra
« Reply #10 on: October 29, 2016, 01:49:36 PM »
Hi ... For those interested and following the work.

Here's an update ......

Hope you enjoy it.

All suggestions appreciated.

I meet with my Music Director this Thursday ... for some additional feedback.

Mark


Michel.R.E

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Re: A Petite Undertaking for Orchestra
« Reply #11 on: October 29, 2016, 02:18:47 PM »
I'm certain you can do better than all that unison writing for the woodwinds and brass.
When you play it back, doesn't it sound thin and incomplete?
"Writing music to be revolutionary is like cooking to be famous: Music’s main function is not revolution. – Alan Belkin "

"Saying something new about something old is still saying something new. – Jamie Kowalski"

mjf1947

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Re: A Petite Undertaking for Orchestra
« Reply #12 on: October 29, 2016, 04:32:20 PM »
I'm certain you can do better than all that unison writing for the woodwinds and brass.
When you play it back, doesn't it sound thin and incomplete?

Michel,

Believe or not - I have reduced some of the unison playing!!  :o

I'll try again.  8)

I am open for specific suggestions ....  ??? 

Mark


« Last Edit: October 29, 2016, 04:49:14 PM by mjf1947 »

Ron

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Re: A Petite Undertaking for Orchestra
« Reply #13 on: October 29, 2016, 05:07:12 PM »
"a2" for extended passages is not really characteristic of wind and brass writing. Take a look at Jamie's or Michel's scores in the senior completed section.
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Michel.R.E

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Re: A Petite Undertaking for Orchestra
« Reply #14 on: November 02, 2016, 07:14:39 AM »
I suggest taking a bit of time to go through our "Orchestration tutorial" section of the forum. It's not terribly in-depth, but it's definitely a good starting point.

One important thing to understand, and a common error when we start writing for orchestra, is handling the whole concept of "what am I going to write for all those different instruments?"

It is important to remember that often, as a matter of fact, USUALLY, even the largest orchestral textures can, in effect, be reduced to 3 and 4 part basic textures.

If you remove instruments that are creating only resonance (ie: background), and active accompaniment (midground), then what is left is often not much more than 2, 3 or 4 "real" voices of material.

You have 8 woodwinds in an orchestra of "woodwinds by 2" size.
Likewise, you have 2 or 4 horns, 2 or 3 trumpets, generally 3 trombones, and possibly a tuba, in the brass section.
Then there are the 5 string parts.

But all that doesn't mean you have to write 24 different unique parts.

Your woodwinds will often be doubling each other (note: "each other" not "themselves"... so no more of this unison writing of 2 flutes, and 2 oboes, and 2 clarinets... that's not doubling), whether that be exact unison doubling, or octave doublings or wider, and this also includes doublings at other intervals (ie: 3rds, 4ths, 5ths, etc... partially depending on the type of musical language being used).

The goal of orchestration isn't just to "fill in" or assign, willy nilly, instruments to pre-existing parts.
It should always be to serve the music first and foremost.
You should choose to double two instruments because that combined sound will give the most pleasant effect.
You should choose a solo instrument for the same reason.
You should assign material to a specific choir of the orchestra, or a mixed group of orchestral instruments, because that best serves the music.


"Writing music to be revolutionary is like cooking to be famous: Music’s main function is not revolution. – Alan Belkin "

"Saying something new about something old is still saying something new. – Jamie Kowalski"