Author Topic: Orchestration exercise 1: mood/tone  (Read 11914 times)

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FossMaNo1

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Re: Orchestration exercise 1: mood/tone
« Reply #15 on: January 27, 2012, 03:50:58 PM »
Makes sense to me!   ;D
C. Foster Payne
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FossMaNo1

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Re: Orchestration exercise 1: mood/tone
« Reply #16 on: January 28, 2012, 12:02:57 PM »
Okay, here's my submission.

Moods #1 Score PDF
Moods #1 MP3

I used a C Major triad and found "startled" and "anger" hard to do with it.  Ah well, I suppose that's the point.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2012, 12:15:47 PM by FossMaNo1 »
C. Foster Payne
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winknotes

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Re: Orchestration exercise 1: mood/tone
« Reply #17 on: January 28, 2012, 12:05:04 PM »
Here's mine.  This is/was hard not only trying to elicit a specific mood but listening to different orchestrations and describing the mood that particular orchestration depicted. 

     1.  Joy or elation:  My thoughts were to voice things in a solidly loud range and to voice the third on top.  This has always sounded very optimistic to me. 
     2.  Comic:  Simply using extreme ranges on either end and leaving out middle register instruments.  I didn't stretch individual instrument ranges (e.g. making low instruments play very high), but used instruments that sounded best high low.  Perhaps my current rendition is a little too full.
     3.  Shimmering:  This is a texture I love but am not sure I really captured.  Tremolando in the woodwinds and tremolo in the strings. 
     4.  Finality/Firmness:  Lower tesatura in general.  More low brass including horns for a roundness of the sound. 

I certainly could have spent more time with this.  I didn't go to the literature to "cheat" although that's what I'll do in the next couple of days.  I'll try to come up with examples of these moods and find score examples to compare. 

I included an mp3 but I'm not sure it's all that helpful in some cases like stopped horns for example. 


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Michel.R.E

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Re: Orchestration exercise 1: mood/tone
« Reply #18 on: January 28, 2012, 02:37:42 PM »
1) Foss, excellent choice, to emphasize the 5th of the chord as "soprano" in "Hope".
and again, same with "Startled", excellent idea to dominate the entire sound with it as 2nd inversion.
for the "Happy" chord, I wonder if the quasi-unison of trombones and tuba is the best choice? it will definitely "dominate" the sound with that huge "C!!!!!!",
HAHAHA, a TINY bit o' cheatin' on "Angry"... but I'm sure it works. the ambiguity of leaving out the tonic of the chord will certainly help.

2) Steve: great examples also.
For the "shimmering" one, I might wonder about the wisdom of giving the oboe pair the tremolando notation as well.  I think using only one of the oboes, possibly sitting above the other woodwinds, just a held note? it's an idea to look at. An idea to add to the effect might have been to have the celli play a high harmonic, or possibly harmonics in divisi.
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FossMaNo1

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Re: Orchestration exercise 1: mood/tone
« Reply #19 on: January 28, 2012, 07:51:40 PM »
Thanks for the feedback, Michel.  "Angry" was HARD to do with a C Major chord!  Actually, so was "startled" until I came up with the notion that being startled meant you had no idea what just happened and you only have one thought: protect yourself.  That's where the idea of only one unison note came from.  For angry, there was no way it would sound the way it should as a major triad, however I thought I might be able to cheat by leaving out the tonic and keeping only a minor third.  For both "startled" and "angry" I would have preferred a bit of disonance, but heh... that's what the exercise was for.

As for "happy," I wanted that tonic to be dominant, but I probably did put too much emphasis on it.  Still, I was hoping spreadng out the octaves would help...  ;D  I probably should have at least put the fifth of the chord in the 2nd trombone.
C. Foster Payne
Worship Pastor at Chattanooga Valley Baptist Church, martial artist, Cowboy, karateka, father, husband...wannabe composer
"If you get to thinkin' you're a person of some influence, try orderin' somebody else's dog around."

Timothy01

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Re: Orchestration exercise 1: mood/tone
« Reply #20 on: May 26, 2020, 05:44:48 AM »
Here's my attempt.
  • Bold/military: simply using brass, strings and a beat that comes from a slow timpani tremolo.
  • Melancholic.
  • Angry/shocked: using staccatissimo for all but the brass, leaving it to linger.
  • Happy: similar to #2, but slightly stronger with higher pizzicato in the strings.

Michel.R.E

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Re: Orchestration exercise 1: mood/tone
« Reply #21 on: May 26, 2020, 02:42:51 PM »
Hello Timothy.

A few questions/comments. (questions are meant to engage you in discussing what you did, and thinking about the reasons you chose that route. Comments can then address whether your choices were the most effective.)

1st chord:
why did you reverse the order of the 1st and 2nd trumpets?

in the chord, you left the 5th of the chord (A) to a single instrumental group - 2nd violins, in a very medium range. this will weaken the sound of the 5th considerably.
I notice that there are no trombones.
Also the range of the viola is rather on the low side.
If by "bold/military" we are understanding the same thing, I'd rather have suggesting emphasizing the tonic and 5th, for example, your 2nd violins could be playing A and D, open strings. The 1st violins could also be playing a double stop, that higher D and the one an octave lower (unison with 2nd violins, open string D). The cellos could be doing the exact same thing as the 2nd violins, one octave down (again, on open strings).
My suggestion is "think like a bagpipe". military? the drone of the open strings would emphasize that.

2nd chord:
Think of the mood you are trying to set... "melancholy". Would you think in terms of bright and colourful, when thinking "melancholy"?

You have a pair of flutes in a very bright, clear register.
You have a major no-no in the oboes... the joke about "how do you get two oboes to play in unison?" doesn't actually exist in a vacuum. It is VERY difficult to get a clean unison from two oboes.
The clarinets aren't in a bad register, but it might have been nice to take advantage of the richer lower octave, the chalumeau register, where the sound is dark and rich.
The two bassoons are in a somewhat "bright" register. Maybe consider lowering that a tiny bit. You don't have to bring both bassoons into a deep low register. you could have one play a bass note, and the place other between the two clarinets (if you lower your clarinets).

The harp is, by its very nature, a bright sound. Remember that the string is pinched, giving it a "ringing" tone. Why not use the harp as a very low note? how about the root of the chord, in octaves, in the harp's lowest register? The longer string length at that point tends to tone down the brightness and gives a richer, darker sound.

For the strings.... you might even leave out the violins completely. USE the string section to its best advantage.
The violas have a naturally dark tone. Combined with the celli and contrabass, there is potential for a very rich dark sound there.
If you do include the 1st and/or 2nd violins, consider giving them low notes, something that mitigates the natural brightness of the violin.
Of the strings, the violin has the shortest and tightest strings (the tension on the strings is highest on that instrument). This affects the tone.

3rd chord
I'd suggest reversing the effect here. have the brass play heavily accented, while the rest of the ensemble just plays a short note.
For anger/shock, I'd suggest placing the string pizzicato in a higher register. The higher a pizz is, the tighter and more percussive it becomes. The lower it is, the more resonant it is.
A consideration: have the contrabass and celli play a Bartók pizz. For mazimum effect, the celli would have to be one or two octaves lower.

4th chord
For a "happy" chord, is darkness in timbre the desired effect?
Examine the registers you've chosen for your woodwinds.

Just a quick note in the strings: the pizzicato, whether indicated as a quarter note or as a half note, will have the exact same resonance. It's a short percussive sound.

With more experience, you could (particularly since this is a D major chord... a ridiculously easy chord to play for a string player) have almost the entire string section play triple stops (3-note chords in each instrument).



All in all an excellent first attempt.
You'll find, as you become more comfortable with instrumental possibilities, you become more and more adept at creating types of colour and mood.
"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"

Timothy01

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Re: Orchestration exercise 1: mood/tone
« Reply #22 on: May 27, 2020, 04:33:30 AM »
Thanks for your feedback, Michel. I haven't done any orchestration before, but I thought I would give the exercise a go anyway.

mjf1947

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Re: Orchestration exercise 1: mood/tone
« Reply #23 on: May 27, 2020, 07:19:04 AM »
Hello Timothy.

A few questions/comments. (questions are meant to engage you in discussing what you did, and thinking about the reasons you chose that route. Comments can then address whether your choices were the most effective.)



You have a pair of flutes in a very bright, clear register.
You have a major no-no in the oboes... the joke about "how do you get two oboes to play in unison?" doesn't actually exist in a vacuum. It is VERY difficult to get a clean unison from two oboes.




Michel,

I must take an exception here.   There are times when matching pitch in the Oboe is something to be cognizant.  However, it is not just the doubling that is the issue.  There are more problems with octaves; especially with certain notes.  (this holds very true between  oboes and flutes  when the flute is in the upper reaches of the flute register).  Some notes on the Oboe are problematic; for example the middle C.  This is because almost all the holes are open.  An the other hand the middle D is relatively stable and 2 players would have no problem blending nicely.  Of course matching very low notes and notes in the upper range need attention.

Most of the problems indicated in the "joke" really relate to an inadequate skill set of the players.  Skilled players would good instruments (all scale notes with good timbre and pitch) and the ability to make good flexible reeds with stable pitch and core projection will have just the normal concerns to play technically well and with good phrasing.

I spend at least 30 minutes in my practice routine- starting notes, playing long lines with increasing intensity, to gently letting the notes fade away.  Always looking at the tuner ................  to maintain pitch and quality of tone.  The sound production on the Oboe requires many components: embouchure, air stream, etc.  It is not an instrument for the "faible cœur".

Mark

Michel.R.E

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Re: Orchestration exercise 1: mood/tone
« Reply #24 on: May 27, 2020, 08:01:42 AM »
Mark, my comment about the oboes was taking into consideration the context as well: a soft chord, meant to be "melancholic".
Timothy is a beginner orchestrator.
One establishes a set of basic ground rules when starting out.
The finer details of fingering and potential tone-colour of two neighbouring notes isn't a beginner issue.
Look at the chord in question then tell me that the orchestration is not problematic.
"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: Orchestration exercise 1: mood/tone
« Reply #25 on: May 27, 2020, 08:15:44 AM »
Michel,

I was commenting/reacting to the stereotypical jokes about 2 Oboes playing together.

Not so much as it related to the exercise. 

I do agree in that ensemble context - the oboes would "Stick out" and not create or add to a good tonal fabric.

Sorry for the misunderstanding.  It's the Oboe in me~!

Mark