Author Topic: Orchestration exercise 2: Strings  (Read 14256 times)

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Michel.R.E

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Orchestration exercise 2: Strings
« on: January 29, 2012, 07:55:01 AM »
Simple exercise.. or is it?

Set the attached measures for orchestral string section (1st and 2nd violins, violas, cello and contrabass).

No alteration can be brought to the musical excerpt (ie: no notes not already present, no new countermelodies).

This is originally meant to be played at the piano, so consider carefully how a pianist might play this excerpt, when deciding on which instruments will get which parts.

The goal is to render in the most effective manner the "musical intent" of the excerpt.

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Ron

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Re: Orchestration exercise 2: Strings
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2012, 11:54:50 AM »
Here's my answer.

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Michel.R.E

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Re: Orchestration exercise 2: Strings
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2012, 03:42:37 PM »
hahaha! very inventive there, Ron.

a few details in your realization I wouldn't have thought of. I like.

nice way to get the "pedal" to come through in the orchestra part.

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winknotes

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Re: Orchestration exercise 2: Strings
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2012, 05:00:59 PM »
Here's my version. 

The first measure was the hardest for sure.  I like Ron's version.  It's like the sustain pedal is down on the piano.  Very clever. 



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Steve Winkler
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Michel.R.E

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Re: Orchestration exercise 2: Strings
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2012, 05:16:57 PM »
Steve: the only issue I have with your example is that the sudden octave leap on the addition of the violins breaks the actual melodic line.

measure 2, be careful of the "intent" there... notice that in the piano reduction, there IS a rest for the lower part. you are modifying the melodic curve here by adding the Eb in the cello part.
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winknotes

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Re: Orchestration exercise 2: Strings
« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2012, 06:56:42 PM »
Steve: the only issue I have with your example is that the sudden octave leap on the addition of the violins breaks the actual melodic line.

measure 2, be careful of the "intent" there... notice that in the piano reduction, there IS a rest for the lower part. you are modifying the melodic curve here by adding the Eb in the cello part.

I understand what you're saying about the upper octave and I think I understand what you're saying about the cello. 

Here's another stab at it. 

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Steve Winkler
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Michel.R.E

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Re: Orchestration exercise 2: Strings
« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2012, 07:31:11 PM »
Steve: it's very straightforward, but I see nothing wrong with that. I feel it better renders the expected musical outcome than your first version.

have you looked at Ron's version? it might give you ideas and questions to pose.
His example is quite inventive and effective.
"Writing music to be revolutionary is like cooking to be famous: Music’s main function is not revolution. – Alan Belkin "

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Ron

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Re: Orchestration exercise 2: Strings
« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2012, 08:54:01 PM »
hahaha! very inventive there, Ron.
a few details in your realization I wouldn't have thought of. I like.
nice way to get the "pedal" to come through in the orchestra part.

You did say you wanted us to keep it like a pianist would play it. So, all I had I do was picture you at the keyboard. I can hear it in my mind's ear.

My problem was to keep the string entries as smooth as I could, which is why they are overlapped.
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winknotes

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Re: Orchestration exercise 2: Strings
« Reply #8 on: January 30, 2012, 05:59:58 AM »
I looked at Ron's version again. 

He does the same thing with the violas that I initially did with the celli.  But I'm guessing the line isn't changed because he also has the violin II following the original line correct? 

And as I said before Ron's captured the pedaling as well. 
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Ron

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Re: Orchestration exercise 2: Strings
« Reply #9 on: January 30, 2012, 08:32:53 AM »
I just looked at my sample again and see a "boo-boo." Going from 2nd to 3rd measure I have a parallel octave between the 1st violin and lower viola (Bb - Bn). In my own writing I probably would have had the viola drop to the G# (Ab). I was trying to stick as close as possible to the original but voice leading can be a problem if you follow too literally.
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Michel.R.E

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Re: Orchestration exercise 2: Strings
« Reply #10 on: January 30, 2012, 08:58:56 AM »
I don't think I'd analyze that as a parallel octave... I look at it as a doubled melodic line.
"Writing music to be revolutionary is like cooking to be famous: Music’s main function is not revolution. – Alan Belkin "

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FossMaNo1

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Re: Orchestration exercise 2: Strings
« Reply #11 on: January 30, 2012, 10:07:08 AM »
Okay, no Finale at work... done by hand... Sorry for the scan quality...

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Michel.R.E

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Re: Orchestration exercise 2: Strings
« Reply #12 on: January 30, 2012, 10:16:24 AM »
ok, Foss, the same comment as I made to Steve regarding that rest in the left hand part, measure 2.

one particular element of "Standard 4-part harmonization" that comes into play, in my opinion here, is that viola part... the leap up from the Gb to the E is... a bit odd voice-leading.

I am not convinced by that double stop in the violas in the initial measure... please justify the D on beat 1.
give me a good reason, and I'll let it go :)
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FossMaNo1

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Re: Orchestration exercise 2: Strings
« Reply #13 on: January 30, 2012, 10:37:14 AM »
I was concerned about the leap in the viola part too, however I was afraid if I doubled the cello (albeit an octave higher), the D would have been too strong (the D is already doubled an octave lower via pizz. bass).  Also, throughout measures 1 and 2 the viola was playing the sustained piano part, but divisi so as to not be as strong.  On m3, however, the E required equal power to the G# and B above it, requiring the full section.  This meant the viola had to go from divisi in m2 to unisoni in m3.  Would it have been better had the viola remained divisi, both playing the E in octaves?

As for the sustained D in the m1 of the viola part, the chord (as I analyzed it) was Cadd2.  Yes, the piano arpegiated it, however the chord still needed the D.
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Michel.R.E

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Re: Orchestration exercise 2: Strings
« Reply #14 on: January 30, 2012, 10:40:41 AM »
don't be so literal with your analysis... the opening measure is a straightforward C chord, no added notes. that D is nothing more than a melodic passing note. :)

I also don't think you should worry about "weight" of sound when using divisi/tutti like in this exercise. even if the violas remain divisi at the end, the relative weight will be fine. it's not like we're talking about going from a solo to a section. the colour won't change all that much.
"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"