Author Topic: Orchestration - Brass  (Read 2718 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

mjf1947

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,766
  • Karma: 116
Orchestration - Brass
« on: January 29, 2013, 10:48:49 AM »
Hi,

This is what I learned ... in the Finale Mixer as per Michel raised the Trumpet volumes ... because in a live performance they will cut through.  I learned that maybe less is more ... over orchestration creates imbalance in the composition; especially in the brass.  Don't be concerned about writing for a strong string., woodwind ensembles ... you don't have to spread the theme all over all sections all the time.  Live performance is quite different from the Computer libraries.  Be prepared to make adjustments to the score ..... orchestras vary in their strengths.

Simple controlled exercises with definite boundaries are more difficult than the free following of creativity!

A chord is a complex organism .. it lives and breathes in many different ecosystems.

Mark
« Last Edit: January 29, 2013, 02:30:31 PM by Michel.R.E »

Jamie Kowalski

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,457
  • Karma: 138
    • All Hands Music
Re: Orchestration - Brass
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2013, 02:22:22 PM »
Simple controlled exercises with definite boundaries are more difficult than the free following of creativity!

I suppose it depends on the exercise, but I find that working without boundaries is very difficult. When I'm in that situation, I create artificial boundaries for myself. It's a paradox, but I think you can't experience freedom without a few walls.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2013, 02:30:42 PM by Michel.R.E »

sandalwood

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 775
  • Karma: 70
Re: Orchestration - Brass
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2013, 02:21:15 PM »
thanks Mark for the tips.

but would you like to elaborate each a bit? they are like chapter titles as such, and many of them quite intriguing.


mjf1947

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,766
  • Karma: 116
Re: Orchestration - Brass
« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2013, 07:05:30 AM »
thanks Mark for the tips.

but would you like to elaborate each a bit? they are like chapter titles as such, and many of them quite intriguing.

Okay in the brass I wrote for a third brass part whether it be trumpet or especially trombone .... it wasn't always needed ... it just added  to a lack of clarity to the sound.  Sometimes .. being a novice you think you have to fill in all the lines and dot all the I's.  You must be very judicial in the placing of notes ... more is not necessary better.  Furthermore ... I might be mistaken in the way a brass player anticipates .. prepares for a note might affect the ensemble .... Are they always behind I wonder?  I'll let my brass colleagues comment on this point.  A woodwind attack is quite quick and the sound right there.

In terms of the orchestration or moving the theme about this is quite a complex endeavor .... how do you decide what instruments will join in the main theme?   If you split it among too many and there is other contrary thematic movement occurring you might water down the clarity of the theme. On the other hand you might want to split the theme about depending upon the effect you want ... in the Arcade revision I had a interesting moment with our bassoon player ..  who thought the previous version was more ominous ... why? ..... more was going on with the brass and the theme was less pronounced in some areas .... So?!?! Go Figure  ::)

One more thing .... It is not always necessary to double, triple, up or more an a beat to have the effect  you want.  In the original vision I have the horn playing a half note on the down beat with the Tuba in certain measures it wasn't necessary at all.  It actually muddled the movement.

So this is what I learned as a novice.

I hope it makes sense.

Mark

winknotes

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 861
  • Karma: 47
Re: Orchestration - Brass
« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2013, 07:23:57 AM »
As a former trumpet player having played in many orchestral settings, I can say you have to learn to play ahead of what you hear.  It's disconcerting at first but it becomes second nature to play by sight (the conductor) rather than what you hear. 

The size of the ensemble is a factor.  Sometimes we're not sitting back as far in smaller groups as you might in a large ensemble.  The acoustics of the stage itself is a factor.  Some stage setups are terrible and it's very hard to hear across the orchestra.  There may or not be a shell, or you may be outdoors, etc. 

So in general brass players have to learn to "anticipate" a bit. 
Steve Winkler
Finale 2011
Windows 7 64-bit
Garritan GPO4, JABB
VSL SE/SE+ Standard
Reaper (sometimes)

mjf1947

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,766
  • Karma: 116
Re: Orchestration - Brass
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2013, 08:44:53 AM »
Well an interesting thing happened along the way.

So I went back to the first movement of my County Fair Suite which was arranged with a friend.

This was done about 8 months back.

YUCH!  I learned so much from my second movement that I am re-orchestrating it!

It is UNDER orchestrated with very thin chord support/structure with a non-to-imaginative movement of thematic material between the sections!  Did I also day it could use a little more contrary motion too.

So I guess I really did learn something.  ;)

Mark

gogreen

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 873
  • Karma: 52
    • Art on Facebook
Re: Orchestration - Brass
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2013, 11:14:51 AM »
I agree with the need for judicious, thoughtful scoring for brasses (and other sections). In my own music, I rarely include 3rd parts for trumpets, horns, and trombones. My concert band/wind ensemble scores include 1st trumpet, 2nd trumpet, horn, maybe but rarely 2nd horn, 1st trombone, maybe 2nd trombone, euphonium, and tuba. More often than not, I will have divisi sections for the horn and trombone parts, thus eliminating the need for 2nd parts of those instruments.

Doubling outside of sections is more of an orchestration issue than doubling within a section--that is, doubling a melody among, say, the 1st stands of violins, flutes, oboes, clarinets, and trumpets. Sure--you have lots of choices and combinations there. But these decisions are part of composing because the orchestration would yield the effect you want, in a section and throughout a work.