#1
I'm looking to write some instrumental music, orchestral stuff done by guys like Christopher Young, Howard Shore and Jerry Goldsmith.
Wondering if anyone had some tips on instruments to use and any kind of... Starting points on how to go about writing this kind of thing.
Cheers
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#3
Quote by Jesse Clarkson
Learn orchestration.


Well, yes. To expand, a great source is Rimsky-Korsakov's 'Principles of Orchestration.' He uses examples from only his own music, which is a common complaint about the work, but the first sections on instrument ranges, dynamics and common doublings is great. As for instruments, you'll learn immediately from this book about the common make-up of typical orchestras.
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#4
The following are also meant to be quite good:
Orchestration - Cecil Forsyth
Orchestration - Walter Piston
Study of Orchestration - Samuel Adler
#5
I didn't know Piston wrote an orchestration book. If it's as good as his 'Harmony,' then it's probably a great resource.
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#6
Quote by Jesse Clarkson
The following are also meant to be quite good:
Orchestration - Cecil Forsyth
Orchestration - Walter Piston
Study of Orchestration - Samuel Adler


Hector Berlioz also wrote one, with revisions from Richard Strauss (examples from pieces by Berlioz, Wagner, Beethoven and Strauss and some others from the looks of it). I haven't gone through all of it, but I've read the sections detailing the violin family, guitar and harp and some of the woodwinds. You can find it in PDF form on IMSLP (its title is Treatise on Instrumentation).
#7
Quote by Jesse Clarkson
The following are also meant to be quite good:
Orchestration - Cecil Forsyth
Orchestration - Walter Piston
Study of Orchestration - Samuel Adler


I use these, not heard of that first one though, you got a pdf copy?
#9
Orchestraton is one aspect of the skills of someone like Jerry Goldsmith. Another would be having the knack for writing melodic themes. Any theme may be orchestrated different ways (and by different orchestrators!). Therefore orchestration, although it's obviously vital, is secondary to, and separate from, composition.

There are composers who can write great tunes who need help in expanding them to the orchestra. Goldsmith wasn't one of them - he could and often did orchestrate his own music, normally to 9 lines, and his nominal orchestrators were at times almost copyists.

Composers who work in film also need a dramatic sense, the ability to know what kind of music is needed (if any) for a given scene.

They need an emotional sense, the ability to reinforce the intentions of the film maker, to convey this to the audience.

As a starting point, how about conceiving a main theme to a hypothetical genre film. It'll require a fair amount of auditory imagination to get the full theme, but you can work on the main melody with a guitar, and develop it from there.
#10
Just to add ... the actual career path of composers in films would often have started with radio and TV work, music on a much smaller scale than the orchestras needed for a 4 hour epic. This kind of thing would give them a very good grounding in the basic skills.