#1
What are some basic things that I should know before composing an orchestral piece?
I am writing for a chamber orchestra.
#3
Quote by jazz_rock_feel
How to write for the instruments of the orchestra.

I meant more like form and development.
#4
At a minimum you need to know the ranges of the instruments you are writing for, not just in terms of what will be physically possible, but also comfortable for the players, to be aware of their registers and the timbrel characteristics of those registers, particularly in the case of the woodwinds. Also which instruments are transposing instruments and how to write for those instruments, and notational conventions like the traditional absence of key signatures in parts for Horn and Trumpet, as well as how to notate any extended techniques you intend to include. At least a vague idea of how those instruments work and what is usually expected of the players of the calibre you are writing for is also essential if you want the work to be playable.

Knowledge of the standard orchestral repertory in the sense of having read the scores, analysed the types of texture used, seen which instruments are grouped together or double each other by convention, which range each instrument typically plays in etc is obviously a great asset.

The best source of knowledge is the players themselves, if you can consult them personally prior to completing the work about the feasibility of the parts you have written so far that is the ideal situation.

Quote by macashmack
I meant more like form and development.


That's an artistic, not a technical question. It's up for you to decide.
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Last edited by Nietsche at Aug 9, 2013,
#5
Okay thanks guys.
When Im done would you mind listening to it and telling me if it sucks or not?
#7
Quote by jazz_rock_feel
Oh, it's definitely going to suck, but I'll gladly tell you why.

thanks man
#8
I can't do it. It's above me, so Im going to write something simpler. Would you still look at that and tell me where it needs work?
#9
You should pick up a copy of The Principals of Orchestration by Rimsky Korsakov and The Fundamentals of Musical Composition by Arnold Schoenberg. The first is on actual writing for orchestra, the other is on form and development.
#10
If you want an Orchestration manual, Adler's The Study of Orchestration is better and much more up to date than the Rimsky Korsakov text.
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#11
My biggest problem is connecting ideas, moving from one part to another and sounding like it flows, like it isn't sudden.
#12
Quartets are a good place to start for composition. Pick a grouping of instruments that appeals to you, or that you are familiar with. My first quartet was for contrabassoon, bassoon, flute, and piccolo. I chose that because I play all of those instruments and am familiar with the technique and range, and because the joke of the widest range of woodwinds was too good to pass up. You'll never really feel swamped by writing all the parts, and it's a good way to work in counterpoint and harmony, without having to worry about doubling too many voices, or finding parts for certain instruments.
Strauss!
"I am hitting my head against the walls, but the walls are giving way." - Gustav Mahler.

Quote by AeolianWolf
absolutely what will said

Yay, my first compliment!
#13
Quote by will42
Quartets are a good place to start for composition. Pick a grouping of instruments that appeals to you, or that you are familiar with. My first quartet was for contrabassoon, bassoon, flute, and piccolo. I chose that because I play all of those instruments and am familiar with the technique and range, and because the joke of the widest range of woodwinds was too good to pass up. You'll never really feel swamped by writing all the parts, and it's a good way to work in counterpoint and harmony, without having to worry about doubling too many voices, or finding parts for certain instruments.

Cool, Thanks!
#14
Quote by macashmack
My biggest problem is connecting ideas, moving from one part to another and sounding like it flows, like it isn't sudden.

If you can't do that for a simple set up, you're not gonna do that for an orchestra.

...modes and scales are still useless.


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Last edited by Xiaoxi at Aug 11, 2013,