Friday, September 16, 2011


Today is the last installment of the Orchestration step: Percussion.  At the end of this video I finally reveal the Title.

Next week we move onto Step 5: MIDI.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Orchestration Module Wrap-up

As I work through this composition module and have focused on each section of the orchestra, it has really helped me consider my approach to each instrument.  This has been an interesting experience, because I don't usually orchestrate one section completely through a piece from start to finish.  I typically start with the most important element for a few measures or a phrase and then work on the orchestration around it, a percussion note here, brass chord there, etc., and then move on to the next few measures or phrase.

I certainly have felt more pressure since I'm doing this in front of an audience, and having to narrate my way through my work, as well as record, edit, and create a narrative of how and why I made the choices I did.  It certainly takes more time.  Ultimately, like anything else, I just want it to sound good.

The biggest challenge is brevity, as I could talk about music, and many things I have in mind ad nauseum.  I also digress and get derailed on tangents, so there is a great deal of rambling that I have edited out.

This Friday I will post the percussion module, which will probably be a much shorter video than the previous three.  Percussion is always tricky because the notation I enter into Finale is rough and not always indicative of the final result.  There is a lot more trial and error that happens, in percussion, and especially in the auxillary percussion.  I may load up a tambourine and try a few different things while the MIDI plays back to decide where and how, if any, is required in the piece.

So far the orchestration is coming together well, and I'm excited to move into the MIDI stage.  I always get sick of listening to the Finale softsynth (I have considered purchasing the GM wavetable from Sonivox, since I imagine it would be much more bearable, but just haven't done it), and I don't know about you, but I'm ready to hear some VSL.

Check out the Strings, Brass, and Woodwind Orchestration Videos.