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Orchestration for Band: PART 1 (woodwinds) EXERCISES and discussion


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#1
Flint

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Please post any questions regarding the Orchestration for Band: Part 1 (woodwind) class here.

EXERCISE #1 - See the attached document (360k)

Arrange the piece above for the Woodwind section of a professional wind ensemble. Assume there are 3 flutists, 3 oboists, 3 bassoonists, 4 saxophonists, and a clarinet section consisting of 3 1st, 3 2nd, 3 3rd, 1 Alto, 1 Bass, and either 1 Contra-alto or 1 Contrabass Clarinet. You may omit auxiliary instruments (Piccolo, English Horn, Contrabassoon) if you wish. You may also omit standard players in the ensemble, however you must leave the staff in the score as if that performer is in the ensemble (i.e., assume that the performer is resting, not tacet).

Post your work to this thread for assessment and discussion. A Finale file or a .pdf file will be necessary for me to view your work (unless I get a wild hair and download the Sibelius plugin, in which case I'll amend this message). MIDI files are not acceptable as score layout and markings are important!

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Woodwind specialist


"Music is like wine, the less you know about it, the sweeter you like it." - Robertson Davies

#2
Flint

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Woodwind specialist


"Music is like wine, the less you know about it, the sweeter you like it." - Robertson Davies

#3
Daniel

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OK, I'm super tired, so I've only done one and a half lines.
Also, it sounds like pure crap in Sib. I think I've used too much sax. The next, higher up passage, I'll bring the oboes in.
The score's hideous, of course (including accidentals, and section markings).

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#4
James H.

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Band Ex.1 - Feuilles Mortes.pdf - File Shared from Box.net - Free Online File Storage

Thar ye goez. Who wrote this anyways? Dissonant as ****. Nothing short of a professional ensemble could probably tune it when arranged for band.

#5
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Band Ex.1 - Feuilles Mortes.pdf - File Shared from Box.net - Free Online File Storage

Thar ye goez. Who wrote this anyways? Dissonant as ****. Nothing short of a professional ensemble could probably tune it when arranged for band.


HAHAH it's Debussy... and no, not ALL that dissonant! Be careful to check all the accidentals (that's actually one of the hard things when learning to play the damned thing at the piano).

#6
Flint

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OK, I'm super tired, so I've only done one and a half lines.
Also, it sounds like pure crap in Sib. I think I've used too much sax. The next, higher up passage, I'll bring the oboes in.
The score's hideous, of course (including accidentals, and section markings).

Hi Daniel, sorry about the lag in response, it's been hellish lately.

Though your sample is short, it shows good consideration of balance and selection of instrumentation. I particularly like the way you translated the piano's natural sustain in m.3-4, taking the clarinets out of the blend while leaving the cushioning effect of 3 saxophones and bass clarinet. The addition of the flute and oboe at that point to sustain the important F# is very nice as well. I also like that you did not double the dissonant bass note - you left it for the baritone saxophone, which will quite ably reinforce the harmony but not overpower it.

Criticisms:
1. I think that more articulation markings are warranted, (basically) slurs in the first few bars, to help convey the connected feel that Debussy indicates in the piano original.
2. I question the choice of using the 3rd flute in m.3-4 instead of the 2nd flute. Is this supposed to be on piccolo instead? It would be considered odd for an auxiliary instrument player to play the on the main instrument while the 2nd player remains silent.
3. Alto Saxophones m.1, is this the first (1.), second (2.), or both (a2)?
4. Suggested voicing change: I totally understand voicing the 1st clarinets below the 2nd/3rd to give the melody line continuity, and that's fine. However in m.3, you have the 1st and 2nd on the same note, presumably because m.1 and m.3 are the same chords. To avoid this doubling of parts, why not move the 2nd/3rd clarinet down to the next chord tones? Place the 2nd clarinet on the concert A# and 3rd clarinet on the E, which you have otherwise omitted from the chord.
Woodwind specialist


"Music is like wine, the less you know about it, the sweeter you like it." - Robertson Davies

#7
Flint

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Band Ex.1 - Feuilles Mortes.pdf - File Shared from Box.net - Free Online File Storage

Thar ye goez. Who wrote this anyways? Dissonant as ****. Nothing short of a professional ensemble could probably tune it when arranged for band.

hahaha, actually I picked this specifically because it would actually balance very well with a prototypical woodwind ensemble.

James, from this adaption I can imply that you are a melody-focused writer. You go to great pains to keep your lines and harmonies within a particular instrument or instrumental combination.

The use of the solo 1st and alto clarinet in octaves is effective in m.1-5, would blend well, and would be a novel effect.

The addition of the flutes in m.8-9 is good, but I don't like that the clarinets are now in only 2 parts, which would give the combined 2nd/3rd part too much prominence and would possibly unbalance the chord. Remember that you've got 2 flutes attempting to balance 9 Bb Clarinets. As a solution, what you could do is leave the flutes as written, but have the 1st clarinets double the 2nd flute line, while the 2nd clarinet plays the current 1st clarinet part and the 3rd clarinets play their current part (in effect, the clarinets play the lower 3 parts and the 1st flute plays the higher part). Or you could have both flutes in unison on the top part and the clarinets on the remaining parts. Or you could leave the flutes as is and reduce the clarinets to one on a part.

In m.10-11, I think you've got the clarinets (1st through bass) an octave higher than you intended. Can you clarify if that's the case?

The oboe is well-suited to the line at m.12.

Interesting double at m.15-end with the alto clarinet and tenor saxophone; it's unusual but very effective, particularly at unison pitch. The bluesy tonality is only enhanced! (though your bass and contrabass clarinets are a M3 too low...!)

Criticisms:
1. Like Daniel's adaption above, I would recommend using slurs to connect the first 3 bars in the accompaniment so as to match the feel of the solo lines and convey the feel intended to the performers.
2. Bassoons m.6 - first (1.), second (2.), or both (a2)?
3. Oboes m.12, et al., first (1.), second (2.), or both (a2)?
4. I'm concerned that you are not treating the 2nd and 3rd clarinets as independent sections. Unlike the orchestra, where the 1st/2nd violins are independent but the violas are often supported/filled in by the violins or cellos, in the band the 1st/2nd/3rd clarinets are totally independent and the parts should generally remain distinct.
5. I would recommend some sort of overlap between phrases, for example, m.5-6, m.17-18. See if you can create some sort of connection from one phrase to the next to avoid making an audibly apparent break in the timbre and the piece in general.
Woodwind specialist


"Music is like wine, the less you know about it, the sweeter you like it." - Robertson Davies




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