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dsch1976

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About dsch1976

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    Starving Musician

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  1. The possibilities of orchestration are nearly limitless, and most advances in music (or really anything) are about finding new ways to do things, so I'd suggest starting with pieces you like and studying how that composer chose to orchestrate the work. As I posted elsewhere, I highly recommend Samuel Adler's Study of Orchestration: http://www.amazon.com/Study-Orchestration-Samuel-Adler/dp/0393958078/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1352780526&sr=1-1&keywords=samuel+adler+orchestration You will learn a LOT about the instruments of the orchestra and how they fit together. As I said, there aren't really any "rules" other than what other composers have done and what has been found to be effective. But a good understanding of the rules is the first important step in breaking them.
  2. I really want to second the listening part, in particular listening to something new only once. I posted elsewhere that pieces I know well and want to imitate tend to "infect" what I write, so that it sounds a little too much like the original piece. I've learned to deal with that by just going with it and continuing to revise as I work. However, I've recently started doing what you mentioned: listening to a new piece just once (maybe twice) and then writing. I know the general flavor of the piece but don't remember the details (even the themes!) well enough to reproduce them, even accidentally. I've also found it can help to take a few notes (in words, not music) while listening, so that my ideas aren't lost to the same fuzzy memory.
  3. It's funny: I have a different, but similar, problem. Like most composers I do a lot of listening, and I frequently hear something that really encapsulates the kind of music I'd like to write. And therein lies the problem. When I begin composing I find myself writing melodies that sound far too similar to the piece I'm thinking of. I've learned to just run with it and keep revising until it's something that's uniquely mine. It may still sound somewhat like the piece I was inspired by, but as my old composition professor used to say, there's no greater compliment than to have someone say "that sounds like [insert great composer]"
  4. Hi there, I just joined and this is my first post, so be kind! It's important to familiarize yourself with the ranges and techniques of the various string instruments, but it's also important to think about how they fit together in terms of voicing. For instance, independent lines in the double basses are uncommon, but not unheard of, and the first and second violins can play the same line, or you could have the first violins play one line and the second play another, or have the two parts play divisi. The possibilities are almost endless! There are lots of great orchestration books, with Rimsky-Korsakov's being one of the great classics: http://www.amazon.com/Principles-Orchestration-Dover-Books-Music/dp/0486212661/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1352780499&sr=8-1&keywords=rimsky+korsakov+orchestration However, I highly recommend Samuel Adler's Study of Orchestration: http://www.amazon.com/Study-Orchestration-Samuel-Adler/dp/0393958078/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1352780526&sr=1-1&keywords=samuel+adler+orchestration It was our textbook in my orchestration class in college, and I still refer to it frequently when writing for any instrument. The section devoted to strings is very readable and will teach you a lot, including the pitches of each string and how they can be fingered -- this may give you ideas in and of itself! I see this thread is a few months old so you may have already completed your project, but I hope this is helpful just the same!
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