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Orchestration: PART 2 (brass) discussion


Guest QcCowboy

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  • 4 weeks later...
Guest QcCowboy

Yes.

If you are trying to write something "noble", then say so.

It doesn't have to be "emotional" but you should be trying to achieve SOME effect with your writing.

Now we need to be getting into details like this with our orchestrations. Are we rendering exactly what it is we want with our orchestrations. If you're looking for something light and fluffy, but instread it will come across as ponderous, then we need to discuss that.

If it's meant to be happy and bouncy but sounds like a funeral march, then again, discuss. I know a lot of this is subjective, but then, so is a LOT about music. This is why we discuss it. There are no absolute right and wrong answers. But there's lots of room for discussion.

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There.

Part 4 is a few more measures, I did not want to abruptly cut of the phrase. AND I know it sounds too much like some Star Wars piece, but I just liked the parallel chord from C major :P

Anyway, hope it is not too much of a disaster :laugh:

[Edit] Oh yeah! Almost forgot to mention my intent on Part 4. I wanted to get something slightly prideful but not too pompous. It should still symbolize some major event,

Lesson2Exercise1.1.mus

Lesson2Exercise1.2.mus

Lesson2Exercise1.3.mus

Lesson2Exercise1.4.mus

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Guest QcCowboy

Matt, it's all pretty good, though your 1st trombone part is a bit long in the high register.

Same for your 1st trumpet part in the 1st exercise.

for the 4th exercise I might have suggested using a trumpet to replace that, or re-arranging the horns to give the horn the upper part.

it works the way you did it also, however.

all in all, good.

Just be careful about relying too much on the highest register of any instrument.

One thing that's difficult is learning to deal with a mass of instruments in the same register. This is where you start to work out lines that double and pass through others.

There are ways of setting up lines so that basically everyone is playing the same notes, but the DIRECTION of lines is not necessarily the same for everyone.

When I get back, I'll try to put together an example.

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I have never really grasped how long time a person can 'survive' without air, I have looked and read a bit but never really grasped the info.

About the 4th exercise, I considered using trumpets as well to emphasis the motive but I thought that having two horns play in unison should be sufficient. (I also got this fetish for Horns :shifty:)

There are ways of setting up lines so that basically everyone is playing the same notes, but the DIRECTION of lines is not necessarily the same for everyone.

Yes! I really have problems with that. I found the Part 4 too much in unison, but I could not figure out a way to double it and still have a good emphasis on the motive instead of it blending in totally with the harmony.

Thank you :)

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Okay, I made a big booboo, but I might get by, depends on what you're looking for here.

I read the directions for Exercise 1 the other day and I just did the exercise now without rereading the directions and forgot it was only supposed to be 1-2 measures.... my progression is nine measures. :blush:

I wrote the progression twice in the .mus... the first time I wrote each part A, B, and C all in the same measures, so I have the horns doing the progression, and below them are the trumpets, and below them are the trombones and tuba, each of the sections being self-contained and independent. I originally wrote the progression for 3 trombones and forgot the tuba, so I mixed it up a little and threw in some extra harmonies. The second time, after the final bar line, is where I added and subtracted sections and switched some harmony parts around. This is part D, I believe.

If you want me to do this again with something simpler and shorter, I will, I just completely forgot that it was supposed to be a little simpler. :(

Exercise B1old - J4.MUS

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Guest QcCowboy

Enigmus (J = John? James?...), that was fine.

It was quite good.

I notice a lot of exact doublings of parts... if you want to go over it, I'd suggest looking at possibilities of NOT doing such long doublings... switch it up a bit. The doublings were nice, the textures worked REALLY well, but in teh long run, it would feel a bit static. If you have for example a horn line doubling a trombone, it could maybe double for only two notes, then change with ANOTHER part to double... you basically create inner lines, independant voices, without actually creating any NEW lines.

let's just look at the first few measures.

measure 2

Horn 3 doubles trumpet 2 at the octave,

however, imagine if it started F (whole note), then at measure 3 an A (half note, exactly as it does now), but then continued rising - Bb (half note), then C natural in measure 4... this would create a nice rising line in at least one voice.

measure 4

trumpet 3 could leap up an octave on that C, as two half notes, letting it slip away from the unison horn and crossing over trumpet 2.

this allows you to place, at measure 5, the D in the 3rd trumpet one octave up, liberating the texture around middle C a bit.

This requires a bit of juggling of the parts, but it's something you'll get the knack of with time.

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Here's Exercise 2... the ostinato. It's very thick... a lot of dissonant harmonies going on here. The horns keep steady, playing the same figure, the lower brass kinda have a bass line of sorts, and the trumpets are just the garnish on top. The tenor bones hint at a melodic phrase... could possibly fit in with a more static string part that this all might fit underneath.

I feel like I could have done more to create the effect of having the pattern move between the instruments, I didn't really do that very much.

Exercise B2 - J4.MUS

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Guest QcCowboy

James, that was very interesting, but I'd like to see something a tiny bit simpler and more sustained.

Imagine repetitions of effects between the different sections of the brass ensemble, like a cresc. with two horns, repeated by two trombones, then the trumpets, for example.

consider layering timbres.. unisons with different articulations.

Don't go out of your way to write something harmonically complicated.. it only needs to be a single chord for this exercise.

Later we can look at how to transpose the effect onto a moving chord progression.

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Hmm.... something more like this?

Simple major 7th chord and first trumpet adds the 9th towards the end. Trumpets and tenor bones have sort of a call-response thing going on, sort of a pretty little embellishment, played at a light piano, something mystical perhaps.

I'm running out of room for attachments. . . . :sadtears:

Exercise B2.2 - J4.MUS

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Guest QcCowboy
Ex1a, for three trumpets :)

Am:| I V6 I VofII | II V6ofII II - |

hehehe, nice upwards-resolving suspension there Mark... you should have made those quarter note E's into a half note in trumpet 2!

that's a very nice register for the trumpet. not too high, not too low.

Want to try something fun?

Do the same thing, but force the instruments to cross each other at every other note. (ie: no single instrument will have the "upper" part for more than 2 notes running)

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I play Cornet (which as you'll know is essentially the same thing) so I made sure I could play all of it, so I didn't stay in the uncomfortable register for too long :D

Something fun: You want me to use the same chord progression?

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Guest QcCowboy

or you can use something lengthier, which would give you a bit more space to breath.

The idea is to trick the ear into hearing a single soprano line, while STILL creating interesting inner lines, yet avoiding giving that single soprano line to one instrument.

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Guest QcCowboy

I don't think that's really advisable.

My recommendation is to avoid the "extreme" range as a general rule. Particularly when writing for orchestra.

Extreme range notes are fine when writing for a specific soloist, or a concertante work.

I'd say, become comfortable within the constraints of the "normal" range of the instruments you use. There is a HUGE amount to do just within those limits.

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Hi, I did all of Exercise 1 besides the last part. I just wanted some feedback on the first parts before I attempt the last bit.

Original Riff + Horns:

[ATTACH]9811[/ATTACH]

Trumpets + Trombones and Tuba:

(I experimented a little by having the first trumpet finish on a G giving the whole thing a rising theme.)

[ATTACH]9812[/ATTACH]

Thanks.

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Guest QcCowboy

ok, the problem with your second example (the one with trumpets and trombones) is the close proximity of the bass trombone and tuba, along with the huge gap between 3rd trumpet and 1st trombone.

That's not the best-sounding disposition for an ensemble of this nature.

Generally, and I insist on the term generally, it is best to have the widest intervals between the lowest members of a grouping, and teh closest distance between the highest members.

For example, were you to score a C major chord, you might give a low C to a tuba, then the C one octave up to the 3rd trombone, then you'd give a G to 2nd trombone, and again a c, a 4th up, to the 1st trombone, then your trumpets could easily play E - G - C above that.

I say generally because there ARE exeptions in the repertoire. However, at this point in our learning, it is best to learn the more standard dispositions and learn why those work better.

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Oh no, the trumpets and trombones were meant to be two separate exercises, I just had them on the same pic to save me uploading two.

I guess the feedback still applies for the tuba and bass trombone though... thanks for that.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Here's my Ex2, short chord progression for four horns:

I'm not too sure on the ranges, and where each horn is supposed to be, so I've probably put them all in the wrong ranges and stuff :blush:

I used a few 7th chords because they sound so excellent with horns :)

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Yes, yes, they do. ;) The ranges are fine... you could have transposed it about a fifth either way and it'd still be playable at your dynamic.

You had the right idea at the beginning, horn 1 and 3 high, 2 and 4 low, 1 on top, 4 on bottom, right on. But I'm not sure how to handle the crossing between horns 1 and 3, we'll see what Qc says. I would have probably voiced the chords differently so that horn 1 was on top more of the time, being careful because horn 3 draws too much attention to itself being above the main melodic line in horn 1. My solution would be to put the triplet line in 3rd horn starting on measure 1, beat 3, and keep the parts switched just like that from there on, so that horn 1 then has the sustaining tones on top.

Of course, then again... maybe this applies here? Qc: "The idea is to trick the ear into hearing a single soprano line, while STILL creating interesting inner lines, yet avoiding giving that single soprano line to one instrument."

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