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celloman99

Arrangement of Crown Him With Many Crowns

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Here's an arrangement of Crown Him With Many Crowns. I'm pretty new to orchestration, this is the first project with this many instruments that I've actually finished. So I'm very happy to hear any tips, suggestions, corrections. I'm definitely not finished with this so please feel free to comment anything you feel would make it better. Thanks!

P.S. Sorry again for MIDI instead of MP3

Crown Him With Many Crowns -Rough Draft MIDI.mid

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First of all, the instrumentation is a little bit strange. I can't think of any orchestral scores that feature the alto sax, but no oboe or bassoon. I would definitely encourage you to include these instruments as you develop the piece further, as they can be really beautiful and useful. There's also no double bass part, but I assume you just intend for the basses to double the cello at the octaves. I also have a couple of questions related to the score, because transferring the midi to my notation program has left me a little confused.

My program labeled the clarinet part "Bass Clarinet, Bb Clarinet" and has interpreted it as a clarinet, but because of the range and lack of any other clarinet part, I am assuming that it's intended to be a regular Bb. Am I correct?

The last percussion part is labeled "Piano, Percussion". Is this supposed to be a piano or another chromatic percussion instrument?

The orchestration is not bad as far as I can tell, although it is somewhat difficult to make a judgement since very few dynamics carry over in the midi. Make sure you are aware of the balance between brass and woodwinds/strings since brass can become overpowering pretty quickly. I would generally advise against having so many long passages of all the brass playing at one time. It can become tiring pretty quickly, and having passages devoted to only a few members of the orchestra can help give more diverse colors to the piece, and give you a ground level of sound from which to build on. You did this in one particular passage (m. 5-12)  by stripping it back to only the strings, but with the tuba doubling the bass line. I don't think I would use that doubling there as it is very easy for the tuba to overpower the lower strings, but that may be the effect you're going for. If you just wanted to strengthen the bass line without drowning out the string sound, a bassoon doubling would be a safer option.

One more little nitpick: I don't think the pickup note in measure 12 leading up to the tutti works as a staccato. It feels like it should be leaning into the next beat, but cutting it short sort of defeats its purpose. Anyways, this is generally pretty good, and I think as you keep working on it, you'll find it gets better and better. This reminds me a lot of my own earliest attempts at orchestral writing, so I hope that maybe sharing a little of what I've learned since then will help you out. Cheers!

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1) I think you should make it more clear if you're operating on transposed parts or concert parts. 
2) I can't really listen to it, but it doesn't really *look* like the melody I'm used to...
3) Major thing: crossed voices! There's a lot of them and will really make this sound awkward in a performance because your tone colors are too consistent with each other, since they normally happen in the same kind of voice, but in other places as well. Your accompaniment of a melody can definitely use crossed voices in a softer or higher part, but when it's all based in the accompaniment, it's better to make sure they're in different voices.

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