Jump to content

Orchestral Sketches - From piano to orchestra

Recommended Posts

Recently I started doing orchestral sketches. Just writing 4 bars of music. Trying things out, experimenting, learning, willing to understand what's happening and why certain things work and others don't. I see it as my personal growth path as an aspiring composer.

It's a practical exercise - DOING without judgement - with a slight touch of theory in it. I love doing it, hopefully you enjoy it too.




Edited by gh0stwrit3r
Latest sketch
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I’m excited about this orchestral sketch. Cause the approach is different than in the other ones I did so far. I was kinda triggered by one of the comments on my latest orchestral sketch. Oscar mentioned working with counterpoint, cause the sketches were very vertical until now. Homophonic I would say. And he’s right. So this week we do it slightly different. We gonna do some first, second and third species counterpoint writing!


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

This is already orchestral sketch no. 4. One that I’m not particularly proud of to be honest . But that’s ok. Doing these sketches are an exercise to get a better understanding of composing, orchestration and why certain things work and others don’t.

This sketch is about counterpoint and rhythm. I hope you enjoy it!

  • 01:03 - First listening to cantus firmus and orchestrated version
  • 02:09 - Cantus Firmus 03:15 - Counterpoint, intervals and motion
  • 05:47 - Rhythm
  • 06:57 - Decoration
  • 07:52 - Orchestration



Edited by gh0stwrit3r
Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I’m very excited about this orchestral sketch. This time I ended up with an end result I probably gonna use in one of my own compositions. Or a derivation of it. It just turned out wonderfully. But that’s just my humble opinion.

Unlike last week’s sketch, this time I had an idea what I was looking for. I wanted a magical feeling. An enchanting feeling. I’m not going to say ‘Christmas’, but hey ... 4allCoda and I agree that it’s always good to be in a Christmas mood 😉

  1. 00:54 - First listening (melody line and orchestrated version) 
  2. 02:20 - The melody line I started with 
  3. 03:55 - SATB writing (Soprano, Alto, Tenor and Bass) 
  4. 05:12 - Development (counterpoint, feeling and trial & error) 
  5. 07:10 - Decoration (some excitement for a magical touch) 
  6. 08:24 - Orchestration (the symphonic version with a lovely choir)



Edited by gh0stwrit3r
Link to post
Share on other sites

I really like what you're doing here. I can't remember the last time I've seen a break down approach to writing so well done. Even if you haven't received a lot of comments, I'm sure you've gathered an anonymous following of young composers eager to learn. Thanks for sharing all of this, please keep it up!

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Recently I started working on a new composition. One that starts quietly with a beautiful children choir slowly working towards the first transition. And that is what this orchestral sketch is about: sketching out a four bar tutti transition.

  1. 00:55 - First listening (start on the piano and orchestrated version)
  2. 02:13 - Start on the piano (tonic, dominant & resolution)
  3. 03:30 - The A Chord (let's make it bigger than life!)
  4. 04:48 - Orchestration (the symphonic version I ended up with)


Link to post
Share on other sites

Triplets. I love them! Back in the days when I played in several bands as a drummer I sometimes just switched for fun to triplets. Making my band go mad. Cause you can get really disorientated by these kind of rhythms. I also remember the good old times when I walked on the street. My foot steps were the quarter notes. Then I started clapping. First same quarter notes. Then eights. Speeding up to sixteenths. Switching to triplets. Then only the accents on the triplets: 1, 3, 2, 1, 3, 2, etc.. I loved doing that!

So for this orchestral sketch I had my thoughts on triplets.

  1. 00:00 - Introduction (new intro sound) 
  2. 01:33 - First listening (start on the piano and orchestrated version) 
  3. 02:44 - The melody (the simple piano line I started with) 
  4. 04:09 - Triplets (playing three notes in the time of two) 
  5. 06:32 - The harmony (building up chords for support) 
  6. 07:46 - Orchestration (the symphonic version I ended up with)


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...