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Orchestral Sketches - From piano to orchestra


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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.

LATEST SKETCH

PLAYLIST OF ALL SKETCHES

 

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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!

 

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  • 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

 

 

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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)

 

 

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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!

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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)

 

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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)

 

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