Jump to content

Orchestration: PART 1 (woodwinds) discussion


Recommended Posts

  • Replies 209
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Posted Images

well, technically, you needed to sign up at this thread:

http://www.youngcomposers.com/forum/sign-up-here-6908-27.html#post168595

if you read back a bit from that post, I specify that I will only work with Finale files since I do not use Sibelius, and the work will require the ability to put in dynamics and phrase markings which are not really do-able in a MIDI file.

OOPS! I only ever came across these threads in the masterclass forum :blush: nevermind then. I'm gonna keep following this thread because it's awesome, but I wouldnt want to burden you with Sibelius files you can't open and so forth :closedeyes:

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest QcCowboy

my recommendation is to go back and re-read the lessons.

I will be shortly removing the exercises from this thread and placing them in a separate thread under the lesson itself. that way, anyone else who wants to won't have to wade through all of our discussions to get to the exercises.

Link to post
Share on other sites

An excellent idea :thumbsup:

I shall print off the feed of the lesson thread and read it all before I go to sleep tonight, and I shall start on the exercise first thing tomorrow.

Thanks Michel :)

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest QcCowboy

Mark, I'd like you to go over your exercise again, with something new in mind now...

when you add or remove an instrument, consider that it thickens or lightens the texture/sound. (not to be confused with simple "loudness")

So when you remove an instrument as the phrase gains in amplitude, WHY do you do it?

I notice that you have the 2nd clarinet hand off to the 1st clarinet... but why not have BOTH clarinets continue playing from that point on? the phrase is aiming towards a crescendo, so you can afford to KEEP some of the sound mass.

And remember, the oboes are pungent, if you are looking for any sort of smoothness in sound over a phrase, the entrance of oboes will MARK an entrance almost like an accent. if two oboes come in at the same time it's even more noticable.

I think that it's important to consider the over-all timbre of a phrase when orchestrating. It the oboes are absent from the beginning, then they should only come in where their entrance will not sound like a pack of rabid kazoos attacking a beehive (no, really I LOVE oboe! :toothygrin:).

In that sense, since you haven't used the oboe tone in the beginning of your phrase, you should probably keep it for the forte climax as a "strengthening" of the overall woodwind tone.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, this is a masterclass in the full sense of the word! I wish I had the time to participate, Qccowboy, but I am keeping an eye on this and related, upcoming threads.

Sincere thanks from the bottom of my heart.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks so much for that Michel, I shall look over my exercise tomorrow (pretty late here) with what you said in mind and shall post a revised version as soon as I've seen to the points you've raised. I look forward to continuing working on this, since starting these exercises my knowledge of and confidence with the wind section has increased tenfold and for that I thank you very much :thumbsup:

Mark

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've kept the second clarinet going when you suggested, but not playing exactly the same as the first clarinet, as you mentioned the leap may be difficult for clarinet 2 (I think, I may have misunderstood you on that bit). I got the clarinet to replace the oboe there, to keep the oboe entrace for the climax.

Woodwind exercise.MUS

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest QcCowboy
I've kept the second clarinet going when you suggested, but not playing exactly the same as the first clarinet, as you mentioned the leap may be difficult for clarinet 2 (I think, I may have misunderstood you on that bit). I got the clarinet to replace the oboe there, to keep the oboe entrace for the climax.

no, the leap is no problem.

my issue is with instrument density.

Why don't I post mine and you can see what I mean.

full orchestration of woodwind melody

When you look at the PDF file (the score) it's not important that you know exctly what the "new" instruments (I added harp, percussion, and four horns) are doing... what is important is the density of the woodwind part.

See how when I add a "new" instrument to the melodic line it STAYS there? Considering that the entire first half of the phrase leads up to that forte part, it's important to construct by adding density and weight to the melodic line.

Once we hit the forte passage, the entire ensemble is playing, then when it repeats suddenly piano I can afford to remove many instruments suddenly. It's an almost identical phrase repetition, the ear will hear as such and the shock of the suddenly different orchestration will amplify the change in dynamic.

I think the important thing is that whenever you add or remove instruments (even for a few notes as you did with your 2nd clarinet part in the beginning) you bring attention to that passage. Therefore it is important to sustain the attention.

If you remove instruments, you are saying "this is a lighter texture for this phrase" and the ear will definately hear it that way.

If you remove instruments suddenly from a thicker texture, you are removing focus from that phrase or bringing all of the focus onto a single solo instrument.

If you add instruments gradually, you are saying "this is getting denser and prepares something larger".

If you add them suddenly you are saying "this passage merits particular notice".

Any of these methods are valid, but they must ALL be used with purpose. If you skip back and forth between varying densities too rapidly, then the melodic passage will tend to sound confused and hectic. The ear will have more difficulty identifying your thematic material as well.

If there's anything you don't understand in the above, please don't hesitate to ask.

full orchestration of woodwind melody.pdf

PDF
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for that explanation, it makes perfect sense. I shall have a try at coming up with some material to work with for the last exercise, this may take me a bit longer as coming up with material isn't my strong point. I could actually try extending a melody that was the theme from a failed orchestral piece of mine a while ago, it could suit this quite well I think.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest QcCowboy
I have done all the exercises up to number IV. So here is my version of the woodwind and string accompaniment.

Hope that there it isn't too bad :)

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest QcCowboy
This took about 4 hours maybe, with numberous stops for feeding.

I will be VERY critical. This isn't a "composition" class so I won't go into any aspect related to that. (just so you're forewarned)

the "not quite a unison" effect in the flutes and oboe is... strange. I don't really see the need for it. if anything, it will sound as though one of the flutes is dragging the sound out or playing ahead of the beat. it's not quite as "subtle" as I think you were aiming for.

do be VERY careful when you are reaching and leaving unisons (oboe/clarinet measures 1, 5 and 7)... the effect is of a "lost" voice, actual independance of the lines doesn't carry through.

There is too great a chasm between each pair of instruments. You have elected to go with VERY wide spacing, yet still unisons... and kept pairs of instruments "together" instead of mixing and blending. The effect will be a bit raw and static.

I would MUCH rather see you harmonize a phrase from a Bach chorale than try your hand at an original phrase at this point, actually. You are worrying about the harmony, when in this course you should be concentrating on the orchestration.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Michel, I shall try and get something done, possibly using Christ lag in Todesbanden, I like that one :D

Your help really is appreciated, every time I speak to you I'm learning loads more; thanks :)

Link to post
Share on other sites

As I expected a total bummer :w00t:

I have re-written it; changed the first few bars concerning the clarinet, changed the forte part and strengthened the mp-> pp part. I however don't want to throw away the last chord, it makes me feel so warm :P

Hope I didn't make it worse :pinch:

Excersie N

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest QcCowboy
As I expected a total bummer :w00t:

I have re-written it; changed the first few bars concerning the clarinet, changed the forte part and strengthened the mp-> pp part. I however don't want to throw away the last chord, it makes me feel so warm :P

Hope I didn't make it worse :pinch:

a lot better, though I question the wisdom of measure 7... with just the oboe and clarinet? I'm afraid it will stick out like a sore thumb because it's a bit more "stark" as a timbre, also not as dense as what preceded and follows it.

Remember, in this course, we are not necessarily looking for the most "inventive" solutions to the problems, we're looking for efficiency and a good solid base on which to build and then branch out for further exploration.

Link to post
Share on other sites

So in measure 7 do you think that it would help if I put in another instrument such as the fluteā€¦ or maybe the bassoon? Or is it generally because the oboe and clarinet are in unison?

Thanks a bunch! :P

Now, the next exercise

Link to post
Share on other sites

Ah yes I understand. So in this context it does not fit, but what if you wanted to make it 'jerk' just to catch the listeners interest by removing some instruments just before or a bit before the climax, could it bring positive effect?

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest QcCowboy

it would have to be VERY carefully calculated. it's not the sort of effect that works readily. the musical phrase would need to be made for that purpose. preferably with a brief pause, and a repetition of a motif. it needs to have some sort of link that doesn't just make the phrase disjointed.

This is exactly an example of how orchestration/instrumentation has a very direct impact on the form of the music.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...