Saxophone Score Placement

Saxophone Score Placement

(Tip no. 21 from 100 MORE Orchestration Tips, to be released in 2018) Score placement is a tricky and evolving thing for visitors to the concert orchestra – especially when that visitor isn’t a soloist, but a general contributor to orchestral texture and function. The saxophone can be particularly puzzling, and not just to developing…
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2017 Orchestration Channel: Ravel (Closed)

2017 Orchestration Channel: Ravel (Closed)

The Challenge: to orchestrate the piano piece À la manière de Borodine by Maurice Ravel The Platform: Facebook for general feedback, Patreon for video score analysis. After the deadline, professional orchestrator Thomas Goss will release a public video featuring in-depth analysis of his own version of the Ravel piece, also illustrating other noteworthy approaches by…
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Diary of an Orchestrator: The View from My Hospital Bed

Diary of an Orchestrator: The View from My Hospital Bed

I was hospitalised this year, but I quickly recovered. Around that time, I read lots of comments and posts about the externalisation of music: using DAW’s, whether a piano should be used in composing, and so on. Here is my commentary on the topic – how a trained inner ear can be used to compose,…
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Orchestration Analysis: Princess Leia’s Theme

Orchestration Analysis: Princess Leia’s Theme

(originally posted Dec. 21, 2016 on Patreon) Early this morning, iconic Star Wars actress and writer Carrie Fisher passed away from complications following a heart attack. Now, a member of the Orchestration Online community might fairly ask why I should take this opportunity to commemorate her, as she wasn’t a composer or musician. The reason…
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NOT “The Next Mozart!”

NOT “The Next Mozart!”

This is a special 54th birthday post – a bit of rumination over how I started as a composer, how I’ve seen other composers starting whom I’ve helped over the years, and how crucially important it is that we are all completely and totally ourselves no matter what our gifts may be. I was musically…
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2016 Oscars Orchestration Roundup

2016 Oscars Orchestration Roundup

Over the past week, I’ve reviewed the orchestration of each contender for the Academy Award for Music (Original Score). Now it’s time to compare the nominees, and judge which score might be awarded. Of course, film scores are rarely awarded solely on the quality of their orchestration. But the texture of a score is as…
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