Star Wars: The Force Awakens Orchestration Review, Episode III – Revenge Of The Stop-Mutes

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Orchestration Review, Episode III – Revenge Of The Stop-Mutes

In early 2015, a momentous decision was made that would deeply affect the character of the upcoming blockbuster-to-end-all-blockbusters, Star Wars: The Force Awakens. By mid-March, John Williams went public with an extremely diplomatic announcement: “I’ve had the privilege of working with the very best musicians in both the U.K. and the U.S. The London Symphony…
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Scoring Albeniz’s Granada from Suite Española no. 1, Op. 47

Scoring Albeniz’s Granada from Suite Española no. 1, Op. 47

Granada is subtitled “Serenata” – in other words, a serenade. For the first movement of his very successful Suite Española no. 1, Albeniz chose a work that was immediately evocative of Spanish elements, for both his local audience and the mainstream Western concert music listener. Of course, as a serenade, those elements are obviously a…
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New Guidelines: Posting Music for Evaluation

New Guidelines: Posting Music for Evaluation

The Orchestration Online Facebook group is a great place for developing composers to share the works-in-progress and get constructive feedback. However, we do have a problem. For many more experienced members like myself, who may be expected to comment from the perspective of a teacher and/or a professional, it can be daunting to have several very long,…
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Harp – Range of Multiple Harmonics

Harp – Range of Multiple Harmonics

(Tip no. 68 from “100 Orchestration Tips,” Part 4: Harp) Left hand multiple harmonics are only practical up to around middle C. Higher than that, the hand position prevents them from speaking with ease. This is a tip that I’ve not seen in ANY orchestration manual anywhere, period. Most manuals tell you that the right…
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