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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Trumpet – Auxiliaries

Trumpet – Auxiliaries

(Tip no. 40 from “100 Orchestration Tips,” Part 2: The Brass Section) When scoring for auxiliary trumpets, be aware that considerations of tone are always more important that extensions of range. The trumpet family is similar to the clarinet family in some respects. Both have two main models that are tuned by one or two…
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Woodwinds – Note Durations and Breathing

Woodwinds – Note Durations and Breathing

(Tip no. 1 from “100 Orchestration Tips,” Part I: The Wind Section) Breathing for wind instruments is cyclical, not inexhaustible. Breathing is the foundational mechanism for the operation of wind instruments. It’s puzzling why, therefore, some orchestration manuals pass so lightly over the subject. This gap undoubtedly contributes to that question often posed by the…
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5 Orchestral Textures Description and Sample

5 Orchestral Textures Description and Sample

As mentioned on YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook, here’s more detailed information about the “5 Orchestral Textures” perk from the “100 Orchestration Tips” book launch. What It Is “5 Orchestral Textures” is a perk especially offered for a donation level for my new book kickstarter on Indiegogo. It’s a five-part excerpt from another book planned for…
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Trombone Wars – The Tenor Clef (I – VI – VII)

Trombone Wars – The Tenor Clef (I – VI – VII)

Few topics on the Orchestration Online Facebook page have incited more controversy and strong feelings than the use of the tenor clef for trombones. There’s a spectrum of history and craft that must be absorbed before one can honestly decide whether the tenor clef should be utilised or annihilated.

Woodwinds – Doubling Pros and Cons

Woodwinds – Doubling Pros and Cons

(Tip no. 3 from 100 Orchestration Tips) The question of doubling for winds comes up quite often for an orchestrator-in-progress. Strange to say, the simple act of putting two of the same type of wind instrument on the same note can have broad implications for the type of sound you want in the orchestra. You…
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