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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Woodwind Auxiliary Changeovers

Woodwind Auxiliary Changeovers

Let’s say that you’re second oboist for a mid-sized orchestra. You play a lot of cor anglais parts as a result. On one new work, you’re piping away at some very good writing for second oboe – clean, well-supported, and easy to […]

Extreme Auxiliary Instruments in Film Music

Extreme Auxiliary Instruments in Film Music

(Tip no. 5 from 100 Orchestration Tips) For every orchestral family, there are always auxiliary instruments: holdovers from older periods, like the viola d’amore or the oboe d’amore; or extensions of range like the piccolo or bass clarinet. Then there are the extreme auxiliaries, which push the range of the families in strange directions, usually…
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Diary of an Orchestrator: Dealing With Client Feedback

Diary of an Orchestrator: Dealing With Client Feedback

Have a read over the following two paragraphs, and think about which one is easier to process emotionally and practically. “Dear Hubert! Thanks so much for the first draft of my “Sonnet for a Dying Sparrow.” I feel so lucky to be working with such a talented and gifted musician as yourself, bringing my ideas…
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