The Challenge: to orchestrate an excerpt from “Andaluza” from the piano suite “Cuatro Piezas Españolas” by Manuel de Falla.

Participation: open to all Patreon supporters and Orchestration Online website subscribers (website subscription is entirely free of charge).

After the deadline, Thomas Goss will release a public video featuring in-depth analysis of his own orchestration of the Falla piece.

Helpful Videos:
The official piano score + audio performance by Peter Bradley-Fulgoni
Piano score + audio performance by Alicia de Larrocha
Important pitfalls to avoid from the video announcement


  • Maximum orchestra: 3333 4331 timpani, 3 percussion, celesta, harp, strings. (You don’t have to use all these instruments in arranging this work).
  • Restriction 1: No Harp/Celesta Concertos! Filigree, decoration, support only. Copy/pasting the piano part onto the harp part is NOT orchestration!
  • Restriction 2: Try not to go overboard with woodwind auxiliaries. One player doubling per family of instruments is probably the best approach. Saxophone is also accepted.
  • Restriction 3: NO SEPARATE STAVES for individual brass and wind instruments. Double/triple up winds and brass like a standard published score, unless some parts are too complex. When you give me a separate staff for all three flutes, all three oboes, etc. then it makes your staff size tiny and very hard to demonstrate on screen to other entrants.
  • USE REHEARSAL MARKS IN THE AUDIO/SCORE VIDEO AND TEMPLATES (if you are supporting on Patreon and going past bar 24)!
  • Suggestion: don’t feel limited to transcribing every note at the exact same pitch/register as the piano score. Adapt as needed.
  • Format: Screen dimensions very welcome, as your entry will be evaluated on-screen. 747mm W X 420mm H (29.41” X 16.54” in.) is perfect. Minimum staff size should be 5.1mm (.20” in.). Very small staff sizes are hard to evaluate and impossible for viewers to read.


  • Filename format: “2021 Orchestration Challenge Your Name”
  • Concert scoring approaches – normal-sized time signatures, not necessary to have boxed numbers on every bar.
  • Transposing scores are a lot easier for me to read.
  • CORRECT YOUR CLEFS IF YOU ORIGINALLY SCORED IN CONCERT PITCH! (like horns in bass clef, violas in treble clef, etc.)
  • Separate single lines for unhitched percussion is easier to present and evaluate on screen for me.


  • Use the official Orchestration Challenge Entry Form to submit your entry. Sibelius users should submit .sib files. All other notation platforms submit a PDF and an audio mockup mp3.
  • Only one score per entrant. I will not be able to give evaluations on revisions.
  • Submittal Deadline: MIDNIGHT PDT, AUGUST 19, 2021 FIRM.

Website Subscriber Entries:

  • Entrants must be subscribers to the Orchestration Online website, which includes a newsletter announcing releases of videos, blog posts, and courses. There is no charge for subscribing.
  • Entries may be any length for your own improvement of craft, but website subscriber evaluations will only be given up to the end of bar 24.
  • Participants may share entries at any time on social media for community feedback, but Thomas’s feedback period closes after 30 September 2021.
  • Entries will be archived on the website as a playlist for future reference, as with previous orchestration challenges.
  • Sibelius/MusicXML orchestral template with embedded piano part provided below for first 24 bars.

Patreon Supporter Entries:

  • Sibelius/MusicXML orchestral template with embedded piano part provided exclusively on Patreon for full movement.
  • Video evaluations posted for each individual entry according to the categories below. Sections delineated by rehearsal numbers in the template.
  • Minim Level: any single section.
  • Semibreve Level: any two sections.
  • New Dotted Semibreve Level: any three sections.
  • Breve Level: any four sections.
  • Dotted Breve & Longa Levels: the entire movement.

Template scores for orchestra and piano available in Sibelius Ultimate, Sibelius 7.5, and MusicXML format under the download link below.
Andaluza score on IMSLP
Orchestration Online on Facebook
Orchestration Online on Patreon