Massive Open Online Orchestration Course

Term 1: String Instrument Scoring

10 June through 25 September 2016


Please fill in the form linked below to register for the Orchestration Online MOOOC Term 1. There’s no charge for registration whatsoever. Your information will not be shared with any other party, and only be used to help us track how many composers are participating in our course, and how we are helping them to improve their skills. Your e-mail address, if included, will only be used at the end of the course to invite you to give us feedback, and notify you of the next course.

MOOOC Term 1 Registration Form

MOOOC Term 1 Course Costs

Registration Levels

Open Entrant – this course is completely free of charge. Some course materials may cost, but represent permanent resource in your training. These are listed below.

Basic Patreon Entrant – Minim, Semibreve, and Breve supporters will have access to premium content and additional assignments, plus complementary and discounted course materials.

Premium Patreon Entrant – Dotted Breve supporters will have all the above, plus overall feedback on course work, extended curriculum, and written evaluations/recorded readings of their final assignments.

Course Materials

These materials are not supplied with the course, but are worth investing in as part of your normal composer resources.

Orchestration by Walter Piston

Orchestration manual of your choice. Chapters will be assigned in Orchestration by Walter Piston, The Technique of Orchestration by Kent Kennan, and The Study of Orchestration, (2nd & 3rd ed.) by Samuel Adler. Each of of these books are fine for our purposes (you don’t have to use all three, just one!). I recommend the Piston book for beginning orchestrators most highly for its conciseness and excellent writing style. Many libraries carry copies of these books in different editions.

100 Orchestration Tips Cover

100 Orchestration Tips. My supplemental guide to the professional orchestration approach contains insights from players, shortcuts, and ways of getting the most out of your scoring. I will be referencing it and assigning reading. It’s complementary for Orchestration Online Patreon supporters at the Breve, Dotted Breve, and Longa levels. Or purchase it from this website directly as linked above.


Orchestration Training Course 101: The String Section. My video course contains demonstrations by professional orchestra players, along with guidance through the history, technique, and roles of the orchestral instruments. There’s also an extensive PDF guide with charts, assignments, and dictionaries of markings and terms. Patreon supporters at the same levels as quoted above will receive a discounted coupon code for the purchase of this course from macProVideo or Ask/Video.


Specific assignments in composition, reading, and score-reading will be added below with the release of each video lecture on the Orchestration Online YouTube channel.

Lesson 1: Unaccompanied violin

Lesson 2: Violin-piano duo

Lesson 3: Unaccompanied cello

Lesson 4: Piano trio

Lesson 5: Unaccompanied viola

Lesson 6: String trio

Lesson 7: Piano quartet

Lesson 8: String quartet