Scoring for Student Ensembles
Playable, playable, playable.
- Typically, the top players are far better than the rest.
- Double reeds are rare. (See below for substitutions.)
William Wieland's notes based upon|
Instrumentation and Orchestration, 2nd ed.
by Alfred Blatter. New York: Schirmer, 1997.
MT70 .B56 1997
(The book is in the NSU library.)
- Writing for Percussion: pp. 372–377
- Scoring Musical Lines: pp. 329–338
- Scoring Examples: pp. 338–344
- Listening Examples: pp. 344–355
Balance — gross generalities to get you started:
- Strings are soft.
- Brass are loud, except horns and muted brass.
- Doubling is usually not louder, but weightier.
- Learn the dynamic characteristics of each instrument.
- Two or more low register flutes are less penetrating than a solo flute.
- Strings (any combination)
- Brass (if it's a loud passage, use two horns on each horn line)
- Single families, e.g. all types of clarinets
- Flutes and Clarinets
- Saxophones and Double Reeds
Note: Woodwinds and percussion have the most diverse timbres.
- Buttermilk: Milk and Lemon Juice (or Vinegar)
- High Oboe: Flute, E flat Clarinet, and/or Soprano Sax
- Low Oboe: Straight-muted Trumpet
- High Bassoon: Clarinet and Soprano Sax
- Low Bassoon: Bass Clarinet and Muted Horn
- Orchestral Bells: Piccolo and Dome of a Cymbal
- Xylophone: High Clarinets (or cup-muted trumpets)
and Wood Block (or claves)
The following percussion notes are from Cam Abreu.|
Orchestra pieces almost always have a timpani part. Tambourine, cymbal and snare drum are also common in older, melodic music. Use mallet parts in more modern music.
3 Percussion Roles
- Bring Out Dynamics (Percussionists can play very loudly and very softly even in rapid alternation. Crescendos and diminuendos can be enhanced with suspended cymbal or tambourine.)
- Keep Great Time (marches, rock music, etc.)
- Decorate the Sound (Percussion instruments provide unique timbres which can be added to melodies, e.g. triangle, slapstick, bells, etc.)