Orchestral Transcription William Wieland
Please choose one of the following orchestral excerpts and transcribe at least the melody—but more if you can.

  • On a sheet of blank staff paper, write “This is my own work.” and sign it. Note the number of the example you transcribed.
  • Begin with a treble clef and the key signature. (I have listed the key of each excerpt.)
  • Listen to the excerpt and choose an appropriate time signature. There is more than one right answer. (There is also more than one wrong answer.)
  • Sing tonic. Determine the first pitch of the melody.
  • Transcribe the melody onto your treble staff. Label it with the instruments and/or voices that are performing the melody.
  • If you can, add a bass clef and transcribe some or all of the bass line. Once again, try to identify who is performing.
  • Transcribe as much as possible without an instrument. Check your work with an instrument.
  • Add more if you can—perhaps inner parts that stand out. The timpani in 1. is straightforward. (You might add another bass clef.)
  • Finally, add articulations, dynamics, and a metronome marking. (You can check with a metronome.)
1.  — D major
— The timpani plays quarter notes and only two important pitches, tonic and dominant.
2. — E minor
— Almost exclusively dotted half notes.
3. — B flat major
— The melody begins with a dotted eighth note, then a sixteenth note.

When you have finished as much as you can, I will show you the answers.