Orchestration Strategy

When orchestrating music, one of my favorite strategies is to orchestrate from most important to least important which means that you start off with the element that you need to be perceived as the main idea and work your way down to the “filling texture”. This of course doesn’t eliminate to have a general plan on how you want to orchestrate that passage but it makes orchestrating work pretty time effective. This strategy follows the differently weighed layers that your listener will perceive when hearing the music. If the thing that you want the audience to focus most on is in the brass, make sure to orchestrate that first and make it as punchy as needed, things that are less important (side lines, accompanying figures etc.) can be done after that and you will also get a better idea of how to interweave the less important things into the main idea. If you want to have your main idea in the woodwinds but still want to use the usually way louder brass section, with a bit of orchestration experience you automatically will use the brass very carefully and soft in dynamics after you have worked out the main idea in the woodwinds and don’t run into danger of overpowering your main idea just because you started with brass and figured out that your woodwinds will not have a chance against that and need to rework it. This concept applies for written orchestration but also for orchestration in a DAW with a well balanced template.

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