Highest Note in a Chord

Highest Note in a Chord In well balanced orchestral chords consisting of several instrumental colours (e.g. a chord that is orchestrated in the woodwind section) the instrument on the highest note will dominate its colour impression. This means that even in a chord...

Doubling Woodwinds

Doubling Woodwinds Woodwinds usually sound more brillant and characteristic when they’re playing solistically instead of doubling the same instruments in unison. For example 3 flutes playing a line in unison in generally sound thicker and slightly louder than a solo...

Over-Orchestration

OVER-ORchestration Even though you have a lot of instruments at your fingertips when writing for orchestra, that doesn’t mean they have to be all in use all the time. A lot of inexperienced composers and orchestrators often “over-orchestrate” staying for long in a...

Harmonizing Melodic Key Motifs

Harmonizing Melodic Key Motifs If you have a melody for example in the trumpets (it works in any melodic writing but it is most prominent on brass themes), it creates a very nice colour to harmonize the melody on key motifs or phrases. Coming from all trumpets playing...

Melodic Ideas in the Same Register

Melodic Ideas in the Same Register This is one of the first rules one learns when learning to orchestrate and still I very often see it being done wrong: make space for important melodic lines. You don’t want to have several lines and textures in the same range walk...