Orchestral Intransparency

Orchestral Intransparency It is in the nature of orchestral music to not be able to hear every instrument clearly in the mix. Some instruments like woodwinds even regularly “drown” in tuttis and their only purpose is to add to the ensemble sound. This is actually a...

Musical Contrasts

Musical Contrasts Musical contrasts can be a great device to write exciting music. Music that puts contrasts next to each other like soft/loud, low/high, solo/tutti, complex/simple etc. can feel very exciting and lively. However, there are two things to keep in mind:...

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...

Organ effect problems

Organ effect problems One of the most common problems of inexperienced orchestrators is the “organ-effect”, which happens when you double too many instruments in a middle register with relatively long notes. At a certain point, the transparency gets lost and the whole...

Intonation without context

Intonation without context Remember that the intonation with most instruments in the orchestra doesn’t work like a piano where you simply hit a key and the resulting pitch is perfectly in tune. Rather there is with all notes a variability in how high or low the...