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3d writing in orchestration

Discussion in 'SAMPLE Talk' started by Musicam, Aug 9, 2017.

  1. Musicam

    Musicam Senior Member

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    Hi folks, how are you? I am reading the course of scoreclub: Line orchestration and I see it this concept. 3d writing? What is?
     
  2. Virtual Virgin

    Virtual Virgin Senior Member

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    I'll take a guess in the usage of "3D" in this context refers to thinking about stage placement of instruments in an orchestra or ensemble, giving the composer/orchestrator control over width and depth of certain music phrasing. Technically, this is still only "2D" (as it is only pertains to X and Z dimensions) but the term "3D" has more pizzaz.
     
  3. Piano Pete

    Piano Pete Senior Member

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    If it isnt that, could it possibly be referring to vr implementation?
     
  4. Breaker

    Breaker Member

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    As it is an orchestration course I would assume it is more about vertical and horizontal harmony.
    Stage placement and VR wouldn't really concern orchestration IMO.

    Maybe OP should ask this in the "Composition, Orchestration & Technique" -area?
     
  5. Virtual Virgin

    Virtual Virgin Senior Member

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    You think orchestral seating is superfluous to orchestration? lol
     
    LHall likes this.
  6. JPComposer

    JPComposer Tondichter Unextraordinaire

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    From another thread...

     
  7. Breaker

    Breaker Member

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    Okay, maybe "wouldn't really concern" wasn't the best choice of words but IMO orchestral seating or stage placement is not orchestration decision and therefore the topic wouldn't be a part of an orchestration course.

    Anyway, the quotation above suggests that the concept of 3D writing is more abstract one than I thought.
    (And I also agree with you that nowadays 3D seems to be used to describe anything that has more than one dimension.)
     
  8. Virtual Virgin

    Virtual Virgin Senior Member

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    I think you are still misunderstanding. Orchestral seating may not often be under the jurisdiction of the composer or orchestrater, but composition and orchestration *effect the placement of a sound on the soundstage*. You can pan a phrase by casting it back and forth among strings. A typical American orchestra has violin 1, violin 2, viola and cello seated left to right across the soundstage. Here are some classic panning effects by Tchaikovsky @1:23 check the string sweeps:


    Beyond that there are certainly composers who change seating and placement for purposes specific to their composition. Try Giovanni Gabrieli (Renaissance composer using multiple horn choirs at different levels of depth) and Meredith Monk (contemporary composer using performers that surround the audience).
     
    PeterJCroissant likes this.
  9. mikeh-375

    mikeh-375 Senior Member

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    Despite what you say VV, I agree with Breaker. The finer points of scoring are more concerned with balance, register, dynamics and timbral combination rather than stage placement. Unless you are applying mics to instruments or sections, or placing players off stage, overloading a section with an extra 10 players or frigging about in a daw with effects, these essential considerations overide any placement on a stage and are the decisive factors.
    In the virtual world you can do whatever you want, but in the real world correct application of the above requirements is the best way to ensure good orchestration.
     
  10. JJP

    JJP I put dots and lines on paper.

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    3D orchestration is a bit of a sales gimmick. I'm assuming there is nothing unique about it. The basic principles of orchestration haven't changed. The instruments and the principles of orchestral layout are the same as they have been for a long time.

    Orchestral seating isn't a huge consideration in orchestration for a full orchestra because seating is fairly standardized for acoustical and practical purposes. The only major exceptions off the top of my head are
    • decisions how to split strings like the violins (Even this may not always be adhered in every recording/performance situation. In classical orchestras it's usually at the whim of the conductor.)
    • creating special effects like having offstage musicians
    • practical concerns about lines of sight for special situations like soloists, doubling on multiple instruments (e.g. percussionists), and chamber music considerations.
    Seating considerations are fairly minor issues, minus the exceptions above. In chamber groups they are often decided by or in conjunction with the ensemble rather than during the orchestration process.

    I think a lot of the discussion around orchestral seating on this board comes from the virtual world because nothing is fixed. When writing purely for live ensembles, it's an issue which most composers don't have to think about. With live ensembles, you basically know what you're going to get. Alterations to that seating have minor effects and are often detrimental if not done carefully.
     
  11. Breaker

    Breaker Member

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    OK, maybe I DID misunderstand a bit. I guess you meant knowing where instruments are traditionally placed on a stage and utilising this information for more effective orchestration. I first thought you were talking about seating order as a orchestration decision.

    And yes , there are countless examples of the unorthodox placement of instruments in the classical music, but I don't know if it's really orchestration though. I mean these guys usually composed, orchestrated and often also conducted the premieres (today we could call them producers I guess) so they could basically do whatever they wanted with the orchestra (If they were famous enough).

    But in the end we are really just talking semantics here :geek:
     
  12. Virtual Virgin

    Virtual Virgin Senior Member

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    You must have skipped my last post. If you know where the instruments in your ensemble are seated, you can use that *to move your musical material through space*. If that is a "gimmick" I would have to assume you think pizzicato and col legno are simply gimmicks as well and don't need to be discussed. When stereo recordings were first released, did you declare them a "gimmick"?
     
  13. JJP

    JJP I put dots and lines on paper.

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    I did read your last post. Please kindly re-read my post carefully. The term "3D orchestration" is a sales gimmick. I don't think it is any kind of a new technique for orchestration, because the principles of orchestration have not changed.

    My point specifically was that the seating of an orchestra is essentially fixed. Obviously any orchestrator needs to be aware of that basic seating. A composer doesn't need to think about creating or altering a seating layout in most cases, as the other posts were alluding. Doing so is usually only for the special cases I mentioned in my post. Needlessly altering the basic orchestral layout usually has a detrimental effect on performance, and is only done rarely to create special effects. You mentioned some of those effects in your post.

    The example of the Nutcracker strings you gave is the type of exception I mention in my post. However, sometimes performance situations that negate that effect when the violins are all on one side of the stage or orchestra pit.

    I think that if I go any further I risk being pedantic.
     
  14. alainmayrand

    alainmayrand Senior Member

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    Hi,

    that term was in my table of content I posted from a screen shot taken of my Word work document/course outline.

    It is not a "sales gimmick" (I understand why you'd say that though). It is just a term I use for a pedagogical purpose intended to represent what the masters did.

    It simply refers to depth through the manipulation of musical parameters, certainly NOT some sort of "new" musical system!

    Kindest regards,

    Alain
     
  15. Piano Pete

    Piano Pete Senior Member

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    And here I was thinking that maybe it had to do with hiding trombone players behind audience members... drats :( Sneaky trombones.
     
  16. alainmayrand

    alainmayrand Senior Member

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    Trombones never hide!
     
    Lawson. likes this.
  17. dgburns

    dgburns sonically obsessed

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    Alain is a rare and gifted composer with extensive live orchestra experience. His only motivation is to help others.
     
    alainmayrand likes this.
  18. alainmayrand

    alainmayrand Senior Member

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    Oh wow... my sincere thanks for this.

    Alain
     
  19. mikeybabes

    mikeybabes Only the good die young....

    Don't mention the trombones.... it only encourages them....
     
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  20. dgburns

    dgburns sonically obsessed

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    My dear Alain, I however will confess that you would be most jealous of my trees. Even though you hail from BC, the view from my Ontario backyard is of very old trees, some a few hundred years old. A few maples and oaks. Makes writing music harder, not easier actually.
     

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