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Another attempt at orchestrating

shireen

New Member
I've been working on this for a few days. It started with me just playing around with CSSS but I kept on trying to make something of it, and, well, the result is a little messy I think, but overall I'm happy with it.

I think what I'm struggling with the most (in my view) is how to start a piece. Emotional piano arpeggios with some simple melody is the easiest way that comes to my mind, but I really do want something else -- The problem is that anything that I try just sounds off. Any tips on this? Do you start a composition with the intro, or leave it for later?

Another thing is the louder part with the brass. I'm trying to make it sound good but it feels just a bit empty, like it's missing a couple of instruments. Which instruments usually go with these loud brass parts? I know I'm being vague but that's what's so hard about this, I can't really put my finger on what it is that bothers me as I'm new to all of this.

Any tips are greatly appreciated! thank you :)

[AUDIOPLUS=https://vi-control.net/community/attachments/5-mp3.18640/][/AUDIOPLUS]

[AUDIOPLUS=https://www.vi-control.net/community/attachments/5-mp3.18640/][/AUDIOPLUS]
 

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TheSigillite

Active Member
I pressed play and then read your post. lol. The piece follows your confusion/loss for what steps to take next very well. I know it wasn't intended but it works. As for your orchestration, I'm still learning myself, but it could use the warmth and air of woodwinds with more varied flavors of tuned percussion, of course this is very subjective. A great piece and I hope to hear it when it's complete. is the solo strings all CSSS?
 
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shireen

New Member
I pressed play and then read your post. lol. The piece follows your confusion/loss for what steps to take next very well. I know it wasn't intended but it works. As for your orchestration, I'm still learning myself, but it could use the warmth and air of woodwinds with more varied flavors of tuned percussion, of course this is very subjective. A great piece and I hope to hear it when it's complete. is the solo strings all CSSS?
Thank you!
As for the woodwinds - definitely agree. It's way out of my comfort zone though. But I guess it's time to try! see how it goes. Same with percussion, it's almost like I'm afraid of adding new tracks :) (My RAM isn't helping either)

The solo strings are indeed all CSSS. I'm really loving the this library (and their other libraries just as much!)
 

sIR dORT

Active Member
Well done! That piano part is cool, and the solo strings sound excellent :thumbsup: For the most part, I thought the brassy part sounded fine. One option is adding some lower brass such as trombones in the lower end, but it wasn't like I was sitting there thinking "this sounds empty."

As a newer composer I've found that I started many of my compositions in a similar way. So, I would say have fun with it. Maybe start with something that surprises the listener or comes out of nowhere. Maybe start really really slow, and gradually speed up (or vice versa). Experiment, but have some fun in seeing how you can start off the song in a unique way.

Just my very very humble opinion.
 
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shireen

New Member
Well done! That piano part is cool, and the solo strings sound excellent :thumbsup: For the most part, I thought the brassy part sounded fine. One option is adding some lower brass such as trombones in the lower end, but it wasn't like I was sitting there thinking "this sounds empty."

As a newer composer I've found that I started many of my compositions in a similar way. So, I would say have fun with it. Maybe start with something that surprises the listener or comes out of nowhere. Maybe start really really slow, and gradually speed up (or vice versa). Experiment, but have some fun in seeing how you can start off the song in a unique way.

Just my very very humble opinion.
Much appreciated. Thank you!
 

marclawsonmusic

Senior Member
I think the orchestration is fine in this, so I would focus more on the composition aspects if I were you.

The piano motif is great and stays with you. It was also nice with the solo strings. So, maybe step back and re-imagine the piece with that motif as the center and find a way to build it out so it 'makes a statement'. In other words, don't focus so much on the orchestration (which you are already doing well) but focus more on what the basic tune is saying. Maybe strip it down to a piano reduction and put it into a A-A-B-A form, with a key change or some reharmonization of the melody at one point.

In terms of raw orchestration, I did notice some bottom end lacking at points. But was overall very nice sounding to me.
 

Dave Connor

Senior Member
The general practice in classical music is to keep the intro (prelude) inferior to the main body of music. Inferior in that it is not particularly developed musically and rather static so it can give way to the main material. For example you would not want numerous chord changes giving way to a main idea that contains just a few chord changes. That would be like reving up a car engine when stopped and when the light turns green - going two miles an hour.

Also the intro material should mesh well with the upcoming material and weave into it preferably. That’s why intros are often accompaniment material that simply keeps going while the melody or other defining factors of the music enter into that established texture (at which point the music actually begins.)

In your piece you have a very active rhythmic texture in a very specific timbre (piano) which is followed by a much slower rhythmic feel in a much different timbre (strings.) That makes for a sectional quality as opposed to a single section that begins with an intro derived from the oncoming main body. Because the piano bit is so short, it sounds like an intro that was never developed. You use it again as an interlude but once again it doesn’t seem related or glued to the string material.

Two solutions would be to slow the piano down to the tempo/feel of the oncoming strings (make it far less busy and musically more in the character of the strings) and also keep the piano going with the strings. And, even add strings into the intro or just write a string intro.

What I’ve written are surely rules in the traditional sense. No doubt they could be completely avoided and even perfectly reversed with great success. If done well though, they are principles that seem to have worked very well in countless instances. Beethoven would smash rules like this with stunning, fresh results but he would also execute them perfecty with the same results.
 
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Wolfie2112

Senior Member
Wow, that is a great piece. Just my opinion, but I think it sounds fine as-is. It gave me goosebumps, and that's always a good sign.
 

Dave Connor

Senior Member
I didn't mean to imply the piece is suffering a particular malady. It's a very nice piece. I just think the transitions need to dovetail more so you don't hear a definite stop and restart of the rhythmic energy in the piano. If the cellos simply toggled on the root and 5th with 16th notes (the feel of the piano) right when the piano stops, the energy would be handed off to the strings in a subtle way that can further slow in feel from there. Something similarly could be done to anticipate the piano when it returns with those 16ths such as material that guides the ear back to the piano restart.
 
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shireen

New Member
I didn't mean to imply the piece is suffering a particular malady. It's a very nice piece. I just think the transitions need to dovetail more so you don't hear a definite stop and restart of the rhythmic energy in the piano. If the cellos simply toggled on the root and 5th with 16th notes (the feel of the piano) right when the piano stops, the energy would be handed off to the strings in a subtle way that can further slow in feel from there. Something similarly could be done to anticipate the piano when it returns with those 16ths such as material that guides the ear back to the piano restart.
You have not implied that at all! This "transition of energy" between parts is something that I do need to pay a lot more attention to - great tip.

Thank you so much for the feedback everyone! :)
 
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