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Orchestra Basics

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KatMaestro
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Orchestra Basics 2013-01-09 14:49:24 Reply

What is the basics of orchestra/classical composition? If somebody knows good tutorials on this topic, please share, thank you.

stunkel
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Response to Orchestra Basics 2013-01-09 14:55:51 Reply

The best way to go about this is to try it out and then upload it to newgrounds and get some feedback on it. Try listening to some examples of orchestral music here on newgrounds. There are plenty of great orchestral composers on here that you can take example from. Listen to the mix and structure to their music, everyone may be different but you should get a good idea of what you should go for!

Basically just give it a shot! You can only improve!


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AJtheRipper
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Response to Orchestra Basics 2013-01-09 15:03:23 Reply

I'm not a pro at orchestral but I've made some small samples of it, I'll upload later. But I'm sure it helps to know piano!

samulis
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Response to Orchestra Basics 2013-01-09 15:29:59 Reply

At 1/9/13 02:49 PM, Elitistinen wrote: What is the basics of orchestra/classical composition? If somebody knows good tutorials on this topic, please share, thank you.

Much of orchestral and classical are based on Music Theory. If you haven't taken theory classes, I suggest you read up on it. Also take time to learn about the instruments of the orchestra- their ranges, their sounds, etc. Listen to orchestral works and try to find a style you want to emulate. I started out trying to emulate early orchestral game scores like that of Age of Empires II and film scores myself... but never feel like you need to do things a certain way. If your ear says it sounds crummy that way, try another, and another, and another until you are pleased. Theory explains the mainstream ideas behind harmony, melody, and motion in a piece, and is very useful especially once you have started experimenting with the instruments.

However, note that Theory is really more of a way to improve your orchestral ability and a toolset that will AID you in creating orchestral music. If you don't have the basic feel for writing orchestral, you will have an exponentially more difficult time starting out. That is, if you can't sit and come up with a chord progression or melody and counter melody with ease, you will need to practice that a lot. If you can listen to a piece and hear things to add in your head (like "I think a cymbal crash here would add to it" or "a descending line on strings here"), then you are in good straits to write orchestral. If not, just start trying to write anyway! If you remain dedicated, you will eventually be able to do this.

One of the things you will most likely struggle with for a long time is Instrumentation, figuring out which instruments go where and for how long. It really requires a strong imagination AND a lot of experimenting AND a taught understanding of the instruments to actually make a cohesive piece that is neither too boring nor too dynamic. Once again, try to familiarize yourself with the sounds of the instruments of an orchestra.

Orchestral is also the most dynamic genre... you can have everything from gentle string quartets to soaring hollywood-style scores to dark, brooding contemporary pieces. It's really anything, and in that regard, there are no rules like "mix it this way!" or "double that here always!" or "this knob should be this much!"... it's a genre where your ear is your most important resource. I can tell you all the tricks and techniques I use when I write a track of a certain feel, but that's not the point... it's about expression and developing your own niche style within orchestral. If you look at my work, you'd probably go, "wow, this guy writes a lot of dark music that's almost like video game music!" That's because that's where I found myself. If you do try working with orchestral, again, never feel pressured to write one way or another. If you like that off-sounding chord that resolves to a good sounding chord, go for it!

When you finish a piece that you want feedback on, PM me, I'd be glad to offer my thoughts!


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KatMaestro
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Response to Orchestra Basics 2013-01-09 17:04:26 Reply

=) Thank you for your post a lot samulis. I have study music theory before but it's only good enough for me to write non classical music. I'm grateful to learn more. stunkel, I also thank you for your suggestion.

wandschrank
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Response to Orchestra Basics 2013-01-09 17:22:32 Reply

At 1/9/13 02:49 PM, Elitistinen wrote: What is the basics of orchestra/classical composition? If somebody knows good tutorials on this topic, please share, thank you.

Good topic by breed: http://www.newgrounds.com/bbs/topic/1266668

KatMaestro
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Response to Orchestra Basics 2013-01-09 17:29:25 Reply

At 1/9/13 05:22 PM, wandschrank wrote:
At 1/9/13 02:49 PM, Elitistinen wrote: What is the basics of orchestra/classical composition? If somebody knows good tutorials on this topic, please share, thank you.
Good topic by breed: http://www.newgrounds.com/bbs/topic/1266668

Love it! Thank you my friend!

wandschrank
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Response to Orchestra Basics 2013-01-09 17:36:14 Reply


Love it! Thank you my friend!

You're welcome!

But .. Thank not me, thank breed! :D

TROctavia
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Response to Orchestra Basics 2013-01-09 18:06:23 Reply

At 1/9/13 02:49 PM, Elitistinen wrote: What is the basics of orchestra/classical composition? If somebody knows good tutorials on this topic, please share, thank you.

If by classical you really do mean classical, then you are referring to the classical periods: baroque, classical (redundant, yeah, but it is a period too), romantic, maybe even impressionist, or 20th century. If you wish to write something in one of these styles, you'd have to really research the instrumentation, form, structure, etc. of that specific period. I can go more in depth if this is truly what you meant, but since the NG definition of "classical" is very lenient, you might've been referring to something completely different.
Even if you were, this is a great exercise in composition. One who can successfully emulate one of the earlier classical periods is definitely a well-rounded composer.