Orchestration 2

This was the second class that I took with Ben Newhouse. It is the follow-on course to Orchestration 1 and I enjoyed it just as much, if not more than its predecessor. There was a lot of information covered in just 12 weeks. And just like the previous class, everything was clear, logical, laid out really well, with each subject building on the previous. In fact, he mentioned in a live class that he designed these two classes to be two halves of one large 24 week course.

I feel very fortunate to have been able to experience Professor Newhouse’s classes and to have him as an instructor. He might be the best teacher I’ve ever had, on any topic. Just fantastic. As I said in a previous post, if you get a chance to study with him you should take it. He’s that good.

Here is the material we went over.

Week 1 – “Color Choices”, Apr 3 – Apr 9
Introduction, Course Structure, Group Instruments by Color, not by Range, Approaching Color Choices Systematically, Alternative Organization – Instrument Structure, Waveform Structure, Color Choices in Appalachian Spring, Treatment 1, Treatment 2, Treatment 3, Treatment 4, Treatment 5, Simple Gifts Summary, Doubling and Its Effect on Tone Color, Orchestral Mockups: The Two Circles, Assignment 1: Tone Color Orchestration

Week 2 – “Orchestrating Dynamics”, Apr 10th – Apr 16th
Introduction, A General Framework for Dynamics, Orchestrating Accents I, Orchestrating Accents II (Part 1), Orchestrating Accents II (Part 2), Orchestrating a Crescendo or a Diminuendo, Orchestral Mockups: Battling Computing Limitations, Computers, Using Multiple Hard Drives, Incorporating Hardware, Adding a Hardware Sampler, Adding a Second Computer for Sampling, Using MIDI Over Ethernet, Purging Unused Samples, Audio Interface Buffer Size, Latency Compensation, Freezing Tracks, Sample Rates and Bit Depths, Bypassing Reverbs, Checklist for Notated Scores, Assignment 2: Orchestrate a Diminuendo

Week 3 -“Orchestrating Lines”, Apr 17th – Apr 23rd
Introduction, Dovetailing Dictated by Range, “Mercury” by Gustav Holst, “Fireworks” by Igor Stravinsky, Dovetailing Dictated by Playing Limitations, Lines for Single Instruments and Doublings, Single Instrument Treatment, Doubling, Segmenting a Melodic Line, Line Segmentation, Pointillism, Note Segmentation, Orchestral Mockups: Note Transitions, Sustained Chord Progression, Sustain Common Tones, Overlapping Notes, Humanizing Note Starts, Add Automation, Assignment 3: Orchestrating a Line

Week 4 -“Orchestrating Harmonic Material”, Apr 24th – Apr 30th
Introduction, Voicing Chords for Full Orchestra, Combining the Families, E.T. Strings and Percussion, E.T. Families Combined, Combining Wind and String Chords, Additional Examples of Chord Voicings, First Inversion, Second Inversion, Unconventional Voicings, Dense Voicing in the Low Register, Sustained Harmonic Accompaniment, Rhythmic Harmonic Patterns, Rhythmically Repeating Chords, Combining Sustained and Rhythmic Harmonies, Extended Harmonic Passages, Orchestral Mockups: Combining Samples, Assignment 4: Orchestrating a Harmonic Progression

Week 5 -“Orchestrating Single-Layered Textures”, May 1st – May 7th
Introduction, Tutti Statements, Variety in Tutti Statements, Homophonic Statements, Inexact Doubling, Orchestral Mockups: On-Velocity, On-Velocity, Fixed Decay Instruments, Assignment 5: Homophonic Writing

Week 6 -“Orchestration in a Two-Layered Environment”, May 8th – May 14th
Introduction, Creating Separation, Maintaining Balance, Focus – Guiding the Listener’s Attention, Separation, Balance, and Focus in a Two-Layer Texture (Part 1), Separation, Balance, and Focus in a Two-Layer Texture (Part 2), Orchestral Mockups: Continuous Controllers and Dynamics, Dynamic Samples, Volume, Expression, Modulation, Assignment 6: Foreground and Background Writing

Week 7 -“Orchestration in a Three-Layered Environment”, May 15th – May 21st
Introduction, Foreground, Middleground, and Background Material in Tannhauser, Wagner Treatment 1, Wagner Treatment 2, Foreground, Middleground, and Background Material in Bolero, Ravel Treatment 1, Ravel Treatment 2, Ravel Treatment 3, Ravel Treatment 4, Ravel Treatment 5, Foreground, Middleground, Background in Tchaikovsky 4: Treatment 1, Foreground, Middleground, Background in Tchaikovsky 4: Treatment 2, Tchaikovsky Example Summary, Orchestral Mockups: Quantizing, Quantizing – Choosing the Rhythmic Interval, Quantizing – Additional Options, Flexible Tempo Maps, Workshop: Quantizing, Assignment 7: Foreground, Middleground, and Background Writing

Week 8 -“Complex Textures of Four or More Layers”, May 22nd – May 28th
Introduction, Limits to Human Perception, Stravinsky’s Fireworks (Part 1), Stravinsky’s Fireworks (Part 2), Extreme Complexity: The Rite of Spring I (Part 1), Extreme Complexity: The Rite of Spring I (Part 2), Extreme Complexity: The Rite of Spring I (Part 3), Extreme Complexity: The Rite of Spring I (Part 4), Extreme Complexity: The Rite of Spring 2 (Part 1), Extreme Complexity: The Rite of Spring 2 (Part 2), Extreme Complexity: The Rite of Spring 2 (Part 3), Controlled Chaos Textures, Orchestral Mockups: Horizontal Placement, Orchestral Mockups: Spread, Orchestral Mockups: Sampling Implications, Assignment 8: Sequencing Chaos 

Week 9 -“Horizontal Relationships I”, May 29th – Jun 4th
Introduction, Horizontal Relationships, Horizontal Relationships in Tchaikovsky 5, Part I, Horizontal Relationships in Tchaikovsky, Part II, Horizontal Relationships in Tchaikovsky 4, Part I (Treatment 1 and 2), Horizontal Relationships in Tchaikovsky 4, Part I (Treatment 3 and 4), Horizontal Relationships in Tchaikovsky 4, Part I (Treatment 5), Horizontal Relationships in Tchaikovsky 4, Part II, Orchestral Mockups: Reverb Background, Digital Reverb, Convolution Reverb, Sampling Considerations

Week 10 -“Horizontal Relationships II”, Jun 5th – Jun 11th
Introduction, Horizontal Balance, Horizontal Balance in Beethoven (Part 1), Horizontal Balance in Beethoven (Part 2), Horizontal Balance in Orff (Part 1), Horizontal Balance in Orff (Part 2), Horizontal Balance in Tchaikovsky, Orchestral Mockups: Reverb Routing, Individual Patches, Sampler Instances, Reverb on Converted Audio Tracks, Using Sends, Busses and Aux Tracks, Multiple Outs From Your Sampling Software, Review of Key Concepts: Global Considerations, Review of Key Concepts: Single-Layer Considerations, Review of Key Concepts: Multi-Layer Considerations, Review of Key Concepts: Horizontal Relationships

Week 11 -“Hollywood Textures I”, Jun 12th – Jun 18th
Introduction, Sustained String Cues (Part 1), Sustained String Cues (Part 2), Mystery and Magic Cues, Theme Cues I, Orchestral Mockups: Vertical Placement, Delay, To Delay or Not to Delay?, Predelay, Assignment 11: Final Project Continued

Week 12 -“Hollywood Textures II”, Jun 19th – Jun 25th
Introduction, Theme Cues II: Treatment 1, Theme Cues II: Treatment 2, Bouncy Comedy Cues, Action Cue 1, Action Cue 2, Action Cue 3, Orchestral Mock-Ups: Mastering, Compression, Compression Considerations, Limiting and Multiband Compression, Assignment 12: Final Project Continued

I’ve posted the score and audio for my final project below.

Thanks for another great class, Berklee!