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Thread: How to orchestrate

  1. #1
    Recruit, Pianissimo
    Join Date
    Jan 2012

    How to orchestrate

    I am a pianist and will be performing a piece of recorded music that has strings throughout the piece.

    What I would like to know is how I would determine which stringed instruments I would choose to perform it live.

    If I have 5 string people available is there a standard .. ie: 2 violin, 1 viola etc

    Help !

  2. #2
    Vice Admiral Virtuoso John Watt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Welland, Ontario, Canada, mid Niagara Peninsula, between Great Lakes Erie and Ontario
    Hmmm! Is this going to be your orchestration?
    Are you going to choose the best musicians available,
    or are you going to choose instruments to satisfy pre-determined parts?
    Maybe you can buy a synthesizer so an electric guitarist can sound like,
    uh, any string or organ type, if a guitarist is one of the better musicians around you.
    More than tasteful posting, or reading books, maybe you should get some charts.
    If you weren't in musical instruments, I wouldn't be commenting.
    If you were in the orchestration forum, I wouldn't be commenting.

  3. #3
    Vice Admiral Virtuoso wljmrbill's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Taylors, South Carolina, USA
    in your case..sounds like 2 violins, i viola, 1 cello and 1 string bass might be best ( might not need the bass if the bass part is strong in the piano It would depend a great deal on the piece..Are you arranging it? or is it piblished already?; if so that will answer your question.
    ....To play only what is written is the domain of science. To realize what is not written is the domain of art."
    - Jean Langlais

    I wish you the Best for each day, now and always.


  4. #4
    Apprentice, Piano
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Well orchestration is a real job. Don't really think make an orchestration without perfectly handling the individual instrument techniques.
    Concerning the string instruments, a cello and a violin are not written the same way, and a string quintett orchestration is differently voiced than a string ensemble.

    The choice of instruments depends on the key, the range, the sound, the playing techniques of your music. If you really need to use strings instruments, I made 2 video tutorials about violin and alto violin. It could help you. But orchestration is not only transposing a piano piece to orchestra, it is also the art of mixing sounds and instruments together, and ear experience is essential ..

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