Orchestration Masterclass, Part 1: The Strings and The Winds | Jason Allen | Skillshare

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Orchestration Masterclass, Part 1: The Strings and The Winds

teacher avatar Jason Allen, PhD, Ableton Certified Trainer

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      What is Orchestration?


    • 3.

      What is Instrumentation?


    • 4.

      What is Synthestration?


    • 5.

      Ranges and Synthestration


    • 6.

      Suggested Texts


    • 7.

      The Format of this class


    • 8.

      My Orchestra Music


    • 9.

      Big Beautiful Scores


    • 10.



    • 11.

      Instrument Order


    • 12.

      Rehearsal Letters and Numbers


    • 13.

      Tips for Reading Scores


    • 14.

      Shared Parts, and "Desks"


    • 15.

      Page Turns


    • 16.



    • 17.

      What is Transposition?


    • 18.

      Why Do we Do that?


    • 19.

      Muti-key Instruments


    • 20.

      Some Sneaky Tricks Around Transposition


    • 21.

      Instruments in the "orchestral strings" section


    • 22.



    • 23.



    • 24.



    • 25.

      Multiple Stops


    • 26.

      The Violin: Range and Sound


    • 27.

      The Viola: Range and Sound


    • 28.

      The Cello: Range and Sound


    • 29.

      The Bass (Contrabass): Range and Sound


    • 30.

      The String Section


    • 31.

      String Effects


    • 32.



    • 33.



    • 34.

      Col Legno


    • 35.



    • 36.



    • 37.



    • 38.



    • 39.

      How These Work


    • 40.

      Sustained Notes and Breathing


    • 41.

      Tonguing and Rhythm


    • 42.



    • 43.

      The Types of Flutes


    • 44.

      The Flutes: Range and Sound


    • 45.

      The Types of Oboes


    • 46.

      The Oboe: Range and Sound


    • 47.

      The Types of Clarinets


    • 48.

      The Clarinet: Range and Sound


    • 49.

      The Break!


    • 50.

      The Types of Bassoons


    • 51.

      The Bassoon: Range and Sound


    • 52.

      The Types of Saxophones


    • 53.

      The Alto Saxophone: Range and Sound


    • 54.

      The Tenor Saxophone: Range and Sound


    • 55.

      The Baritone Saxophone: Range and Sound


    • 56.

      The Soprano Saxophone: Range and Sound


    • 57.

      Special Woodwind Effects


    • 58.

      Key Clicks and Air and Mutes


    • 59.



    • 60.

      What Comes Next?


    • 61.

      Wrap Up!


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About This Class

100% Answer Rate! Every single question posted to this class is answered within 24 hours by the instructor.

Are you a music maker, performer, composer, or aspiring songwriter looking to up your game? This is the place to start.

It's time to learn orchestration to give your music the power, the passion, and the prodigiousness that it deserves.

Orchestration is the study of each instrument in the orchestra, how they work, how to write for them, and how each instrument collides with the others to make new sounds. Think of it like painting: The orchestra is your palette of colors. But you don't want to just mix them all together. You need to understand some principles of mixing those colors together before you put your brush on canvas.

In this series of classes we are going to work on three things: 

  • Instrumentation: Knowing how all of the instruments in the orchestra work, and how to write for them in an idiomatic way.

  • Composition: Using the orchestra to write powerful music. Learning how to blend the different sounds of the orchestra to make a new, unique, sound.

  • Synthestration: Using common production software (Ableton Live, FL Studio, Logic Pro, Pro Tools, Cubase, etc.) to create a realistic orchestra sound using sample libraries.

In this first class, "Part 1: The Strings and The Winds" we are going to focus entirely on instrumentation - learning how to write for the strings (violin, viola, cello, bass/contrabass) and the winds (flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, and saxophone).

If you don't know me, I've published a lot of classes here. Those classes have been really successful (top sellers, in fact!), and this has been one of the most requested classes that my students (over 1,000,000 of them) have asked for. I'm really excited to finally be able to bring this to you.

Here is a list of some of the topics we will cover:

  • Transposition
  • Score Order
  • Tips for Reading Scores
  • Preparing Parts for Players
  • Page Turns and Cues
  • Bowing
  • Pizzicato
  • Double Stops
  • The Violin
  • The Viola
  • The Cello
  • The Bass
  • String Effects
  • Harmonics
  • Col Legno
  • Ponticello
  • Glissando
  • Vibrato
  • Scordatura
  • The Winds
  • Sustained Tones and Breathing
  • Tonguing and Rhythm
  • Types of Flutes
  • Types of Oboes
  • Types of Clarinets
  • The Break in the Clarinet
  • Types of Bassoons
  • Types of Saxophones
  • Alto Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone, Bari Saxophone, and Soprano Saxophone
  • Woodwind Effects
  • Multiphonics
  • And Much, Much, More!

My Promise to You:

I am a full-time Music composer and Educator. If you have any questions please post them in the class or send me a direct message. I will respond within 24 hours. 

What makes me qualified to teach you?

In addition to being a composer and educator,  I also have a Ph.D. in music, am a university music professor, and have a long list of awards for teaching.

But more importantly: I use this stuff every day. I write music professionally, I am an active guitarist, and I stay on top of all the latest production techniques, workflows, and styles. As you will see in this class, I just love this stuff. And I love teaching it.

Let's get started! 

See you in lesson 1.

All best,

Jason (but call me Jay...)

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Jason Allen

PhD, Ableton Certified Trainer


J. Anthony Allen has worn the hats of composer, producer, songwriter, engineer, sound designer, DJ, remix artist, multi-media artist, performer, inventor, and entrepreneur. Allen is a versatile creator whose diverse project experience ranges from works written for the Minnesota Orchestra to pieces developed for film, TV, and radio. An innovator in the field of electronic performance, Allen performs on a set of “glove” controllers, which he has designed, built, and programmed by himself. When he’s not working as a solo artist, Allen is a serial collaborator. His primary collaborative vehicle is the group Ballet Mech, for which Allen is one of three producers.

In 2014, Allen was a semi-finalist for the Grammy Foundation’s Music Educator of the Year.

... See full profile

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1. Introduction: Hey everyone, welcome to orchestration. You may know me by my many, many music theory classes available here, and by about a 100 other classes available here. One of the things I've gotten asked from literally thousands of students as foreign orchestration course, and I've put off doing it until now because it's a very dense topic, it's a very deep topic. And I hadn't design a curriculum that I felt really good for diving deep into orchestration. But I think I'm there, So you found it. First of all, here are a couple orchestra pieces of mine. I've won a bunch of awards for writing orchestra music, and I'm pretty proud of the orchestra music I've written. In this class. What we're going to do is we're gonna start off the way that most college classes teach orchestration, which is with the topic of instrumentation. This is like the way I like to explain instrumentation is when someone comes up to you as a composer and says, you're a composer, do you play every instrument? You can just say yes, you have my permission to do that. But the real answer is no, I don't play every instrument, but I know how they all work. That's what instrumentation is. We need to learn how each instrument works. And then we're gonna go deep into orchestration. In this section, we're going to focus on the strings and the winds. We're going to learn about every instrument in those two groups, how they work, what their ranges are, what you can write for them that will sound good and what you can get into trouble with writing for them. We're also going to talk in this class about writing for the orchestra in general experiences I've had of working with orchestras and how you prepare parts, how you think about page turns, all the nitty-gritty stuff that you have to know. Even if you're not planning on working with a real orchestra. All of this is really valuable stuff if you're planning on incorporating like a string section into electronic tracks or anything like that. I'm gonna talk a lot about how that works as the sections of this course unfold. And we'll devote a bunch of time just to talking about how to make your synthetic orchestra, sampled orchestras sound very real. So join me on the adventure we're diving in right now with some basic stuff about how the orchestra works. And then we're going to hit the ground running with the strings. So let's do it. 2. What is Orchestration?: Okay, so a lot of people have been asking me for an orchestration class and I've done a little poking to figure out what exactly your thoughts on orchestration are and what you're looking to learn. And I've kind of boiled it down to two things I think most people are looking for in your illustration class. One is the ability to write music for the orchestra primarily for the purposes of film scoring or something like that. That's great. The second thing is to make their orchestra music sound good through the, through whatever door they're using. So getting sample library and a good orchestra sample library to sound really good. We can do that too. So traditionally, the way orchestration is taught in the university is kind of two parts. It's a class called instrumentation and orchestration. The first part is instrumentation. And that's what we're primarily going to cover first. And the second part is orchestration, an instrumentation. You'll learn what all the instruments are and how they work. We'll talk more about that in just a second. In orchestration, you learn how to craft all of those sounds into, blend it into a painting. How to take all those different colors, each instrument gives you a different color. How to take all those colors and paint with them. It's a little bit different than writing the music. A lot of people write music just like two staves, just on a piano. Grand staff. Then they orchestrate it, meaning they write it out for the full orchestra, or they write it out for some other combination of instruments. You don't always have to be working with a full orchestra. Orchestration can mean like I'm gonna write this out for string quartet or wind quintet or something like that. It kind of just basically means rewrite it for more instruments. What we're going to look at is, in orchestration is how different sounds combine. Looking at what we have here, we have Brahms, symphony number one here. So you can see here that he's got the horns on this low note and then two other horns coming in on this melody. Why is that In the lower horns instead of the upper horns? When this is sonically higher pitched. Why would you do that? There's actually really good logic to that. That is something we can talk about an orchestration. We have here, the flutes and oboes in this nice harmony, moving around in rhythmic unison. And the strings in the two violence and octaves, Does, what kind of sound does that create? And when combined with those fluids up in the same range, what kind of sound does that create, that orchestration? That's what that's all about, is how all of these sounds work together to make a unique palette of colors. I guess that's what illustration. But we're gonna start with instrumentation. So let's go to a new video and let's talk about what we mean when we talk about instrumentation. 3. What is Instrumentation?: A lot of the time I'll be somewhere. And someone says, What do you do for a living? And I have a lot of different ways. I answered that and that's that's a conversation for another day. But sometimes I'll say, I'm a composer. And inevitably, When you say that to someone, there are two responses that you're likely to get. One is going to tell you about how they played clarinet and fourth grade and blah-blah-blah. And that always drives me nuts. But the other response is, Oh, you must play all the instruments, then. You can respond to that however you want. Sometimes I just say yes. Usually I say Yeah, All of them poorly and a few of them good. But the real answer is no, I don't play all the instruments. Very few people will play all the instruments. But I know how they all work. And that's what instrumentation is about. What we need to do in instrumentation is we're going to learn all the instruments. We're going to learn how they work. Any unique things that we need to think about when we're writing for them. And their ranges and their general tessitura. And now this is a word we're going to deal with a little bit in this class. The tessitura of an instrument generally means it's comfortable range. We also use it to talk a little bit about the sound in that range and sometimes even the volume. For example. Let's look here. A flute. It's happiness score. If I was talking about the test tour of a fluid, I would talk about not its extremes, like it can go a little really, really great performer can get pretty high above the accepted registrar, register. Maybe even below using some weird techniques. But we're talking about the normal range. In that range, there's a dynamic curve to it. It gets, when they're on those really, really high notes, they have to blow really hard to get those high notes so they're loud. They can't play a really high note, really quiet through some tricks like a real virtuosic performer can, but it's quite difficult. The opposite is also true. If you write something really low for flute, It's going to be really quiet. So you have to think about that when you're writing. If you really want it to be heard and played on the flute, you can't write it really low. These are all things in the instrumentation range. Things to think about. The tests that dura of the instrument. And sometimes I think of it like the word patina sometimes but not really. It's not that It's the range and the unique qualities of the instrument, not even unique, the qualities of the instrument within that range. So that's what we're focusing on with instrumentation. Now we're not gonna go through every instrument known to humankind. In this class. We're primarily going to focus on the orchestra instruments and a couple of oddities. Like there's a couple of instruments that we tend to talk about, an instrumentation that are not traditional members of the orchestra, but they have been used in the orchestra like guitar, saxophones. We'll talk about those. They're not in the traditional orchestra, but they're worth talking about a couple of others too. So we're gonna go through all of those instruments, how they work, what they do, oddities of them, anything like that? That's really kind of how you answer that question. Do you play all the instruments? Like they don't need to know this, but no, you don't need to learn to play all the instruments, but you need to know how they all work. If you're gonna write for them. That's instrumentation. 4. What is Synthestration?: Now there's a new thing that's coming around in the last decade or two. That isn't part of the way this, this material traditionally taught normally it's instrumentation and orchestration. That's how you teach this stuff. But there's a third thing that I will touch on throughout this course. I might, I haven't fully committed to it yet, but I might make a third course in the series totally devoted to this thing. And that is what we call synthase duration. Synthase ration is a bit of a tongue and cheek term, but it is a real term primarily used in the film and TV world. Since illustrator is someone who takes the music from the composer and puts it into a DAW, assigns samples to it, and gets it to sound super real and really great. There are a lot of the best composers in the film world who don't know anything about computers. But when they need to make a computer rendering which a lot of them do, even if they're using a real orchestra. A lot of them need to make a computer rendering to get approval before they hire the orchestra. They send it to what's called a synthase traitor to real job. But aside from a real job, that there are some really useful techniques for us to learn just to make our track sound better. Some techniques to make our door play our music in the most accurate way. Or sometimes to use our data to cheat and to break some of the rules of orchestration. We'll talk about that in the future. Well, let's talk about that a little bit now. The example I just gave the flute real low. In a real orchestra. If your flute line was really low, and then there was like a big brass thing happening over it. You would never hear that flute line. It would be obliterated. But in the synthase straighter world, I can turn, I can just turn the volume down of the brass and the volume up of the flute and make it so that low fluid line comes forward and you hear it. This would never ever work in the acoustic world. No amount of balancing is going to make that work. But in a synthetic where world I can. So one thing that's really tricky about synthase ration is that you have to, you have to keep in mind. If you do something like that, you have to know that that is what you're doing. And if you just decide to print off the sheet music and hire an orchestra, it's not going to work. You can do things in the digital realm that won't work with a real orchestra. You can break all kinds of rules. Then you give it to a real orchestra and it's going to sound like mud. I think it's important to separate these things, to separate talking about writing for the acoustic orchestra and writing for the synthesized orchestra. They are very two, they are two very different beasts to write for. Primarily in this class, I'm gonna be focusing on the acoustic orchestra. When I do talk about something in the synthetic world, I will explicitly say that. Then if I am, if I feel the need at the end, I'll make a third-class totally devoted to that synthase duration idea. But for now, let's move on. 5. Ranges and Synthestration: I have one other thing I want to say about that, about that idea about separating orchestra and synthesizer. Writing. Ranges are like this. Ranges, the range of an instrument is more or less finite. In most settings. Let's look at a violin. The low strings on a violin is G. The note G, that low G, that's as low as they go, they cannot go lower. You could retune the violin, but we'll talk about that when we get to violence and why you should not do that, but you could, but in almost every circumstances that is a finite low pitch, you cannot get any lower than that. The bottom note of a violin is fixed. In a synthesizer. It doesn't have to be. You can make a go lower. But if you give that to a real player, they're going to laugh at you. They're gonna say, Wow, you don't know what the lowest note on a violin is. So another thing you have to keep track of. The upper note on a violin does have a little bit of flexibility. Because once they get really high, some players can squeak out a few extra notes. Some of them can use their fingernail to get the kind of a harmonic on the string passed the fingerboard. There is a tiny bit of flexibility in what the highest note is. On the violin. There's a lot of instruments like that. Even like the clarinet has a pretty finite lowest note. But the highest note there are some virtuoso techniques that'll let you squeak out one more node or two more notes. Anyway, the point is, when you're in the synthetic world, you can let that violin go down below G a little bit. Because it's synthetic. You can do whatever you want. But in the acoustic world, you can't do that. It's not only impossible, It's also like a major faux pas. There's a lot of politics in the orchestra world, so you don't want to create a major faux pas because they're not going to play yourself. If you do. I'll try to leave the orchestra politics out of most of this class, but it's probably going to sneak in here and there. Okay, Let's move on. 6. Suggested Texts: Okay, So in some of my music theory classes, I noticed a lot of you have had asked me in the questions for a textbook that you could use to follow along with some of my theory stuff here and there gave some suggestions, but there are a lot of different music theory textbooks in instrumentation and orchestration. There are, there, I mean, there are a lot of different orchestration textbooks, but there are a few that are really kind of the standard go-to orchestration books. I wanted to point out three of them, two of them, and then one kind of odd ball that I just happened to like, you don't need to buy these books to use this class. But if you want a book to use as a reference later, that can be really handy. It's not uncommon for people to have to look up what is the range of the English horn. The Internet works well for that, but if you want to book the first one, I'm gonna recommend, actually the first one I'm going to recommend is one I don't have presently because I loaned it to somebody. But it is we just call it the Adler. Let me look up what its exact name is. By Samuel Adler. The study of orchestration by Samuel Adler. Simulate other big composer taught orchestration, I believe at Juilliard for like ever. And this book is kind of like the standard orchestration text. If you go to, if you take a college orchestration class, it's very likely that you're going to use the Adler book. It is traditional in the sense that it's not going to talk about synthesisers or anything like that. This is acoustic composition and orchestration, I should say. Another book is the one that actually I learned on and still have liked. It's not as popular as the Adler, but this is the bladder BLAT TER. It is called instrumentation and orchestration. It's a good book. It's laid out really nicely for references. You can just really kind of look up all the unique qualities of, I'm going to flip open randomly to the tubas. Here's a picture of a bunch of different cubits. It's also a good book. They're both great. An odd ball. This was a book that a teacher recommended to me forever ago. And I read it and I, I really liked it. This is called the anatomy of the orchestra by Norman Del Mar. This is not a standard orchestration texts. But the thing I like about it is that it's an orchestration text that has almost like a witty commentary on the politics and temperament of the player. There'll be sections that says, Here's a passage for Trumpet. Then it'll show a passage of music. And I'll say if you write this, the trumpet player will probably punch you in the face because trumpet players usually want to fight and they will be mad that you did it this way instead of that way. And there's just this weird, like British narcissism built into it. It's like somewhat entertaining. Somewhere in here there was a passage that I highlighted that I can't find it at the moment, but it's like a Beethoven excerpt. And then it says observed this Beethoven excerpt and then it shows us Beethoven music. And then it says, if Beethoven would've known what he was doing, he would have written it like this. And you just think that's some, that's some bold statements there. But I found it somewhat entertaining and also useful to get some of these ideas about orchestration. So I have enjoyed it. I have used it as reference over the years. You can see it's a white book. So you can see that it's gotten a lot of use because it's like turning colors and it's like dog-eared. Three textbooks. All of them, but especially the Adler and the bladder will be useful if you want a book to help you through this class. I'm not going to specifically teach any of those books. I'm going to kind of follow my own path here. But if you get one of those books, you will be fine to use it as reference with this class, I'll guide you through how I like to teach orchestration, but you'll be able to follow along with really any standard textbook. Just fine. Okay. So again, textbook not required. You do not need to go out and buy this textbook. But if you're someone that likes textbooks, There you go. 7. The Format of this class: Quick bit about the format of this class. What we're gonna do is first we're gonna go through some basic things that you need to know, scores, parts, transpositions, those types of things. And then once we get through that, we're going to go into each individual instrument, will always do it the same. First, we'll talk about the instrument family. So there are a number of families of instruments. Families would be like strings, wins, brass, percussion, things like that. We'll talk about the family first, and then we'll go into each individual instrument in the family. And we'll talk about the range and the sound dynamics within of that instrument. Then we'll talk about special effects and oddities. Special effects would be like just anything weird that they can do that you might ask them to do in a piece for a special effect, then oddities would be anything that's particularly difficult for that instrument to do. Like, well, things like the tuba, giving them really long sustained notes. You can't do that because they need to breathe. And it takes a lot of air to push out these big low nodes all the way through a tuba. You can't give them really long notes to hold. That's just kind of a special thing about the two-by-two. In fact, a lot of brass instruments. One thing you'll find is that if we didn't have to breathe, orchestration would be a lot easier all around. But alas, we don't have full robot orchestras. There probably are, actually now that I say that, anyway, that's kind of the format that we're gonna go on. I set it up this way so that you can use, you can reference this later. You can go back to this class and kind of zip through and see like oboe. Here's the oboe videos and then re-watch those if you need to. One more thing. And then we're hitting hitting the ground running. 8. My Orchestra Music: Okay, So I suppose it's worth pointing out that I have written a good amount of orchestra music. I've written a lot for, I've written a lot for strings, brass, the, all the combinations. I have a lot of string quartets. You've, in some of my other classes, you've heard me talking about this, but in my other classes I've never really talked about my orchestra music that has been played by big, acoustic real human orchestra. I have a few pieces that I've done pretty well with. I thought I'd show you one of them here. This one called tiers of arrows, has received a handful of performances by a few different orchestras. There was some people have written papers about it Towards a new common practice. Very academic things, which is maybe interesting to you. Let's just take a quick look at it. I don't want to dwell on it too much, but in a score, the first page always list the instrumentation. All the instruments, the percussion that you need. Any notes or anything like that. Here's the score. This is going to zip by. I'll play just a little bit of it. To give you an idea of it. This is a live recording obviously. Here are some hoops quite long. Here's that gesture. Okay, so that was the intro. Maybe I'll make this whole thing available to you if you want to listen to the whole thing. It's like 15 minutes long, but it goes on and gets kind of chaotic and then kind of romantic and pretty and then kind of chaotic again. There's a lot of notes in it. So I'm showing you all this just to say, yes, I have written orchestra music, so I've worked with big orchestras. I want a bunch of awards for my orchestra music. I think I know what I'm talking about. I think let's dive in. 9. Big Beautiful Scores: Okay, so before we get into each individual instruments, I want to talk about the score. Orchestra scores and big scores in general have a couple of unique things to them that are worth pointing out. In this first video. I wanted to just talk about how much I love looking at these big scores. Let me show yourself. I got a few of mine. Here's the piece we were just looking at. This is, most scores are printed on this big 11 by 17 or bigger paper. The long way. So that hope you can see this. Let me try this so that you can really see the full orchestra on every page. That makes it to fit everybody on one page, even on this big paper makes it each instrument really small. You have to really squint to read these. And this is why most conductors wear glasses. Because they're used to reading these teeny tiny notes. But a full ensemble, a full orchestra smashed onto one page, even really big paper stuff. Here's another orchestra piece by me since called sunder. This one is interesting because you'll see in a couple of pages, let me just find a random one. You'll see some writing and read. What's happening there is, this is a copy of that I used in rehearsal. So often in rehearsals with an orchestra, you as the composer will sit in the audience kind of close to the conductor, but not, but still far back enough to hear everything really well. Then you'll scribble some notes. And then after they get through it, you'll go up to the conductor and say, Okay, here with the note says is no mute. That means that in that section, I want them to take the mute out. You can, you can tell the conductor things that are different than are in the score. But most of the time we were just kind of clarifying what's in the score. You don't really want to be making changes. But sometimes there are questions that come up and things like that. Often when you do that, it's like dynamic things. I noticed some of them in here. One here, I circled just like two notes. And I wrote too much. Meaning, tell the conductor to tell that player, That's the marimba player. To pull back a little bit there. Just clarifying things. Enough about me. Let me show you my favorite score that I own. Liquidy Requiem. This is a monster score. It's really big. I bought this when I was traveling. I was in Paris. I just had a big backpack and I bought this and then I left behind some close just so that I could fit this in my backpack. The thing that makes this so big is that there's a lot of DVC here. Meaning like normally, when we write out like the cello, for example, the cello might have ten or so people playing it, but we write one staff and it says cello. And all ten of those string players play that same thing. In this piece. Every individual person gets their own part. There are ten staves for cello, ten staves for first violin. It's probably more than ten Steve's for a second. Myelin, probably more. And not every page is even showing every instrument. It's just so tiny in his hand written to, by the way. It's just so small and gorgeous to read. Guy loved just like listening to music and following along in the score. There's notes from liquidy in here where he's written some stuff and French actually it might be translated, know, it's French, German, in Germany. But it's a beautiful piece too. Anyway. I love big beautiful scores. I could just thumb through big scores all day long. You don't have to. So let me move on from this. There's a couple of things that we expect to see in scores that I want to point out in the next couple of videos. And then we'll also talk about some tips for how to read scores, following along with a score while you're looking at the music or hearing the music is difficult and it takes some practice, but I have some tips for how to do it. First, let's go into this idea of transposition. 10. Transposition: I have pulled up here. This is a page from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows score by Hans Zimmer. It's not too difficult to read a bunch of sustained notes. Quick little heart flourish, little solo and trumpets. Nothing crazy. I want to point out one thing. Let's look at the key signature. No key signature here. Cool, but a key signature here are the clarinets. That means clarinets. Here are the clarinets playing in a different key, and the saxophones playing in yet a different key, but the tenor and its own key. And then the horns and yet another key. Then everything else in the key of C. This would tell us that we have these playing in the key of C or a minor. These playing in the clarinets, playing in the key of D bass clarinet and the key of D. Alto sax is the key of a tenor in the key of D, berries acts, and the key of a trumpets in the key of D, horns in the key of G, and everybody else, and C or a minor. No, that's not what's happening. What we've stumbled on here is something called transposition. And this is a thing that we didn't talk about this at all and all of my music theory classes. And there's a reason for that. The reason for that is because I hate it. I hate it so much and I'm no good at it. I screwed up every time. Here's a fun little secret about myself. I'm pretty dyslexic. When it comes to dyslexia in music. I think that I actually have a lot of advantages. There's a lot of things that my brain being wired in a different way helps me do a lot of creative thinking, a lot of unique ways of solving problems and thinking of things that most people don't think of. This is very useful for a musician to have. However, there are two things that are like my Achilles heel with it. One is looking at the Roman numeral four and then Roman numeral six when we're doing analysis, they're always wrong to me. But that has nothing to do with this. The other one is transposition. Here's where transposition is. We're going to talk about transposition a lot in this class. We're going to look at it for all the instruments. We're going to talk about what their transposed. Most of the instruments. If I play on a piano and I'm playing with a clarinet player, I say play middle C. And I play middle C on the piano, and they play middle there, middle C. We are not going to be playing the same note. Not even separated by an octave. Clarinets are in B flat, so they're going to be playing a B flat when I play a C. Two totally different notes. That's why if you've ever heard someone say, everyone plays, see concert or play this in concert pitch. Concert pitch means we're all going to play the same. See, if you are playing a clarinet, you're going to play a D so that it matches my C. I think that just do that backwards. I may have just done that backwards. When we get into transposition more, which we'll do shortly, I'll show you some tricks on how to make sure you're right because I've figured out some tricks. But It's a really annoying things. So what we're looking at here is we're all playing in the same key. It's just that this score is not a transposed score. So we are showing the clarinets in exactly the music that they would get their playing. This a, which, whoops. This a is gonna sound to us like a G. I think. It's gonna be in unison with that flute G. That makes sense. Not all notes are the same on all instruments. There's kind of a historic reason that this is the way it is. This is going to drive you nuts about orchestration. All I can say to you is I am with you and that there's nothing you can do about it. It is the way it is. Winds, transpose saxes, transpose, brass transposes. Horns transpose. Strings tend to not transpose. Strings. Percussion are non transposing instruments. Upper winds tend to be non transposing instruments, meaning that they are in the key of C. It's mostly when we're dealing with the winds and brass that we have to deal with transposing. But in an orchestra they're kind of an important layer to it. When you look at a score, you have to know if you're looking at a transpose score or not a transpose score, the key signature isn't always going to tell you because in more modern chromatic music, there's no key signatures on anything. The way to tell is usually to look at the cover. Usually the cover or the inside page will say something like this. Here's my piece sunder. The inside page where it says Instrumentation. Right under instrumentation it says score in C. That means everything that's showing up in this score is transposed. So that the notes, we're looking at, the notes that we're going to hear. The clarinets have been written to be in the key of C in this score. Now that means that I can't just take the part right out of the scoring, give it to them because then all the notes are gonna be wrong. I have to transpose it to get them for the part. Will deal with parts in a minute. But all my scores are scores and see I transpose them so I can look at the notes and know what the notes are without having to transpose in my head. Because I suck at it. More on transposing soon. But it's an important element of a score to know if you're looking at a transpose score or not a transpose score. If you're looking at something and it says score and see then you know that the notes that you're seeing are the notes that you're going to hear. If it doesn't say score and see, then you have to do the transposition in your head when you read it. One last thing about this, when it comes to scores, one thing that I've found is that most conductors, especially most conductors in the US, are very happy to have score in C. They, any conductor worth their weight, can deal with a transpose score just fine, or an N transposed score. But American conductors are very, I'm happy to have a score and see it's not an issue. I find that European conductors tend to be a bit more traditional. And they really don't want a score in C. They're used to seeing everything and transposed. And it's correctly written pitch and doing it in their head. That's a really broad generalization, but that's been my experience with it. What you will more on transposition soon. Let's move on and talk about the layout of the score. 11. Instrument Order: Let's talk about score order. This is important in very standardized, that is the order of the instruments on the page. It hasn't really changed much in the years and it's not, it might not be exactly what you think. There are a couple of oddities in it. You might think that highest stuff is on the top and low stuff is on the bottom. And that's true in one way, but not true in another way. The thing to remember, big picture, Windsor on the top. And then within the winds, you do go highest to lowest, generally. Piccolo, flute, oboe, clarinet, that's bassoon. High to low, more or less. Then we have brass. And again, we roughly go high to low trumpets. Let me do one in English. Well, let me just show you on one that I know. The instrumentation page usually lists everything in order. So we're gonna go winds. So piccolo, flutes, oboes, clarinets, bass clarinet, bassoon. And if there is a contra bassoon, very low bassoon, brass, horns, trumpets, trombones base, tuba. I think. I've seen horns go at the top of the brass, and I've seen horns go at the bottom of the brass there, kind of a weird brass instrument. I suppose that's flexible. Then we have harp and piano. They're kind of in their own family in a way. You can leave any of these out. By the way, you don't need to use all the instruments in the orchestra every time. Then under that we have percussion. Tympani. First it gets its own thing. Tympani is always treated as its own percussion line. We'll talk more about that when we talk about percussion, but it's an important concept. After that. The percussion forces, we say, there's three states for percussion that I've decided to use. You don't need to use three tympani and then your percussion staves. And then at the bottom, VIA strengths. Always violin, violin, viola, cello, bass, or contrabass, however you want to call it. That's the traditional order. It's important to maintain that order because remember when you're reading the score, you might be following a line and then flip the page. You need to keep following that line. Now sometimes we do have scores where we leave off instruments that don't play on that page. That's called a cutaway score. I think that's kind of fallen out of fashion. We'd like to show the empty staves just because it's easier to follow. But you do see some scores like that. They're harder to follow. Yeah, that's it. Winds, brass. Harbin, piano. Percussion, strengths. Score order. 12. Rehearsal Letters and Numbers: Okay, Up next, rehearsal letters and rehearsal numbers. There's a few different philosophies on this and there's not a standard thing that you should do. Basically, you want a rehearsal, queue, some kind of a letter or a number at any kind of significant moment in the piece. Double bars, definitely anything that's a double bar. Most of the time if there's a tempo change, um, or sometimes if there's a meter change, those are all good spots to put a double bar or to put a rehearsal letter. But also just kind of significant spot, maybe a tricky spot, a spot that the conductor might want to rehearse multiple times, give them a letter there. It's just to make rehearsals go smoother. Now, you can use letters or numbers. I prefer rehearsal letters. The reason is they don't get confused with bar numbers. You don't want to, well, when it comes to a score and working with a real human orchestra, the worst thing you can do is waste time because it's really expensive to have that orchestra sitting on the stage. So anything that you do needs to be really, really clear. If the conductor says, everyone go to 45, then half the orchestra raises their hand and says, Do you mean rehearsal number 45 or measure 45? You've just wasted time. So don't do that. That's why I prefer to say go-to letter D. Then they all know what rehearsal letter D is. And it's not measure 45. What I did this particular piece and something that my teacher at the time encouraged me to do. And I think it's a really good practice and I've done it on a lot of pieces sense is at the beginning of every page, I put the measure number of that page and big circle that's on every single page. They measured numbers right there. There's also a measure numbers. I guess that's it. I guess it's the only spot I put measure numbers. Measured numbers at the top corner on every page and really big numbers just so that the conductor, whoever's reading the score, can see them nice and clearly. And then I also put rehearsal letters in a square. So you can see D there. The rehearsal number. That's the way I like to do it. Again. There's no nothing standard on that. Just be sure and put some in there and make it so it's not confusing. Another way to do it that I've seen a lot of people do is to use numbers for the rehearsal, but make them be measured numbers. So if this is measured 42, that's 4243. Letter D is at measure 44. So instead of putting a D, I could make a really big number, 44 there. And then they could say, and then the conductor can say, go to 44. There would be no question because it is both the measure number and the rehearsal number that can work. I like to separate them. Wherever you got to do works fine. There's nothing standard here, but just make sure to put some in there so that when they're rehearsing, we can speed things along and not waste time. 13. Tips for Reading Scores: Tips for reading scores. This is hard, it's hard to read scores. It takes a lot of practice. But here's some secrets. We're back to that Zimmer, Hans Zimmer, Harry Potter page. If I was hearing this played and trying to follow along with the score. One thing I might do is look ahead. Always be looking ahead a few bars for entrances. Any significant entrance? Here, there's a trumpet solo. When I turn the page and saw this page coming up, if I was lost, I would go. Whereas the next entrance might see these horn entrance. But this solo, this trumpet solo is going to be a little more obvious. I'd be like, okay, and then I would follow that. Then I might, I might move down to this harp riff and hear that. Might even grab this triangle riff. So you're kind of zigzagging through. Don't try to look at the whole page and ingest all the harmony and everything. There are some people that can do that, but I can't do that. Just let your eye go where it needs to go. So follow this line, maybe jumped down and see this triangle entrance. Go to this harp and trends. The more you do that, the more you'll start to see this line. What's going on in the saxes and the horns, like kind of everything around it. And then here you'll see what's also going on in the euphonium and the triangle. You'll start to get more and more and more. But as you start reading these, just try to look for entrances and follow an entrance. Even like this flute high note, that's going to really stick out and you'll be able to hear that. Enter, enter. And then that'll give you something to latch onto. Always be tracking entrances of instruments. That's what I do and that's how I learned to read a score. The more you do that, the more you'll develop the skill to here. What's around those things? And kind of focus out and get more of the big picture. It's all about tracking entrances while you get started. 14. Shared Parts, and "Desks": Okay, Let's talk about parts. Now. I know you're like, let's get into the meat and potatoes and let's learn about the instruments. What we're gonna get there. I just want to cover this because there's no other good spot to cover this. And it's important to know if you're gonna work with a real orchestra. A bunch of things about parts. Score. It actually let me use this score. You can sometimes combine multiple parts on one staff. For example. We see, I know you can't see this, but the horns, I have two staves for four horns. There are two horns on a staff. However, in parts, you can only have one instrument on a staff. Every instrument needs to have their own part. If I was going to make the horn parts for that piece, I would have to take the horn part and separate it out into two different parts. It's kind of a pain, but that's how it has to work. The exception is strings, obviously, like the violin section. They need to have there. If you're splitting the first violins, for example, and saying like half of the section do this, half this section do that. Then you can have one part that splits out into two staves, but they have to have their own staff. So let's talk a little bit more about strings real quick. So most instruments in the orchestra have their own stand. Meaning like if you have three trumpets, you're going to have three trumpet parts. They each physically have a stand and apart on that stand, the strings work a little bit different. The strings are usually two people per stand. That is called a desk. A desk means two people looking at one stand. There'll be playing off the same part. Usually how that works is the more a higher ranked or senior person will be on the outside. And the lessor ranked person, however, that orchestra does, it will be on the inside of the desk. Then the lesser person will be responsible for any page turns I need to happen. Stands in desks are an important term. Are important terms. Percussion works a little bit differently where percussion, you need to have. Typically what you have is one part for each player, not each percussion instrument. The timpani gets apart. And then if there's three percussionists, then you make three parts. You can also make what's called a percussion score, which shows all the precaution on one part with multiple staves. It might have three or four staves on it showing all the percussion at once. I've known in some of the bigger orchestras I've worked with, they've, the principal has liked the principle is the top ranked player in the section. So the principle of percussionist has liked to having that score that they can parse out who's doing what. The logic there is, that they're gonna be better at figuring that out then you are. And I've been more than happy to let them figure that out. What I do is I make apart for each percussionist and a score. Then I give that all to them and basically say here's more information than what you need, but piece together what you want to make it work. One more thing that I want to say about parts. Here, I have a couple of parts that these have come back from a performance. So these were last used in the performance with the Minnesota Orchestra. They're marked up a little bit. You can see the players markings all over them. Let me do that. You'll notice that this is an odd size of paper. Maybe you can't tell that, but it is odd size. The reason is that stands can be quite far away, especially for the strings where they're sharing a stand. It's become standard to use this really funky shaped sized paper. At least it's funky for the US. I think it's ten by 13, if I remember right. It's ten by ten by 13. The way you do it is you don't just print out your music on ten by 13 paper. That's not how you do it. You print it out on standard in the US letter size. That's 8.5 by 11. And then you blow it up to ten by 13. That everything is bigger than you would expect, that makes it easier to read when it's farther away. I have found this to be a very standard practice, ten by 13 paper four parts. If you're working with an orchestra, that's a significant orchestra, a major orchestra, they will have probably a full-time librarian. And that librarian maybe willing to help you with this. You can sometimes just send them your 8.5 by 11 parts and they will blow them up on the right side of paper and do the binding. They use a special tape binding because it's silent. Sometimes they will expect you to do that for them, but sometimes they will do it for you, and sometimes they even prefer to do it just to make sure it's done right. In this case, I just sent them a whole bunch of PDFs of the 8.5 by 11 and they printed out the parts for me, which was great and bound them and then give them back to me. Which was super cool, so odd paper size. But you've got to kind of blow them up a little bit because they are sometimes a bit farther away. Okay. Let's talk about page turns. 15. Page Turns: Okay, page turns are a very important thing and you have to think about them when you're making parts. And it can be a major headache. I have here two parts. You'll notice this is the second violin part, and this is the cello part. You'll notice that the second violin part as a cover page and the cello part doesn't. Why? Page starts? It doesn't have to have a cover page. But in the second violin part, I had no way to put a page turn at the end right there. Like they were just playing. I had to make a cover page so that the first page turn ended up right on that rest. You need to give them you want to align your page turns up with arrest, either arrest right before the page turn or a restaurant after the page term. Ideally before. There are a couple of tricks around it. For example, I'll give you, there's a, a notation that you can use, a VCS, it looks like this. That little italic V, S right there. The font is important. It's a symbol. It stands for something in Italian or Latin. Don't remember what it stands for, but it basically means heads up. This is a quick page turn. It means you're playing right after the page term. There's a one-bar rest here. This is not a really quick tempo, so there's one bar rest. And then there's a page turn there right back in that VS just means quick page turn. Let me look in the cello part. Here's a good VS. Here they only have three beats. They play a note. And then there's three beats VS, which means they're playing right away on the next page. Right away on the next page, they have two more beats and then they're playing. If you absolutely can't line up a page, turn with any rest. Let's say someone's playing for what's gonna be three pages straight. You can do fold out pages so you have a page turn and then a page that opens inside, so that opens up into three pages. You want to avoid that as much as possible because it's going to, there's some sound associated with ruffling all those pages. It takes a minute to do it, then you got to unfold it to turn the page. Once it's over. It's kind of a worst-case scenario to do. But it can be done. In all parts. You have to think about page turns, figuring out the best spots. And sometimes it means cramming some measures together really tightly in order to make it line up so that there's a rest. And sometimes it means leaving huge amounts of space. I just saw that one that we looked at like right here. I could fit a few more systems at the bottom here, but I didn't because that was my best option for a page turn everything else got weird from there. So sometimes you leave empty space on a page or even sometimes full pages blank, so that you can facilitate a good Paige drink. Because remember you only need to page turn every other page. So sometimes you just leave a page blank so that you have a page. Turn on the previous page, flip it over, and then you've got two pages of solid Music. Lot to negotiate. It's a lot to think about, but it's something that we all have to deal with. Some of the newer software, notation software will help you with this and kind of force a page turn to line up in the right spot. But it really still takes a close look to make sure that it's all doable. Page turns. 16. Cues: Remember what I said a couple of videos ago where I said one of the goals of an orchestra rehearsal is to not waste time. It's super important that everything is really efficient and no one is confused about what's going on. To that end. One of the things you're going to want to put in your parts are, cuz I have one here in the cello part. Hopefully you can see this, but look at the bottom staff. What you're seeing there is this is music that the cello plays. And then there's three bars of rest. And then here, see these tiny note heads. It's music, it's notated correctly, but with tiny note heads, tiny note heads. And it says TBT above it. That's a cue. They're not supposed to play that. What that means is that's what the trumpet is planning, that's the TPMT. So they have three bars of rest and then they hear this trumpet riff that's supposed to help them in case they get lost in those three bars of rest or anything. The more accuse, the better, the more of those you can put in. I mean, there's you don't want them all over the place. But if you have a part that has any significant amount of rests, three bars, ten bars, 20 bars. Then before they re-enter, give them a queue, give them something to listen to. And it's not because they can't count. Like these are professional musicians, they can count. But it's just to confirm that there are right and prevent anyone from screwing up. You want to put cues wherever they have significant rests. Or sometimes if there's something really obvious, put them in anyway. If there's like a big, huge percussion moon and they're not playing at that moment. Put that boom in there as a cube. Make sure that it's clear that it's a queue. You use teeny-tiny note heads, then some text above it just to say what this is. And it'll just confirm that they are in the right spot. It's really helpful and it saves a ton of time in rehearsal. Performers, I think really expect to see it. So do it. Cuz are good. Again, some of them were up-to-date software. Notation software can just automatically put queues in your parts. It takes a looking over to make sure that they're right. But it's I've seen some of them do it really well and some of them do really poorly. So you just got to look at it and make sure that it's right. 17. What is Transposition?: Hey everyone, It's me from the future. I filmed this video. Then. I'm back play it for you. But then I got done with the whole class and I jumped back. Because I need to clarify something. I'm going to talk about this more in the next video. But as we get into talking about transposition, there's one concept that I need to make sure is absolutely super clear. That is, that the transposition that we're talking about that each instrument has to do, has nothing to do with the key of the music. Don't think that like we have horns and F, but in a different tune, who might have horns in B flat? That's how it works. The horn is an instrument that is tuned and designed around F. It can play chromatically, but it is designed around F. That's why we call it the horn in F, It has nothing to do with the music that it's playing. It always transposes in that way. When we talk about the key of an instrument, we're talking about the physical properties of the way that instrument is designed, not having anything to do with the music itself. We'll talk more about this in a minute, but I just, I literally couldn't sleep last night and making sure that I conveyed this concept to you early enough. I'm jumping back to make sure that you get it. Okay. Now, onto this video, a million years ago, when I was in high school, I wrote a musical. It was the first, my first attempt at writing something for not just guitar, bass, and drums. And it was lofty and I didn't really know what I was doing was bad before you think, Oh, he must be a genius. You wrote a musical in high school. It was really bad. But I remember the first time we rehearsed the music. I was playing guitar and I was leading the band. And the band was like, it was basically my friends all cobbled together. So it was guitar, bass and drums, and then some saxophones, Some bras. Maybe a couple of wins. I wrote out everything by hand, and I wrote all the parts out by hand. It was very tedious. I remember staying up all night in doing this. I was really excited. I got everything all written out after-school, honest. On a day. I got these folks to stick around and play through it. I guess I wanted to hear how it sounded with real with any instruments. I didn't have a computer at the time. Again, million years ago. I remember counting it off. Let me, here we go. And the first thing was some big chord or something like that. And everyone played their note and it just sounded horrible. Horrible. Then we kept going and we got to this melody that's supposed to be this big unison thing between some brass winds and me on the guitar. And it just sounded horrible. It was not unison and it was super dissonant and nasty. So I stopped and I said, I screwed something up. Let me figure this out. Let's try this again. Tomorrow. I went to my band director and I said, What did I do wrong? Why did it not sound right? He said transposition. I know we already talked a little bit about transposition, but we're going to talk more about it because it is incredibly essential. Let me show you an example of how this works. I have here in new score, just their standard classical orchestra template. Um, you'll see just by default, I'm getting a different key signature on clarinets. You'll also notice it says clarinet in B flat. We sometimes list the clarinets as clarinets in B flat because they are in B flat, that's the transposition that they use. You'll see other instruments listed that way. Trumpet in B-flat or things like that. I'll talk more about why that is in just a minute. But let's do a little experiment. Let's write a couple of notes. Here. See. F. Let's write the same thing for the elbow. Now let's hear them. They should be unison. That's definitely not unison. That's a mess. There. The same notes though. But they're not the same notes because this is in B-flat, got a different key signature, everything. So let's do this. Let's go to staff properties. And down here, Here's where it's telling us our staff transposition. Instrument, B-flat clarinet. The name of the part, how it's written. Usable pitch range, professional transposition. Here's what we're looking for. To a major second down is what we're doing. Let's say No transposition, which would be a perfect unison. Now, it's going to move all my notes down because it's transposing it. But if I move them back up, just them, Italy, there we go. Now I've turned the transposition off on that instrument. Now we're going to hear it in unison. Good. I'll talk more about this in a minute, but a trick to if you're not good at transpositions, like me, what you can do, go in your score, turn all the transpositions off, or set them to a unison. Then write your music. Then go back and turn them back on. Let's say I want this clarinet to be in thirds above that oboe. Let's do E, F natural. Now we're going to hear, see an E, F, D and F, E and G. F and a like a nice little melody in thirds. Lovely. But when I make this part, I need to turn that transposition back on. So I'm gonna go back in here. Let's see, I right-click. Staff properties. Go here. Transposition, major second, down there. Now that looks all weird, like that looks like a fourth. But it sounds right. It's bizarre. But you have to get good at doing this. Okay, So let's talk a little bit more. Let's talk about why this works the way it does. 18. Why Do we Do that?: I remember from some of the music theory classes, a lot of you saying, Why do we do it this way? Like why, why is the piano not just all half-steps and whole-steps like why? A lot of the time the explanation just was That's just the way it's done. The way it's been done for like a 1000 years. I'm anticipating a lot of you saying, Why do we do it this way? This is crazy. And full support. I'm on board with that rage. If you read around on online, you can find a lot of different explanations for why we've ended up with this crazy system. The let me point out three, kind of the three most prominent ones in my opinion, there are other reasons that things work this way. But here's the three most prominent. I believe. The first, I'm sorry to say, is tradition and repertoire. There's just a ton of music that's been written this way. For pretty close to 1000 years. Definitely for five or 600 years. I mean, it goes back to Mozart. Even long before that, we had some transposing instruments and that's just the way that it was. So we have all of this music that's written this way. It would be hard to switch out the instruments to make them not transposing, redesign all the instruments and it would be hard to rewrite all the music. So it works that way because that's the way it's always worked, which is a horrible, horrible answer. But it is one very logical answered. Number to evolution. Evolution of the instruments. There was a time when instruments, most instruments would not be expected to play in all keys. You would have an instrument that could play in only one key. The piano was this way for a long time. Before we had black keys, we just had white keys. And we had different pianos tuned in different keys. They were instruments that we would now call tempered, which meant they were tuned to a specific key. We eventually figured out a system called equal temperament where we mathematically figured out how to tune some things so that it would be pretty good in all keys, but not perfect in any key. That's a discussion for another day. But let's say you have a trumpet and it's designed to play really in tune in some keys. But if you add this extra little valve or this extra little piece of tubing and this modifier. You can now play chromatically and all keys but forever. But the way you would do it is by shifting everything up and down in order to not have to re-learn all the fingerings for all the different keys. We just added a transposition. It's kind of weird, but it just has to do with the natural evolution of it. That's a big one. The third one is the versatility of the player. Let's say something like clarinet and saxophone, let's say specifically alto saxophone. Clarinet is in B flat, alto saxophone is in E-flat. They're in totally different keys. Even though they can both play totally chromatically, they can play in any key, but they are in that key. The reason, one reason that it works that way is that we often see, we often expect clarinets and saxophones to double, meaning one player who can play both those two instruments. And if we put them in those different keys, we can keep the fingerings all the same. All the same notes for all the same fingerings, they sound different. Denotes are going to sound different, but their fingers don't have to relearn every note for every instrument. Players can be more versatile because they're just switching to an instrument in a different key, but all their fingerings still work. That's a big reason to, again, there are other reasons. Those are probably the most common. The horn or the French horn is probably the biggest offender because it can switch. You can do something to have it be in two different keys. And then you got to keep track of two different transpositions. I said something a second ago and I want to clarify that before we move on. When we're talking about the key of the instrument, this has absolutely nothing to do with the music that they're playing. This is the, this has more to do with the physical properties of the instrument. Clarinet in D flat. That doesn't mean the music we're planning is in B flat or anything like that. It just means that we are transposing this clarinet by a second. Because if it was, because the oboe just above it is in C, if it says nothing, it's in C. Again, having nothing to do with the music that we're playing. That just means that if I write a C, I'm going to hear a C. If it's in B flat, I write a, C. I'm going to hear a D. It's weird. So don't get transposition of instruments confused with the music on the page. We have to write the music a little bit differently for transposing instruments so that it sounds correct. But we're not talking about the key of the music or anything like that. 19. Muti-key Instruments: It's worth pointing out that some instruments exist in multiple keys. Trumpet is a good example of that. The standard is B flat trumpet. However, there is also a C trumpet. That would be a trumpet that doesn't require any transposition. In fact, I know some players who prefers the sound of the sea trumpet. It sounds different. It's very different. It's a very subtle difference. Because the trumpet is designed a little bit differently. It's got a little bit more tubing or a little less tubing or something. It's got a different tone. It's subtle, but it's a different tone. So it's very common to see a trumpet player carrying around multiple trumpets, one and b flat and one. And see, I know a lot of players who will get apart written in B flat and transpose it in their head so that they can play it on a C trumpet. People who play transposing instruments professionally get really good at transposing in their head. Clarinet is similar. Clarinet and B flat is the standard. However, there is a clarinet in a that's very common, and a clarinet different tone than a B-flat clarinet. And in a standard orchestra, It's fairly common. Both of those are fairly common. So B flat is the kind of traditional, but you can specify a clarinet if that's the sound you want. A little bit different sound. Subtle, but same thing with C trumpets. I prefer to write for C droplets because I hate transposing. But there you go. There's a couple of other instruments like that too that have multiple versions, but those are the biggest bonds. 20. Some Sneaky Tricks Around Transposition: I mentioned earlier, I said I will give you some tricks for getting around and transposition if you're bad at it like I am, the best way is what I already showed you. Go into something, use a notation editor and transpose the music. Then write your music, and then go back and transpose it. Now the thing you have to watch out for when you do this is that you take your instrument out of range. The very, very easy to do because you're not writing the notes that they're gonna see. You have to make sure that once it's transposed. And some instruments like E-flat, that can go up a sixth. If you write something where you're having them go up to a high note, that can be just fine. But then once it's transposed, they're on a really high note and it's too high. You have to. So what I do is I write the music. I turn off transposition. I write the music. Then I turn on transposition when I'm done. And then go through each part thats transpose and make sure that nothing is out of range. And you have to do a layer of double-checking on that to make sure you don't do that. That's a way to make sure that you do it right. Just let the computer do it for you. If you're taking an orchestration class in college or any kind of instrumentation class, you have to do an exam where you're transposing stuff. This will not help you. You just have to learn how to do it, but maybe you can do it correctly. I just always do it backwards. I can do it like a 100 times and be like, Okay, this instrument, once its transpose, it goes up a major second, I'm sure of it. 100% goes. This node is now that note. And then I'll make the computer do it and it went the wrong way. 100% of the time I'll do it and then I'll think, okay, I'm a 100% sure it's gonna go up. So I'm gonna take it down because I know I always do this backwards. And then I'll tell the computer do it and it was supposed to go up. I just can't when I let the computer helped me to make sure I do it right. It's cheating. I don't care. Assuming all of this being said, we're going to move on into the strings. Now, if at any point in this class I am talking about transpositions. And I say, here's the transposition for this instrument and I say it backwards. Sorry, I probably won't, because I tend to avoid saying things like that. And I have the power of video editing. I'll probably double-check if I say anything like that, but I've been known to get those wrong, call me out on it in the comments and I will go in and edit it and fix it. Let's get into some music. Let's talk about the strings. 21. Instruments in the "orchestral strings" section: Okay, Let's talk about the strings section. Instruments in the string section. So basically in this big chunk of videos, what we're gonna do is we're gonna talk about the kind of string family. Then we're gonna go into individual instruments. And then we'll talk about some special techniques. So first the string family. In the orchestra, strings section. We consider that to mean for different instruments and five staves. Hold onto that for a second. So the first instrument is the violin. Probably know what a violin is. It's generally the highest of the instruments in the string section. The second instrument is the viola. This is probably the one that if you aren't familiar with one of them, it's probably this one. Viola is a little bit lower than a violin. It's a little bit bigger. Yeah, It's just lower, has a little bit kind of creamy or sound, I guess you could say. Next is the cello. It's again lower than the viola. Then last is the double bass. This has a few different names. You can call it the double bass, you can call it the, you can just call it base. It can be abbreviated dB for double bass. Or sometimes you'll see something like cello bass, or weird things like that. In modern scores, we call it either the double bass or the base. Okay, but I said there's five staves. It's because the violence section gets divided in half. In any orchestra music, you have violin one, violin two, and then viola, cello, and bass. So you basically have double the amount of violence as you do for all the rest of the instruments. You might have a typical orchestra. You might have, let's say, ten people playing violin, 110 people playing violin to ten people playing viola, ten people playing cello, and ten people playing bass. Not really more like probably five people playing bass, in that case. The base sections a little bit smaller than the rest. And the violence section, there's a 12. Now it doesn't mean you have to write a violin one and a violent two-part. It is very common and most common to do that. But if you want to write them in unison, playing the same thing, you can't do that, but you have to have violin one and violent too, on two different states. Those are the instruments of the string section. Now it's important to know that there are other strings in the orchestra. But when we talk about the orchestra strings, It's those five instruments. The other strings could be considered like harp. But harp is not in the string family. That's a different, it's its own family. The piano is sometimes considered a stringed instrument because that's the means of making sound, is vibrating strings. You're hitting them with tiny hammers. But it is not part of the string section. There are some weird or percussion instruments that have some strings. And then there are non-standard orchestral instruments, guitars. Guitars, even when guitars are used in an orchestra, they're not considered part of the string family. They go in a different family. I'd have to look up where they sit in the score, but I think they probably get clumped with or near the harp and piano. Then anything else like banjo, mandolin. I could go on ukulele. If those are used, they're not considered part of the string. The orchestral string family. Orchestras string family. It's just those four instruments. Violin, cello, viola, wrong order, and base. Cool. Okay, Now let's talk about a couple issues are not issues, but a couple of things that you have to consider when you're writing for the string family. That's true of all of them. And then we'll go into some unique things. 22. Bowings: One of the biggest things that we encounter when we're writing for orchestral strings is Boeing's. This is an issue that I've heard. Different people say different things about it. And this is a little bit of a matter of opinion, actually. Well, yeah, it's a little bit of a matter of opinion, so I'm gonna give you my opinion on this issue. And the issue itself is, do you write Boeing's or do you let the player writes their own bowings? Here's what I mean. If the Boeings for an instrument are the way they go up and down. And if you ever watch performance of an orchestra, you'll know, you'll notice that most of the time, like everyone in the string section, everyone in the violence section, their bows are going up and down at the same time it's in like when one goes up, the other, they all go up and when one goes down, they all go down. It's very rare to have them doing different ups and downs. Now, also, where they switched direction can matter like if you tell a string player, a violin player, to sustain a note for ten bars, they have to at some point switched directions and that makes a sound. You can ask them to stagger that, meaning everyone do it at different times that we don't hear that. But often they're going to want to do it all at the same time. So when that happens, where do they do that? These are all Boeing questions. Questions about Boeing. So you can write in Boeing's and a lot of people do write Boeing's in its. There are certain notation conventions to write out Boeing's in your score. In my opinion, if you're working with a professional orchestra, you should note, right? Boeing's, there are people who like to read your Boeings and there are people who will throw out your Boeing's entirely because they want to do them themselves. And that's fine because they're probably better at it. Unless you're a string player. Don't write Boeing's. If you play those instruments really well and you really understand what it takes, then you could write the Boeings. But let me show you here this orchestral piece again. You can see here, see all these pencil marks on it. All of these things, those are Boeing's because I left off Boeing's for the most part. There's no bow. Wow, There's a few. I wrote a few where it was really important what I wanted. But for the most part, what happens is they get the part with no Boeing's on it. The section leader, the person in charge of the whole section. The top player usually sits down and writes all the Boeings in and decides what they're going to be. That's not something you need to really worry about. You can skip writing Boeing's if you want. Or you can write them in and then you can ask the player, Do you want my Boeing's are not want my Boeing's. Most of the time they're going to not want your Boeing's. Maybe if you're working with college or an amateur orchestra, maybe they'll want them because they don't have time to write in all their own bowings. But with professional groups, I've heard, don't write Boeing's, let them write their own bowings. Okay, So that's good because then you know, that's one less notation thing you need to worry about and learn how that works. But all these instruments, all four of these instruments, use a bow. Unless they're using pizzicato, which we'll talk about next. But when they're Boeing, they need to have some indication of when they're going up and when they're going down. And that's what makes a unified sound. Let them figure that out. Don't worry about writing Boeing's my opinion, but it's been pretty universally true. I think. 23. Pizzicato: Pizzicato. You can at any point asked for them to play pizzicato, you just typically write P IZZ period. Or you can write out the whole word if you want to be fancy. Put that in italics. And that means pizzicato. Pizzicato means they put their bowed down and they play like this. If you haven't watched any of my other classes, you don't know this, but I'm not a violin player. When I play weird out of two notes. That's why I happen to have a violin and I can do a couple of things on it, but I use it for recording purposes. I don't I'm not proficient in any way, but I know how to hold it. Kind of. Pizzicato means they play with their finger, actually the side of their finger. And you get these plunked pits, notes. Perfectly great too, right? There's a couple of things to consider when you write it. First. Very important. Whenever you turn on pizzicato. Pizzicato is one of those things that you turn it on by writing pits. That means they're going to switch to pits. You have to also turn it off. So go through your scores and you always have to make sure that if you told him to do something different, you have to undo that. At some point. You turn pizzicato off by saying, go back to using your bot. And the way we do that is with the word arco. Arc. Arco means go back to your boat. If you turn pits on by saying pits, you have to turn it off by saying arco. Now, another important thing is that going between Arco and Pitts is not in instantaneous thing. They can't be playing like this. Then instantly be pits. They need a beat or two to go from. They can go do a couple of notes by going like that. Not like a 16th note alternating between Arco and pits. You just can't do that. They can't negotiate the bot. If they're gonna do a long section of pits, more than a couple of notes that they're going to want to put their bow in their lap. It out, put their bow down, go up. You got to give them two or three seconds to do that. Whenever you're switching between pits and arco, always try to give them two or three beats to manage their bow. When you switch it off with Arco, You also need to give them a few beats to pick their bow backup, get their position ready, and then hit it. If you ask them to do it really fast, they're likely to that, they'll try. But there might not be in the best position, they might not be comfortable. They might hit the node out of tune. It's just asking a lot. Always give them a few beats to switch between the two. Last thing on pizzicato, they typically only use one finger for pizzicato. This is not like playing finger style guitar where you're going like dude, you're using three or sometimes four fingers on the different strings and you can do like tremolo stuff. That's not how this works. It's typically one finger and it's going sideways. It's like that. Let's see how fast I can do that. That's as fast as I can go. I'm not a professional player, but there are some physics involved in this. So you can't go a lot faster than that. You have to, you can't write huge stretches of 16th notes is going TTT, TTT, TTT, or even worse on not repeating notes doing scales and stuff. You can write scales and stuff on pizzicato, but it can't be blazingly fast. There. They only use one finger. So don't think of it like finger style guitar. Think of it like doing this. That being said. Another thing that comes with this is they can't do this forever. So we do have to think about fatigue. So let's talk about fatigue. 24. Fatigue: Now when we get to talking about winds, we're going to end up talking a lot about breath. When you're playing a wind instrument, you need to think about where they're going to breathe. Because if you don't give them anywhere to breathe, they will die. And it's generally frowned upon in the orchestra world to kill the winds or the brass. You don't really want to do that. String players. On the other hand, you can kill all day. No, I'm just going to, string players don't need to breathe while they do, but they can breathe while they play. You don't have to negotiate how they breathe for them. Their mouth and nose is free to breathe as they like. However, similar thing to breathing that we have to deal with with the strings is fatigue. You do have to think about this. Going back to pizzicato. This like if I was to do this, Let's say I was doing that faster. And I wrote a 100 bars of doing that. That's not good. They're going to die. Not die. I really need to get the death references out of this class. Getting a little dark. No more talking about killing anyone. They're going to be angry. And in pain. Generally speaking, if the performers are angry or in pain, they're not going to want to play your music very much. Give them opportunities to rest if you're going to have them doing, doing something for a really long time, you have to think about just the fatigue of the player. Tremolo is another thing that this comes up with a lot. I've gotten yelled at for this a few times where I've written a big tremolo section. So tremolo is, it's kind of like a role on a drum. But tremolo would be like, look at my arm, look at my right arm. That gets tiring. That gets really tiring. So if you write a section where they're gonna do that for a 100 bars, What's going to probably happen is they're going to figure out how to stagger it. Meaning some are going to rest for a few bars while some key playing, and then those ones are going to rest. And they're going to switch off, which means you're going to lose some sound. You can do that. You can deal with losing some of that sound. Um, but it would be better to try to write your way around that. If you can write in some rests, That's better. You have to think about repeated things done for a really long time. Especially tremolo and Pitts gets really hard on there are mostly thinking about the right arm. That's where fatigue really comes into play. There, left hand running around on the fingerboard. They're used to doing that all night long. That's not something we have to think about. It's more about repetitive stuff in the right-hand for a really long time. That's fatigue. Now one interesting thing about fatigue is that if you are not writing for acoustic human people, and you're just writing for synthetic orchestra. Fatigue is something you can very comfortably not think about it at all. But it is one of those things that is problematic where if you write entirely for acoustic or for synthetic sampled strings and then decide, hey, this turned out really cool. I'm gonna move it over. I'm going to make the parts and hire an orchestra or something and make an acoustic recording of this. That can really get you into trouble because that's one of those things. It's just so easy to do on a computer that a human strings section has a really hard time with. These are the types of things we have to think about. Let's talk about double stops. 25. Multiple Stops: Okay, double stops are the term we use for when string plays multiple notes at the same time. Like this. I just played to open strings at the same time. Cool. A couple of things to know about double stops. They are not the norm. So when you're writing for violin, you don't want to write double stops all the time. Again, the violin, this whole string section, these are not guitars. Guitars can do quite a lot with multiple strings at the same time. These can't, they can do a couple of things though. They can play two notes at once here and there, and that's cool. But use it sparsely. Also. Lets talk about more than double stops because this is worth mentioning. You can play two notes at once, but three nodes at once is possible, but very rare in orchestra music. It's very rare in solo music for the strings also. But an orchestra music very, very, very rare. Don't do this. Basically. You can see that the violin and all the string instruments in the orchestra family, it's not a flat fingerboard like it is on a guitar. It's rounded. If you're going to play two notes at once, you can actually grab two notes at once. That's not impossible. But if you're gonna grab three notes at once, what you have to do because of the arch of the fingerboard. You have to go to the middle of the string that's in the middle. You have to push it down enough to grab the two strings on the other sides of it. Let's see if I can do it. I can do it. A couple of things about that. Again, super rare, don't do this. If you do have to do it for whatever crazy reason, you have to do it loud, like this, because you have to push into it so much. You can't write this quiet. This isn't something that can be done quietly. It has to be loud. If you're going to write that. For notes at a time, we only have four strings, so four is the maximum. If you write for notes at a time, they're going to roll it. That means this. If I was to write, to play all four strings open, I can't really, I can't push down enough on my middle two strings to get all four. Like I just can't. What you're going to hear is this. You're going to hear it rolled like that. If you write for notes, it's gonna get rolled. Don't do that. Next thing I want double stops. You have to think about the fingerings. This is very, very important. Let's go back to just two notes at once. What two notes you do are very important because it might be something that's very easy and it might be something that's very difficult. Remember that the strings are tuned here in fifths, not enforced like they are in guitar. So if you think, oh, this is something that's easy to do on guitar. So it should be easy to do on myelin, that's not necessarily true. So testing out your fingerings on a guitar isn't always going to work. A common thing I've seen people do. And there's actually two reasons for that. One is that the strings are tuned different like I've just mentioned. But there's another reason to. On a guitar, we're planning like this, like see the position my wrist is doing, it's going straight up. And then I have like maximum movement here. And the violin, we're doing this. My hand is doing that. It's a very different angle. Something like a major third on a guitar is, is this shape. It's very easy to do. But on a violin, once I get the angle there, that is crazy, awkward, that is super painful and weird. But guess what? It's not a minor third. Earth's on a major third anyway, because we're tuned different, but that shape really doesn't work. How do you know what double stops you can do? How can you play two notes at once? The best way to know for sure I've found over the years is find a violin player. Just say, hey, if I write these two notes at once in this kind of a rhythm, can you do that? And they will shoot back at you. Yep. That's easy. Are yep. I can do that, but that's hard or can't do that. That's the best way to know, is just to ask a string player. The second best way is to just kind of figure it out. Draw out a violin neck and put your fingers on it, hold it like that. And then see if you can negotiate those notes. You can find charts of where the notes are on the fretboard, or not a fret board on the fingerboard. And you can find those notes and see how difficult it's going to be. But again, for orchestra music, there's very often not a need to write double stops. You can usually split this section. You can use your first second violins and give one note 211 node to the other, and then you have a much better sound because they can hit that note more accurately and they don't have to find the double stop. Most of the time. Almost all of the time. The orchestra strings are all playing one note at a time. All the rules for double stops that I just said applied to all the string instruments except the bases, which I'm thinking now, I don't think I've ever really seen double stops written in the base. Very, very rare to write any double stops for the base. I don't think they would sound very good. I think through it. Double stops. Triple stops, multiple stops. There you go. 26. The Violin: Range and Sound: Okay, Let's talk about the violin. Specifically. For each of these sections on the four instruments. I really want to talk about their range and just some general things about their sound. We'll talk more about some weird techniques. At the end of this section. With all instruments, we're gonna talk about their range from the lowest note they can play to the highest note they can play. But with the string instruments, especially it's important to think about the range of each string somewhat. That's why I want to show you this chart here. This is a chart you'll see for any string instrument, you'll see these charts all over the place. This is a fairly conservative one. The open strings are G, D, a, E of the violence. That's g2, G3, sorry, G2, D3, A3, and E4. So the lowest note is G. That is finite unless you're gonna do a weird like ask them to retune, we'll talk more about that shortly. Short answer is don't do that, but possible. All things being equal, that started lowest note and that is finite. That is the lowest note. That's the lowest that they can plant. The upper notes are less finite. This range is fairly conservative. G up to G. So the reason I say it's conservative is that's like going like this. But there's a little more notes get really close together up there. So to play up there requires a little bit better player. Going all the way up to that, gee, I would say is if you're dealing with a professional orchestra, that's totally fine. And you can probably get up to maybe even a fifth higher. You can probably get all the way up to this d, just by squeaking out these nodes way at the top here. But if you're working with a more amateur orchestra or a maybe a college orchestra or even a junior high orchestra, or a highschool orchestra. Stick to that range and you'll be safe. You can squeak out a few more notes on top of that though. And that's true for all strings. That's why I went it here. When we look at the absolute upper range of the violin, It's a little leafy. This E here is conservative. That's squeaking up here. But you can squeak all the way up to that node. What is that? E, F, G, a, B, B. You could even go a couple of notes higher if you're working with a professional group. The range of the instrument is this G, all the way up to be ish? But keep in mind if you're writing fast passages, if you're just like ripping through notes really fast, do blue. You don't want to go up into those really kind of virtuosic areas because it's just gonna be impossible for them to hit it, right? So it also depends on what you're doing. Here's another example. If you really want to get that be confident way to do it would be to walk up to it by a scale. If you're just walking up DDD do 22222, then a lot of people can hit it. But if you're going from way down here, and then you say, now I want you to grab this be That's like here. And it's a leap to get it. It's gonna be really hard them to land on that note accurately. So how you approach it matters. Now let's talk about the sound of the strings. The strings get brighter as you go up. The G string has a little bit darker sound, and the E string is the brightest string. So the D is a little bit brighter than g. The a is a little bit brighter than D, and the E is brighter than a. Now why that's important is because you'll notice that there's quite a bit of overlap in the notes. Let's say you wrote a melody that was just alternating from B to C, right on the staff here. So if you wanted it to have a darker sound, you can specify that it'd be played on the D string rather than on the a string. There is a notation for doing that. You could either write sole SQL Soul De, like on the D, or you could write d in a circle, would say play this on the D string if I remember right. You could, if you wanted it to be a little bit weird, specify that we play that on the G string. That's going to have them playing up here in doing this. But if they're just going from B to C alternating like that, it can very easily be done, relatively easily be done. It's actually gonna be way up here. It might, the intonation on, it might not be great if you're asking them to do it on the G string because it's so high. But it's going to have a darker sound. That intonation, intonation means it might be a little out of tune. But if that's the kind of spooky sound you want, that could be a good effect. Asking them to play that on the G string. You can specify what string to play. Every note on. Do you do that? No. You should not specify what notes to play the strings on. Only do it. In cases where you want a very specific sound. Like a case like that where you've got two notes. It could be played on many strings, virtually all notes except for the lowest and the highest could be played on, in multiple places on a string instrument. So if you want a very specific sound, you can specify what string to play it on and just remember, the lower the string, the more darker this sound. Yeah. I think that's all I wanted to cover in this one. Just kind of the range and that the differences in the string sound. Let's go through the rest of the instruments and talk about them as well. 27. The Viola: Range and Sound: Okay, The viola, it's a lot like the violin. It's just a little bit bigger, violent. A couple of important things with the viola. Probably the trickiest thing about, well, not the trickiest thing about writing for Viola. One of the tricky things about writing for viola is it uses alto clef. That's this symbol. Most orchestral instruments use trouble or bass clef. This is the one weird or one. Are there any others that use alto clef? There are some that can dip into alto clef. But this is the only one that generally prefers alto clef. You should always write viola in alto clef. Unless you're going way up high and staying way up high for awhile for a little bit of time. At least like three or four bars. In which case you can switch to treble clef temporarily. But it's default is alto clef. If you don't remember alto clef, the way we read alto clef, the easy kind of thing to remember is this little squiggle here kind of hugs the line, that is the pitch C. This, the middle line is now C plus an odd, but it's not just down a half-step. It's down a half-step in an octave. So this note is C, and this node that looks like B, if we were in treble clef is a C now, plus an octave lower than it looks. It's a little tricky. This is C2, this is C4. That being said, here's how the viola is tuned, C, G, D. So again, it's slower than a violin. The same thing applies on the strings, so we have an overlap. This is again, a bit conservative. This range, I would say, is a great range for your average college orchestra. If you're writing for a professional orchestra, you could go up another third. Fourth. Still be pretty safe. There's their strings. Again, you can see we jumped over to treble clef here just to the reason we might do that is because if you don't do that, you're gonna be reading a ton of ledger lines for a long time. And violas don't love doing that. They would prefer you switch to treble clef if you're going to be up in the ledger lines for awhile, they can go all the way up to the sea. Is a professional range, is a, is the more conservative range. This, i've, I've seen violas go up a little bit higher, but, but that's the, that's a good range there. I'm not exactly sure what this tension means in this graph. I think it just means that the tone is going to get a little bit, a bit more of a strangled sound. It's gonna have more attention to it. It's a little bit less desirable tone as you get up here on those strings. But again, what we said before about the violin also holds true. The lower strings have a darker tone to them. Darker tamber, we might say. You can use the same notation like the soul G and tell them to play on the G string. Something that could be played multiple spots. You can specify what strength plan if you want. I think that's all I need to say about viola. The overall tone of the viola, because it's lower than the violin, is a little bit darker than the violin. When you're writing for Viola, consider something that could be written on the violin or the viola if you want a darker sound, consider giving it to the violas for two reasons. One, it gives you that a little bit darker sound. And two, and this is something I'm trying to avoid doing, but to touch just briefly on the psychology of the player, the violas and the orchestra. I don't get a lot of love. They don't get those huge romantic solos that the violins get. So give them a huge romantic solo. Every now and then. They'll loved playing your music. Just something to consider. Let's move on to the shallows. 28. The Cello: Range and Sound: Okay, Let's talk about the Cielo. Cielo is like the violin, but bigger yet. Now one interesting thing about the cello is that the whole positioning of the hand is different. On violin and viola, you play like this, which means you have that thing where your hand is cocked sideways like that, which limits your range somewhat. On a cello, you play it like this. And so your hand has a little bit more freedom to move around. That makes for some bigger intervals to be possible. Different double stops, something like that to consider. I don't want to get into that too much right now. Let's look at the range. I couldn't find the same chart of all the strings, but this basically shows the same stuff. So Cielo was written in bass clef. Lowest note is C. C below the bass clef staff. You can kind of think of the range of the first string conservatively being two octaves. Up to this, see that's quite conservative. I'm professional range. I go all the way up to this G on the first string. Not that, that's something that you really need to think about is the range of each string. Unless you want to specify something be played on a specific string. Otherwise, you can just think the lowest note is C. The highest node is something like the a B range way up here. But keeping in mind what are open strings are is important. So C is our first open string. Our second open string is this G. Next open string is d. This d. Our next open string. Is this a right here. Again, for the range, think two octaves up the, up the string is pretty conservative. 2.5, pushing on 3.52 is a good professional ish range for each string. Just like all the string instruments, the highest note is debatable because professional player can squeak out a few more notes than that an amateur player. But on that high a string, here we have E, F, that's, that's pretty high. You could definitely right a couple more notes, but that E F range is pretty high. Now notice that we switched over to treble clef here, so we're, we're really high. Like this is pretty screaming high. Speaking of class, you'll notice that we switched twice. Here. We switch to what looks like alto clef, but it's not because it's two lines here, it's two notes higher, right? This is, we would call this tenor clef. Again, just remember that the little middle hook thing here turns that line into C. Now what was a? D is now a C with this clef. If this is D, The next space is E. And then, oops, sorry, if this node is C, The next space is d. And then this note is an E, So E, F, G, a, B. And then we're switching over to treble clef. See these, this note is a half-step under this note. Cleft switching. Now, you don't need to use I don't. Maybe this is debatable. I don't think you need to use tenor clef for cello all that often. You can write bass clef. If right here you switched over to treble clef, it would kind of look like an octave leap, but that's kinda what I do. I think most of the time I write for bass clef. And then if we get really high for a long time, I'll switch over to treble clef. If the part ends up being in a bunch of ledger lines and bass clef for an extended period of time. I'll switch over to treble clef, but I think I avoid tenor clef, maybe that's not proper, but that's what I do. Cellists can read bass clef and treble clef just fine. They can probably read tenor clef just fine too. But I can read tenor clef less good than I can read treble clef. I'm much more in Brian inclined to just switch the treble clef. Strings. Still holds true if something's on a lower string is darker than if it's on a higher string. I'll make a special note with the cello about the upper range of the Cello. Right up here in this range is really kind of a sweet spot for writing any kind of soloist stuff. Actually, this whole kind of tenor clef bit right here. This is just really lyric and I just love writing up there for cello. You don't want to do it all day long because then you're missing out on the also really beautiful low-end sound of the cello. But, but if I'm writing a solo That's for any of the strings, that's kind of my first go-to is can I write it in the upper range of the cello? Because it's just lyric and gorgeous, highly recommended. Okay, let's move on to the basis. 29. The Bass (Contrabass): Range and Sound: Okay, Let's talk about the base. The base has a couple of things that work a little bit differently. In terms of that hand position thing. We talked about violins like this. Cello goes like this. Base, kind of like this, except the base is as tall as a person. You're standing up next to it. And you do this. Notes are a lot farther apart. Strings are a lot heavier. It takes more power to bow. So it's a little less dexterous than a violin. However, a pro player can do some really amazing things. The tuning of the base is a little bit different than the other strings that we've looked at. The other strings have been tuned in fifths. Violence G, D, a, E. Each note of fifth apart. The base is tuned in fourths. In other words, the base is tuned the same way that a bass guitar is tuned. Enforce. The lowest note is E. That's our lowest string. Open is the next note, D is the next note is the third string, and g is the highest strip. As soon enforce. A little bit different than the other stringed instruments. Nothing to worry yourself too much about each string. If you think two octaves or so of a range that's still true can be a little bit more than that. Are uppermost note. Probably going to be D or an E, maybe an F above the bass clef staff. That first ledger line in E would be two ledger lines above the bass clef staff. That general range, that's pretty screaming high. And to be honest, it's not a great tone if you're going to write something up in that range given to the cello, it'll sound great. If you want the base to be up there. It's fine, but it's not a great tone. The real power to the base is it's mid and low range. That's where we get the the, the base. Now, there is a slight amount of flexibility on the low end to the base. This is unique to the basis is not something that any of the other orchestra strings do. In a professional orchestra, it is common at this point to have a number of the people in the bass section, at least probably half of the bass players to have a special adaptation on their base, like literally a mechanism that lets them go all the way down to a C. If you imagine that, where that e is, that E is the first ledger line under the bass clef staff. We can drop down to a C, which is the second ledger line under the bass clef staff. That little mechanism is called a C extension. It looks like this. Okay. Next time you're watching an orchestra play, look at the bases and see if you see this kind of poll sticking out across the top of some of the basis, not all of them will have it. But what this does is it just, it's just literally, it's like a pole that extends the length of the string that lets it go all the way down to, uh, see. What these little levers do is let them play notes way down there. If they have all of these up, that's a C. They can put their finger down here and get a C-sharp here. They can get a D here, they can get a D-sharp, and here they can get their ie. They're low string E. Each. You can write for a base down to a C. Now if you're writing for a college orchestra would not go down to a C. It's probably unlikely that enough people have a C extension or maybe even any of them have a C extension. This is really a professional orchestra thing. If you're writing for a high-school or amateur orchestra, I would not count on having a C extension. But if you're writing for a professional orchestra, you can reasonably write notes down to C. But keep in mind that not all players will be able to hit it. So don't plan on that being like your big low moment. You can count in a professional extra on about half the players having a C extension. The way we write for that often would be, right, a low C, right, that low C below the bass clef staff. And then you can put a note, an octave above it, C, and then put that note in parentheses. But the note head put parentheses around the note head. And that'll basically mean hit that low. See if you got it, if you don't have it, play the next octave up. I think that's about it for the base, you can specify the string if you want. It's less common on base because really we just want that low sound. The difference in timbre between the strings is, this is probably opinionated but is less subtle, or is more subtle to me than in some of the other instruments. I think it's, in other words, I think it's more rare to specify what you want. String playing. The bass entities for the other instruments, just because all the strings have just kind of a low power to them. Double stops and things like that for the base. Generally, I would say don't do that. Not because it's impossible, but because it just doesn't sound very good. The range that the base is in that low range is if you put any harmonies down there, it's just kind of muddy. You're just going to create a lot of mud really fast. I should mention one other thing about transposition. I talked to you earlier about how much I hate transpose a. The base actually is a transposing instrument. If we write ie, the lowest, the first ledger line under the bass clef staff. That's our low E string. That's where we write it. But what we actually hear is an octave under that. We don't often think about it because it's an octave, but the base is technically a transposing instrument because the note we're hearing is different than the note that we write. You don't really have to think about that as this kind of a fun fact. I think that's it. I think that's everything we really need to think about with the base for now. 30. The String Section: One other thing about the base, always write it in bass clef. There's never really any need to switch clefs for the base. Anyway. I wanted to say one thing about the string section here. This is purely editorial comment. Here. I remember the first time I was writing a piece for orchestra. I was in college and I went to my teacher. And I said, Okay, I'm writing an orchestra piece. I was staring at a big piece of blank paper. And I thought, How do I do this? How do I write for the strings? There's just so much I can do. I can do anything. I have every color, I have every sound available in the orchestra. I guess this isn't just about strings, this is about the whole orchestra. Am I teacher? Who was very wise person, said, Okay, you can. He said, Okay, here's what you need to think about. The orchestra has evolved over the centuries to be a near perfect ensemble. What that means is that if you take every instrument in the orchestra and new right, middle C at mezzo-forte. Just give them a whole note. And then they play that. It will be beautiful. Like it just will this strings, the winds, the brass, the way everything is set up. If you just write them all the same node and say play that note. It's going to be gorgeous because the ensemble is just gorgeous. So your job is basically don't screw that up. That sounds a lot more trivial than it did when he said it. But I still think it's true and it's especially true with the strings. When I think about writing for strings, I really think about how I could write a lot of stuff and it's going to sound pretty good because of the strings just sound good there, just this rich, lush ensemble. And it's just kind of almost hard to write something that sounds really terrible for them. So keep that in mind when you're writing for strings. Leave them alone and they're gonna be beautiful. Just don't screw that up. 31. String Effects: Okay, let's talk about string affects things you can ask them to do. That are things other than just playing notes with the bot. Now, in an orchestra, you can ask players to do virtually anything. If you think about it, a score is just an elaborate list of instructions. So you can say, smash your violin over the head of the nearest brass player. You can say that. However, that will severely limit the amount of performances that you get because professional orchestras want to do exactly what you have written on the page. And if they can't do it, there are unlikely to play it. They're not going to want to compromise and do something else. So if you write something like that, they're going to say like, well, my violin costs half-a-million dollars. The lawsuit that would come from the brass player will cost a couple million dollars. So this isn't really feasible to do. And then they'll just not play the piece. Whenever you asked him to do something strange. Think about how likely they are to do it. Is it damaging to their instrument? Is it damaging to their bot? That's another thing to consider because bows are not cheap. These can be many thousands, tens of thousands of dollars for a good bow play that a professional player will use. Their bow is extremely expensive. So if you ask them to do something where they're like scraping around on their bow. They might not do it, but they might. There is a technique that we'll talk about in a minute where you do something that is potentially damaging to the bot. And a lot of players have a backup bot that they use when they're asked to do that look a little cheap, one like mine. It is possible to do things like that. Some of these things we're gonna talk about, some of them are very standard and normal things like harmonics. Some of them are little bit weird or we're not gonna get into any of the super weird things. But just remember that you can ask for anything you want. But they're unlikely to do things that are really weird, that damage their instrument or themselves, the people around them. Or frankly that are just unnecessary. If you can find a standard way to do something, please do it that way. You're going to get a lot more performance is you're going to make the player a lot happier. That being said, let's dive in and let's talk about harmonics first. 32. Harmonics: With all of these techniques, there's really two things you need to understand about the technique. Number one is what does it sound like? And number two is how do we notate it? Harmonics are kind of tricky to notate. Sometimes. You've heard harmonics before. A harmonic is when a player, harmonics work on all string instruments. And it's where you kind of lightly touch the string and you get a, then you bow it and you get a different pitch. Sometimes it's like an octave higher, sometimes it's even higher than that. And it just uses the natural physics of the string. It's a very pure sound. It's almost like a whistle. Let me see if I can get one with my bad technique. There we go. That's a harmonic. Now there's two different types of harmonics. There's natural harmonics and artificial harmonics. Natural harmonic is when you just put your finger down on the string, or sorry, you touch the string at a specific spot, and that will produce this different pitch. You can see a chart of those here. We have here is, here's our G string. We're going to notate the G pitch. Even though that's not the pitch we're going to hear. And then with a diamond head, we're going to notate where to put our finger. And this is moving up the position of the neck to tell us where to put our finger. Then a parentheses. You're gonna see the note that's gonna be produced. We have the open string. We're not going to play the open string, but this is just our way of telling them that we want that open string. We want our finger there to show us the harmonic that we want to get. Then you want to show the pitch that results from it. Not all of these are as easy to get as others. Let me say that better. Some of these are harder to play than others. Things that are octaves and fifths, or unisons like this one. Very easy to get. Things that have, that jump up a whole bunch like this. And this, these are the trickier wants to get. You have to find this kind of sweet spot right in there and get it. So don't ask them to just jump to that. On a 16th note. It's not going to work. Harmonics are also very quiet. We can't play harmonic super loud. So keep that in mind. Here's the D string, the a string and the E string. You can see if you do that, you're getting some really high notes. A fair look at that one. Crazy high. These are all natural harmonics. Now there's another way to do harmonics. And that's when you don't use an open string. You actually put your finger down somewhere. And then you finger, you put another finger in front of that one somewhere else. And then you bow that string and that produces harmonic. We demonstrate, if I'm going to put my finger down here, get it so you can see. Then I'm going to use my third finger here and I'm going to find a harmonic. I'm not pushing down with this string, I'm just touching the string lightly. I get that super high pitch. That's artificial harmonic. Now with artificial harmonics, you can get a harmonic of pretty much any note. You can't get unnatural harmonic of any note you want. You need to look up what notes you can get with natural harmonics. But you can basically write a harmonic for any node that you want. Because you don't have to distinguish. You have to say this is a natural and this is an artificial. You just have to write yourself to notate it correctly. Notate, I think I said this, but let me make sure I say it right. To notate an artificial harmonic, you would just put this lower note, the actual note head on the note that you want them to put their finger down on their back finger down on their front finger would be the diamond noteheads. That's where they want you to stop the string. And then the small node head, the mini note head. It's going to be the note that we actually hear. People don't always write that, that top thing. The note that we're actually going to hear, I like writing it. I like seeing it in scores. But you don't have to have that in your notation. But it's nice to have. Because then the player can say, well that's the note that they want. They want me to do this weird harmonic. I can do an easier harmonic and get that same note. Let them do that. So tell him to note that you want to hear is always nice. Remember with harmonics, they're not loud. They're very kind of whisper or a whistle sound very pure. Raise sine, wave-like. Work on just about any strings. Don't write fast passages of harmonics, can't do that. They need to sit and breathe to really come out. 33. Mutes: Let's talk about using a mute. You might know the term Ute from trumpets. Trumpet, it's very common to play with unmute or they stick something that looks kind of like a plunger in the bell of their instrument. You might know muting. If you're a guitar player, you might know, sometimes we do something called Paul muting, which is where you put your palm kind of over the strings a little bit just to get the fatty part of your palm on the strings just a muted a little bit. Orchestra string instruments can mute as well. They use a little bit different technique. The way you notate it is very simple. You just write it normal. But at the beginning of where you want the mute, you'd just write with mute or muted. Or if you want to be fancy, you can write con sword, which is short for concertina, which is the Italian for with mute. By the way. Let me say something about terms. You are perfectly welcome to use whatever terms, whatever language terms you want. If you are a native English speaker, don't write all of your score instructions in Italian, like you don't need to do that. That's old school. You can just write in English. But if you're Italian, feel free to write an Italian, but there's no real benefit to being fancy and writing stuff in Italian. If you don't, if you don't speak that language, just write score instructions in an English with the exception, I suppose, of like really, really common stuff like Allegro and forte, things like that. But if you're gonna write with mutes, and if you are an English speaker, right? With mute, if you are in time to be here, speaker eight counts for dinner. That's just fine. But just write in your native language. That's fine. If anyone doesn't know what something means that's trying to play your music, they'll look it up. That's what Google's war. Mute. The way string mutes work as I actually don't have one, but it's a little piece of rubber. And it actually sits right here, right on the bridge. Sometimes they keep it back here and where it's not doing anything. And then they pull it out and they just kind of clip it on. It's more of like a kind of squeezes on. It does what you would expect. It mutes the strings a little bit. So imagine like a little piece of rubber gently touching the strings. So it gives them a little bit darker sound. It makes them a little quieter. It's not the most dramatic thing in the world. You can have something with mutes on and then I haven't played a bunch of really high notes and it's not going to sound very muted. It doesn't affect the high register very much. By the mid and low register. It can soften the sound a little bit, take some of the high-end out of it. Important thing about mutes. They need a couple of beats to get it on and off. So if you imagine they have to do, so, they're holding a bow there playing, and then they're gonna have to do this. They're going to have to go at this, this, make sure it's on there right. And then get their hand position back right again and go four or five seconds, at least. The same thing when you tell them to take the mute off, they're going to need to do this, this clip it on back there, get their hand position ready and go. They need a couple of beats to get mute on and off. If you tell them to use a mute, if you say with mute, don't forget. At some point you have to tell him no mute or to remove the mute. No mute. Sand, sword, sands or Dina, whatever language you want to use. That's about it. You don't have to do anything special notational, notationally with it. You just tell them to put it on and then tell them to take it off. Just remember it's gonna be a little bit quieter, a little darker sound. All the string instruments to have mutes and they roughly work the same way. Bases use mute. I can't say I've ever seen a base bridge mute like that. Very uncommon. In the bases. Bases are such a low in dark sound, I don't know that it would have really much effect. Probably not. Something in the basis that his common, maybe I'm wrong on that. But in all the rest of the strings, including the cello, very common to use mutes. Nothing strange about that at all. 34. Col Legno: Col legno. This is one that's going to make you not very popular with string players. Let me just say that right off the bat. However, I see a lot of young composers that right, large sections of col legno. It's not something that's written players like doing. Well. Maybe some do, I shouldn't say all of this. However, it is one of these things that can damage the bot. So if you're going to ask some section to do col legno, you need to give them some extra time before that section. So you need to give them a couple of bars of rest. And then you can say col legno, because in that time, if you're working with professional orchestra, they're gonna put their bow down. They're going to pick up their crappy bow. And they're going to use that for col legno. Col legno means with the wood on our PBO. We have hair on this side. We have wood on this side. We're not supposed to use the wood. The blade, the strings. Very expensive wood. And it's very delicate. Supposed to use the hair to play the strengths. But col legno means use the wood. You can do this two different ways. You can actually go with the wood, which sounds like this. It's a very empty kind of sound. There's not a lot of sound that's produced with it. It's, it's just not a very pleasant sound. But if you want to do something a little creepy, that can be a sound, let me get real onto my care. But it's super quiet. The more common thing we do with col legno is percussive things. You might have, like a rhythm are written out and then say col legno. So what they're gonna do then is kind of bounce with the wood. So they're gonna go. You can give them pictures on that too. It's kind of cool because it gives it much more of a percussion sound because they're just kinda hitting the string with a, basically with a hammer. However, it's hard to be real. I'm accurate rhythmically. I mean, you can't be real accurate rhythmically, but this, holding a bow like this, and doing percussive stuff is not the same as holding a stick like this. It's a little harder to get it just right. I don't love it. But it can produce some cool sounds and if you want to do it, you should do it. But just remember that it is not the favorite thing of performers to do. If you want to do it the way you notate it is. You just write things normally and then you just put the court score instruction with the wood or col legno. That might be one where I'd use col legno even though I'm a native English speaker because it's just kind of standard. Then to turn it off, you would typically just use, I think you would just use the notation or ORD, which means like ordinary, normal playing. Now, no more col legno. No special notation, just an instruction. 35. Ponticello: Oh, and I said, mentioned col legno can be done by any of the strings. And it's actually kind of a cool effect on base because they're so big, it gets pulled down. Anyway. Moving on. Ponto jello, Monte cello is one of my favorite techniques. If you want to write something and you want it to sound creepy as all get out. Monte cello is what you want. Upon the cello means back by the bridge. So this is the bridge. If I play a note, let me just play an open string here. This is normal. I'm gonna go right in this area, kinda closer to the start of the fingerboard up here. That's where I get a good tone, right? But if I go back by the bridge, it's going to get screeching. And you get all these weird harmonics popping out. Let me do a long note. There's a lot of streakiness, there's a lot of just kinda weird creepiness. I have been known in scores when I want something to sound creepy, to write multiple Ponto jello, like a lot, like get right on top of the bridge with a high note. It's just, it's just like there's a psycho killer around the corner. Everybody knows that. That's called Monte cello. It just means on the bridge to turn it off, turn it on and notate it. You would just write Monte cello or plant P0 and T. That's, I guess another one where I would just write pawn. I wouldn't write on the bridge in English. Because it's just such a common term. To turn it off, you can just write 4D or RD for ordinary. You can also were a soul pond is something we see a lot to, to turn it on. You don't need to do anything else weird with the notation and just write it normal. But solar pond, it's very quiet. It works best on slower passages. It works really nice with tremolo. Tremolo plants would be nice and creepy. Yeah, all the strings can do it. It's good. Creepy sound. I love using it. 36. Glissando: All right, glissando. You may know what this means already. That means just gonna be slide up a string like this. Okay, cool. Now, when you write these, they can be a little more complicated to write than you think. You can't just write alone in a high note and say glyphs between the two. This is where thinking about the range of each string really matters. Because if you want a smooth sound from low note to a high note, that's just going. Then you can't let them cross strings in-between. For example, let's say I wanted to go from this note, this note, up to this node on the next string. What I would have to do is go. Then I'd have to switch strings in-between. I don't want to switch swings and strings in-between because there's just no way for that to be a smooth glass all the way up. So if I really want it to be smooth, I need to find the highest note and the lowest note on the same string. Then I can get all the way up there. When you write a glissando, if you want that smooth, unbroken thing, look for that. Try to find a spot to notes that you can get on the same string. The way you write it is just two notes. You, the starting note, you're right with the duration of the glyphs. The ending note can have whatever rhythm you want. Then a line connecting them. Let me actually show that. That might be a little tricky. If I want 12 Last two beats, I might do this. I might say go from C to this G. Now what that's going to do, let me connect them. What this is going to tell me to do is start on this note and use two beats to glyphs up to this note. And then when I get to this note, stay on this note for the rest of the measure. So this is a two beat glyphs. Here. This is a very common error that people make. If you want them to take the whole measure to get up to this note than what you actually want. To get rid of that. Make this a whole note, and then put their destination note in whatever rhythm you want it to be. Like that. And then the glyphs, you just draw a line between the two notes. You can write glyphs. You don't need to write glyphs. It's pretty much assumed that if there's two notes in a straight line between them, the glyphs. You can write notes along the way. That's a little trickier, but basically you can say like, let's say you wanted this to go up and down and up and down. You could do this. Then connect all of these with a glycerol. Gonna be glistening all over the place, up and down and up and down. It's going to go around the room. And Linda G, you can totally do this. One thing you could consider doing here is get rid of the note head. This is, I'm not exactly sure how to do this in MuseScore. I could do this, I think. Let's see. Maybe change it to that. A triangle, diamond Head. Anything that's a different looking notehead. What that's going to tell me to do. Actually, x's would be better Do I have an X notehead? But this works too. Well. This is going to tell me is that I don't really care about this pitch g. This means go up to about that range and then about down to that range, in about up to that range, and then land on that G. You're going to hear, this is gonna sound like it's going to be dissonant as all get out. Because if you write this for violence section, because they're not all going to go to the same spot at the same time. You're gonna get this kind of chaos and it's gonna be kind of cool. But that's how you write a egoless. Now I didn't really think about getting all of these on the same string, which you can't really do. But I'd want to rethink that. I think that's about it for glyphs. 37. Vibrato: Okay, Just real briefly, vibrato. Vibrato is that sound that you all know from big lush strings. Vibrato is the default for strings. That means if you write a big beautiful line or just like a note that's being held for a time. You're going to get some vibrato on it, right? So it's, the pitch is going to move a little bit. That's just what sounds good on strings. That goes back to that thing of like, if you just tell the strings to play middle C, It's going to sound great. They're going to add a little bit of vibrato. It's gonna be beautiful. Now I mentioned by rhabdo because you can play with it a little bit. If you want something to be just like really pure and still like glass, you can say no vibrato. You can't say just hold that note. I might do that if I was writing a big chord that was like, really like punted cello, and I wanted to just be dark and creepy. I might write also no vibrato. You can also tell them multiple vibrato if you wanted to sound wacky, just run around around, around, around, around r1 ramp. Use a ton of erato on this. Or if you want to go back to just normal, you would just say 4D or the word vibrato. So just remember that vibrato can be used as a cool effect. You can say no vibrato, molto vibrato. Just normal vibrato. And especially when it's combined with some other effects like punted cello can be cool. Tell me to think about. 38. Scordatura: Okay, Last but not least, scored at Europe. Now I say last but not least, there are tons more effects that you can do. This is where maybe having an orchestration textbook for reference would be handy. I'm not going to go through every single thing. Just going through some of the most common things I think. But there are tons and tons more. You can talk to any string player. And there are really no rules on this. You can ask somebody to do whatever you want. Like I said, it's just a matter of what they're gonna do. Okay? Scored at Europe. Don't do this in an orchestra. Do not do this in an orchestra. You won't yet it. I can say that with almost a 100% certainty scored, a juror is a fancy way to say, asking the string player to retune, to tune their instrument to a different note. My lowest note is that G, the low open string on a violin. Like maybe I wanted to get an F under that. I could say, well, just tune your G down to an F. This is majorly problematic. First of all, it's going to require stopping before your piece and retuning. That takes time. They all have to tune together. The strings have to tune together, and then they have to tune to the rest of the orchestra. It takes time. Secondly, remember that these violins and cellos and violas and bases are, some of these are $1 million instruments. People that play in major orchestras. They have instruments that are worth more than a million dollars. They're very delicate pieces of machinery. That very delicate piece of machinery is designed to have tension on the strings be a certain way. And it is so delicate that if you tune it to something different, it can mess with the instrument. If you ask them to retune to something different, at best, at very best, you're going to get them to pull out their student model violin and use that, which means it's not going to have the same tone. It's not going to sound very good compared to their real instrument. It's just not gonna happen. Now, if you're writing a solo piece for violin or any stringed instrument, and you have a player that says, yeah, I really like retuning stuff. I have this old cello and I like retuning it. Then by all means you can do that. You can totally do that. But in an orchestra, I could not recommend enough to not do this. Don't ask them to retune, they just won't do it. I think that's all I need to say about that score to Ciara. 39. How These Work: Okay, it's time to move on to the woodwinds. Woodwind is a big group and it contains a lot of different instruments. Now it's footprint within the orchestra is actually smaller than the strings. Because typically with woodwinds, we only have 12 apart, or we only have 12 apart, period. So if you have a flute line in orchestra score, that's typically means just one person is playing that line. It's different than the strings where you might have ten people playing violin. One. If you want to have two flutes, which is very common, you have fluid one and fluid two in the score. They each get their own staff in the score. You could have three fluids. Most common is to have what's called winds and 2s where you basically have to, you basically have all of the wind instruments, two parts for all of the wind instruments. So you've got two flute players to oboe players, to whatever clarinet players to bassoon players. That being said, the instruments in this family includes flutes, oboes, clarinets, bassoons. Those are the main ones. I'm gonna include saxophones in this section two, it is not common to have saxophones in an orchestra. Saxophones are not part of the orchestra. Why? Why is that? Why are saxophones not in our orchestra? I actually really liked the sound of saxophones in an orchestra. I might talk about that more later because I have some philosophies on it. But the reason I think that saxophones are not a regular part of the orchestra is because saxophones or new saxophones are actually only like a 100 years old. So Adolf Sax was the inventor of the saxophone. I don't know exactly know when he did it, but it's not that long ago. You'd be surprised. The orchestra as an ensemble, the modern orchestra even has been around a lot longer than the saxophone has. It isn't common dao saxophones in an orchestra. However, you can put them in an orchestra. You can ask for them to be in the orchestra. There are a lot of pieces that you saxophones in the orchestra. It's not unheard of to put saxophones in your orchestra, but it is not standard. But we're going to talk about saxophones anyway, because I like saxophones. Okay. So how the winds work? The woodwinds use, each instrument uses one of three different techniques. There are three different techniques used to produce the sound. The first way we would say is blowing air over a whole. This is how a flute works. Fluid has a little hole in it and you blow air not into the hole but over the whole. And that most of the air goes over the whole sum of the air goes into the hole, and that creates a vibration that causes the sound to happen. The second way is blowing air over a read. Such as the clarinet. On the clarinet. This clarinet doesn't have a read on it. This is not a clarinet suited for planning. This basically sits on a wall. But I grabbed it for demonstration purposes only. Normally would go right here and you can see there's a hole here. So the read will go over it and we will blow this way. And some of the air will go over it and some of the air would go under it and into that hole. And that Reid would vibrate from the different amounts of air on each side of it, and that would create the sound. Typically, this is a very broad statement, but typically, instruments where you blow sound over a whole create a very pure sine wave-like sound like the flute. Instruments where you blow sound over a read like the clarinets. Saxophones also work the same way. Create a more kind of squawks or ***** sound. They can be really beautiful, but it's, if you compare all of them side-by-side, you would say it's a little gotten a little bit more of a squat to it. Then the third way is with a pair of reads where there are two reads kind of sandwiched together and you blow into both reads and they start to flutter because of the error in-between the two of them. And that produces the sound. Because, or bassoons and oboes, we call those double reed instruments. Those have a bit more of like a nasal sound to them. Again, that's, that sounds worse than it is. Oboes and bassoons can be really beautiful instruments to say that there are nasally sound is not exactly fair. However, compared to all three, they are somewhat nasal sounding because of that double reed mechanism. I actually loved the bassoon them as soon as one of my favorite instruments in the orchestra. It just has a beautiful sounds, very difficult to play, but because that double reed mechanism is just kind of tricky. But a good bassoon players can just be absolutely gorgeous. So those are the instruments we're going to talk about in this section, the woodwinds. Now you may ask yourself, why are they called the woodwinds, but not all of them are made out of wood. Like the bassoon is made of wood. Oboes have some wooden them. Clarinet sometimes are made of wood. Flutes don't have any wood in them at all. They're made of metal or sometimes other things. I don't know why that is. We call them the woodwinds. Sometimes we just call them the winds. I often just say winds. But their full name is the woodwinds. Whether they have wood in them or not. It's just the way it is. Let's talk about a couple peculiar things about the woodwinds. 40. Sustained Notes and Breathing: Okay, So one of the biggest things that's different between the woodwinds in the strings is breathing. Woodwinds need to use air that comes out of their mouth to make the sound, which means they need to breathe. So it's a bit like the fatigue issue in the right hand of the strings where we said you can't do like tremolo is all day long because their arm will get really, really tired and fall off. It's a bit like that, but it's even more. Wind instruments. The players have to breathe. It's just very common. The players have to breathe. And the issue of fatigue doesn't actually go away. They get fatigued to if you tell them to do the same thing for a really long amount of time, even if you give them breaths. It's not going to work great. But the trickier thing is, if you want to write this long, beautiful lyric thing for a clarinet, you can do that, but you gotta give them spots where they can breathe. Otherwise they're just not gonna be able to play it. Now there's a couple of ways around that. First, they can breathe pretty fast. If you're playing and you run out of air. See how fast you can refill your lungs. Like watch this. I'll just pretend I'm playing. You can do it in probably an eighth note depending on your tempo. They don't need measures at a time to breathe. They just needed an eighth note here and there. It can happen pretty fast, but they need that break. If you don't give them one, they're gonna take one. It's better for you to kind of orchestrate where you want them to breathe by giving them a rest every now and then. Otherwise, they're just going to find a spot where they can take a breath, which means cutting a note short, usually, sometimes coming in late on a note, usually cutting a note sharp. Now one thing I get asked all the time and I don't know why that is, why this is, but I get asked all the time about circular breathing. Circular breathing is this technique that wind players can use where they can basically sustain a note forever. They can. The way it works is they blow out using their lungs. They exhale from their lungs, and then they breathe in through their nose at the same time and fill their mouth with air and then use their cheeks to push that air out. And then they're basically always sucking in air through their nose, filling their cheeks, and then pushing it out. And that makes it so they can breathe like in a circle and never stop. They can always be going because they're constantly pushing air out through their mouth and in through their nose. It's cool. It's a cool trick. You cannot expect a orchestra player to be able to circular breathe. If you ask them to circular breathe, it's just not gonna happen. That's not a standard thing. If they decide to circular breathe using your piece, that's great. They can do that. But you can't count on them being able to do that. And expecting them to in an orchestra is not good. That's a soloist thing. That's the thing that I think Kenny G made famous by. He played like a single note for three hours, which is not hard. Like if you can circular breathe, you could play a note for four hours just a matter of getting bored. You're literally like kind of standing there doing it. Not to dish on Kenny G, But anyway, get circular breathing out of your head for writing for orchestra, not something that is common, not something you can expect. While it might be common for players to be able to do it, a lot of players can do it, but you can't ask them to do it in an orchestra. And you know what circular breathing is oddly loud. Because they have to do this. They have to blow out. And then if you look up a video of someone circular breathing, they have to inhale through their nose at the same time as blowing out through their mouth. And this process of going in through their nose. It's really quite loud. They go like this. They're still playing and they have this huge thing through their nose. It's not a pleasant thing. Don't do it. Give your people, give your players spots to breathe. It's something you have to think about the way I do this and we'll talk more about this when we get into the orchestration portion of this class. But one of the things that I do is I don't think very much about breaths. When I'm writing a piece, I just write. But after I'm done with the first draft of the piece, I will go back through and follow the flute line all the way through and think about breaths, then modify things in a way that makes it. So if there's any spot where they can't easily breathe, they have the opportunity to do it. I do that for all the winds and the brass to brasses has the same problem. Okay. That's that. Let's move on. 41. Tonguing and Rhythm: Okay, a couple of quick thoughts about tonguing and rhythm. So there's basically two ways that wind players can play rhythms more. And I'm talking about faster rhythms. One is to regulate their breath, to go, push breath out in a rhythm. That's the obvious way, but another way is through tugging. So that would be like if you're playing a flute, you've got the hole there, right? Well, flutes. Yeah, Let's use blue. With a flute while you might do is use your tongue to kind of plug your mouth. You're constantly pushing air out, but with your tongue, you're going to do that air stops. So when your tongue is in the right position, that can get you a little bit more faster rhythms. You don't need to think about this all that much when you're writing, except to say that you can do fairly quick and complicated rhythms with the winds. Because if they can't just control their lungs in the right rhythm, they can use tonguing to get fast and intricate rhythms. It's true on all of the wind instruments on a clarinet, you might actually touch your tongue to the reader to stop it from vibrating and then you can go and do faster things. I've even seen people roll their tongue to get a really fast rhythm. Nothing you need to worry about too much. I just want to point out that there can be a good amount of rhythmic complexity in the winds because of that, that doesn't mean you have to write that way. It just means you are free to write how you want. There's not a whole lot you have to think about. For rhythm. 42. Transpositions!: Okay, with winds, we do need to start thinking about transposition. This gets NA earlier as we get into the different subgroups of the instruments. For example, the flute. The flute is in C. It's not a transposing instrument. That's great. But there's the piccolo which transposes at an octave. There's the alto flute, which is in G, I think so It transposes a weird one. There's the E-flat flute which transposes. There's bass flute that transposes, which is in C, but transposes by an octave, I think. And is written in treble clef. Might even, that might be two octave transposition. Now think about it. There are a lot of different varieties of each of these instruments. Clarinet has the clarinets in B flat, but there's also an E-flat clarinet and an a, a clarinet. Then a bass clarinet. There's a lot of different instruments in the each. They don't always each have a different transposition, but they often do. There's a lot of transpositions to keep track of here we'll talk about them as they come up. But just know that when, unless I explicitly say I'm talking about the transposed pitch, I'm talking about the concert pitch. That means note that we're gonna hear. Because that's just kind of how I think. Because again, never get a transposition. When I write things, I'm always writing in concert pitch and then transpose it later. Even though that makes me, I don't know. Maybe, maybe that makes me a bad composer, but I think it just makes me bad at transposition and I'm perfectly fine with that. You know what I also do for transposition. I don't think I said this earlier, but I also have someone proofread by transpositions. Like if when I'm working with an orchestra, I'll write everything and see, I'll transpose it. I'll go through and make sure I didn't go out of the range of any instrument. And then I'll send departs to a friend of mine who's much better at transposition and say, Can you read over these and make sure everything transposed correctly? I didn't like go the wrong way, even though I have the computer do it, I have someone else proofread it just to make sure the computer do it wrong, which has happened. So keep that in mind. Transpositions are coming in full force. 43. The Types of Flutes: Okay, Let's talk about the flute. First. I want to talk about the types of fluids. And for all of the woodwind instruments, there are multiple types of them. For each instrument. One thing that you'll want to think about is doubling. There are, in an orchestra, there are certain instruments that you can ask someone to double on. Flute and piccolo is a fairly common one. So let's talk about the different types of fluids then I'll come back to that doubling issue Just really quick. The piccolo. Piccolo, the very small flute, It's extremely high. It's like the highest woodwind instrument we have. It's a tiny flute. Basically, it's very high, it's very piercing. It's just cuts through. We have the alto fluid, kind of the opposite of a piccolo. This is lower than a normal flute. It's a very creamy sound, it's very warm sound. It's gorgeous sound, but it's notoriously kind of quiet. Alto fluids are good for like a nice solo passage in an orchestra piece. But to have a whole ensemble playing. And then the alto flute mixed in there, you're never gonna hear it. It's a fairly quiet instrument, but it's a really beautiful sound. For a solo line. The bass flute lower again, a pretty uncommon in an orchestra. It's gonna be very quiet, really cool sound, but hard to make use of an orchestra music. Various wooden flutes. I wouldn't really call these flutes, even these are not something you'll ever find it an orchestra, I shouldn't say never, but very rarely. E-flat soprano flute. This is a transposing flute. This also is very rare. I don't think you'd find this in an orchestra or expect to have that inner orchestra. And the normal way. Then the concert flute is the normal fluid. The thing we come to know of as a fluid. It is in C, your standard fluid. All things being equal if it just says flute, this is the one you're writing for. This website says plastic fluid. I would call that a recorder. I think most people would call that a recorder. You can't ask for recorders. Back to the doubling thing. So you have a flute player in your orchestra. You probably have to. Those flute players, it can be expected to double probably two instruments. So you can ask the flute player at some point to switch instruments over to an alto flute or Piccolo. Now you probably also have a dedicated piccolo player. If you want them. You don't have to use them. But in standard winds, you have piccolo and two flutes. So technically three flutes. You wouldn't want to ask the piccolo player to play normal flute. But you could ask the flute, one of the flu parts, to switch over to alto flute if you wanted, you'd have to give them time. Again. They'd have to put down their fluid and pick up another pickup bass flute. But that is a fairly standard doubling mean we can ask that player to do that. But asking the flute player to pick up a pair of crash cymbals is not standard doubling. That is not something that you can do. They won't do that and there are rules against that. If you're ever in doubt, lookup standard doublings four, and on the instrument that you're looking for. And you'll be able to find what you can ask them to do pretty easily. Aside from their main thing. But also remember that their main thing is their main thing for a reason. So if there are flute player, they're accept especially good at flute, not alto flute. Although they're gonna be pretty good at ultimately. Let's talk a little bit more about the flutes. 44. The Flutes: Range and Sound: Okay, So this is the range of your standard concert flus. Lowest note is C. Highest node is that F. And that eight VA means an octave higher, so it's actually an octave higher. Way up. Their fluids can get high. Piccolo can get even higher. Alto fluids less high and base fluids obviously less low. Now what's really interesting about the flute is that it has a very prominent dynamic curve, meaning that down in its low range, It's very quiet. Then it's upper range, it's extremely loud. I think that just has to do with the amount of air it takes to make a note. If you want to make one of these low notes, you have to be a little bit delicate and just like to get those low notes. And to get those high notes, you got to blow your guts out to get those high notes. If you write this note, this C, double forte, it's still not gonna be very loud. If you write this note at pianissimo, It's still gonna be screaming loud. Things get louder as they get higher. That's often true for most instruments. But it's especially true in the fluids and this is true of all the fluids. One complaint that you'll hear from flute players all the time, that they had some difficult passage to play in a piece. It was written really low. That doesn't mean that it didn't sound cool. And that didn't mean that it's not fun to play because they liked playing down there and they're lower range. But it does mean that no one's going to hear it. Like if you've got though, the flute and it's lower range, doing something really cool. And it's doubled with a trumpet. Even if you tell the fluid to be forte and the trumpet to be piano, you're still not going to hear that fluid if it's in, it's low range. And so the flute player played this cool thing, but nobody heard it. And that makes them sad. Basically. Don't ever write music for an instrument that isn't balanced well so that people aren't going to hear it because then they'll just be grumpy. There'll be like, why did I bother applying it? No one's going to be able to hear this. That's a big complaint of a low range of the flute. However, let me also say that the low range of the flute is really beautiful. It's a really great sound. You just have to be really careful when you write for it that there's not much else happening. Let's say you wrote this cool solo for the flute and it was in its lower range. Maybe you had the strings sustaining one chord, just the shimmer. You might, when they were all pianissimo, they were all very quiet. And you had this flute solo and it's low range, you might be able to hear that. That could be an effective use. Or maybe you have just the yellows holding accord. That can be a cool sound to that is kind of one of the definitions of orchestration is it's writing things in a way that the orchestral works together really well, not writing a bombastic passage for the fluids really low. Now this is also one of those things that is really interesting about synth restriction. Because you can cheat. You can make that low fluid the loudest thing in the orchestra louder than the brass. Just by mixing it. You can do that with computer stuff, but in a real mix, in a real orchestra, you can't do that. You're never going to hear it. So, something to think about with the flutes. Let's talk about the oboe. 45. The Types of Oboes: Okay, the oboe is our first double reed instruments. So it has that really kind of has a bit of more of a nasal sound to it. But don't be perturbed. That can be a really beautiful sound in the right context. There are a few types of oboes, and there's actually a lot of them I just looked up like things I had never heard of. Because the history of the oboe goes back to ancient times. But the main, there are really only two that concern us with the modern orchestra. And that is the standard oboe or the concert oboe. The English horn. The English horn usually gets its own player and its own line. I think it's a double, a standard doubling where you can ask an oboe player to play English horn, but I could be wrong. I might need to look that up. The English horn is just a little bit bigger. It has this funny shaped bell, and it has a little bit muted tone. It's less nasally. It can be a really cool sound. Normally in an orchestra, if you want an English horn, you write an English horn part. Not double the oboe, but I believe you can, like I just said, the oboe itself. Let's go to a picture of a real Oboe. It looks a lot like a clarinet. Find the modern oboe here. Here we go. It looks like a clarinet. It's usually black. It's got a lot of keys and valves on it and then it's got the double reed mechanism. Here. You'll notice one of the big differences is that in a clarinet, they have this mouthpiece that kinda protects the read. But in an oboe, they have, the two reads are kind of sitting sandwiched together and they're just out in the open. You'll find Oboe player spending a lot of times sucking on their reads, not really sucking, but in order to work, right. They're both. Those reads needs to be wet. So they'll be doing this for awhile before they play. Or often, they'll have like a little canister under music stand. Often I see them using like an old like an old school film canister or something with water in it and they'll have their reads soaking in that. Anyway. The English Warren works the same way. In terms of the reads. It's a double reed instrument. I think that's all I had to say about the different types of oboes. You can find all kinds of different ones. But the really the only two that come up normally in the modern orchestra is the oboe, the concert oboe that we just call oboe, and the English horn. Let's talk about the range and what these actually sound like. 46. The Oboe: Range and Sound: Okay, oboes are in the key of C, They're not transposing instruments, although English warns AR. And VR range is roughly this B flat up to G, sometimes a, we say, this is one of those things that are pro player can squeak out some extra notes on the top there. But the low side is finite. There are some weird tricks that a professional player can do to get a note below that. I think that's true on a lot of wind instruments, but they're not standard and you should not write them. Remember that we have keys for individual notes, so there's no key lower than that B flat. But you can tip your head down and kind of bending down a little bit, but I think maybe not on an oboe. Anyway, B flats or lowest note. Let's go with that. G is the highest note. These get pretty high, not nearly as high as the flutes, but they get pretty high. The dynamic range, like the thing I was talking about with the fluids is not so pronounced with YOLO. The oboe can be beautiful and it's quiet register and because it's so buzzy, it can really cut through even when it's quiet. Unlike the flute. And even when it's in its lower register, it can cut through kind of, well, it's upper range is not screaming loud. They don't ever play screaming loud. I don't think you can just blow like full forces into an oboe. Lucky candidate trumpet, I think you will read, will just split before you get that kind of volume. So they don't get extremely loud. But even in their upper register, It's almost like if you know anything about electronic music, I always think of oboes is having a built-in compressor. Like they, they get to those high notes and there's something that keeps it from really getting screaming loud like it. It's kind of like a self-regulating compressor. Too weird. So far. I haven't really played you sounds of any of these instruments because I'm assuming you know what violence and cello sound like in fluid suddenly, but maybe you don't know what the oboe sounds like. Here's a little video. I'm just going to play a hair of this to give you a little bit of a taste of that nasal sound of the oboe by itself. Started life in the Middle Ages as a very good employee and some stuff. But it's close and posted. It comes apart into three notes, starting with us and he brought two. And then I'll add vibrato. In some countries. 47. The Types of Clarinets: Alright, let's talk about the clarinet. That's these things. There are a ton of different clarinets. However, only 2.532, let's say, that are really common in the orchestra that you'll find. The most common is this one. This is the B-flat clarinet, okay, so it's a transposing instrument and B flat. Typically you would see this notated as just clarinet or clarinet in B flat or B-flat clarinet. It is the standard clarinet. The other clarinet that is very standard, and the orchestra is the bass clarinet. That looks like this. It's bigger. It's significantly bigger than this little ball sits on the floor. And this goes to the player's mouth and they sit while they play it. Twice the length, maybe a little bit more. Normal clarinet. The base client, that's a beautiful sound. It's obviously much, much lower. It's like almost a sultry sound. I think of it as the clarinet itself is a very malleable sound. It blends in with everything else really well. It's not like the oboe where it's like really bright and has that nasal sound to it. The clarinet is much more creamy and can be used. I like to use it as kind of glue and a chord. You know, where it just can fill in notes and not stand out. But if you wanted to stand out, it can stand out. More about that in the next video. The other clarinet that is common, but you may never write for it, is the a clarinet. The, a clarinet looks a lot like this one. In fact, if they were in a line, I probably wouldn't be able to tell the difference just by looking at it. The, a clarinet has a little bit different sound. It's transposed different. Oh, I should say the bass clarinet is B flat transposing also. The clarinet is obviously an a. It's just a little bit different sound. You can ask for an a clarinet. That's a doubling that would be allowed. You can ask your B-flat clarinet players to grab an, a clarinet. They probably have one in a standard orchestra. However, I would say, don't do that unless you're looking for a very specific sound. In 99% of situations, the regular B-flat clarinet is going to work just fine for you. Then there are a whole bunch of other clarinets. There's an E-flat clarinet, there's a contra bass clarinet, super low. Contra alto clarinet. There's an alto clarinet. There's a piccolo, a, D, a C, bass clarinet. The basket horn is sort of a clarinet. None of these are standard things. Here's what the clarinet looks like. You want to still picture of it. None of these other ones are standard and I wouldn't ask for them in an orchestra piece. I tend to my stuff only right, for really for B-flat clarinet. I've never found a need to pull out an, a clarinet. But I have used bass clarinet quite a bit. So a very, very standard and orchestra. And if you look at any orchestra score, modern orchestra score, you're probably going to see two clarinets in the score and then one bass clarinet. Performer doubling on clarinet and bass clarinet is not common. That's not a common doubling. You typically have a dedicated bass clarinet player. Um, maybe in a very small orchestra, you might be able to get that doubling, but it is not a typical doubling. But it is typical to expect a dedicated bass clarinet player because bass clarinets very popular. Let's talk about the range and the sound of these instruments. 48. The Clarinet: Range and Sound: Range of the clarinet. With transposing instruments, we'd like to look at the range in two ways. We'd like to look at the written range and this sounding range. The written range goes down to this e, up to this Gs, whatever that is. E, F, G, a, B, C, D. However, it sounds down to D, and up to E, F, G, a, B, C. That's the transposing thing. We write it here. This is what you're actually going to hear. So if you're writing a transpose score and your writing what we're actually getting here. You're using this as its range and then once you transpose it, it's going to look like that. So this is arranged as a B-flat clarinet. In terms of dynamics and stuff. It's pretty versatile. They can be quiet and they can be loud. They're never gonna be screaming loud. They're never going to compete with the brass that are just like loud. It's a bit like the oboe in that way. Yeah, I think I would compare it dynamically to the oboe, although I think it can get a bit louder than the oboe. Mostly just do being a single reed instrument. Bass clarinet. This one's a little bit weirder in the transposition category. It's also in B flat. It goes down to this, see, I think yes, C. And up to this. However, where it sounds is B flat down to or up to this G. Now, this is, there's something subtle here that's important and I guess it's not so subtle. But this is, the bass clarinet is transposed by a whole step because of the B flat thing, but also an octave. And we write the bass clarinet in treble clef. It's a bass instrument but were used, but it's very standard to write it in treble clef. Don't give your bass clarinet player apart. In bass clef. It seems like the obvious thing to do, but you don't do it. It's just one of those weird things. You give them treble clef. The notes that you're going to actually write look like this. What I like to do sometimes, I often write bass clarinet parts in treble clef, and I just wrote, I write them on transposed but in treble clef. And then when I go to transpose them, transpose it, and then shift it by an octave so that it's right. It would be better to write it in bass clef, which sometimes I do also actually writing a piece for bass clarinet right now. Bass clarinet and Marimba. And am I writing it in bass clef? I am writing in bass clef. I'm writing it in bass clef just so I get the right notes. But, um, I can see exactly what notes I'm writing. But when we get to the final product and I transpose it, definitely gonna switch it to treble clef. Because that's just what bass clarinet players read. A really quick and easy way to make yourself look like an amateur is to give a bass clarinet player apart in bass clef. Remember that? Let's hear a couple of examples. Here's a Mozart concerto. I fast forwarded through the intro and we're gonna get right into the solo. So when the solo first starts, you're getting here accompanied with flutes. So this is what we're gonna get into more when we get into actual orchestration. The way you combine instruments to make different colors, but try to latch onto just the sound of the clarinet. And let's just hear a little bit of this so you can hear the tone of it currently has that very creamy sound. It's very easy to blend with a lot of different stuff. It's very versatile in that way. Here's a little bit of Mozart. So as you can hear, it's a very smooth sound, almost like the flute. Speaking of fluids, I guess I was wrong when it entered. It wasn't accompanied by fluids, it was accompanied by violence. Either way. Very dexterous. You can really write for clarinet just kinda all day long and they can basically play what you write for them. There is one oddity about writing for clarinet that I want to point out by way of listening to this, one of the most famous clarinet passages for the orchestra ever. It's in the opening of Rhapsody in Blue by Gershwin. If you're not familiar with this piece, it's a really fantastic piece. Gershwin wrote a lot of music, and this piece really tries to incorporate jazz and blues, gospel in some ways into the orchestra world. There's this opening clarinet riff that is extremely distinctive and extremely difficult. But maybe not for the reason that you think. Let's hear it. Come back to the beginning. The thing that makes that very virtuosic is that opening glyphs that now that can be done on the clarinet as you heard. But there's one really bizarre thing that they encountered when they do that and it's called the break. Let's go to a new video and let me explain the break. 49. The Break!: Here's what you need to know about the break. You'll sometimes see people make a really big deal about the break. So you have to think about the break and the clarinet. When 99% of the time you don't have to think about the break and the clarinet. A good player knows their way around it. And it's nothing you have to really think about. But there are a few cases where you do need to think about the break in the clarinet. Those would be glissando. If you're going to glycerol note, you have to think about the break. If you're just writing a really fast passage, you should think about the break. Here's what it is. There's think about the clarinet notes as being in different registers. There's the low stuff, the middle stuff in the highest stuff. As you play notes up the low stuff, as you go up higher and higher, you're doing certain things with your fingers to get those notes. When you get to the top of the low stuff, your fingers are in a certain position. Then you get to the bottom of the middle stuff. Follow me. In order to switch registers. You have to switch to a whole new position. All your fingers have to move. Basically, this is simplifying it a little bit. But it's not like going from like middle C to C sharp, could just be adding one finger down. But going from the top of that lower register to the bottom of the middle register means renegotiating all your fingers. That roughly happens around a to be on actually it's exactly a to b on the treble clef staff. These notes, I believe this is sounding pitch or no, this will be transpose pitch because this is what they're going to finger. So transpose pitch a to B. Now there's a note in-between there be flat. A reminder, I'm not a clarinet player. I only know this textbook wise. I believe the B flat could be played at the top of the low register or the bottom of the middle register. Going between the middle register and the upper register is less of a problem for some reason. But if you're writing a glycerol and it goes over that break, then it takes a really good player to do that smoothly. It's a very virtuosic technique to be able to bend a note and then renegotiate all their fingers and continue to bend it without you hearing it. That recording we just heard in the last video. That was a very good player. They made it over the break with that glass and we didn't hear it. That takes a lot of practice to make it just that one spot. The Glyphs itself is kind of difficult. But the glycerin, that particular spot right in the middle, is the most difficult. If you're gonna write a glyph. You want to avoid writing that glyphs to go over that break. If you're going to write a really fast passage, avoid that passage. Going over the break, or try to do something that gives them a little bit of help to get over the break. If I was writing a big chromatic passage and then it went on and went over that break. I might try to create a 16th note rest just to give them a place to both breathe and renegotiate their fingers to get over the break. If you're not doing a glyphs or writing a fast passage, you don't really need to worry about it. They'll figure it out. This is something that clarinet players practice all day long. So they can do it just fine. It's just in those really kind of especially difficult things that you need to think about the break. That's all. 50. The Types of Bassoons: Let's talk about one of my absolute favorite instruments in New York, extra. The bassoon. The bassoon doesn't get as much love as it should. It's a beautiful instrument, is difficult to play. It's a double reed instrument, so kind of like the oboe. And it has that kind of fuzziness and then nasal sound that the oboe has. But it's almost like it has a filter on the top of it to take away some of the nasal and just make a really creamy sound. It blends in really well. It can do some really cool percussive stuff. More of that in a second, Let's talk about the different instruments. There are two different kinds of bassoons that you will encounter. And it's pretty common for an orchestra to have both. The first is the one that we just call the bassoon. It looks like this. And the second is the contrabassoon. It's an octave lower, little more than an octave lower, maybe. Similar sound, but it's slower. Typically in an orchestra you have two bassoon players and maybe one contrabassoon player. It's not usually a doubling that someone would switch over to contrabassoon you, if you have a contrabassoon part, you typically have a dedicated contrabassoon player. It's not, the bassoon is not transposing. The bassoon is in C, which is another reason I like it. Um, it's range. Let me see if I can pull up its range. Here it is. Written in bass clef. They do pop up the tenor clef on occasion. If you're writing for them really high for long period of time, you can switch to that. B flat up to o. What is this? A, C, C, C, a, C, B flat to C. Pretty, pretty big range. The contrabassoon is the same range, but an octave lower. And the contrabassoon does transpose, but only by an octave. So you can write the same range for the contrabassoon, but you're going to hear it in octave lower. Does that make sense? There are no other variations of the bassoon. Standard orchestra. There are other bassoons that people have made over the years and there are a lot of different ones, but in the standard orchestra, we just have those two that are common things. I do want to say. Just for a minute. There's something about the bassoon that often gets giggles from young people. When you look at a score. It is common to look at score and older score and see the bassoon by its German or Italian name, which was much more common name for it. If you look at scores by virtually anyone classical repertoire, that name was, I'll spell it FEG, T, T or T, T or T TO, depending on what language and if it's plural, but FAD OTT, that word as I understand it, translates roughly to a bundle of sticks. And if you look at the bassoon, it is comprised of several tubes of wood. It is kind of like a bundle of sticks. Now that I might be inferring some stuff here, but my understanding on the modern use of that word is that it also is used to mean a bundle of sticks. And that was a bundle of sticks to light a fire, to burn people, to burn gay people. And it is in English, we call it the bassoon. In French, we call it the bassoon. I don't know if in German, Italian, and Spanish they still call it that. Or if they've adopted the bassoon, but not a word I want to say, even in reference to the bassoons. So I'm just gonna call it the bassoon. Interesting piece of history. There is no connection to playing the bassoon, the bassoon itself. And gay, lesbian, transgender, GLBT, QIAT, folks, that's not a thing. It just kind of all goes back to the connection of the definition of that word being like a bundle of sticks. Which is somewhat accurate for the term bassoon and for what the instrument is altogether terrible for the other, for its use in the other sense. Okay, enough on that. Let's talk about what it sounds like. 51. The Bassoon: Range and Sound: We've already talked about the range a little bit and the transposition of the bassoon. I want to talk briefly about the dynamic curve, like we talked about with some of the other woodwinds. But how it gets louder as you get higher and higher, bassoon is kind of opposite of that. It's low range has a lot more power than its high range. It's high range wild, beautiful is it's hard to get a lot of power behind it so you don't get the screaming loud high notes. You get these really kind of flying, beautiful melodic notes up there. But it's real power is its low end, it's low and it's still not going to compete with brass instruments, but it's low and it's where you can get these sounds, these really cool gritty sounds louder and it's low end than it is in its higher, higher end. I want to listen to. Hear is a little bit of just a piece for a bassoon and piano, just to give us an idea of the bassoon itself. We're in the mid to upper range there. And really beautiful melodic sound. It's like an oboe, but it's lower and it's less nasally. Let's listen to one of the most famous passages for BSN. That's the beginning of Rite of Spring by Stravinsky. Let's hear it. Clarinet comes in there. Okay, so that's really high for the bassoon, that's its uppermost register. The percussive stuff that I talked about before, That's really that low-end where they can slap the read a little bit. I don't know if that's exactly what they're doing, but that's what it sounds like to me. And they get this bed, but they can do some cool stuff. I wish I had an example of that. Here's a good one. You hear that low end, that broad Low-end is really powerful. But soon. 52. The Types of Saxophones: Okay, Let's talk about saxophones. Or as the Simpsons like to say, Sachs homophone, homophone, sorry, that's super dated joke of me. There's tons of different kinds of saxophones. I really want to focus on the four standard ones. The other ones you're really not going to find in any kind of orchestra or contraband setting. No, Probably not. There's tons of them, but there's four that are like the standard. You can see here. Separate ECMO, separate Nino. These are pretty rare. Rarely ever encounter these. The four standard ones, soprano, alto, tenor, and baritone. Soprano. In an orchestra is even fairly rare. But you can do it if you want. The four that we're going to look at are. Here's the soprano. It looks quite a bit like a clarinet. It's like a brass clarinet. Now you might be thinking, wait, if these are made of brass, why aren't they considered brass? That would be a good question. These are redid instruments. They take a read in the same mechanism as a clarinet. We classify them as woodwinds. Brass instruments have a circular mouthpiece that you blow into or buzz into that produces the sound. So even though these are made of brass, they are classified as woodwinds, primarily because they have a read. Even though fluids don't have a read. That's just the way it is. Saxophones are classified as woodwinds. Soprano, it's high. It's, it can have a very lush sound. Very kind of not like a clarinet because it does have a little bit of fuzziness to it. It's a little more abrasive than a clarinet, but can still be very, very sweet sounding. The alto saxophone, One of the most common, relatively high, you can kind of think of an alto saxophone range wise. You can compare it to a clarinet. Can go, I think you can go a little bit lower than the clarinet. We'll look at the ranges in just a minute. But similar to the soprano. Nice sound. A little fuzzier than some of the other instruments, but not as buzzy use like an oboe can kind of fill that role. Tenor, lower, still, little bit darker, darker tone. But still of the saxophone family. Then baritone, they didn't have a picture of, but it's kind of like a bigger tenor, baritone sax or Berry Sachs. Big fat low end. A lot like, I want to say a lot like the bassoon was actually kind of closer to like a baritone tuba or something. It's got a big, big, bulky low end. It's really great low-end sound. Now one of the things about writing for saxophone that is quite appealing is that Ive have found that writing for saxophone can be really pleasurable because you can write, and I might get in trouble for saying this, but you can basically write for saxophone just all day long and as long as you're mindful of the range of the instrument, you don't really have to think about anything else. I think they do have to deal with something like the brake on the clarinets, but it's never really a concern. They have ways around it. You don't have to think about the break. You don't really have to think about anything you can just write. You can just write notes, notes, notes, notes, notes. And they'll be able to play him. It's a very easy instrument to write for the ensemble of a saxophone quartet with either all four of those, or sometimes we find saxophone quartets with no soprano and two altos instead. So to alto, tenor and Barry is a really wonderful ensemble, really cool quartet, written a bunch of pieces for a saxophone quartet and quintet, where you either at a soprano or add a second tenor. Great sounding instruments. Now, like I said before, these are not typical orchestra instruments. You're, if you go to your local symphony and see Beethoven performed. There's like amazed saxophones. Sexual ones were invented 19th century actually, I think I just saw 1890 something was the patent. I just read that on this webpage somewhere up here. But I think 1890 was the patent on them. So they are one of the newest instruments that have become a standard instrument. Very pretty rare to find them in orchestras, but in modern pieces you do find them sometimes in the orchestra. One thing to think about, if you are going to put them in the orchestra. Remember that it is a bit of a strain on the orchestra to use them. They have to hire players from outside of the orchestra and bring them in. So it's an extra expense, which is a way. What I'm saying here is that if you are an established composer and the orchestra wants to play your music, they will pay that extra expense to bring them in. But if you're just getting started writing music for orchestra, you're not a well-known name in the orchestra world. Then adding saxophones makes it just a little bit harder for them to play your music. So you should probably not do it. You want to make it as easy as possible. So you use very standard instrumentation. Nothing really weird in your, in your music. So that it's easy for orchestras to play it. Once you build a reputation, you can ask for these, these kind of different things like saxophone section to come in. But as you're getting started, I would not add saxophones, but you can. So we're gonna talk about him. 53. The Alto Saxophone: Range and Sound: Okay, Let's talk about the alto saxophone. Save soprano for the fourth one, because it's more rare. Go alto, tenor, Barry, and then spread on. Anyway. The alto saxophone is a transposing instrument. It transposes the E-flat, so it's kind of a, kind of a big transposition. When you write it, you write B flat up to this F. Yes. Is its range. Again, there are some techniques to squeak out a few extra notes above that. But not really to go below B flat, there are things they can do called sub tones, where they can get a couple of notes lower, but it's a really extreme technique. Don't do that. Unless you're working with a soloist. Then you could maybe consider it written and then sounding all the way down to this D flat. And then after those A-flat, written in sounding quite a bit different because it transposes a lot. Again, the alto sax has a bit of a buzzy sound. We associate the sags phone with jazz a lot. So if you want to do something jazz like in your piece using the sax phones, really good way to do it. They could do a lot more than jazz though. The saxophones can do a lot of really cool stuff. Here's a little taste of the alto saxophone. I'm like, Yeah, that was kinda, that was kind of jazz. But when you put this axons together, an ensemble, they can be really great chord instruments. In fact, I'll talk more about that with a tenor. Let's move on and talk about the tenor note. 54. The Tenor Saxophone: Range and Sound: The tenor saxophone and other kind of step lower, kind of relatable to the way that the violence and the violas and the cello is work. The tenor is the cello range. Sort of. Now one thing I wanted to mention about the tenors, when it comes to chords. I'm gonna shift gears for just a quick second here and talk about the horns or the French horns. We'll talk about the French horns later. When we talk about the brass. In my ideal world, I would replace if I could write, if I could redesign the orchestra. This is blasphemy. What I'm about to say, don't, this isn't an textbook. This is my personal opinion. But if I could redesign the orchestra, I have to make sure no one's looking. When I say this, I would get rid of the horns. I will get rid of the horns and replace them with, there's typically four horns, so I would replace them with two tenor saxophones and to alto sax phones, or maybe just for tenors X-Files. Similar range, way more reliable instrument. And the way I use horns to fill out a chord is works really well for tenor saxophones. Also, we'll talk more about horns later and my disdain for horror. I'm kind of famous in my little circle of friends for, despite using horns, French horns, more on that later, Let's talk about the tenors. Tenor saxophone, little bit lower. The tenor sax also transposing different transposition. Now, B flat, a little bit easier transposition to look at. We write it in treble clef. You write all the saxophones and treble clef. B-flat up to F are sounding though, is down in bass clef, a flat, Up to E-flat treble clef. So you can see here why we transpose, like in alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, and even barriers saxophone. The written range is the same. We write the range of same. That means someone could switch between these player because switch between these relatively easily in terms of the notation. But the sounds that come out are going to be different. A-flat to E-flat minus an octave. So B flat transposition plus an octave. Let's hear a little bit of the tenor sax, and let's go to the same guy Loa in pitch this time down to the B flat, tenor saxophone. This is an iconic instrument in the history of jazz, blues, rock and roll, contemporary and pop music. Nice creamy sound. It's got a little bit of that buzz to it. But very good sound for the orchestra. It's kind of a bummer. We don't have them in the orchestra more commonly, but it is what it is. Let's talk about the very 55. The Baritone Saxophone: Range and Sound: Barry Sachs, awesome, low-end. If you've never seen one of the coolest things out to various axis, there's this guy on YouTube or TikTok or so I think it's actually two guys where they play a berry sacs. It looks like they're in subway probably in New York. And they basically have this really kind of wild dance they do. And it's really percussive, very sac style. Sometimes they stick a traffic cone in the bell of the sacs. They make these videos and then just rocking out on various acts. Awesome, awesome stuff. I wish I knew the name, I can just say what it was, but search for Barry Sachs, traffic cone, dude. And you'll find it. Anyway. Barry sacs, again written range B flat to F, sounding range, bass clef, D flat to C, D, E, F, G, A-flat. So this is an E-flat instrument, so transposes to E-flat plus an octave down, maybe two octaves down, actually. Again written in treble clef, but sounding and bass clef. Let's hear. So. Now finally we come to the E flat baritone saxophone. These very large instrument is the lowest in the commonly used saxophone family. It's one full octave lower than the alto sax, to full octaves lower than the Sapir and anal sex. I want to say one other thing before we leave the baritone. There are a couple more saxes that you'll see in there. They don't get widely used. The couple that go lower, There's the bass saxophone, the contrabass saxophone. If you look up the contrabass saxophone, it's so big. I think that's the one that it requires two people to play it. Let's look it up. Like one person has to stand on a chair. Contrabass, saxophone. Most people don't even know they exist. I've even had people telling me they don't sex. Now that's not the one I'm thinking of. That's a low saxophone though. There is one that you see floating around on the internet every couple of years where one person who has to blow, he has to stand on a chair and the other person, like fingers or the low notes. It takes two people. It's just comical. You'll never actually see this in practice. Let's talk about soprano. 56. The Soprano Saxophone: Range and Sound: Okay, and the soprano sax, again, we don't see these a whole lot in even on those rare occasions where we do have saxophones and the orchestra, I don't see sopranos a whole lot. I think they fill in a really similar role to the oboe. You might as well just use an oboe at that point. But they are worth pointing out. The soprano sax is in B flat. You can see here it's sounding pitch is a flat down to E flat while it's written pitch, the same as all the other ones, B flat up to F. This is the sounding pitch of the soprano saxophone. Let's hear it, as well as a curved soprano sax. The stripe version of that instrument is very common. This is a B flat stripes soprano sax. It's pitched the game the same as the trumpet and the clarinet. But liked this opera Nina, sexy, fun. This instrument is played out in front of the playa in the same way that a clarinet, his plight. That's the soprano sax. 57. Special Woodwind Effects: Okay, So going back to big picture, all the woodwinds put together, I want to talk about a couple of effects, special effects that can be done with these all of these things I'm going to point out in the next two videos, I guess are pretty standard is a weird word when you're talking about special effects. There are things that are not going to give anyone pause. They aren't like the col legno thing on the violin and where it's actually damaging to the instrument to do. But there are things that a lot of players can do and will do, but you may think carefully about doing them, mostly for dynamics. The two things in particular that I'm about to talk about, one of them is just really quiet. So only works in a very rare situation. And the other one can only be done really loud and is not a particularly pleasant sound. I guess it's just talking about those two things and just dive in. 58. Key Clicks and Air and Mutes: Key clicks and air. I've heard these used in a lot of pieces and it can be done really well. It can't be really cool. Let me show you all these woodwind instruments. All of them have a lot of keys. And each of these keys, these keys make little sounds. If you think not blowing into the instrument at all and just fiddling with keys. If you think, well, that's kind of a dumb sound. Have you ever done that thing? I remember when I was a little kid, I went to camp and we did this thing where everybody, Like rub their hands on their legs like this. You probably can't hear that, but it's kind of like the sound. Like it's really quiet. But if you get 100 people to do it, it sounds just like rain. It's so weird. There are these really quiet sounds that when done by a 100 people, can be a really cool effect. Key clicks can be that if you get all the woodwinds doing this, it can result in kind of a cool sound. Now it's not gonna be allowed, no matter what you do, it's not gonna be allowed sound. So doing that needs to be orchestrated and just such a right way where there's almost nothing going on in order for it to really cut through and be heard at all. But it can be a cool effect and all you really have to do, you don't have to write what notes to play. You just write key in English or whatever your language is. Key clicks and then maybe give them rhythm if you want. Or you can just say random fast notes. Just write that in English and that'll tell them to go. Like that. Kind of sound like a waterfall if you get a bunch of people doing it. Or a creek, something, that can be a cool effect. What it's gonna be really quiet. Another thing is just air. Basically. You can tell a player to just blow through their instrument without doing anything, without creating the tone, the vibration. So basically it's just going really going to sound like that because I don't have a reading, but kind of like that. It's basically this. Again. If you get the whole wind section doing that, it can be kind of a cool sound. Neat, but it's very, very quiet. The brass can also do that to that note. The strings can also do that to the strings can just sit there and go. There's nothing stopping you from doing that. And I have seen pieces that ask everybody in the orchestra just to go to whistle or to do something like that. That's all fine. You can ask them to do that. But also against say, Oh yeah, I wasn't gonna talk about this, but that kind of brought up potentially a question that somebody might have and let me just answer it. Mutes. Mutes are not very common on the woodwind instruments. They don't work very well. You'll see that most woodwind instruments, with the exception of the flute, have a bell at the end of them. The fluid doesn't even have a bell, it's just a tube and it doesn't go out to like a cone. Like most of these have the sound, actually, the majority of the sound. Well, I shouldn't say that a lot of the sound comes out. The holes and things of the woodwind instrument. Not all of it comes out the bell. So putting a mute in here doesn't actually change the sound a whole bunch. And this is true for all the woodwinds. Mutes do exist for the woodwind instruments, but they're not hugely effective. I wouldn't recommend doing it. Mu to be something like sometimes you'll see them take a piece of cloth and stick it in their bell. Saxophones do that. Sometimes, clarinets can do that. It doesn't change the tone all that much. Meats are pretty rare for all the woodwinds. Now let's talk about doing something super loud. 59. Multiphonics: This is another one that I get asked about a lot. Because at some point maybe you've heard that it's possible some wind instruments to play multiple notes at once. And you're right. There is a way to play multiple notes at once on these instruments. They are called multi-factor six. Now, before you get all excited that you can write two-part counterpoint for a single wind instrument. Let me explain how these work. The way they work is you can't just pick any two notes. There are certain combinations of notes that you can do. The way that they're done is they have two finger, the instrument in just such a way. And some of them include like a finger kind of half on, half off a note and doing strange things. And then typically they have to overblow. So you have to blow super hard. That creates sound that contains multiple notes. They can't move around notes within that. It's just like bam, they can hit it. And it's really hard to do. So it's not something that a unprofessional could be expected to do. It takes a lot of research to write for these because you have to know what notes in that sound or in tune and which ones are not, and which ones can be done. So you can find charts on how to do them. I just quickly googled and found this. Typically when you write these, you're going to write the notes that will sound. And then this is like a little fingering chart that says kind of what they need to do to get this. You include this or something similar to this on the score that tells them how to do that. Before I play you what this sounds like. These are harsh sounds. They're not pretty I don't, I can't think of an orchestra score that I've ever seen these in. So don't do this. It can only be done really loud. It's kind of unreliable too, because sometimes they have to hit them and it's such a delicate thing to get them just right, that these are really reserved for a soloist and even at that pretty good one. Okay, So that being said, here's an old piece of mine, a very old piece of mine. Where I did it as is for solo saxophone. And I was working with a kind of a virtuosic performer here. I wrote a bunch of multi-family Senate. So this little diagram is for saxophone in this kind of explains to them what they need to do to get this sound. That's a fingering chart. This is the result. It's gonna be a B flat, a B natural, I think, an F sharp. Now some of these notes are gonna be out of tune and it's pretty gnarly sound. I think in this section there's a few, yeah. Here's another one where there's four notes. Here's another one where there's just two nodes and F-Natural on an F-sharp. My goal for this section of this piece was just to make this as gnarly sounding as possible. Basically, this is a good way to do it. This piece has, is for saxophone and computer. So the computer stuff is just a pre-recorded sounds. Let me show you what this sounds like. I guess. Keep in mind this is not exactly my game material. Okay, I'm gonna go to this section. This is another trick where they play the same note. Two different ways. I think this would be classified as bis big Leandro. A trill between playing the same note, two different ways that makes them slightly out of tune from each other, creates kind of an interesting sound. Let me find this spot. Here we are. This notes. Whole bunch of mouth. They bought it. That's not what happens again on the next page. Not a pleasurable sound, effective when he just wanted to make something really gnarly. But when you're talking about working in an orchestra, don't do this. Don't do multi phonics in an orchestra. It's not the same as double stops for a violent. 60. What Comes Next?: Okay, we got to the end of the first part. Now, as you may have noticed, I decided to break this up into multiple classes because I think that people are going to use these as a reference to go back to. And I didn't want to make just one giant class. I had a million things also. Having them in smaller bites as better on some platforms, it's just, It's a thing. So you have finished the first part. We've tackled instrumentation. Let's call it instrumentation part one we're gonna do, the next section is going to be all about instrumentation part two, we're going to start with the brasses, go into percussion, and then we're going to go into things about working with the voice and singers. And finally, a category that I'm calling everything else where we'll talk about guitars, organs, harps, other keyboard instruments, accordion, recorders. Other stuff that you may come across. Be part two. Then we're going to get heavy into the actual orchestration stuff. How you combine all of these colors to make a painting. I can't say for sure yet how long, how many parts that will be. This is one of those things that people get PhDs in this. So I could go deep down the rabbit hole and I can probably just keep going deeper and deeper and deeper. I don't think I'll get to a PhD level, but it will go a few parts of getting deep into score analysis. We got to get through the instrumentation stuff first. So please look for that next class. Orchestration to the brass, percussion voice. Everything else will get that done and then we'll get deep into the orchestration stuff. See you in the next one. 61. Wrap Up!: Hey everyone, want to learn more about what I'm up to. You can sign up for my e-mail list here. And if you do that, I'll let you know about when new courses are released and when I make additions or changes to courses you're already enrolled in. Also checkout on this site. I post a lot of stuff there and I check into it every day. So please come hang out with me. And one of those two places are or both? And we'll see you there.