Music Articles

Want our free newsletter? Come and get it!

First Name

Email




Conductors and instrumentalists should click the magic button!

Menu

Back to Home Page



STUDIO 1

GAMES
AND DIFFERENT GENRES OF MUSIC

Piano Music

Chamber Classical Music

Inspirational Orchestral Music

Classical Composers

Name That Music



STUDIO 2

COMPOSITION TUTORING

Free Composition and Piano Lessons

Piano Music Notes

Learn Music Theory

Finale Music Writing Software

Composing Music to Films

Writing Classical Score

List of Instruments



STUDIO 3

THE RECORDING ROOM

Music Sound Recording Studios

Multitrack Recording Process

Music Mixing Advice

 

 

About Me
Terms of Use
Privacy
Contact Us

Writing Classical Score
Serious Stuff on a Serious Staff

A skeptical persons rant, not to be taken personally: “So you want to compose a classical score. How are you going to put food on the table? How are you going to even afford a table? You’ve got the brains of a table, did you know that?”

Writing serious music takes guts and courage. It is hard to earn a living doing this type of writing exclusively. However, the beauty of the musical profession is that you can do a number of field related jobs simultaneously. So let’s talk about writing serious music. Don’t worry! You won’t starve!

There are many different types of scores that can be created by a classically trained composer. Full symphony orchestra, string orchestra, duos, duets, trios, quartets, quintets… the standard list is extensive. Another thing to consider is that there is nothing stopping a composer from creating his/her own unique combination of instruments for a particular piece.

Regarding the latter point, the only downside to creating odd instrumental combinations is that this type of scoring may not be practical for repeat performances. A piece of music that is written for three alto saxophones, three bassoons and a xylophone might not get a second performance nearly as quickly as a string quartet scoring of the same work.

Because classical music often demands the use of a full orchestra, a composer should become familiar with all of the ranges of the instruments, as well as the strengths and weaknesses of a particular instrument. For example, a flute player would probably not appreciate a loud, energetic passage close to middle C, played alongside a loud trombone counter-melody. Flutes have more power in their upper registers and composers with this type of insight tend to score their compositions more effectively.

As for string writing (violins, violas, etc.), it is important to have knowledge of their ranges of double and triple stops. String players, unlike woodwind and brass players, have the ability to play more than one note simultaneously. Any decent orchestration book will not only supply instrumental ranges, but will give a listing of all the double and triple stops available for all of the family members of the string orchestra.

Here’s a word of caution to all composers who are writing for diverse instruments. Be wary of the source when accepting advice from a performer. I have found that the more professional a musician is, the more likely they are to say, “just write anything and I’ll play it.” They may even offer supplemental editing suggestions in order to enhance your written part.

An insecure musician that says, “You can’t write this for a bassoon… the instrument can’t play those low notes that fast…” is often expressing his or her technical deficiency. Sure, all instruments have their strengths and weaknesses, in terms of optimum range, agility… However, if you feel uncomfortable with what a performer is telling you, seek advice from someone else before changing your score.





Cool Products


Click here for Ready, Set, Compose!, the ultimate resource book for keyboard improvisers, composers and pianists.



Play piano? Click here for our exciting new piece of the month!

 

 

 

Piano Music | Chamber Classical Music | Inspirational Orchestral Music | Classical Composers | Name That Music | Free Composition and Piano Lessons | Piano Music Notes | Learn Music Theory | Finale Music Writing Software | Composing Music to Films | Writing Classical Score | List of Instruments | Music Sound Recording Studios | Multitrack Recording Process | Music Mixing Advice