Module WXK-2232:
Orchestration Today

Module Facts

Run by School of Music and Media

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 1 & 2

Organiser: Prof Chris Collins

Overall aims and purpose

The aim of this module is to provide the fundamental orchestration techniques required in the film and media industry today. In order to reach this aim, this module will cover basic orchestration techniques employed by Classical, Romantic and 20th Century composers (e.g. Beethoven, Rachmaninov and Prokofiev). These techniques will eventually be applied to the film context – an industry that employs the vast majority of orchestrators today (e.g. Conrad Pope, Tim Davies, Ladd Macintosh, Ceiri Torjussen, etc.). The module will gradually introduce each section of the orchestra starting with the strings, woodwinds, brass and percussion sections along with the full symphonic orchestra. This module will also cover the use of technology in today's industry including transferring MIDI data provided by composers from the DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) to Sibelius (notation software). Fundamentals of score and part preparation, copying and binding will also be covered. On completion of the module, the student will be equipped with the necessary skills to orchestrate music to a specific film cue.

Course content

Sem 1. Introduction. STRINGS A. STRINGS B WOODWINDS A WOODWINDS B BRASS A BRASS B PERCUSSION FULL ORCHESTRA A FULL ORCHESTRA B Class Presentations.

Sem 2. Introduction to film orchestration. MIDI – tidying up in Logic. MIDI – to Sibelius from Logic. MIDI – tidying up in Sibelius. MIDI – orchestrating in Sibelius. Preparing a score for a typical recording session Part 1. Preparing a score for a typical recording session Part 2. Film orchestration techniques A. Film orchestration techniques B. Class Presentations.

Assessment Criteria

good

Work which shows a more detailed knowledge of scoring for orchestra, not only making use of the appropriate bowings, correct divisions of string instruments and splittings of woodwind and brass, but shows some imagination and artistic creativity in the use of the instruments.

threshold

Work which shows an elementary understanding of scoring for orchestra, making use of correct and appropriate string bowings, correct divisions of string instruments and splittings of woodwind and brass, and a practical knowledge of transposing the appropriate woodwind and brass instruments.

excellent

Work which shows detailed knowledge of scoring for orchestra, making full use of technical terms and symbols, and shows originality in the use of blendings of instrumental timbre.

Learning outcomes

  1. Studied and learnt the fundamentals of orchestrating idiomatically for orchestral instruments.

  2. Developed skills for reviewing, scrutinising and discussing orchestration techniques.

  3. Exhibited sufficient level of creativity, resourcefulness and imagination whilst orchestrating for full orchestra (for both traditional and film / media projects).

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
INDIVIDUAL PRESENTATION Presentation Sem 1

10minute presentation based on an orchestration topic of your choice, related to topics covered in Semester 1. This can include discussing a few bars from a well-orchestrated work (upon approval of the course tutor), or examining an orchestration technique and demonstrating examples of its use. Students must submit all relevant presentation files on Blackboard (file types accepted: word doc / mp3s / PowerPoint). All above files are to be compressed into one .zip file for upload to Blackboard. This file should be clearly labelled in the following manner: YourInitials-CourseCode-AssignmentNumber.filetpe e.g. OLL-WXK2234-P1.zip Class presentations are recorded. Presentations take place in Week 11 (5/12/17) and/or Week 12.

5
COURSEWORK Assignment 4 - Orchestrating Coursework 3

Semester 2 - Assignment 4 Task: Orchestrating Assignment 3 Project: ‘New Skin’.

You are now the lead orchestrator on this project. By using your sketch score (assignment 3), finish the orchestration process ready for a recording session at Abbey Road Studios with the English Session Orchestra. You are also the Copyist for this project, albeit in digital format. Provide the necessary tidy scores for Conductor and players. The line-up is: 12.10.8.6.3 + Harp.

Resources available on Blackboard; Assignment 3 MIDI file and MP3 file. Relevant Panopto Demonstration Videos: From MIDI to SCORE Steps 6 - 10. To submit: • Conductors score 12.10.8.6.3 + Harp (A3 sized PDF). • Written brief, detailing the process undertaken (Only Microsoft Word Documents are eligible). 500-600 words. • Sibelius file (Sibelius version 8 files or lower are acceptable). All above files are to be compressed into one .zip file for upload to Blackboard. This file should be clearly labelled in the following manner: YourInitials-CourseCode-AssignmentNumber.filetpe e.g. OLL-WXK2234-A4.zip

Assignment 4: Set W7. To submit by lecture Week10. Please see School of Music guidelines for submitting work and Assignment details in WXK2234 Orchestration Today Module Handbook.

12.5
COURSEWORK Main Assignment 2

Semester 2 – Main Assignment 2 Task: Orchestrate the given Video Game Theme for full orchestra. Line-up: 2.2.2.2 / 4.3.3.1 / Timp / 3 perc / 9.8.6.5.2 Resources available on Blackboard; Main Assignment 2 MIDI file and MP3 file. Make sure you split this assignment into two tasks, much like assignment 3 and assignment 4. Firstly, transfer and transcribe Midi data to the sketch score. Secondly, orchestrate for the given instrumentation. To submit: • Full orchestra Conductors score 2.2.2.2 / 4.3.3.1 / Timp / 3 perc / 9.8.6.5.2 (A3 sized PDF). • Individual Parts in one PDF file (suitable to be recorded by professional players). • Written brief, detailing the process undertaken (Only Microsoft Word Documents are eligible). 1,000 – 1,200 words. • Sibelius file (Sibelius version 8 files or lower are acceptable). All above files are to be compressed into one .zip file for upload to Blackboard. This file should be clearly labelled in the following manner: YourInitials-CourseCode-AssignmentNumber.filetpe e.g. OLL-WXK2234-MA2.zip

Main Assignment 2: Set Week 2. To submit by Monday Week 13. Please see School of Music guidelines for submitting work and Assignment details in WXK2234 Orchestration Today Module Handbook.

20
COURSEWORK Assignment 1 - String Orchestra

String Orchestra Resources available on Blackboard; Assignment 1 PDF Piano score. Orchestrate a given piano score for Strings 12.10.6.4.2. To submit: • Conductors score for String Orchestra of 12.10.6.4.2 (A4 sized PDF). • Written brief, detailing the process undertaken (Only Microsoft Word Documents are eligible). 500-600 words. • Sibelius file (Sibelius version 8 files or lower are acceptable). All above files are to be compressed into one .zip file for upload to Blackboard. This file should be clearly labelled in the following manner: YourInitials-CourseCode-AssignmentNumber.filetpe e.g. OLL-WXK2234-A1.zip Assignment 1: Set Week 1. To submit by lecture Week 4 (17/10/17). Please see School of Music guidelines for submitting work and Assignment details in WXK2234 Orchestration Today Module Handbook.

12.5
COURSEWORK Main Assignment 1

Resources available on Blackboard; Main Assignment 1 PDF Piano score. Orchestrate a given piano score for Full Orchestra (2.2.2.2 / 4.3.3.1 / Timp / 2 Perc / 14.12.8.6.4). Please make sure your submitted scores are transposed scores. To submit: • Full orchestra Conductors score 2.2.2.2 / 4.3.3.1 / Timp / 2 Perc / 14.12.8.6.4 (A3 sized PDF). • Individual Parts in one PDF file (suitable to be played by professional players). • Written brief, detailing the process undertaken (Only Microsoft Word Documents are eligible). 1,000 – 1,200 words. • Sibelius file (Sibelius version 8 files or lower are acceptable). All above files are to be compressed into one .zip file for upload to Blackboard. This file should be clearly labelled in the following manner: YourInitials-CourseCode-AssignmentNumber.filetpe e.g. OLL-WXK2234-MA1.zip Main Assignment 1: Set Week 2. To submit by Monday Week 13 (8/1/18). Please see School of Music guidelines for submitting work and Assignment details in WXK2234 Orchestration Today Module Handbook.

20
COURSEWORK Assignment 3 - Tidying and transferring MIDI DATA

Semester 2 - Assignment 3 Task: Tidying and transferring MIDI DATA Project: ‘New Skin’. You are the lead-orchestrators’ assistant on this project. By using the given MIDI file and MP3 file, create a sketch score suitable to hand over to the lead-orchestrator. This is a transcription assignment; therefore, you should check that the notation you have inputted on the score derives from the original MIDI file. All information such as tempos, time signatures, structure, musical expression, notes and dynamics are included in the MIDI file (and more). Your task is to transcribe and translate this information onto the score. This task is a data transfer task (or transcription task), not an orchestration task. All of the composers’ ideas should be meticulously entered for the instrumentation given in the MIDI file. Please note not all instruments in the MIDI file will be orchestral, there may also be some synths. This information is also to be included on the score submitted (for example, if there is an Electric Guitar in the cue, you must notate this on your score). How is this assignment applicable to orchestrators today? This is the first process undertaken when orchestrating music for film and tv. This is also the most important, as any mistakes that appear in the final recording session usually relate to the incorrect translation or inputting of MIDI data. Resources available on Blackboard; Assignment 3 MIDI file and MP3 file. Relevant Panopto Demonstration Videos: From MIDI to SCORE Steps 1 - 5. To submit: • Written brief, detailing the process undertaken (Only Microsoft Word Documents are eligible). 500-600 words. • Sibelius file (Sibelius version 8 files or lower are acceptable). • PDF file of sketch score (A4 or A3 sized PDFs are acceptable) All above files are to be compressed into one .zip file for upload to Blackboard. This file should be clearly labelled in the following manner: YourInitials-CourseCode-AssignmentNumber.filetpe e.g. OLL-WXK2234-A3.zip Please note: scores for this assignment by their very nature may be untidy. Your assignment will be assessed on the correct and accurate inputting or transcribing of the provided MIDI data into a Sibelius file. You will also be assessed on your translation of MIDI information from the MIDI file to the Sibelius file. Assignment 3: Set Week 1. To submit by lecture Week 4. Please see School of Music guidelines for submitting work and Assignment details in WXK2234 Orchestration Today Module Handbook.

12.5
COURSEWORK Assignment 2 - Strings and Woodwinds

Resources available on Blackboard; Assignment 2 PDF Piano score. Orchestrate a given piano score for Woodwinds and Strings (2.2.2.2 / 14.12.8.6.4). Please make sure your submitted scores are transposed scores. To submit: • Conductors score for Woodwinds (2.2.2.2) and Strings (14.12.8.6.4) (A3 sized PDF). • Individual Parts in one PDF file (suitable to be played by professional players). • Written brief, detailing the process undertaken (Only Microsoft Word Documents are eligible). 500-600 words. • Sibelius file (Sibelius version 8 files or lower are acceptable). All above files are to be compressed into one .zip file for upload to Blackboard. This file should be clearly labelled in the following manner: YourInitials-CourseCode-AssignmentNumber.filetpe e.g. OLL-WXK2234-A2.zip

Assignment 2: Set Week 5. To submit by lecture Week 10 (28/11/17). Please see School of Music guidelines for submitting work and Assignment details in WXK2234 Orchestration Today Module Handbook.

12.5
INDIVIDUAL PRESENTATION Presentation Sem 2

10minute presentation based on an orchestration topic of your choice, related to topics covered in Semester 2. Students must submit all relevant presentation files on Blackboard (file types accepted: word doc / mp3s / PowerPoint). All above files are to be compressed into one .zip file for upload to Blackboard. This file should be clearly labelled in the following manner: YourInitials-CourseCode-AssignmentNumber.filetpe e.g. OLL-WXK2234-P2.zip Class presentations are recorded. Presentations take place in Week 10 and/or Week 11.

5

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Hours
Private study 156
Lecture

11 lectures in each semester, delivered weekly, plus one reading week.

44

Transferable skills

  • Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
  • Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others

Subject specific skills

  • Musicianship skills – recognition, classification, contextualisation, reconstruction, exploration
  • Intellectual skills specific to Music – contextual knowledge, cultural awareness, critical understanding, repertoire knowledge, curiosity, analytical demonstration
  • Technological skills – digital capture, digital expression, digital innovation
  • Skills of communication and interaction – oral and written communication, public presentation, team-working and collaboration, awareness of professional protocols, sensitivity, ICT skills, etc.
  • Skills of personal management – self-motivation, self-critical awareness, independence, entrepreneurship and employment skills, time management and reliability, organisation, etc.
  • Enhanced powers of imagination and creativity (4.17)

Courses including this module

Optional in courses: