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16 piece orch...need advise from Composers....


krosstj
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Hey guys,

So I was just hired to write the theme song for a Japanens Animi Film. (my first hired Animi ever) And I have it budgeted to a sixteen piece orchastra. SO here is what I have as far as Instumentation....I would like so thoughts and or Suggestions PLEASE! I've never had to worry about Budget or how small/large the Orch can be, so I'm a Virgin at this part. The theme is going to consist as I'm playing around on my Piano now, well...It will be bombastic, and probably I'll throw in some sorta love theme in the middle, because its based on two people falling in love from two seperate fractions who are at war...blah blah I'll get to the rest later. Anyway here is what I have.....

Piccolo(inC)

Flute

Oboe

Clarinet (Eb)

Bass Clarinet (Bb)

Bassoon

F-Horn (I-IV)

Trumpet © (I-II)

Trombone (Tenor)

Tuba (Tenor Bb)

TIMP(I-III)

Piano

Harp

Violin (I-II)

Cello

Double Bass

Pretty Straight forward stuff, but Just looking for suggestions or whatnot.

THANKS

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It's difficult to ensemble an orchestra without having seen the film. I'm not sure if a small chamber orchestra sound is going to blend well with the images of the Animi. Why not write your score for 16 string players? 16 string players come closer to the feel of a big orchestra than picking one instrument of each. When I saw Psycho I never felt the absence of a complete orchestra. 15 strings and 1 piano can also get you a long way in mimicking a "larger" orchestra.

Good luck with your assignment.

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I'm with Alex on this, seems a little odd to have 4 horns, 2 trumpets and a string quintet... I really don't see how you're going to pull that through dynamically. Also, a string orchestra paired with piano can do wonders. I suggest if you go with a string orchestra you place it like this: 5 1st violins, 4 2nd violins, 3 viola, 2 celli, 1 basso and 1 piano.

But you could also try writing it for a wind ensemble. Maybe something in the line of 2 flutes, 1 oboe, 2 clarinetts, 1 basoon, 2 horns, 3 trumpets, 2 trombones, 1 tuba, timpani and either piano or percussion.

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Guys this is great stuff tahnks...I really like Magnus's idea of the Wind Ensemble. I kinda wanna stay away from must using strings, but I see your point now that I look at this more indepth. I guess what the real issue will be is writting a mian theme first on my piano then seeing how I want fit this int o an orch.

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I wrote for sort of my exam from upper secondary school a piece for a short film in flash made by two good friends. It was written for wind ensemble, percussion and piano and worked great! got top grade for it :|

http://home.swipnet.se/~w-63313/compositio...is-Episode1.MID

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Krosstj,

I would generally agree with the previous suggestions. I would use more strings (4 Vlns., 2 Vlas., 2 Vcls., 1 DB, then a flute/picc., clar., hrn, piano, percussion, and depending on your needs, maybe an oboe/english horn, or another hrn or a tpt or tbn. ). The idea is that winds very easily overpower strings, so a few of those would be fine for the balance/blend. Brass can definitely overpower the strings.

Best wishes!

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Also you probably should use two flutes instead of one flute/one picc. Flute I can switch to piccolo where necessary. Piccolo probably wont be used much in the piece so it's pretty standard for one of the flute players to switch to picc. as appropriate. They shouldn't ask for extra money for this, as it's normal practice. Just make sure you specify in the score and part Flute I/Picc.

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Sometimes out here in LA we use weird sections to simulate full sections.

Like why use a String quartet when you can use four cellos?

Next month i will be working on something where we are using 8VC and 14 VN and 3CB - rather then making some ghetto attempt at a weak string section. You must change your writing slightly but it is wise to do this kind of stuff when u cannot get a full section. Remember to not write many divisis

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A thought would be to try to get as balanced an "orchestra" as you can, and "sweeten" the strings by overdubbing or adding some synth strings to the mix.

Frosty

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Guys thank you so much, after much thought and from writting some theme "IDEAS" on the piano this is what I have. (I go to school for Composition, but we have yet gotten in to any advance Orch stuff, so thank you all so much for this)

2 flutes (1'st flute alternating to Piccolo (as suggested, you are right as I look more into this by the way)

1 Oboe

2 Clarinett

1 Bassoon

2 F-Horns

Perc (Bass drum, Snare, and so on as I see fit)

4 Violins

2 Vlas

2 VC

1DB

I think this will work actually. I might add a piano, but I just don't see the need in the way the theme's are comming of age in my piece. Anyway, obviously things do change along the way when writting, but I feel some comfort in knowing what I'm writting for a ahead of time.;)

THANK you so much guys, really its wonderful to know there are so many great people out there willing to extend a hand.

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cool - but get rid of the violas - at 1 chair to both violins and vc

violas dont really play out in recordings unless there are at least 5 of them (sad but true)

Guys thank you so much, after much thought and from writting some theme "IDEAS" on the piano this is what I have.  (I go to school for Composition, but we have yet gotten in to any advance Orch stuff, so thank you all so much for this)

2 flutes (1'st flute alternating to Piccolo (as suggested, you are right as I look more into this by the way)

1 Oboe

2 Clarinett

1 Bassoon

2 F-Horns

Perc (Bass drum, Snare, and so on as I see fit)

4 Violins

2 Vlas

2 VC

1DB

I think this will work actually.  I might add a piano, but I just don't see the need in the way the theme's are comming of age in my piece.  Anyway, obviously  things do change along the way when writting, but I feel some comfort in knowing what I'm writting for a ahead of time.;)

THANK you so much guys, really its wonderful to know there are so many great people out there willing to extend a hand.

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God I LOVE harps...But as I'm writting out different Motifs and Parts of themes, and trying to orchestrate stuff in my head (Mind you, I'm old school (only 24 but I still write with a piano and Paper, not the computer, I use the Computer later for orchestra sketches to hear it sorta come to life before I bring it to the studio, as to not embarass myself with some stuipd mistake I.E. trasposing an inst, the wrong key LOL)) I don't see a harp playing a part ATM in this piece, THAT COULD and I HOPE DOES CHANGE ;)

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