Orchestration Concepts

Most practical and proven concepts designed to speed up your overall process!

Get to transparent and beautiful results based on a clear methodology and whatever you know already.

  • become a faster and more efficient orchestrator
  • learn about the hierarchy of musical elements and how it simplifies the process of solving the big puzzle
  • finally, become more confident about your decision-making and remove the guessing-part

Orchestration Concepts - Table of Contents

Module 1 - The Instrumentation

The instrumentation is the foundation of all our upcoming decisions. We focus on the different instrument sections in the orchestra and what their characteristics are.

Furthermore, we go into aspects like the individual dynamic curves of each instrument and present all this information in convenient cheat sheets for immediate access without having to go through a 500-pages book.

Honestly, if you get this first step in the orchestration process wrong, your work will turn out unbalanced, and even worse, you create even more problems in the later mixing phase and the overall production.

We teach the use of each instrument's "cash registers" and how to balance each orchestral section as this makes the later combinations way more effective and easier!

Proper instrumentation will help you stay on the story as it connects to emotional storytelling. Furthermore, it ensures you remain in control of your artistic decisions.

  • The Strings Section
  • The Woodwinds Section
  • The Brass Section
  • Keys & Percussion

Module 2- Functions

Common problems when learning orchestration are being overwhelmed by so many black dots on the white paper, not knowing what belongs together and where to start with the analysis.

If you went to a music university or through any other kind of higher musical education, you might have come across piano reductions. Those are great to reduce an orchestral score to its essence. However, the process usually does not work in reverse.

If you gave the same piano bars to 10 different orchestrators, you'd get ten different versions, all based on the orchestrators' unique tastes and experiences.

Working with functions helps create hierarchy, structure, and architecture in your musical works. As it becomes a base of thinking, it works in both ways: Analyzing existing music and even creating new orchestrations.

  • The 6 main functions
  • How to use the functions
  • How to combine the functions
  • Many original examples with deep explanations

Module 3 - Contrast

Ok, now that we've covered all the elements that help us structure and prioritize musical ideas on the canvas, it's time to create contrast and an engaging story flow so that our audience wants to follow.

We'll cover aspects of the human brain and how we perceive music in general. Contrast is crucial to give your audience good reasons to stay invested in what you tell them musically. You want to hold a listener's interest as long as possible.

Many excellent examples from the Classical era show how powerful contrast can be. Just take "Boléro" from Maurice Ravel and imagine it as a piano reduction without any contrast in color or sound! After a few minutes in, you'll understand why that is a pretty dramatic example! :)

This module explains how to use different gradations of contrast most effectively in your own orchestrations.

  • Horizontal Contrast
  • Vertical Contrast
  • How to control contrast and solve the puzzle
  • Many original examples with deep explanations

Module 4 - Concepts of Doubling (DBL)

Please don't double for no reason!

A lot of music educators teach to simply double all the instruments that play in a similar register. Actually, that's bad advice as it takes away from each instrument's characteristics.

Instead, learn how and when to double so that your doubled parts enhance the listening experience and overall story. And there are straightforward concepts that'll show you clearly when you should double and when you shouldn't.

We cover the artistic side of doubling parts, like creating stability, enhancing projection, defining anchors, and so on. The bottom line is that you want to use these concepts to get as close as possible to expressing yourself most honestly.

Make doubling (as well as the other concepts) a part of your "bag of tricks" and base it on your unique taste! That's the most efficient way to define your musical voice!

  • Vertical Stability
  • Natural EQing
  • DBL for Coloring & Power
  • Building to a Climax

Module 5 - Section Development

Now it's about time to put all the concepts and techniques from the previous modules into action!

Section development is one of the most important areas in writing music. It connects directly to musical storytelling and how to let your "main characters" experience exciting adventures.

But emotional decision-making comes from understanding technique first. How do you translate emotions into music without trial and error anyway? We focus on the most practical writing concepts for any of the orchestral sections and how to add more material around them (without doubling existing parts).

Most often, it's just a slight change in your perspective, and so many new musical opportunities reveal themselves to you.

That's all part of this module.

  • Complete Your Sections
  • Translating Your Sketch
  • Adding more Sections
  • Example: 1 Sketch => 3 Pieces
  • From the Sketch to Full Orchestra

Workshops and Challenges

You might have heard the saying: "Knowing and not applying equals not knowing!"

We offer various options to our Academy members on how they can practice and implement their newly acquired knowledge in a friendly and motivating environment. These challenges span over the orchestration and also include composing music with Interval Theory.

Our mission is that all members gain maximum control over their creative work, and we'll help you do just that! We also want to cut down on the frustration and time it takes to complete a project since the more you practice, the quicker and more consistent you'll become with no need to struggle or fight.

We invite all members to participate in these events, as the most efficient way to grow is with other like-minded creatives! These workshops and challenges take place several times a year inside the Academy and complement the theory-part.

Listen to some results from one of the challenges:

  • Put theory into action immediately
  • Grow together with other like-minded creatives

The Orchestration Concepts are part of the Academy Access Pass!

Not sure if the Orchestration Concepts are right for you?

Let us help you make a decision ...

The Concepts are for you!

  • You can read music notation (treble and bass clef).
  • You have a fundamental understanding of conventional music theory and the Diatonic system.
  • You are curious about learning something new, and you can devote a few hours each week to your studies.
  • You have a fast and stable internet connection.
  • You have a desire to grow and build your musical dream life based on your unique taste.

The Concepts are NOT for you!

  • You can't read music notation and don't want to learn it.
  • You don't want to invest in yourself and believe that the latest shiny objects (new sample libraries, gear, etc.) are more important than the ability to compose great music with whatever you have already.
  • You are looking for 'that one secret course' that does not require any work from you but still give you all the marvelous results. (Honestly, if something like that existed, somebody would have crushed the whole market already).