ARRANGING FOR BANDS by BJ Brooks
copyright 2021 www.bj-brooks.com
Part I: Preexisting Content
First and foremost in the study of arranging is the understanding of the works of the literature. One could do well to sit and study hundreds of scores before embarking on the process of content creation. The literature is packed with works that encompass the best examples encompassing a wide range of possibilities that have been tried and tested. No arranging text could ever hope to expose the learner to all they need to see to be able to understand the true scope of the art and this text will certainly not attempt to do so. It is hoped that the learner will take the examples given here as best practices and to incorporate the techniques throughout as mere practical demonstrations of the modern convention of arranging for band. To begin the study of arranging this text will examine works or excerpts that are demonstrative of a particular topic.
Chapter 1: Score StudyThe study of scores is integral to the understanding of both the historical traditions of master composers and the musical content of a work. The nexus of vertical and horizontal thought, once understood, can unlock vast musical potential. This chapter begins with a method to reduce this content so that one can easily view how the music may be orchestrated to achieve various goals.
It is important to understand the musical context of a score before beginning an arrangement. There are numerous analytical tools available to the arranger to begin an in-depth exploration of the music to be arranged. It should be common practice for the arranger to understand, through analysis, both the short term and the long term goals of the work. Jazz symbols, Roman numeral analysis (for tonal music) or any other additional types of analysis that help reveal the movement and form of the work should be employed early in the study process.
ReductionReduction is the method by which a score can be transcribed to a few number of staves to represent, in as small amount of space as convenient, all of the pitches to be produced by an ensemble.
Example 1-1 Antonio Vivaldi, The Seasons: Autumn, mm. 1-3.
Creating a ReductionExample 1-1 shows a reduction of a 5-voice score into two staves. Care must be taken so that each voice may be understood as linear movement. Each voice of the reduction has been labeled so that the instrument lines can be seen throughout the work. A reduction is similar to a reduced score.
Reductions may employ any number of staves, though for analytical purposes and piano realization the traditional number of staves is two. It may be useful to create a dedicated percussion staff or other specialized staff, such as a solo staff, for other occasions. Keep in mind that the goal of the reduction is to reduce to as few staves necessary, the content of the score.
Through studious reduction and analysis of numerous masterworks the inquisitive arranger can begin to internalize the art of skillful voicing in ensembles.
Transposition From a ScoreNotice that the contrabass line in example 1-1 (CB) is notated an octave lower than the written part. The representation of the voices as heard is essential in the creation of a useful reduction.
One barrier to immediate vertical understanding, and indeed the primary reason reduction can be so illuminating, is that many instruments are not written as they sound. There are reasons, both practical and traditional, for this to be the case. Regardless, to study a score knowledge of the sounding pitch is essential. Thus, from the beginning, transposition from a score must be understood and mastered.
Laws of Transposition
To simplify the understanding of transposition we can recognize 5 laws.
I. Law of sees. Sees a “C”, sounds its key. A written note C, when played, will always produce the sounding pitch name of the instrument. For example, an E-flat Alto Saxophone when playing a written C will sound an E-flat.
II. Law of action. Writing for a transposing instrument must be opposite in direction of its sounding pitch. For example: a B-flat trumpet sounds a major second below its written pitch. To counteract this, the music must be written a major second higher. So, to hear a particular note a trumpet, the pitch has to be written a step higher.
C 👀 W = Written
B♭ 🔊 S = Sounding
III. Law of size. Most transposing instruments will sound lower than written. This is easily understood if you can see the size of a flute in C. A longer instrument would necessarily tend to sound lower.
IV. Law of keys. An instrument’s key name will determine its transposed key. For instance, an E-flat alto saxophone “carries” 3 flats with its name. To sound in a particular key, the opposite must be applied. So, an alto saxophone written in the key of G (one sharp) would sound in the key of B-flat once the key name had been applied. Stated another way: 1 sharp (G) plus 3 flats (E-flat)equals 2 flats (B-flat).
V. Law of Accidentals. In a piece with a key the number and placement of accidentals in a musical line will be identical. Consider the part below:
Example 1-2. Melody with key and accidentals.
This line, when realized as it would sound as through an instrument in F would look like this:
Note that the number and placement of each accidental is identical to the original music.
Types of Transposition
The distance movement required for transposition may be facilitated by a number of means. The following are the most common.
I. Interval. Interval transposition is related to the law of action. If an instrument sounds a certain distance away from written, it must be written so that the sound will end up where wanted. Knowing the distance for each transposing instrument from written pitch to sounding pitch is essential to understanding the content of a score. A list of transpositions is included in Chapter 8.
II. Degree/Solfege. This transposition method is useful for music that has a key designation for each instrument. It is less useful in an open-key score. Each instrument’s key designates the tonic. Therefore if a transposing instrument is written in the key of D, then D is tonic, do, or scale degree 1. This information may then be related to the concert key as the same tonal relation. Scale degree remains consistent through transposition.
III. Clef. Clef transposition (also called imaginary clefs) can be used to immediately identify sounding pitches, without the need to mentally alter a note’s placement on the staff. This type of transposition necessarily deemphasizes octave designation which must then be compensated for when used to reduce scores. It is through this type of transposition that a baritone saxophone instrumentalist may easily substitute tuba music in lieu of a, perhaps missing, baritone saxophone part. The player reads the music as written, but imagines a treble clef and adds three sharps (Law of keys) to the written signature. Likewise, a score reader will may see an instrument part written in E-flat in treble clef and imagine a bass clef with three flats added to the given signature. For instruments not in E-flat, the imaginary clef best used is the C-clef. It is indeed an interesting quirk of coincidence that the placement of the imaginary C-clef correlates its position with that an inverted bass clef as demonstrated in example 1-4.
Example 1-4. The inverted bass clef and corresponding keys.
IV. Finger. Finger transposition is a transposition used when reading a part on specific instruments to produce a result other than what would normally be expected. For example, a written C4 on clarinet or bassoon would be played with LH 123. Whereas LH 123 on saxophone is realized as a written G. Therefore if saxophone fingerings are used on the clarinet (below the throat tones), bass clef instrument parts in C can be read at sight with the sounding pitches realized at a congruent pitch class. Similarly, trumpet fingerings may be used on a euphonium to read Bb parts, etc.
Chapter 2: Transcription
Orchestration is an adaptation of a work for orchestra, a processes that typically involves the conversion of a few staves to many. In orchestration it is understood that notes may be added or moved by octave to suit an ensemble or to better achieve a desired musical effect. The term orchestration may also be used for other ensembles, though in some circles other terms such as “bandstration” are used to distinguish the ensemble for which one is creating the orchestration. Transcription is understood as the adaptation of a particular work to another medium. An arrangement will employ liberties in regard to structure or content (or both) as compared to the original.
As mentioned earlier, the analysis of music is integral to the creation of a successful arrangement. Recognition of the musical structure of an extant piece and its transformation during the arranging process can yield a successful product that is musical art in its own right. Understanding the harmonic content of a work is of equal importance to the form as a whole. Vertical chord labeling, here referred to as jazz-symbols, is a good first step in understanding a musical work. Roman numerals are useful on the small scale as well. The location of phrases, designated by cadences in tonal music or otherwise by points of arrival are essential in the understanding of is form. Once a work’s form is understood by the arranger important decisions can be made in regard to the new work’s length and content. Analysis must be undertaken before the arrangement has begun, though the extent of the analysis is up to each arranger or as directed by an instructor.
When beginning a work based on preexisitng material, it is first necessary to determine the legal status of the composition that is being transformed. This legal status is called Copyright.
As per the Berne Convention, the international standard in regard to copyright privileges first enacted in 1886, a work is said to be under copyright as soon as it is fixed to the written medium. The United States signed to the convention in 1989. Works under copyright are exclusive to the owner of the copyright. Works without the notice are still subject to the rules of the copyright privilege. These privileges include (1) the ability to reproduce copies and (2) the ability to create derivative works. Copyright duration varies from country to country, though most interpret copyright as the life of the author plus 75 years. Works published in the United States before 1923 are understood to be in the Public Domain. A work that has lapsed into the public domain is free from the restriction of copyright. These works may be downloaded and used for arranging. Public domain varies from country to county. So a work that is in the public domain in one country may not be in another. You are responsible to ensure a work is free to be used if you intend on using it. For information on public domain works, consult the following sources.
David Lange, Professor of Law at Duke university has written useful information regarding copyright and public domain that can be found below:
Recognizing the Public Domain, 44 Law & Contemporary Problems, 147. (1981). http://www.law.duke.edu/pd/papers/Lange_background.pdf David Lange, Reimagining the Public Domain, 66 Law & Contemporary Problems 463 (2003) http://www.law.duke.edu/shell/cite.pl?66+Law+&+Contemp.+Probs.+463+(WinterSpring+2003) Music in the public domain may be found on the following sites:
Transcribing from Piano Settings
When transcribing piano music it is important to note the function of the various textures that are seen consistently in keyboard music. Oftentimes the textures present are not idiomatically appropriate, depending on the instrument being written for. Writing characteristically for the instruments will be discussed later, but several piano textures can be identified now.
Example 2-1. W.A. Mozart, Sonatina in C. K. 545, I mm 1-2.
Example 2-1, typical of keyboard music in the classical period, utilizes the so-called “Alberti bass” pattern.
Example 2-2. Bach Minuet in G. mm.1-4.
Example 2-2 shows a two voice pattern that is common in the baroque. Indeed, keyboard textures tend to thin the further back in time you look. It is often the case here that tonal progressions are a bit ambiguous in a two voice texture. Knowledge of tonal theory is important when interpreting jazz symbols and Roman numerals. Piano parts sometimes have implied harmonic content that analysis can reveal.
Example 2-3. Debussy, Preludes. Book I. XII. mm. 54-56.
Example 2-3 demonstrates block chord patterns in both hands of the pianist. Notice that the right hand notes contain a complete triad with the melody in octaves while the left hand omits the third of each chord.
Example 2-4. Beethoven, Moonlight Sonata. mm. 16-18.
In addition to the internal triad arpeggiation in this Beethoven excerpt, Example 2-4 demonstrates a three-layer texture.
Example 2-5. Debussy, Preludes. Book I. VII. mm. 1-2.
Another common texture is the arpeggiation. In example 2-5 Debussy evokes an ethereal mood through arpeggiation. Note the distance between pitches relative to their octave placement.
Example 2-6.Debussy, Preludes. Book I. X. mm. 16-17.
Much of Debussy’s music is instructed to be “bathed in pedal”. This sempre sostenuto situation creates potential opportunity for idiomatically appropriate realizations while orchestrating.
Example 2-7. Debussy, Preludes. Book II. IX.
It is common in piano music to end with complete chords built through arpeggiation or as sections. This allows for a complete symphonic range that would otherwise be impossible with only two hands.
Transcribing from Choral Settings
Music designed for the voice can be ideal for transcription. The attention to melodic line, especially in SATB a cappella, lends itself to transcription for a variety of instruments.
Example 2-8. Bach, Christus, der ist Mein Leben. mm. 1-2.
The music can be realized on a 1:1 basis in an instrument choir setting. Example 2-8 could be performed by four brass, one assigned for each voice, SATB. An awareness of each instruments range is necessary when assigning each part. It may sometimes be the case that the entire piece should be transposed to facilitate one instrumental setting or another.
Example 2-9. BJ Brooks, The Road Not Taken. mm. 49-52.
Vocal music with piano accompaniment (example 2-9) contains both of the opportunities afforded to the arranger from vocal music along with those associated with supporting piano textures.
Transcribing from Orchestral Settings
Orchestral music has the distinction of having already been orchestrated. This somewhat obvious pronouncement belies the many pitfalls of the process of transcription from the orchestra. There are numerous practices that are so basic and standard in orchestration that have no equivalent in band. Of course, the opposite is also true as transcribing for orchestra a band piece holds significant challenges as well. String instrument are so well suited to sustain that it is uncommon for this not to be seen in orchestra music. A string section can and will sustain past the point where, if transcribed for low brass or woodwinds, the performance would become less than what was desired in the original. There is no 1:1 replacement for the strings in a band setting. It is sometime seen in weak transcriptions, particularly in those created in the mid 20th century, that the string have been replaced by oceans of clarinet. Though the sound of a large clarinet section in a band can be evocative it certainly does not follow that clarinets can substitute for stings. There are no substitutes. One would be better off to first reduce the orchestral score. The reduction can then be realized without the, though stylistically appropriate for orchestra, less than ideal use of the wind instruments.In any case the creation of a reduction from pre-existing material is essential beforethe orchestration begins.
Example 2-10. BJ Brooks, Largo Molto Rubato. mm. 10-18.
Part II: Content Creation
The creation of content is what delineates arranging from orchestration. Certain musical settings lend themselves to content creation in useful and predictable ways.
Chapter 3: Homophony
Homophonic textures are the most common of all musical textures in Western music. Though not always monorhythmic, a homophonic texture has one melodic voice with supporting harmonic voices that are of significantly less interest that of the melody. Melodies with Chords Given Homophonic textures may be derived from various source materials. Folk melodies, or other similar types of music that have a primary melody with chords given are a rich source for homophonic music.
Jazz Symbols. Example 3-1. Folk Song, Auld Lang Syne.
Content creation with jazz symbols can begin with realizing a bass line as dictated by the chord symbols given.
Example 3-2. Folk Song, Auld Lang Syne. Two-voice realization.
As a two-voice texture this realization, though perhaps a bit dull, is serviceable. Problems arise, however, when the bass lines are chorded out.
Example 3-3. Folk Song, Auld Lang Syne. Chord realization.
The parallelism that is created detracts from the musical line. One possible solution is to revoice the upper two or three supporting voices.
Example 3-4. Folk Song, Auld Lang Syne. With voice leading.
As with the goals learned in basic undergraduate music theory SATB realizations, the voice leading expectations of tendency tones are integral in the creation of logical musical lines.
The harmonic content can be deduced from scores without jazz symbols. As described earlier, piano texture often contains harmonic information that can give insight for content creation.
Example 3-5. Mozart. Sonata in C. K. 545. mm. 1-2.
What might be thought of as a two-voice texture, example 3-5 is actually a homophonic setting. The melody is supported by a three-voice accompaniment (example 3-6).
Example 3-6. Left Hand Middleground.
Though, as may be the case here, with a piece as famous as this Mozart example, a sustained accompaniment may sound “wrong” to a great many listeners. It is therefore of great importance to be mindful of the musical integrity of the piece of music that is considered for orchestration.
Melodies With No Chords Given
It is often the case that a melody may be written without any accompaniment or jazz symbols. It is then the arranger’s task to decide on the proper chord progression to serve as the harmonic foundation for the piece. This is similar to the exercise of harmonizing a given soprano that is often taught in the first years of music theory. To harmonize within the expectations of tonal music, the following patterns should be noted.
Tonal Phrase Model
The tonal phrase model articulated below is but one possible theory to serve as a guide to create a harmonic progression. It is possible to both over simplify and over articulate the possibilities inherent in tonal music but one must be cognizant of the tonal idiom to fully appreciate the responsibility of the arranger to choose progressions wisely to achieve a coherent tonal phrase. It is not enough to simply “like” the chords chosen. One must write in such a way so that the musical integrity that exists within the chosen melody can be effectively communicate with an audience.
Chords in tonal music are built in thirds. To see the background behind the tonal model this “tertian” music can be demonstrated as a scale (Example 3-7, column 1) that eliminates every second note to discriminate a possible root of a three-note chord (column 2) that is then assigned an appropriately equivalent Roman numeral (column 3) grouped into threes (column 4), and assigned phrase model function (column 5). (T)onic, (P)re-(d)ominant, or (D)ominant.
Example 3-7. Derivation of the Phrase Model.
The basic phrase will follow the pattern T-PD-D-T with two specific harmonic goals. First, the progression to the dominant is achieved through movement from tonic to or through pre-dominant. Once the dominant chord is pronounced the phrase, depending on its conclusivity, may then conclude the progression by achieving the tonic. This simplified theory, along with the understanding that tonal music tends to emphasize root movement of a fifth, can serve to offer as a guide to typical chord choices to emphasize traditional harmonic motion.
Phrase Model Application
This model will be the basis for the chord choices for the melody in Example 3-8.
Example 3-8. Folk tune, Aura Lee.
In a given melody any note may serve as the root, third, or fifth of a chord (example 3.9).
Example 3-9. Folk tune, Aura Lee. All chord choices.
However, it is more often the case that notes on the stronger beats are members of a chord that lasts to the next measure or strong beat (Example 3.10) with notes that fall outside of a designated chord being aurally perceived as standard non-harmonic tones.
Example 3-10. Folk tune, Aura Lee. Fewer chord choices.
The arranger may now assign possible jazz symbols and Roman numerals to continue the process of selecting a strong harmonic progression.
Example 3-11. Folk tune, Aura Lee. Possible choices analyzed.
A C major chord in the first measure would be the most likely choice to start the progression. In measure 2 a d minor chord would probably be the chord most likely to occur, given that it is the only chord that contains both melodic notes. Measure 3 seems to be a bit of a puzzle as there is seemingly no logical choice because a dominant functioning chord is necessary to bring us to the end of the phrase in measure 4 which would probably be the chord most likely to bring us back to tonic. So, how are we then to progress back to C. The phrase model and the tendency of tonal harmony to move in fifths would suggest a dominant chord in measure 3. A bit of application of elementary music theory would reveal that the C on beat one could serve as a dominant function if the chord is realized as a cadential six-four (Example 3-12).
Example 3-12. Folk tune, Aura Lee. Phrase model application.
The next step would be to continue as if this were a homophonic melody with chords given as described earlier in Chapter 3.
Example 3-13. Folk tune, Aura Lee. Final realization.
Now the linear voice movement is solid and is in agreement with a logical tonal chord progression. There are many other significant contributors to tonal progression such as secondary function chords, sequences, prolongations, etc. that would be to numerous to mention here. For further information on chord selection please refer to a comprehensive tonal theory source.
Chapter 4: Chording-out Melodies & Concomitant PolyphonySingle line melodies account for just a portion of the potential of a realization to be used for an arrangement. It is the potential for the seemingly endless variety and combinations of sounds that draw in both arrangers and composers alike to the band idiom. The following is a method by which multiple supporting melodic lines can be created to accompany and enhance a single melodic line. For instructive purposes, the Aura Lee fragment introduced in Chapter 3 will be used throughout this chapter as well.
Example 4-1. Folk tune, Aura Lee. Two-voice concomitant polyphony.
The simplest chording out in a two-voice polyphonic treatment may begin by utilizing harmonic tones and 3rds or 6ths as common intervals from the melody as much as possible (Example 4-1). Non-harmonic tones may be used in conjunction with melodic non-harmonic tones (e.g. Ex. 4-1: measure 1, beat 3). The two voices as realized exhibit characteristics of polyphonic counterpoint without actually having been created by the standards and practices of species counterpoint. This is not a type pseudo-counterpoint because counterpoint, that is note-against-note writing, is actually occurring, but certainly not to the point of a studied application of methods outlined by Joseph Fux’s. No, our counterpoint is perhaps better understood as a concomitant polyphony, that is a polyphonic that occurs naturally due to the application of chord tones and contrasting rhythmic choices. Additionally, a separate rhythmic component found in polyphonic material would suggest that some independence of duration should also be exhibited for musical interest (Example 4-2).
Example 4-2. Folk tune, Aura Lee. Two-voice polyphony.
Notice that both examples have the counter-melodic idea below the pitches of the melody. This will allow for the melody to audibly predominate amongst the increasing number of voices. In addition, the rhythmic exchange between voices, with each more active as the other is less so, contributes to the clarity of the main melodic idea.
Chording-out in a three-voice texture allows for an entire triad to be built into the polyphonic setting. Though it may seem to contribute to unintentional planing, in practice the technique actually allows for quite a bit of harmonic support rather than contour duplication.
Example 4-3. Folk tune, Aura Lee. Three-voice concomitant polyphony.
The designated chord is begun as a triad on measure 1, beat 1 of Example 4-3. On measure 1, beat 2, revoicing has been utilized because the melody would be intervallically distant for several beats thereafter causing the C to be doubled too often. However, on measure 2, beat 2, there is no need for revoicing because the doubled A is brief. This is a matter of taste to some extent, but in practice this will allow for more linear polyphonic lines that move seemingly independent of the main melodic line. The homorhythmic aspect will be later shown to be a powerful and typical texture in arranging also known as block scoring.
Example 4-4. Folk tune, Aura Lee. Three-voice polyphony.
The addition of a final voice is all that is needed for the basic four- voice texture. The added fourth voice will most often here be a doubling of the melody at the octave. This is an almost essential addition because with the addition of the second and third voice the melody may be lost. The fourth voice may also contribute to an instrument choir that will be discussed in Chapter 9. In Example 4-5, simple chording-out has been implemented along with a doubling of the melody at the octave.
Example 4-5. Folk tune, Aura Lee. Four-voice chording out.
In context, the individual parts demonstrate the linear nature of the chording-out process (Example 4-6). In this instance the option to revoice was taken in measure 2, beats 2 and 3 in parts 2 and 3. Notice, however, that no revoicing was undertaken in measure 3, beat 3. The temporary dissonance occurring in voice 1 and 2 is experienced as a neighbor tone that adds some harmonic tension to the end of the phrase. Here again, as in the three-part scoring the homorhythmic nature serves to significantly amplify the melody
Example 4-6. Folk tune, Aura Lee. Separated four-voice chording out.
Similarly, it can be seen that the addition of the doubled melody in Example 4-7 would also serve to augment the original melody.
Example 4-7. Folk tune, Aura Lee. Three-voice polyphony with octave doubling.
The creation of musical content based off of a given melody is an essential skill for an arranger. The addition of new melodic lines outlined above serve as an introduction to this vital process. It is also necessary to further consider voice-leading concerns. Questions such as range, voice crossing, tendency frustration, etc. can and should be contemplated and studied thoroughly in light of the context of the musical situation. Doubling the melody in thirds, also known as gymel, is a tradition from the sixteenth century. This technique can also serve to enhance a melody. By adding a third tone and still following the contour exactly creates the technique known as planing. Root position chromatic planing is a hallmark of twentieth century writing, whereas diatonic planing in first inversion, also known as fauxbourdon, has been around since at least the sixteenth century. Spacing intervals for their greatest harmonic contribution is vital. Because of the relative distance of frequencies gets smaller as pitches get lower, there are limits at which certain intervals lose their effectiveness. The human ear can register frequencies from 20-20,000 Hz. As the difference between two frequencies approaches the lower limit, we tend to hear the result as out of tune, dull, or muddy. The consequence is that there is a lower limit for fifths, fourths, thirds, etc. to be aware of so that no unintentional scoring of pitches occurs below it. In Example 4-8 F1 has been selected for the lower limit basis to begin lowest fifths. Its fundamental pitch is located near the lower threshold of human recognition.
Example 4-8. Lowest Intervals Before Loss of Coherence.
Example 4-8 shows the importance of the recognition of the limitations of human hearing in regard to content creation. As demonstrated in Examples 4-5 and 4-7 the added content never includes voice crossing to the main melody. If the melody is in a certain range and certain accompanying voices are surrounding it, the tendency is for the melody to blend into the texture, causing masking. It is possible, and indeed sometimes desirable, to surround a melody, but one must consider carefully the consequences of masking. In later chapters it will be shown that some simple precautions will allow for a melody to be heard even while masked to some extent.
Chapter 5: Accompaniment Figures
A melody alone is not enough to keep a listener engaged past a certain point. Indeed, it has been shown in Chapter 2 that piano music alone contains supporting material of almost limitless variety. Though not all accompaniment figures are suitable to all arranging circumstances, there are a notable few that recur throughout any survey of ensemble music. It has already been shown that through both harmonic deduction and the chording-out process sustaining chords are a viable means of accompaniment. What has not been shown is a variety of accompaniments to a melody in the context of standard repertoire.
Example 5-1. Gustav Holst, First Suite in Eb, I. Measures 1-8.
Example 5-2. Gustav Holst, First Suite in Eb, II. Measures 59-63.
Example 5-3. Gustav Holst, First Suite in Eb, I. Measures 9-13.
Example 5-4. Gustav Holst, First Suite in Eb, I. Measures 44-56.
Example 5-5. Gustav Holst, First Suite in Eb, I. Measures 23-27.
Example 5-6. Gustav Holst, First Suite in Eb, III. Measures 17-20.
Example 5-7. Gustav Holst, First Suite in Eb, II. Measures 67-72.
Example 5-8. Gustav Holst, First Suite in Eb, III. Measures 153-158.
Example 5-9. Gustav Holst, First Suite in Eb, III. Measures 169-172.
Chapter 6: Counterpoint Assessment
The purpose of counterpoint is to provide additional melodic content to the extant melodic content. Counterpoint can provide tremendous musical value and variety to an arrangement. This chapter will show some of the fundamental requirements to assess the counterpoint that may arise form content creation. Numerous textbooks have been created dedicated to the instruction of counterpoint. Indeed, it is possible to study the art of counterpoint to great extent before a nuanced approach can emerge from a composer or arranger. Like so many other aspects both tangental and integral to arranging our look at counterpoint will only serve as the briefest foray into an immense ocean of compositional practice. The study of counterpoint is the study of consonance and dissonance. Both can be experienced as a vertical as well as a linear force. Our focus here will be on the application of traditional counterpoint concepts to provide for logical choices in content creation to provide uses of dissonance that can be understood within the tonal idiom and thus communicate with a wide audience. VerticalThe vertical nature of tonal counterpoint consists of the definition of traditionally tonally consonant and dissonant intervals. As a pair of pitches, unisons, thirds, fifths, and sixths are harmonically consonant. In contrast, seconds, fourths, and sevenths are harmonically dissonant.
Example 6-1. Consonant and Dissonant Intervals.
The experience of consonance and dissonance may of course vary in certain musical contexts, but this simple definition of consonance and dissonance in intervals is from where we will begin to assess our application of counterpoint. In triads, the critical application of the knowledge of consonant vs. dissonant intervals is the understanding that dissonances are detected when the dissonant interval is defined by the bass.
Example 6-2. Root Position and Two Inversions.
Example 6-2 shows three possible voicings of a C triad. The intervallic distance from the bass to any other voice is always consonant EXCEPT for the third beat. Here, the distance from G up to C, reduced to within an octave, is a fourth. The fourth is a dissonant interval. The implication is clear. The fundamental theoretical constructs learned in beginning college-level theory classes is entirely insightful in the understanding of counterpoint for here we see that a second inversion chord is dissonant and the musical context of the chord, if common practice, ought to “explain” its use as either passing, arpeggiated, pedal, or cadential. It is important to note that dissonance is not itself a bad thing. The important distinction is that dissonance must communicate. That is, dissonance must function. The second inversion chord has a variety of useful functions. If an arranger chooses a second inversion chord that has no tonal function, however, then the communication is lost and an interesting colorful chord exists with no significant harmonic meaning. It should be unacceptable for the beginning composer or arranger to be either unaware or unconcerned with musical communication. Thankfully, countermelodic ideas are usually a mid-to-high voice addition. The bass can provide functional support to allow for significant variety of counterpoint against the melody. It is vital though to ensure melody-bass agreement in terms of consonance and dissonance such that only functional dissonance occurs between them.
Example 6-3. W.A. Mozart, Sonatina in C. K. 545, I. mm. 1-2.
In Example 6-3 all but one of the the intervals at the start of each note in the melody (bass to melody) is consonant. The intervals: octave, third, third, sixth, (fourth), fifth, octave reveal consistent melody-bass agreement in terms of vertical dissonance. The one dissonance, the fourth, functions as a passing tone within a dominant harmony. It is important to note that in tonal music this is so often the case that even the untrained ear expects this convention to occur consistently throughout a piece of music. It is not a treat to the ears to create tonal ambiguity by the haphazard treatment of dissonance in tonal music. Horizontal
How then do we determine what functional dissonance is? For this we must include the horizontal or linear axis. When we include the horizontal in our look at tonal music we will come to understand that dissonance can be either essential or unessential. Essential dissonance includes dissonances as part of the dominant function in a phrase. Unessential dissonances are dissonances that occur as non-chord tones. These are the tones that we are to consider as part of our application of counterpoint. Nonchord tones may be summarized by Example 6-4.
Example 6-4. Nonchord Tones.
Along with the concept of functional dissonance is the idea of special treatment of perfect consonance, particularly in regard to the bass and melody. Perfect consonances (i.e. unisons, fifths, and octaves) require contrary or oblique motion to precede their arrival. It is also the case that one perfect should not follow another of identical quality. This concept of parallel, direct, or hidden octaves/fifths is part of partwriting taught in most basic theory courses of study and should be reviewed to for consistent content creation.
SequencesThe implementation of a sequence allows for the addition of variety in an arrangement. Sequences differ from harmonic progression in that the tonal model is suspended. The linear motion of the sequence is what provides the music with its momentum. Example 6-5 demonstrates some common sequences.
Example 6-5. Common Sequences.>
Sequences may be created by following a predictable pattern began with just a few chords. The ascending fifth and descending fifth sequences in Example 6-4 follow the circle of fifths from one chord to the next. Though a sequence may begin at any point along the chords shown above, they often begin in a certain area of the phrase to serve as prolongation. The sequence may be used in quite a number of arranging scenarios. Transition, modulation, dramatic arrival, and harmonic delay, are but a few possibilities. Example 6-6 shows the use of a falling fifth sequence to dramatically prolong the arrival of a half cadence.
Example 6-6. BJ Brooks, Stormflash, Measure 10-14 Reduction.
Chapter 7: The Big Picture
FormPerhaps no other single element brings as much cohesion to an arrangement than consideration of form. Ideally a work’s original form would suit an arrangement, but many other considerations mandate that this often is not the case. Constraints such as time, venue, or performance level can affect the arranger’s concept of how form can contribute to a work’s success. Whatever form is chosen, the sections of the work must be clearly delineated to sustain a listener’s interest with marked points of arrival. Dynamics, tempo, and texture can all contribute to highlight a point of arrival. Phrases and points of arrival all contribute to a work’s overall form. It would stand to reason that shorter works would tend to have fewer phrases and sections than longer ones. The arranger, upon completing a section must consider but two things before embarking on the next section: same or different. Too much of one or the other can contribute to a breakdown of form and muddle an otherwise solid work. Some basic form terminology includes:
Cadence A point of arrival the indicates a melodic and harmonic goal. Cadences may be qualified as Perfect, Imperfect, Half, Deceptive, and Progressive.
Phrase A phrase is typically defined by a termination, or point of arrival.
Period A period is two phrases that work in conjunction with the first phrase ending relatively weaker and the second relatively stronger. The first phrase in a period is known as the antecedent and the second a consequent.
Binary A large scale grouping of musical material with two distinct sections. Represented as AB.
Strophic A type of repetition in vocal music that uses the same material with varied text.
Song FormAABA with A as the verse and B the chorus.
Ternary large scale grouping of musical material that features a return. Represented as ABA.
Composite A large scale grouping of musical material that contains other definable forms. For example a composite ternary may have three distinct sections represented as ABA with the A and B sections comprising of material that, in turn, may be described in formal terms such as binary, ternary, etc.
Sonata The sonata form is understood as a composite form in three large sections. The first section, the exposition contains two main themes in contrasting key. The development will use previous material in various keys that lead to the recapitulation. The recapitulation uses the material of the exposition with the distinction of highlighting the home key throughout.
Rondo Rondo forms feature a common return. They typically include the 5-part rondo ABACA and the 7-part rondo ABACADA.
Arch Arch forms are palindromic, typified as ABCBA.
So, how do we address the problem/opportunity of form? Let us consider a work, in this case Mozart’s Clarinet Quintet K.581, mvt. 1 and suppose we are going to arrange it for a two minute performance. The original 10-minute work (with just the first repeat taken) is in sonata form detailed in Example 7-1.
Example 7-1. W.A. Mozart, Clarinet Quintet. K. 581, I. Large-Form Analysis.
Often one work may be a combination of smaller forms. If this is the case, then perhaps on section of a work can serve as the basis for an arrangement. A sonata exposition may be interpreted as binary, that is a primary theme followed by a secondary. Mozart has remarkably created a work in which each section of the exposition has memorable melodic material to draw from for the arrangement. The exposition itself takes almost three minutes to play through just once. Arranging the piece by only playing the exposition is problematic due to length alone but another, more serious, barrier exists. The exposition is continuous. That is, it has a modulation to the dominant. This fact, a primary principle of the concept of “sonata” makes the exposition alone fundamentally and musically unsuitable as a choice.
Mozart himself has given clues to possible solutions. As one may interpret from Example 7-1, the recapitulation has a primary theme of about half the duration as the exposition. This comparison method of looking at a composer’s own treatment of material is often enlightening and may lead to potential formal solutions. A two-minute arrangement of the work is detailed in example 7-2.
Example 7-2. Brooks-Mozart, Clarinet Quintet. K. 581, I. Arrangement Analysis.
The emphasis on the return of the primary theme at the end, suggests a ternary form. The sense of return makes amends for the truncation of two-thirds of Mozart’s original material. Without the return a binary form would remain. This, perhaps, could work musically, but Mozart had already given the suggestion for this solution, so that was the direction the arrangement went.
As was shown in the chapter on content creation, many times melodies are given with no accompaniment or regard to large-scale form. Example 7-3 is a simple vocal melody.
Example 7-3. Brooks, The Wild Atlantic Way.
This 8-measure period/quasi-sentence structure phrase “A” is repeated with a contrasting section following, “B”. The piece concludes with a restatement of A, completing the basic song form “AABA”. The A sections are strophic, with the text providing the music structure beyond simple repetition. The challenge for the instrumental arranger is to reimagine the music without the text to hold the form together. Repeating the melody with various textures could be enough for a simple, short arrangement. A more complex arrangement may use content creation to account for introductory, transitional, and closing material to provide more structure around the memorable melody (Example 7-4).
Example 7-4. Brooks, Paean (incorporating “The Wild Atlantic Way”).
Storyboards & Pre-visualization
Designing form through the use of pre-visualization can help an arranger coordinate a work with multiple focal points or in a team setting. This is often the case in marching show programming. In early brainstorming meetings one useful technique is to “break the show”. Example 7-5 is one such example. In the design meeting for the 2021 Randall HS show “The End is A Beginning” many possible elements, musical sections, visuals concepts, colors, etc. were discussed and played out in a coherent manner. The acts of the show were divided into titled segments to help capture the mood of each section.
Example 7-5. Breaking for Randall HS, 2021, The End is a Beginning.
After the breaking session the arranger works within the confines of the director’s budget, program strengths, show arc, etc. to create a musical reduction of the show. The reduction aids in the creation of a first-draft storyboard as seen in Example 7-6.
Example 7-6. Draft 1 Storyboard for Randall HS, 2021, The End is a Beginning.In the sample storyboard shown below (Example 7-7) the important impact moments have been designated through discussion with the design team and located in the timeline of the show. Each caption has identified important moments within confines of the show’s theme and indicated them on a timeline. The program coordinator works with these suggestions and the music arranger to integrate all of the elements together into one cohesive structure. The form is necessarily dictated by these points of arrival and the arranger work to accommodate all of the hit points in a musical way to highlight the ensemble in the best way possible.
Example 7-7. Storyboard for Permian HS, 2016, Sky.The goal of the process is a cohesive program that demonstrates the talents of the performers within the organization.
Example 7-8. Permian HS, 2016, Sky.
Moments of extended impact may be created through the use of a cadential extension. As the name implies, the cadential extension is employed at the end of a section or phrase as an embellishment of a cadence or significant point of arrival. The aforementioned “The Wild Atlantic Way” for choir is a different piece entirely from the band piece of the same name. Here, “The Wild Atlantic Way” is used as an example piece because of its multiple extensions used throughout the piece. The Wild Atlantic Way was inspired by a trip to Ireland with the Amarillo Concert Girl Choir. The choir traveled along the west coast of Ireland. That route along the western coast is called The Wild Atlantic Way. It was in one local music store that an idea came to mind while looking through folk music that had been collected from nineteenth century and early twentieth century Irish villages. I coordinated the collection of songs with a map of the WAW and 10 of the tunes matched perfectly. The locations, from south to north, are: Schull, Castle Donovan, Bantra, Bantry, Dingle, Cliffs of Moher, Ballyvaughan, Westport, Ballycastle, and Ballysadare. The melodies are heard as a quasi theme and variations with each tune moving directly to the next. The ends of each of the tunes sections is punctuated with the types of points-of-arrival that cadential extensions may highlight. Example 7-6 shows a typical directional cadence realized as an ascending scale.
Example 7-6. Scale Decorated Phrase Ending in The Wild Atlantic Way, Brooks.
Example 7-7 features a cadential extension of the a phrase with the arrival of a final note elongated and punctuated by melodic content from a previous theme that embellishes the sustained note.
Example 7-7. Accented Melody Cadential Extension in The Wild Atlantic Way, Brooks.
Example 7-8 features a cadential extension of the a phrase with the arrival of a repeated fanfare, emphasizing the tonic, with an Aeolian cadence in half notes. The Aeolian cadence is realized in major tonalities with a flat-6, flat-7, tonic chordal motion. Here, the motion is in the low winds.
Example 7-8. Aeolian Cadence Extension in The Wild Atlantic Way, Brooks.
Part IV: The Ensemble
Truly, the art of arranging stems from the ability to imagine sounds in a variety of contexts so that it may be presented in a musically relevant way. Individual instrument study is as essential to the work as whole as the way the instruments work in synthesis. Ideally, the arranger would surround themselves with scores and recordings of each instrument as well as a variety of the masterworks for the instrument so that a comprehensive set of instrumental timbres and combinations can be drawn from for a wide variety of arranging possibilities. An innate sense of idiom can be developed through the careful study of cliché moments for each instrument, grouping, genre, etc. It is important to note that the reason that cliché writing exists at all is because these instruments very nature give rise to their own unique possibilities in scoring.
Chapter 8: The Nature of the Band
The expectations of how a score will be translated into sound is different for bands than for orchestra. The distinction had, in the early twentieth century, created a chasm that only a few notable composers were willing to cross. The traditional orchestral paradigm holds that the number of string instruments is somewhat proportional to a specific number of winds. The orchestra’s structure is so well defined that instrumentation shorthand has created that specify the wind and percussion numbers in the orchestra. Such shorthand may be written like this: 2222/4331/T+3/Strings, which means:
3 trombones (usually 2 tenors and a bass)
Timpani 3 additional parts
Full compliment to balance the winds
A band instrumentation is shown through score order. A typical band piece may implement a score order thusly:
The difference in expectation is striking. Whereas the orchestra has a specific definition for the total number of winds, the band’s numbers are wildly flexible.
SizeThe style of arrangement may be dictated by the level of the performing ensemble or by the size of the ensemble itself. A high school band with few members will necessarily be limited in repertoire selection by the instruments in the ensemble. Often an arranger will work with these limitations to create a tailor-made arrangement for a specific ensemble. That said, some models of typical ensembles may be of use (Example 8-1).
Example 8-1. Sample Band Sizes and Complement
|Percussion + T||5||6||8||8|
Certain instruments such as Alto Flute, English Horn, Eb Clarinet, Eb Contra-Alto Clarinet, BBb Contra-Bass Clarinet, Contrabassoon, Soprano Saxophone, Bass Saxophone, and Flugelhorn are level-specific or piece specific. Indeed it may often be the case that some ensembles omit fairly common instruments such as bassoon or oboe due to personnel, budget, or some other constraint. As seen in Example 8-2, the wind instruments in combination are able to present a wide spectrum of pitches from which an arranger may select. With such variety, innumerable combinations are possible. It is through an understanding of how each instrument timbre varies through its own range that helps narrow down the possibilities.
Example 8-2. Wind Instrument Range-Spectrum.
Example 8-3. Individual Instruments, Full Range.
TranspositionTaking a reduction and orchestrating for an ensemble presents to a Scoresome counterchallenges in transposition. The laws of transposition introduced in chapter 2 still hold true, but the arranger must take on the burden of writing the parts for the instruments so that they will wind up sounding the correct pitch.
For the sake of simplicity, no rules are going to be discussed here, just a thought experiment. We know that Bb instrument, upon seeing a “C” will sound their key- a Bb. This leads us with the conclusion that we will hear a pitch a major second below what they see. But what should be written to hear a “C”? The answer: because the instrument sounds down a major second, a “D” must be written. Upon seeing the “D”, the instrument, sounding down a major second will sound a “C” concert pitch. The transpositional constant for this instrument is that a sounding pitch will always be below the written pitch.
Example 8-4 Written and Sounding Pitch Comparison for B-flat Instruments.
Some practice may be necessary before the acts of both transposing from a score and to a score are mastered. It may be useful to approach or imagine the seen pitch to the written pitch in the same order every time to properly grasp the concept so that errors are avoided (Example 8-5).
Example 8-5 Written and Sounding Practice.
Performance LevelEnsembles exhibit a vast diversity of abilities. Indeed, the ability level of performers in any one ensemble may vary greatly as well. Instrumental ability level is exhibited through range, key, articulation, and rhythm. Instrumentalists are trained to make the best sound possible on their respective instruments and then rehearsed to have their part fit within the ensemble as directed by the musical work. As a player approaches the limit of their knowledge of an instrument, their tone and performance ability necessarily suffer. There exists a practical range for each instrument that an arranger may assume that a given instrumentalist ought to know.
Graded Range can be assumed for a specific level of player. These so-called Ranges“graded ranges” refer to the ability level of the player rather than the actual grade of the player. In this sense, a beginner may
Example 8-6 Graded Ranges for Common Instruments.
have one year of experience or ten, depending on their actual performance ability on the instrument. The levels in Example 8-5 are a blend of ranges based on practical instrumental knowledge and ranges printed in the Texas UIL sightreading guidelines. Graded Band instruments, given the nature of their construction, will tend Keyto show an actual physical bias to certain key signatures. Of course, professional players can perform in any key, it does not necessarily follow that they should! Certain key areas have certain tendencies given the instruments at hand. Novice players will have far less chromatic dexterity and will therefore find certain keys more difficult in performance. The more uneasy a player is on any note, the less attention they may have important musical demands such as timbre, tuning, and blend, to name a few. The following keys are suggested by the Texas UIL for sight-reading purposes, but they are quite instructive for the general tendencies of the band. The charts reference certain “conferences”. The conferences are in reference to student population with more letter analogous to more students per school. Conference A’s are high schools, grades 9-12 or 10-12; conference B’s are junior highs, grades 7-9, and grade C’s are junior highs, grades 7-8.
Example 8-6. 2017-2018 UIL Sight-Reading Conference Assignments.
Graded KeyExample 8-7. 2012-2013 UIL Sight-Reading Key Levels.
Level I. F, Bb, Eb. Major. 2 keys, 1 key change
Level II. F, Bb, Eb. Major. 2 keys, 2 key changes
Level III. F, Bb, Eb. Major. 2 keys, 2 key changes
Level IV. F, Bb, Eb, Ab Major. 2 key changes
Level V. F, Bb, Eb, Ab Major. 3 key changes
Level VI. F, Bb, Eb, Ab Major. 3 key changes
As can be seen in Example 8-7, the general tendency of the band is towards the flat-keys. It may often be necessary to take this fact into account when arranging material in a sharp key. Suppose a particular band could play a piece in the key of A major, but there exists is no apparent practical reason to perform a piece that key. Why not just have it in B-flat? A plethora of innate intonation and problems of idiom could simply be arranged away if the orchestrator understands that just because we can do a thing it does not necessarily follow that we must do that thing.
Graded RhythmExample 8-8. 2012-2013 UIL Sight-Reading Key Levels.
In similar fashion, basic rhythmic values have been assigned hierarchical value in Example 8-8. Again, these examples are not absolute for our purposes in arranging, but merely an observation to temper practical performance expectations.
Other Graded FactorsA separate chart could be made for any number of aspects of Considerations musical performance. Meter, Duration, Tempo, Articulation, etc. all have a cumulative effect and can affect the perception and performance of music. For any given possible arrangement, it once again becomes best practice to look at the standard repertoire to see what great composers are doing for specific levels of ensembles. Again, the Texas UIL has afforded us the opportunity to see a list of works that have been graded. The list can easily be found by web search and can provide numerous insights to the possibilities of matching the level of a piece of music to an ensemble. Solo and soli may be used, provided that cueing has been provided as an option. The number of instruments in sections can vary widely. Indeed, some ensembles may have some sections with no players. If one writes for an unknown lower grade ensemble then the number of distinct parts should be reduced so that, though flexible scoring, the arrangement may fit most ensembles. Creative doubling can reduce or eliminate the monotony of having a piece that is always tutti. Many lower level ensembles have a host of percussionists. A clever arrangement could keep them active musically to balance the engagement of the rest of the ensemble. A good “hook” or title can help draw in the performers and audience. It is essential that the ensemble develops a relationship with the music quickly. This will ensure that the music will be practiced and lead to better performances. Quick musical success is influenced by attention to detail in the notation, range, and characteristic writing from the arranger.
Chapter 9: Woodwind Section
The band may be divided into three sections of instruments: woodwind, brass, and percussion. Each of these sections contain instruments with similar characteristics that can help the arranger discern the appropriate use of each section. Additionally, within each section, each instrument will be examined to provide practicalinformation in regard to its performance capabilities. It the classroom setting student performances will be used to helpcommunicate this information. Outside of the classroom it is a rather simple task of using a web search to view some instrumental characteristics useful to the arranger.
Tubes With Finger HolesThe woodwinds consist of tubes with finger holes. They are descendants of, typically wooden, tubes with holes bored out of them to create a diatonic set of pitches. The modern descendants of these instruments still have a diatonic bias built into the finger patterns. The knowledge of all of the specific fingerings for each pitch of each instrument, while certainly a valuable skill set, is not absolutely necessary for an arranger. It is rather the practical knowledge of how the woodwind instrument itself works, that will guide the arranger. Woodwinds consist of families of flutes, clarinets, double reeds, and saxophones. This book will focus on the characteristics of the families, rather than the specific instrument for the sake of brevity.
FlutesFlutes consist of a tone hole for the production of sound followed by a cylindrical tube. The fluctuation of the player’s air against the edge of the tone hole causes the air inside the tube to resonate at a pitch designated by the effective length of the tube (Example 9-1).
Example 9-1. Open Tubes and Effective Length.
An open tube and a standing wave.
A flute with tone hole. Six holes covered.
A flute with tone hole. Five holes covered.
The majority of the diatonic pitches are produced on all woodwinds with the first, second, and third digits of each hand. Chromatic pitches tend to be added smaller keys in between the large tone holes with each pinky responsible for several pitches each. Higher pitches are produced by breaking a wave into fractions by opening a specific whole as shown in Example 9-2.
Example 9-2. Breaking a Wave in Half.
BreaksAll woodwind instruments have a point at which the instrument “breaks” (Example 9-3) to effectively shorten the instrument so that multiple octaves of notes can be played. This is the point that the instrumentalist’s fingers are reset to begin a new series of diatonic pitch sets.The break for each instrument should be common knowledge for an arranger for it is at these points that performance difficulties may arise, particularly for young performers.
Example 9-3. Flute Fingering Break.
The flute’s fingering scheme was finalized, for the most part, in the mid nineteenth century, making the instrument “modern”. Because of this, it is highly versatile and dexterous. An excerpt of a typical flute etude is shown in Example 9-4.
Example 9-4. Ernesto Köhler, Virtuoso Etudes for Flute, Op. 75, 4. mm. 34-42.
General tuning tendencies, shown below, should be considered, especially for novice players. In addition, the instrument’s dynamic envelope, how the instrument tends to respond throughout is range, may aid in choosing a register or dynamic for an arrangement.
Example 9-5. Tuning Tendencies of the Flute
EnvelopeExample 9-6. Flute Envelope.
ClarinetsClarinets, like flutes, consist of a cylindrical tube but with an important distinction, the clarinet is a tube with only one open end. The harmonic implication helps define four distinct ranges from lowest to highest: Chalumeau, Throat Tones, Clarion, and Altissimo. Shape
Example 9-7. A closed tube and an effective wave.
The clarinet is capable of extreme pianissimo in its lowest range. The instrument incorporates a register key in contrast to an octave key seen in other woodwinds. The register key has the effect of moving a fingered pitch an octave plus one fifth in range due to theharmonic series generated by the closed tube design. This is the reason that its beginning graded range is more than an octave, unlike any other instrument. The Müller etude below (Example 9-8) demonstrates the versatility of range in the clarinet.
Example 9-8. Johann Müller, 22 Etudes for Clarinet, 19. mm. 83-95.
Because of the closed tube harmonic effect on the instruments octave leaps have a complication. They are facilitated with a different fingering pattern, unlike the other woodwinds. This is additionally complicated as passages on the clarinet move over the break.
Example 9-9. Clarinet Fingering Break.
Example 9-10. Tuning Tendencies of the Clarinet
Example 9-11. Clarinet Envelope.
Double ReedsSaxophones and double reeds are built on a conical framework & Saxophones (Example 9-12). The conical bore allows this closed tube instrument to complete a wave within the structure of the instrument, allowing for consistent octave fingerings. Double reed instruments are the wind instruments that have the distinction of having changed the least since their creation. This fact helps account for some of these instrument’s sometimes atypical fingering aspects. Antiquated, by the fingering standards of the other woodwinds, forked and half-hole fingerings are not uncommon.
Example 9-12. A closed cone and its operative wave.
Example 9-13. Oboe, Bassoon, and Saxophone Fingering Breaks.
Example 9-14. Tuning Tendencies of the Oboe, Bassoon, and Saxophone.
Example 9-15. Oboe, Bassoon, and Saxophone Envelope.
TimbreNikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s widely influential Principles of Orchestration has contributions that are ever relevant to the subject matter at hand. His characterization of the various registers of the woodwinds (Example 9-7) demonstrates very clearly the combined timbral effects of envelope, tube shape, and hole covering. Example 9-7. Rimsky-Korsakov’s Woodwind Registers from Principles of Orchestration
Characteristic Writing for WoodwindsThe woodwinds are known for their dexterity and color. It is only by careful attention to range and doubling that woodwinds can balance with a constantly penetrating brass section. Often the woodwinds will sound alone in varied registers to create a wide palate of unique timbres. Section Choir groupings reinforce each section’s characteristic sound and Choir provide distinct coloristic effects. Standard SATB writing is evident within the section choir.
Example 9-17. Percy Grainger, Lincolnshire Posy, I. mm. 34-35.
Unison and octave doubling are often used to bring melodic content to the fore against the weight of the brass.
Example 9-18. John Zdechlik, Chorale and Shaker Dance, mm. 189-192.
Additionally, tutti woodwinds provide a full sound that can carry rhythmic and harmonic weight on equal footing with the brass.
Example 9-19. William Schuman. George Washington Bridge, mm. 40-46.
An often seen woodwind convention is the use of highlighting trills. These ornamentations are often on points of arrival, particularly on dominant functioning chords (Example 9-20).
Example 9-20. BJ Brooks, Cadence. mm. 101-106.
In Example 9-21 it is evident that as scalar motion approaches the limit of range on one instrument, another instrument will compensate by doubling the idea. The variety of ranges of the instruments allows for dramatic, fluid shifts in timbre.
Example 9-21. Gustav Holst, First Suite in E-flat, II. mm. 35-42.
Example 9-22. Gustav Holst, First Suite in E-flat, I. mm. 40-47.
The previous scalar examples also demonstrate the exchange of melodic material. This dovetailing is also evident in the following arpeggiated figure, distributed between 4 different instruments.
Example 9-23. Gustav Holst, First Suite in E-flat, II. mm. 71-42.
In the Zdechlik Example 9-24 below, the effect of a seemingly continuous pattern of eight notes is created by having different players within a section perform in the same range. The transition is made smoother by the use of an overlapping note between the two parts. This allows for thin textures opportunities to breathe.
Example 9-24 John Zdechlik, Chorale and Shaker Dance, mm. 101-104.
Chapter 10: Brass
The brass instruments, commonly trumpets, cornets, horns, trombones, euphoniums, baritones, and tubas produce pitches that are very heavily associated with the overtone series. Unlike the woodwinds, the brass do not have finger holes to facilitate the effective length of their instruments, rather they rely on methods of harmonic manipulation and the actual changing of length of their instruments. The harmonic series, seen in Example 10-1, is the series of notes found in nature that are defined by the natural resonances and ratios that govern acoustics.
Example 10-1. Harmonic Series on C1.
Though brass instruments are, like the clarinet, closed hole tubes, their overtone series contains, unlike the clarinet, all of the partials. The addition of the mouthpiece and flare (Example 10-2) to the end of the bell condenses what would have been every other note of the overtone series to the familiar series seen in Example 10-1. Brass players alter the firmness of lip muscles to move through the harmonic series without changing fingering.
Example 10-2. A closed tube with appendages.
Most brasses use a valve system to facilitate chromatic Schemelengthening of the instrument (Example 10-3).
Example 10-3. Valve Combinations
For any given open note (Example 10-4) up to six half steps of length may be added (Example 10-5). The trombone facilitates this chromatic addition through the use of a slide rather than valves. However, some trombones have an added valve to lengthen the instrument a perfect fifth creating alternate positions, extended range and greater facility.
Example 10-4. Open Brass Notes as Written.
Example 10-5. Brass Fingerings and Positions.
The trombone slide allows for smooth movement called a glissando of up to a tritone below any open note. This is a common effect in trombone writing (Examples 10-6, 10-7).
Example 10-6. BJ Brooks, We Choose to Go to the Moon. mm. 4-6.
Example 10-7. BJ Brooks, We Choose to Go to the Moon. mm. 24-27.
Cumulative Pitch Error
The brass, being additive length instruments, are subject to the phenomena known as cumulative pitch error. Multiple valve combinations in the lower register will be sharp. To compensate, many instruments will have a valve slide that can lower the pitch. The reason for the error is that for every valve added, the total length of the tube is increased. The added length causes the next addition of a half step to require more length to equal a true half step. The effect is large enough that the number of slide positions on the low range of the trombone after the addition of the trigger is reduced to six. Indeed, the bass trombone requires two valves in addition to its slide to chromatically reach B-flat 0.
The brass instrument’s high range, particularly from the sixth harmonic and higher (horn in the eighth harmonic on the B-flat side) can be difficult to achieve with control for novice players and is particularly difficult to perform as notes in isolation (Example 10-8). Example 10-8. William Schuman. George Washington Bridge. Trumpet, mm. 8-11
Example 10-9. Brass Envelope
Example 10-10. Brass Tuning Tendencies
Because all of the sound travels completely through the tube of brass instruments a variety of objects can be placed at or near the bell to interfere with the sound.
Example 10-11. BJ Brooks, Windrider, mm. 168-172. Trumpet Muted.
Example 10-12. BJ Brooks, Dark Eyes, mm. 11-12. Stopped Horn.
Example 10-13. BJ Brooks, Windrider, mm. 97-100. Horn Glissando.
Also, the reduction of section players to one soloist can change the texture in surprising ways.
Example 10-14. BJ Brooks, Windrider, mm. 45-46. Solo.
Characteristic Writing in the BrassThe brass section contains considerable power. The section is very capable of masking a plurality of the woodwinds. Typically, when scored in tutti, the bass clef instruments are voiced according to the principles of the harmonic series and lowest sounding intervals (Examples 10-15, 10-16, 10-17). Tutti
Example 10-15. John Zdechlik, Chorale and Shaker Dance, mm. 255-260.
Example 10-16. Percy Grainger, Lincolnshire Posy, V. mm. 1.
Example 10-17. William Schuman. George Washington Bridge. mm. 1-3.
Trumpets, typically those playing lower third parts, cannot penetrate through thick textures. It is good practice to double these parts with the trombone or a horn.
The trumpet tends to act as a soprano instrument, whereas the horn is a tenor instrument, but plays alto parts in four part brass settings. The trombone tends to act as a tenor instrument, though third parts (sometimes played by bass trombones) are bass. The euphonium is variably bass or tenor. And the tuba is a bass instrument.
As a choir, each section can project very well, with the horns being potentially the least prominent, depending on range. Example 10-18 demonstrates the power of the brass section choir. Though only three trumpet parts have the rhythmic ostinato with a mezzo-forte dynamic, the texture projects against the backdrop of the rest of the ensemble with relative ease. Also, the trumpet and horn parts tend to sound best in closed spacing. Likewise, trombones and euphoniums sound best with open spacing, depending on where in the harmonic series the instruments are scored.
Example 10-18. John Zdechlik, Chorale and Shaker Dance, mm. 188-192.
Examples 10-19 and 10-20 show the relative positions of horn I, III, II, & IV. The reason for this order is that the horn parts in this particular piece, when printed, are grouped I & II, III & IV. Grouping the horns by skipping every other tone in a closed position chord is traditional. It allows for the notes to be seen on the part more clearly without overlapping.
Example 10-19. Percy Grainger, Lincolnshire Posy, V. mm. 34-36.
Example 10-20. Gustav Holst, First Suite in E-flat, II. mm. 81-84.
Horn fifths, though not always used for brass textures only, began as counterpoint that derived from the harmonic series of the valveless horn. The result is a texture that has an upper melody on the third scale degree and the lower on scale degree one. Whereas the upper voice moves by step, the lower arpeggiates to the fifth and thirds scale degrees (example 10-21).
Example 10-21 Ludwig van Beethoven, Ninth Symphony, IV. mm. 164-167.
Block scoring within the brass can lead to quite powerful declarative statements. Example 10-22 is a demonstration of planing triads with the high brass at the start Linconshire Posey.
Example 10-22. Percy Grainger, Lincolnshire Posy, I. mm. 1-14
The brasses are dexterous in arpeggiation, provided that the intervals are harmonically supported and consonant and that arpeggiations, particularly those that are ascending, are articulated.
Example 10-23. Percy Grainger, Lincolnshire Posy, IV. mm. 35.
Example 10-24. Ron Nelson, Passacaglia, mm. 202-204.
Articulated repetition is common in the brasses. They are quite adept at multiple tonging and providing percussive rhythmic support.
Example 10-25 Ron Nelson, Passacaglia, mm. 174-176.
Example 10-26. Clare Grundman, Second American Folk Rhapsody. mm. 89-94.
Chapter 11: Percussion
There are numerous approaches to percussion integration in ensemble settings. This book will first show the use percussion in the concert band setting to support the harmonic, melodic, and rhythmic content of the arrangement. The understanding of basic rhythmic conventions is essential to writing idiomatic supporting ideas as well as creating content for the percussion alone.
The percussion section can be divided in a number of ways with perhaps the most obvious being pitched and indefinitely pitched. The pitched instruments tend to be arranged keyboard style and have specific ranges associated with them (Example 11-1).
Example 11-1. Common Percussion Ranges.
Though melodic content can be performed, as is common in percussion solos and ensembles, the keyboards tend to have a more supportive role in band music (Example 11-2, 11-3, 11-4).
Example 11-2. BJ Brooks, Lush, mm. 46-49. Keyboard Support.
Example 11-3. BJ Brooks, Llanos, mm. 45-48. Keyboard Support.
Example 11-4. BJ Brooks, Windrider, mm. 110-112. Keyboard Support.
The timpani are frequently used to aid in the ensemble crescendo. The roll articulation is indicated and the end of the roll can have a fixed point (secco) or allowed to ring (Example 11-5).
Example 11-5. Timpani Crescendo.
Indefinite Pitch Instruments
The indefinite pitched percussion can themselves be divided into membranophones, those instruments with a vibrating head and the idiophones, those instruments that are struck, shaken, etc. These instruments tend to also be categorized as “accessory” instruments. Rhythm creation can be aided with knowledge of the the 26 standard American rudiments first published by the National Association of Rudimental Drummers (NARD) in 1933.
Example 11-6. The 26 Standard American Rudiments
Percussion as a SectionCoordinating the instruments together can be challenging as one must know in advance the forces to be implemented. Again, it falls to the individual arrange to listen and look to standard works with attention to percussion implementation to gain insight for writing.
Percussion can be grouped in numerous ways, depending on use. If used minimally, only one staff can be used in a score. In the modern band setting, it would probably be best advised, as demonstrated in contemporary writing, to use multiple percussion as an integral member of the ensemble. The number of parts in contemporary can vary widely but usually is related to the level of the piece, with more difficult work having more extensive percussion.
Example 11-7. Various Composition Years and Section Size.
Characteristic Writing for the PercussionThe Percussion performer is capable of changing their instrument as indicated in the part. Forethought from the composer is needed to anticipate how long it will take to move from one instrument to another as some instruments require more attention than others in preparation in performance. Single Instrument Staves
A one-staff part uses an instrument announcement and, if needed, a clef change, to indicate an instrument change.
Example 11-8. Single Staff Instrument Change.
It is also possible to indicate, at the beginning of a piece, all of the Stavesinstruments to be performed by a single player. A performance station may be set up in advance to accommodate quick changes. To aid in consistency in instrument placement on staves, PAS has suggested the following standard placement:
Example 11-9. Drum Set Map by Nathan Juarez, used with permission.
In practice the parts may differ from the suggested map, but if the intention is understood a clear line of communication to the performer can result. The drum map drastically reduces the amount of visual clutter in the part and allows the performer great flexibility (Examples 11-10, 11-11).
Example 11-10. BJ Brooks, Cadence. Drum map.
Example 11-11. BJ Brooks, Cadence. mm. 192-195. Percussion Stations.
Chapter 12: Balance & Blend
Because it is not always possible to choir every section a number of Balance & Blend techniques are used to combine instruments together in chordal movement. The techniques can be used to blend instruments or to highlight timbres. The number of variations in range and combination can be daunting. It is important to understand the types of scoring options available so that the composer may be able to imagine the possibilities before deciding on the voicing to use. Rimsky Korsakov’s Principles of Orchestration articulated four specific types of structure in voicing.
Example 12-1. Rimsky Korsakov’s Two-Instrument Chordal Structures.
Used frequently, this structure pairs instruments one above the other.
Used frequently, this structure has the effect of mixing color of timbre creating a homogeneous blend of sound.
Is less likely to be successful than the two aforementioned. A spread of an octave or more by the exterior voices may result in balance problems, due to usage of different registers.
Can result in one chord member sounding more prominent. This is often useful, but must be purposeful. Brass tend to not use this type of doubling unless range problems indicate need.
It is useful to once again consider each instrument’s dynamic envelope when implementing voicing structures. Knowing when an instrument is strong in a range can help narrow the choices present.
Example 12-2. Dynamic Envelope.
After the structure is established chords are used continuously in the same way. It is common that moving parts within the structure retain the same timbre throughout a passage. Intervallic dissonances should be given to instruments that blend so that proper balance may result. It is a general tendency that the higher a structure occurs in pitch, the more likely the instruments will blend.
Overtone ReinforcmentIn full ensemble scoring the use of the overtone series as a guide can result in well balanced sounds.
Example 12-3 BJ Brooks, Cadence. mm. 170-171. Reduction
Example 12-4 Percy Grainger, Lincolnshire Posy, V. mm. 56-59.
Color InstrumentsInstruments with unique timbres can be used to highlight passages or portions thereof. In contemporary highly rhythmic writing it is not unusual to see these used in a pointillistic fashion.
Example 12-5 BJ Brooks, Cadence. mm. 177-181.
BlockBlock scoring, a hallmark of early to mid twentieth-century band composition, presents content in easily understood and consistent groupings.
Example 12-6. James Ployhar, Simple Gifts, mm. 1-7.
Example 12-7. Percy Grainger, Lincolnshire Posy, VI. mm. 15-21.
It is not unusual to include alto saxophones, or sometimes the tenor saxophone, in the horn group. This often occurs in the case of the anticipation of young ensemble performance or in the case that the horn part should need support for clarity (Example 12-8).
Example 12-8. David Holsinger, American Faces. mm. 105-108.
JuxtapositionAlternating between the brass and woodwinds creates interest in the presentation of musical content. Used in quick succession, this technique creates dramatic timbral shifts.
Example 12-9. William Schuman. George Washington Bridge. mm. 195-202.
Chapter 13: The Nature of the Marching Band
The marching band is the most visible band ensemble in the the United States. It is not uncommon to see them featured in films and television. Due to the fact that they perform outdoors and often within the confines of a football halftime, it is necessary to make certain arranging adjustments for the best musical presentation.
MelodyThe melody must carry though the ensemble at all times in marching band. There is very little time for nuance in a densely orchestrated piece to have any significant meaning when crowd noise is permitted. The size and experience of the ensemble will dictate the number and kind of parts are to be written. The arranger has many options available but keeping in mind the following hierarchy of clarity can provide direction in an arrangement.
This order of importance can help the arranger decide what can be included in the piece to best suit the ensemble.
1. Melody 2. bass 3. harmony 4. melody expansion (chording-out) 5. counter melody, 6 effects 7. counter melodic expansion
Melody-bass-harmony-melody expansion-counter melody.
Melody-bass-harmony-melody expansion-counter melody-effects.
Melody-bass-harmony-melody expansion-counter melody-effects-counter melodic expansion.
The woodwinds are typically block scored in the marching band. In this excerpt, a saxophone soli section begins the Beethoven 9th Symphony. The use of a small quartet contrasts the ensemble music that preceded it and has the added benefit of letting the brass rest and exposes selected woodwinds for optimal musical expression.
Example 13-2. Beethoven/Brooks. Ninth Symphony. mm. 1-8.
The woodwinds, when used as a section, may also be chorale-like.
Example 13-3. BJ Brooks. Permian Pictures. mm. 160-164.
Range and exposure are of particular consequence in the marching band. To be heard within ensemble tutti, the woodwinds must be written above the brass. That is, they should not be masked unless, of course, such masking is desired.
Example 13-4. BJ Brooks. The Bold Western Breeze. mm. 24-31.
Alternatively, octave doublings can be used in the woodwinds to project through the ensemble.
Example 13-5. BJ Brooks. Stormflash. mm. 60-65.
BrassThe brass are the core of the marching band. Their tendency to project in an outdoor setting make them well suited to take the lead in a marching band arrangement. In Example 12-6, despite their apparent equal writing, the brass are distinctly heard at the beginning of the piece, while the woodwinds, contributing mainly color to the overall volume.
Example 13-6. BJ Brooks. Prairie Dance. mm. 1-4.
Melody-bass-harmony-melody expansion-counter melody.
Melody-bass-harmony-melody expansion-counter melody-effects.
Melody-bass-harmony-melody expansion-counter melody-effects-counter melodic expansion.
To create excitement and help the, frequently aggressive, rhythm momentum continue in a piece, the low brass are frequently used to double motor rhythmic elements of the percussion. Ostinatos are often used in these rhythmic settings. The purpose is two-fold. The rhythmic ostinato has a penetrating effect in contrast to held notes. Also, players are less fatigued in ostinato passages than with held notes.
Example 13-7. BJ Brooks. Ascension. mm. 40-47.
PercussionThe percussion is most often used to keep the marching aspect of the band continuous. The percussion cadence is one traditional way of keeping marching units together. The simple cadence below was used with a junior high as a cadence in a parade. Notice the antecedent-consequent nature in the rhythmic presentation, despite the lack of pitch melody.
Example 13-8. Traditional. Simple Cadence.
These repetitive elements are also seen within ensemble textures. Included in Unit 5 are some complete marching scores where the supportive and feature percussion writing within a full ensemble context is evident. Percussion
The following example is instructive for the observation of the Featurecreation of percussion content. A percussion feature on “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” demonstrates the battery and keyboard divisions of the typical marching percussion unit (Example 13-10).
Example 13-10. BJ Brooks. Twinkle Razzle Dazzle. mm. 13-16.
Pattern DrummingThis gives rise to pattern drumming: the repetition of four to eight or more bar patterns that are repeated for a length of time. Pattern drumming aides in music memorization and also helps establish a very secure pulse within the ensemble.
Example 13-9. BJ Brooks. To Tame the Perilous Skies. mm. 66-73.
Frequently, in response to a solid brass section (as seen in Example 13-5) juxtaposition is used to “make up” for the full ensemble sound. Here, while the trumpet still carries the melody, the woodwinds provide the supporting figures.
Example 13-11. BJ Brooks. Prairie Dance. mm. 4-9.
Example 13-12. BJ Brooks. More than Brick and Mortar. mm. 71-78. Reduction.
Example 13-12 demonstrates the principle of reduction before the assignment of parts. Although the music is on one staff alone, the sections of the ensemble are clearly distinguishable.
Using stacked fifths (Example 13-13) is one way to extend an arrival point. Here the tension is further amplified by the addition of mid line dissonance in the saxophones and horns.
Example 13-13. BJ Brooks. Permian Pictures. mm. 104108–63.
Example 13-14. Tichelli/Brooks. Vesuvius Closer. mm. 84-90.
Part IV: Publication
Chapter 13: The Score
How we see the music can be as important as its content. Music must be communicated well for the ideas to transcend the page. PresentationThe writer must check and recheck thoroughly until all notation and other music setting errors are eliminated. The following Chapter 14:checklist should be used in determining if the score is complete:
Example 14-1. BJ Brooks. Llanos. First Page of Score.
The Major Orchestra Librarians’ Association (MOLA) provides the following relevant guidelines regarding the production of scores.
The Score Cover
The title of the piece, and name of the composer should be printed (MOLA)prominently on the cover. The name of the arranger should appear, but need not be as prominent as the title and composer.
There should be a page at the beginning of the work which lists (MOLA)the full instrumentation required, including doublings, keys of transposing instruments, and all percussion instruments. Any special staging instructions should also be mentioned on this, or a subsequent page. Detailed diagrams are helpful, especially for complex staging. If there are deviations from standard musical notation, an explanation should appear next to the instrumentation page. There should be an approximate duration for each movement and a total duration included on the instrumentation page.
At the beginning of the musical score, the full name of each (MOLA)instrument should be listed to the left of the corresponding system. On subsequent pages abbreviations of the instruments should be used. All instructions should be in a conventional language such as English, Italian, German, or French. All tempo indications should appear above the first [brass] line on each score page. Each measure (bar) should be numbered (beginning anew with each movement). Placement of measure numbers should be the same throughout the work, i.e. above, below, or on a special line of the grand staff. If rehearsal letters are used, they should correspond to landmarks in the music and must be used in conjunction with measure numbers.
If computer output is not possible, it is preferable to receive the (MOLA)completed score done in ink (pencil is acceptable, but the publisher should provide some kind of quality control for the final outcome of the reproduction). This should be done on either vellum or opaque paper and clearly reproduced, back to back. Right hand pages must be odd numbered and left hand pages must be even numbered. The score pages should have a sturdy cover and be securely bound so that they lie flat on the desk. Prior to printing, the score should be proofread by the composer and a professional proofreader before it is presented for reproduction.
Example 14-2. Common Orchestration Errors.
Instrument names are abbreviated on all pages following the title page. The following are the common abbreviations:
Example 14-3. Common Abbreviations.
Piccolo – Picc.
Flute – Fl.
Oboe – Ob.
Clarinet – Cl.
Bass Clarinet – B. Cl.
Contrabass Clarinet – Cb. Cl.
Bassoon – Bsn.
Saxophone – Sax.
Eb Alto Saxophone – A. Sax.
Bb Tenor Saxophone – T. Sax.
Eb Baritone Saxophone – Bar. Sax.
Horn – Hn.
Trumpet – Tpt.
Cornet – Cor. (Crt., Cnt.)
Trombone – Trb.
Bass Trombone – B. Tbn.
Euphonium – Euph.
Tuba – Tba.
Percussion – Perc.
Timpani – Timp.
Bass Drum – B.D. (B. Dr. )
Snare Drum – S.D.(S. Dr., Sn. Dr.)
Tenor Drum – T.D. (T.Dr., Ten. Dr.)
Cymbals – Cym.
Finger Cymbals – Fing. Cymbals
Tambourine – Tamb.
Triangle – Trgl.
Xylophone – Xyl.
Vibraphone – Vib.
Marimba – Mar.
The order of instruments on the score may vary due to style, level and adherence to tradition. Generally, the woodwinds are followed by the brass and percussion. Within the woodwinds, brass, and percussion as seen in Example 14-4 there is some occasional variance in placement of some instruments.
Chapter 15: Parts
The ability to absolutely clear on the how and when for each note in a part is essential in music preparation. The clear communication of musical thought reduced the amount of prep time, enhances sight-reading, and leads to better performance. Attention must be placed on this communication by the composer. Attention to page turns, multi-measure rests, even the size of the page, can help a work communicate more effectively. Again, the relevant MOLA guidelines can be illuminating:
Instrumental Parts (MOLA)
General Standard music notation practice should be observed and any deviation from the standard should be clearly explained prior to the first page of music. Parts should be clearly identified on the front cover with the composer, title of the work, and instrument (including doublings where appropriate. Percussion parts should have a list of the instruments required). The parts must be copied legibly in black ink, using an italic or technical pen. If parts are computer generated, they should be entirely computer generated with no hand written additions.
The paper for any set of parts should be of substantial quality to avoid showthrough of music from the reverse side, to ensure durability, and to stand up to onstage wind patterns caused by ventilation systems. (The minimum requirement is usually 60 or 70 lb. [100gsm] offset paper.) Consideration in layout must be given for comfortable page turns. Fold out pages should be avoided, or if absolutely necessary, used sparingly. Page turns should occur only on odd numbered pages. Eight or ten stave paper should be used for any instrument that is subject to multiple ledger lines. Twelve or fourteen stave paper may be used as long as symbols are not crowded and clarity of the notational elements is maintained.
Instrumental Part Readability (MOLA)
The most readable staff size for all instruments is 8.5 mm. and although 8.0 mm is readable for winds, it is less so for strings. Wind players can read music from staves that measure 7.5 mm, but this is very problematic for string players. Anything smaller than 7.0 mm is unacceptable for orchestral parts. Anything larger than 8.5 mm should be avoided as it becomes distracting to players. Measure (bar) numbers should appear at the beginning of the first measure of each line, much like the engraved classical pieces. Numbering each measure (as in the score) gets in the way and becomes confusing in the parts. For multiple measures rest, measure numbers are helpful (e.g. “27-117” and so on). In hand copied parts it is recommended that all stems, beams, and bar lines be ruled with a straight edge; especially multiple staff harp and keyboard parts. Logical cues are expected during long periods of rest, the cues being transposed to the reading key of the instrument. Cues must be audible to the musician reading the part.
(MOLA)Clefs and key signatures must appear at the beginning of each line. Parts for transposing instruments should be in the proper key. Care should be taken with the use of the abbreviations 8va and 8vb, avoiding their usage if possible. If there are deviations from standard musical notation, an explanation should appear prior to the first page of music.
It is mandatory that prior to reproduction the parts be proofread by a qualified professional proofreader and NOT only the composer or the copyist who prepared the parts.
Format and Binding (MOLA)
The parts should be prepared within an image area of no less than 8.75 x 11.75″ on paper at least 9.5 x 12.5″ (A4). These minimum requirements leave a 3/4 inch margin surrounding the image area. Parts should not be reproduced on paper larger than 11 x 14″ (B4). Parts larger than 11 x 14″ can create just as much of a problem as parts that are too small. The parts should be saddle stitched or stapled at the spine. Loose pages must be appropriately taped. The preferred method of binding loose pages is to employ a single strip of special tape to the spine. This is a fast method of binding parts and it insures that the pages lie flat when opened on the stand. The plastic comb binding and accordion fold methods of binding parts are not acceptable.
Two Instruments on One StaffSome legibility problems arise when more than one part is represented on one staff. The following are some basic guidelines to create clarity in part writing. When two voice are reduced to a single line, use à2 (a duo) meaning both.
Example 15-1. Two Voices to One.
If the rhythms are varied often between the two parts, use opposing stem directions.
Example 15-2. Two Voices with Varied Rhythms.
When rests are involved, use stem direction and “1” or “2” meaning primo or secundo to indicate which instruments are involved.
Example 15-3 Two Voices with Varied Rhythms.