I've been looking around for materials, books, web sites, etc., for information on this topic. There is a wealth of information w.r.t. classical orchestration (which is tantamount, I suppose, to the act of composition), but almost nothing (really, exactly nothing, if you count what I've found) on this topic.
Noiw, I'm primarily a song writer (well, I write the book as well, but for purposes of musical extensions, a song writer). A "song writer" is, I think, a different beast than a composer, and certainly different than an arranger. A song writer conceives a melody, and possibly lyrics, generally together with some chordal underpinnings, and a broad notion of ryhthmic quality.
The "orchestrator/arranger" is distinct, imho, in that he/she takes the writer's melody and chords and produces something much more articulate and refined. As I understand it, very few major Broadway composers orchestrated their own works; Kurt Weill was an exception, and there were certainly others, but by and large, somebody else is tasked with that more left-brain intensive activity.
Most things I've read suggest looking at past examples as the place from which to learn orchestration, but the examples, as you’d expect, are mainly public domain and classical (a'la Beethovens’s 27th Symphony in C Minus, “The Pasture”, aka “The Lower Forty”). Obtaining the conductor's score from "Wicked", for example, as a study text would be out of the question. Thus, learning from primary sources is a pretty tough row to how.
Sooo, all fresh out of orchestration lackeys, I'm trying to learn as much as I can about this topic. And therefore, this posting, to discover if any one might suggest reference materials, web sites, etc, specifically targeting that special kind of arranging (and generating vocal harmonies, while we're at it) used in (modern) musicals.
Thanks for any ideas you might have.
Chuck Puckett (Sib 4.1, Sonar 5, BIAB 2005, HP zd8000, XP Pro, 3Ghz/2GB)
"I don't want to steal the show. I only want to borrow it for awhile."