COMMON PROBLEMS IN ORCHESTRATION
by Professor Alan Belkin
Lesson 2A - Achieving Blended Harmony for Winds
Click on Play Button below to Play from the Score
Comments from Professor Belkin on Example No. B1:
This example presents our second orchestration problem: using winds as harmony instruments. While using one
woodwind instrument alone as a melodic soloist is fairly straightforward, making the whole family blend into
harmony is quite difficult, because the instruments are really not from the same family.
On the top two staves we present an extract from a Bach chorale (N.B. These two staves do NOT play back). The
string orchestra version below (which does play back) will serve us as a basis for comparison, since, unlike winds,
strings blend beautifully. Notice how it is quite hard to distinguish what the middle parts are doing here, except
when they move faster than the outer parts. This is typical of a good blend.
Assignment: Try to set this chorale for woodwinds, first piano and then forte. Aim for a blended sound.
When you are ready to go on to the next lesson, click here.
To Go to the Welcome Page to start the course, go here.
©Alan Belkin, 2006