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Topic: Help with figuring out what the string section is doing ?

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  1. #1

    Help with figuring out what the string section is doing ?

    Hello ,

    I am a beginner to writing string parts and started writing only a couple of months ago.
    I have been noticing a certain string texture and trying to figure out how to replicate it
    for weeks now and have had no luck. Can someone help ?

    Here are some examples

    Example 1 : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tTMtNly-A-M
    This is a John williams score from Jurassic park
    listen to what the strings are doing from 7:41 to 8:01.


    Example 2 : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m41GzIwAF4Y
    I think this is an Indian movie, don't know for sure but listen to
    what the strings are doing from 0:36 to 0:54.


    At first I thought that the parts are just strings playing the melody together in unison or maybe an octave higher
    but when I tried replicating them I just could not get the same texture. Later I tried a lot of other ideas like
    playing the melody in thirds, but that didn't work either.

    Any ideas on what might be going on ?

    - Jake

  2. #2

    Re: Help with figuring out what the string section is doing ?

    Quote Originally Posted by jakewallflower View Post
    Hello ,

    I am a beginner to writing string parts and started writing only a couple of months ago.
    I have been noticing a certain string texture and trying to figure out how to replicate it
    for weeks now and have had no luck. Can someone help ?

    Here are some examples

    Example 1 : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tTMtNly-A-M
    This is a John williams score from Jurassic park
    listen to what the strings are doing from 7:41 to 8:01.


    Example 2 : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m41GzIwAF4Y
    I think this is an Indian movie, don't know for sure but listen to
    what the strings are doing from 0:36 to 0:54.


    At first I thought that the parts are just strings playing the melody together in unison or maybe an octave higher
    but when I tried replicating them I just could not get the same texture. Later I tried a lot of other ideas like
    playing the melody in thirds, but that didn't work either.

    Any ideas on what might be going on ?

    - Jake
    "

    on a first listen, I'd say it's a line played in "block chords" tecnique... you may only notice the higher part moving but below there are the other components of the chord moving homorhythmically, in close position, making the line "thicker". This means that the internal parts (violas-cellos) might be repeating the same chord tone while the upper parts play the melody... also, harmonically, there's a pedal point with triads moving over it. You can hear the tonic (Bb?, minor key) and the I-V-II triads moving over it. Later today I may transcribe the passage, if you need to know the actual pitches, I'm not home now...

  3. #3

    Re: Help with figuring out what the string section is doing ?

    Quote Originally Posted by oldbob View Post
    "

    on a first listen, I'd say it's a line played in "block chords" tecnique... you may only notice the higher part moving but below there are the other components of the chord moving homorhythmically, in close position, making the line "thicker". This means that the internal parts (violas-cellos) might be repeating the same chord tone while the upper parts play the melody... also, harmonically, there's a pedal point with triads moving over it. You can hear the tonic (Bb?, minor key) and the I-V-II triads moving over it. Later today I may transcribe the passage, if you need to know the actual pitches, I'm not home now...

    Hey oldbob,

    Thanks a lot, I read up on blocked chords and kind of understand the concept, but I'm completely in oblivion about
    the rest of the things you mentioned up there, it would be great if you can transcribe it for me. If thats too much work, if you can recommend a site where I can find the Jurassic Park score, that would be sufficient, I have looked all around and cannot seem to find that particular score (its Journey to the Island)

    - Jake

  4. #4

    Re: Help with figuring out what the string section is doing ?

    hi Jake, here's a transcription of the passage: www.robertosoggetti.com/FromJP.pdf
    It's one of many possible orchestrations of the music, so you might want to try your own... you should also add french horns to the score, as in the original...

  5. #5

    Re: Help with figuring out what the string section is doing ?

    Quote Originally Posted by oldbob View Post
    hi Jake, here's a transcription of the passage: www.robertosoggetti.com/FromJP.pdf
    It's one of many possible orchestrations of the music, so you might want to try your own... you should also add french horns to the score, as in the original...

    Hi Roberto,

    Thanks a lot for that, I'm at work right now so will try it as soon as I get back home

    Cheers
    Jake

  6. #6

    Re: Help with figuring out what the string section is doing ?

    you're welcome, Jake, I've also done a midi rendition of the transcription, to check the harmonies, and more or less I think they're there...

    www.robertosoggetti.com/JP-excerpt.mp3

  7. #7

    Re: Help with figuring out what the string section is doing ?

    Quote Originally Posted by oldbob View Post
    you're welcome, Jake, I've also done a midi rendition of the transcription, to check the harmonies, and more or less I think they're there...

    www.robertosoggetti.com/JP-excerpt.mp3

    Hi Roberto,

    Just listened to the MP3 version, sounds perfect , can I ask what Library/notation software you used ?

  8. #8

    Re: Help with figuring out what the string section is doing ?

    Quote Originally Posted by jakewallflower View Post
    Hi Roberto,

    Just listened to the MP3 version, sounds perfect , can I ask what Library/notation software you used ?
    For this version, I've chosen staccatos from Cinematic Strings library, plus some staccato patches from Kirk Hunter chamber strings, which possess the fast attack needed... and some patches from eastwest symphony orchestra gold. As notation/sequencer I've used Overture4, my favourite program for composing...

  9. #9

    Re: Help with figuring out what the string section is doing ?

    Quote Originally Posted by oldbob View Post
    For this version, I've chosen staccatos from Cinematic Strings library, plus some staccato patches from Kirk Hunter chamber strings, which possess the fast attack needed... and some patches from eastwest symphony orchestra gold. As notation/sequencer I've used Overture4, my favourite program for composing...

    Hey Roberto,

    Thanks a lot, I tried replicating the score on notion yesterday, works like a charm .
    Are those the only libraries you use ?, do you use each one for a specific purpose ?

    - Jake

  10. #10

    Re: Help with figuring out what the string section is doing ?

    Quote Originally Posted by jakewallflower View Post
    Hey Roberto,

    Thanks a lot, I tried replicating the score on notion yesterday, works like a charm .
    Are those the only libraries you use ?, do you use each one for a specific purpose ?

    - Jake
    yes, I've got several different libraries and choose the appropriate setup depending on the needs of the pieces. I was never able to build a "universal" template, just change everytime... if you don't mind, would you post an mp3 of Notion's output? I have N3 as well, but never found the sounds satisfying

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