No orchestral sketch today, but we gonna have a closer look at the score of my latest orchestral music track Innocent Love. If you haven’t listened to it yet, it’s on my YT channel – link should appear somewhere now – and it’s on every major streaming platform like Spotify and AppleMusic. So if you like it, don’t forget to add it to your playlist.
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The chapters of the video
- 1:13 – Motifs (Or motives … the melodic building block)
- 3:17 – Patterns (Motion, intervals and counterpoint)
- 5:20 – Orchestration (Which instruments tell the story the best?)
Download the score of Innocent Love
I wanted to give you access to the score of Innocent Love. Free to download and great for side reading or any other further analysis. You can use it while watching the video and follow me along. Of course it can also be a starting point or inspiration source for one of your own writing.
If you support me on Patreon you can also download the raw midi file which I exported out of StaffPad.
Download Score Innocent Love: https://bit.ly/3ka0ZLu
Goal of the score walkthrough
What I want to do in this video, is talk you through the score. Touch some concepts like motifs, patterns and orchestration. But be aware, I didn’t write it with all these theoretical concepts in mind. But looking back at it with these insights is a great way of getting a better understanding of what’s happening.
Motifs – the melodic building block
In the video I concentrate on the first phrase in the score. This is all about printing in the main motif of the music track. I talked about it many times in my videos. We humans are seeking patterns. It’s in our nature. Patterns give us comfort. They help us – in this case – understand the music and that we’re able to follow along.
The motif repeats throughout the composition. And we know, repetition makes recognition stronger. Rule of thumb: you need more repetition when your motif is more complex. Keep that in mind.
But repeating the same exact thing over and over again becomes boring. So there are some derivations of the main motif in the composition to keep it interesting. Think about a shortened version of the motif or one with more notes. For example, break a quarter note up into more notes. Think about counterpoint. Second species and third species counterpoint.
Now it’s up to you if you want to do any further analysis of the motif in this score. If you’re planning to do that, I advise you to print out the score and encircle all the parts with the motif or a derivation of it.
And by the way, it’s great to do this exercise with other music too. Search for motifs and pay attention to the repetition.
Patterns – motion, intervals and counterpoint
If you have followed me along during the orchestral sketches you already heard me talking about counterpoint, intervals and motion. Complex concepts, but also great concepts! Let’s look at the second phrase from the score from out of these concepts.
From the perspective of motion. This section moves downwards. And follows a certain pattern. In the video I encircle a couple of notes so you can see what I mean.
Did I do this on purpose? Yes and no. Not at the beginning of writing, but when I noticed this pattern I started to utilize it more and more. Knowing it would work out well, cause our brains will pick it up. They kinda foresee where the music goes and that gives comfort and a connection with the music.
When we take notice of the intervals, you’ll see that I aimed for thirds, sixths and tenths. To get a rich and full harmonic sound. Using the different instruments with their own unique timbre within a range they love to play.
I didn’t sketch out this composition on the piano first like I do in the orchestral sketches, but I could have done that. Maybe that’s a great exercise to do: transcribing this orchestral composition to piano only? Just an idea!
When looking at counterpoint I played safe in this composition to be honest. Nothing wrong with that! I used one species and second species counterpoint the most.
Orchestration – which instruments tell the story the best?
When I started writing this composition I had strings only in mind. A romantic music track with a conversation between the violins and the cellos.
But suddenly it evolved to more. That happens to me quite often to be honest. I start with an idea and creativity takes over the focus I started with.
Is that bad? Is that wrong? Not perse. But if you’re working on a paid project with a clear assignment, I guess it won’t help you.
Orchestration is in it simplest meaning choosing the right instruments for the story that you want to tell. Now I was after a sweet and romantic sound. Strings and woodwinds are my friends for that.
The beginning of the composition is for the strings. With quite soon in it a doubling in octaves with the flute and violins one. With a subtle oboe that comes in and plays the main motive in the background.
I sticked to this approach until I reached a second part in the composition. Now I don’t know what this part does to you and how you visualize it, but I had some playful chase seen in mind in an old castle. Ending with the two main characters holding each other … yeah, something like that.
So I needed much more excitement. That’s the reason I added trills, tremolo, cymbals and went from smooth legato to fast played staccato in the woodwinds and spiccato in the strings.
Important to address, besides adding this excitement and some percussion I stayed with the same orchestral sections as before: woodwinds and strings.
At the end the main motif repeats and I work towards the cadence to resolve. With some fast violas in the background to keep that little excitement out of the second part. Doubled with a vibraphone which I think enriches the sound with great quality.