I’m very excited about this orchestral sketch. This time I ended up with an end result I probably gonna use in one of my own compositions. Or a derivation of it. It just turned out wonderfully. But that’s just my humble opinion. Unlike last week’s sketch, this time I had an idea what I was looking for. I wanted a magical feeling. An enchanting feeling. I’m not going to say ‘Christmas’, but hey … 4allCoda and I agree that it’s always good to be in a Christmas mood 😉
Don’t forget to hit that like button if you appreciate this video. Also sub to my channel for my music and videos about how to write orchestral music for film.
The steps: from piano to orchestrated version
- 00:54 – First listening (melody line and orchestrated version)
- 02:20 – The melody line I started with
- 03:55 – SATB writing (Soprano, Alto, Tenor and Bass)
- 05:12 – Development (counterpoint, feeling and trial & error)
- 07:10 – Decoration (some excitement for a magical touch)
- 08:24 – Orchestration (the symphonic version with a lovely choir)
Looking back at orchestral sketch no. 4
Before we go to the sketch and all the in between steps I took to develop the single melody line into the orchestrated version, I have to correct one thing though.
Leonardo commented on the orchestral sketch no. 4, the sketch from last week. I talked about counterpoint and tried to explain in my simplest words what first, second, third and fourth species counterpoint is. And I made a mistake clearly pointing out that I don’t master music theory yet.
So if you want to know more about these types of counterpoint, I would suggest you read Leonardo’s comment. And from now on, I won’t make this mistake again.
First listening to get an idea
Let’s start as usual with listening to the first melody line I came up with and then the orchestrated symphonic version.
A closer look at the melody line
You just listened to the melody line I wrote behind the piano. It’s written in C minor. With a time signature of six to eight. Nothing really special.
Yes, this time the melody line contains a certain pattern too. Just like in all the other orchestral sketches. Maybe you already have some thoughts about what the pattern could be.
When I look at this line I notice a couple of things. Bar 2 and bar 4 look similar. They follow the same pattern like quarter note, eight note, quarter note and eight note. Which makes a total of 6 eight notes.
And bar 3 and bar 5 look similar. They follow the same pattern like 3 three eight notes and a dotted quarter note. And that makes a total of 6 eight notes.
I guess there are more patterns to discover in this simple melody line. If you found any, I would love you sharing your thoughts in the comments on Youtube!
SATB writing with choir in mind
This time I started the first development step with – let’s call it – SATB writing. That stands for soprano, alto, tenor and bass. I applied these four voices on each first and fourth count of the measure. But I could have done it on each note too of course.
I kept it really simple. In the first two bars I used 6th and 10th intervals.
In the last two bars I also paid attention to chords. I wanted to end with a nice cadence: IV to I. Or to put it in chords names, I wanted to go from F minor to C minor. I know that sounds wonderful and works out nicely.
Let’s make it more interesting!
In this step I develop the SATB writing to a more interesting part. By the use of counterpoint principles and by doing things based on feelings and I guess trial and error. Believe me, I do a lot by trial and error. And I think that’s fine. It stimulates my creative thinking.
I can imagine that this development can be a bit overwhelming. How did I end up with this?
Well I started with the Tenor line. Looking at the first melody line, the patterns and how to utilize them for the tenors. And that makes it kinda simple in its basics.
I copied and filled in some “gaps” with the same patterns – three eight notes – from the melody line.
Then I looked at the alto. After some fiddling around I made up my mind. I wanted to use these to address the time signature 6 to 8. Or you could say 3 to 4. Now tap along with the alto notes. Exactly! It accents the third and first note. It kinda drives the music.
Last but not least, the bass. That one I kept really simple. It only needs to add some bottom end and support the other voices.
Decorative parts for some extra magical touch
I mentioned at the beginning of this orchestral sketch video that I had a clear idea what I was going after. Magical and enchanting.
To get that feeling you can do a lot of things I guess. You definitely have to pay attention to your orchestration choices. But adding some decorative parts to your composition will give it some extra too.
So I added two small decorative parts. A quick run and – how shall I call it – well, I don’t know actually. Maybe because English isn’t my mother tongue. But I do know what I had in mind for this particular decoration. A specific instrument.
The orchestrated version which sounds magical and enchanting
Now I wanted to do this slightly different than in the other orchestral sketch videos. Let’s start with listening to the voices and decorative parts only. The choir, the harp and the mark tree.
And then add different instruments step by step. This is a great way to focus on the new instruments, their colors and how they blend in.