Material Based Orchestration - Beethoven In Wood and Metal

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Instrumental; Arranging / Orchestration assignment example

Main Instruments used:
All VI. First half (wood) uses primarily wooden instruments (strings with clarinet). Second half (metal) metallic instruments (water phone, flute, vibes, harp). Music generated through Finale.

Creative Vision for the Track:
The assignment was to score the same Beethoven excerpt in two contrasting styles using the instruments’ materials as the basis for orchestration not instrumental registers. I chose to use wooden based instruments for a warm, traditional setting. I chose metal based instruments for a colder, harsher effect.

Composition Details (Tempo, Key, Main Chords etc):
This was an exercise to start thinking of different ways to approach orchestration. I was auditing the course at the time so I felt a little freer in considering it as much an arranging / reharmonization setting as it was about the orchestration. I caught heck from the instructor for not dogmatically following the assignment but admitted the difference was striking and more than accomplished the goal of the assignment.

This was the first time I had consciously considered orchestrating by materials rather than determining which register of what instrument suited my goals. I’ve continued to use this quite often since.

(This track is at least six years old. My sound libraries and DAW chops have improved since then. Hopefully!)

Beethoven - Wood And Metal

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