Thursday, December 25, 2008

Yet Another Orchestration Lesson

A formal orchestration class, more properly a history of orchestration*, taught by a musicologist, Sherwood Dudley, Santa Cruz ca. 1981.    After a quarter of serious style exercises, Prof. Dudley decided to sum things up in the last lesson, late on a Friday afternoon, with the last two acts of Otello. He brings a good recording, multiple scores and sufficient sherry such that, by the time that the open chalumeau fifths in Desdemona's Willow Song sound, we are all in tears.  The right orchestration can often bring about tears, with or without sherry.

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* The best formal coursework in orchestration might consist of the following trifecta: a course in musical acoustics and psychoacoustics, a history of orchestration, and a music education course for prospective band and orchestra teachers, which typically includes hands-and-mouths-on experience each instrument covered.  

2 comments:

sfmike said...

But the sherry definitely helps.

Daniel Wolf said...

No argument there.