Tip 07_12: Melody

In an homogeneous instrumentation (e.g. in a string ensemble) the top note is perceived as the melody. There are a lot of exceptions to that, let's say melody in Cello/Bass and accompaniment in the upper strings. But then these two elements have to be separated, of course primarily by their range. There are several means to achieve that. It can can be done by letting the melody be more unpredictable and letting the accompaniment be very repetitive (or very inactive).

Tip 06_12: Chord root

For balancing reasons it is very common in filmmusic to let a whole section (string, brass or woodwinds) play only the root of a given chord.

Tip 05_12: Orchestration_separation_01

In a three-layer arrangement you usually have foreground, middleground and background material. Foreground usually for the melody, background for the harmonies, middleground for filling stuff (e.g. filling up harmonies). But how do we orchestrate these layers so that everybody immediately identifies the three layers (e.g. it's not desirable that the background material stands out, if you want the melody to be prominent). There are several considerations regarding this and it's NOT all done via dynamic settings so that you simply say in the foreground fortissimo and in the background piano. In a good orchestration the separation of the layers is done with other means (dynamics can support that). In my tipps-section I will give you tipps of how to do good separation little by little. First one: even if it sounds wrong on the first look: big foreground material needs big background material. This is pretty obvious in terms of balancing the material if you think it over for a few minutes.

Tip 04_12: inspiration_01

To get inspiration it is OK to listen to existing material in the style you want to write in. Even if you refrain doing so, you for sure have something in mind how your music could sound like. And if this is the case you could just listen to that kind of music/composer. Adopting orchestration ideas or some harmonies is not "stealing" ! If so then nearly every modern music is stolen.

Tip 03_12: business_01

As an aspiring composer never wait for potential clients to come to you. Never feel comfortable about a successful time and don't be lazy (well sometimes one has to be lazy ;-)). Use your uncreative moments to work on other sides of your business - which is at least as important as composing itself: update your web page, look for other potential clients, maintain your contacts via Facebook, mail etc AND look for opportunities to improve your skills AND always keep an eye on new products such as sample-libraries. Don't ignore the power of YouTube !!! There are a lot of people out there who are demanding new, fresh music who spread them on YouTube.

Tip 02_12: Doubling

Doubling an instrument with another instrument-type is a common technique in orchestral music for coloring and strengthening a sound. But be aware of the fact that overdoing of doubling reduces your palette colorwise.Read more

Tip 01_12: Deep, warm string bed

To achieve a lush deep, warm hollywood-type string-bed as accompany, try to use the third of the chord around middle C. But keep an eye on the balance of the chord, especially if the third is already present in the melody.