A Practical Handbook: Workbook - PDF eBook

SKU OrchPrac-Workbook-PDF


  • Product Delivery:Digital Download (download links expire 30 days after purchase).
  • Download Size:About 10 MB compressed / 10 MB decompressed (1x zip file containing PDF eBook).
  • Author:Joseph Wagner, Peter Lawrence Alexander
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In each of the three Handbooks in the series, From Piano to Strings, and the forthcoming From Piano to Woodwinds, and From Piano to Orchestra, you learn 13 broad techniques using Joseph Wagner's Reference Chart of Keyboard Idioms for turning piano parts into full scale string, woodwind, or full orchestra ensembles. Each example contains the original piano part and the ensemble orchestration above it along with text explaining the background to the orchestration.

This Workbook, which is used with all three Handbooks, follows the same exact approach as the Handbooks. You're given dozens of examples, the majority of which have had their piano parts exported from Sibelius and made available as MP3s for optional separate purchase here: MIDI/Audio Examples Packge, so that, regardless of piano skill, you can hear the example and get the sound into your musical imagination.

Study Approach

First, you study the examples by category in the separately available Handbook (eg. A Practical Handbook: From Piano to Strings), which are organized by specific scoring techniques. If you have the MIDI/Audio Examples Package, listen to the piano example, then study.

Second, go to this Workbook which has piano excerpts organized by the techniques covered in the Handbook. If you have the MIDI/Audio Examples Package, listen to the recorded MP3 piano example, then begin scoring the example by the specific technique taught. When scoring examples, be aware that there are many solutions, not just one right "academic" answer. Depending on your level of expertise, you should be able to work out no less than 6-12 different solutions. The "right one" is the one that works best.

Once you’ve scored your examples, you're encouraged to record them using either the orchestral package that comes with your notation program, or by doing a MIDI mockup using your sequencing program, which also builds your MIDI editing and recording skills.

The homework examples in the Workbook are organized as follows:
  1. Broken Intervals
  2. Broken Chords
  3. Melodic Lines and Figurations
  4. Implied Bass Parts
  5. Single-Note, Interval, Chord Repetitions
  6. Two- and Three-Part Music
  7. Spacing Problems in the Middle Register
  8. Contrast Problems Conditioned by Dynamics
  9. Voice Leading
  10. Obbligato or Added Secondary Parts Arranged From Harmonic Progressions
  11. Antiphonal Effects
  12. Tremolo Types
  13. Dance Forms

80 pgs.

Both the Handbook and Workbook can be studied either individually or in a class setting. To help build your professional skills, as mentioned earlier, you're encouraged to mockup and record the exercises either with a sequencer or a notation program. By doing this you'll gain the benefit of learning how to record and mix your work, along with building your MIDI mockup skills.

When done in this manner, the Professional Orchestration: A Practical Handbook series becomes the first serious method at either the individual level or academically to cover orchestration, transcription, recording and mixing in every single homework exercise.


A Paperback edition of A Practical Handbook: Workbook is available to order from Amazon or through most major bookstores using the information below:

Title: Professional Orchestration: A Practical Handbook - Workbook
Author: Joseph Wagner / Revision Author: Peter Lawrence Alexander / ISBN: 978-0-939067-99-2

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