Professional Orchestration 2-Semester Home Study Bundle

SKU ProOrch-2Semester-Bundle


  • Product Delivery:Digital Download (download links expire 30 days after purchase).
  • Download Size:About 2.91 GB compressed / 3.67GB decompressed (15x zip files containing course videos, PDF Lessons and scores, PDF eBook/Workbook/documents, MP3 audio, PDF Spectrotone Chart and Guides, PDF String Positions Booklet, MIDI files / 3x PDF files).
  • Author/Instructor:Peter Lawrence Alexander
List Price $239.75
Your Price $89.95 (Save $149.80)

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The Professional Orchestration. 2-Semester Home Study Bundle combines the Professional Orchestration Vol. 1: Basic Home Study PDF/MP3 Bundle (the first semester) with the Writing For Strings Course (the second semester) in one value-priced learning package.

The Professional Orchestration. Vol. 1: Basic Home Study Bundle is the equivalent of one semester's worth of orchestration, which you can study on your own schedule at your own pace. In your first semester studies, you'll learn the basics of instrumentation for all the main orchestral instruments. With score examples that demonstrate the instruments in their low, medium, high and very high ranges, you'll see where specific devices and combinations work best. Using the Spectrotone Instrumental Tone-Color Chart, you'll easily see which instruments will blend well together in which registers, or which combinations will give you a more contrasting sound. You'll also learn starting insights on orchestral balance.

Building on this foundation, your second semester studies move you beyond instrumentation into coloristic string writing techniques with the Writing For Strings Course. This is an entry-level course in string writing that makes use of Professional Orchestration Vol. 1 as its textbook, and gives you an additional 19 PDF scores to study. For more advanced string writing techniques, see Professional Orchestration Vol. 2A: Orchestrating the Melody Within the String Section. Volume 2A is a great next step after this course

Do you read music or play by ear? To get the most out of the Professional Orchestration 2-Semester Home Study Bundle, you need to read music. If you learn mostly by ear, please see the Visual Orchestration series of courses.


Professional Orchestration Vol. 1: Basic Home Study PDF/MP3 Bundle

The Book: Professional Orchestration. Volume 1

You'll study out of the PDF eBook Professional Orchestration Volume 1: Solo Instruments and Instrumentation Notes. At almost 800-pages, this first volume covers all the main orchestral instruments, and percussion, with electronic scoring notes.

The book was birthed on the scoring stages of Los Angeles with instrumentation notes checked and edited by the elite film studio musician community. Where available, nearly all the book’s examples, by instrument, are organized by demonstrating the instrument in its low, medium, high and very high ranges. Each book in the Professional Orchestration series is organized this way so that you’ll learn from common practice how and where specific devices and combinations work best. With its full page/full score examples, you’re able to see and hear what the instrument sounds like within the context of the full orchestral score. So you can see/hear how scoring techniques change depending on what register the melody or theme is placed in. No other orchestration method teaches you this way.

Click on the Contents tab above to see the Table of Contents for this book.

Audio Package for Professional Orchestration Volume 1

You get around 12 hours of music in Digital Rights Management (DRM) free MP3 Format licensed from! The Volume 1 Audio Package covers approx. 70% of the musical works used in the Volume 1 book (not all pieces are currently available from eClassical). To fulfill listening requirements that many schools have, you’re given the complete work or movement the majority of the book’s examples are found in. A PDF spreadsheet of timings for the examples is included. Since they’re MP3s, you can download them to your favorite MP3 player and listen wherever you want.

The Professional Mentor – much more than a workbook

With the Professional Mentor Workbook, you'll learn how to study a score and create a condensed score of the excerpt being studied in the Volume 1 book. You’re then encouraged to sequence the excerpt to understand orchestration techniques and compositional insights learned from the example, along with basic MIDI mock-up and recording skills. Next, you'll write your own original composition using techniques learned from Professional Orchestration Vol. 1 for each of these solo instruments: Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon, French horn, Trumpet, Trombone, Tuba, Violin, Viola, Cello, Bass, and Harp. With this approach, you create 13 publishable works (the equal of roughly a semester’s worth of work at college) and you can also write an optional “final” project – a full orchestral arrangement. It includes a Lesson Planner and seven (7) audio lectures explaining how to study on your own.

Bonus Gift from the Vienna Symphonic Library
Also included in your Professional Mentor files, the good folks at the Vienna Symphonic Library, and composer Jay Bacal, have allowed us to give you, at no extra charge, 13 solo compositions with MP3 and MIDI files mocked-up by Jay for the Vienna Instruments sample library. Just load the MP3 and MIDI file into your sequencer and see how Jay created the composition by studying velocity, expression, mod wheel data, etc., as you listen to the MP3 file play. You can load your own instrument patch into the track, but you'll need to have the same VSL patches Jay used for the MIDI playback to match the MP3 audio. It will give you an idea of how to approach your own MIDI mock-ups and it's a professional education you can apply to any sample library you have.

Learn Orchestral Color and Balance With The Spectrotone Instrumental Tone-Color Chart

Originally created by 4x Academy Award nominee for Best Film Score, Arthur Lange, this expanded and enhanced 70th Anniversary Editon of the Spectrotone Chart is unique to the study of orchestration. Using the Spectrotone Chart with both Professional Orchestration Volume 1 and the Writing For Strings Course, you'll learn how to create effective orchestral combinations by understanding which instruments will blend well together in which registers, or which instruments will provide a more contrasting tone-color when placed together. You'll also learn starting insights on orchestral balance within each section of strings, brass and winds.

Because the Spectrotone Chart is a must have for all arrangers, composers and recording engineers, it's now a part of the Professional Orchestration curriculum and incorporated into the Professional Mentor Workbook.

With Professional Orchestration you learn by doing. And you can learn at your own pace as your schedule allows.


Writing For Strings Course

Writing For Strings is an entry-level, one semester length course teaching you both coloristic string writing techniques for live concert performances, studio recording sessions, and of equal importance today, the application of this valuable professional information to your MIDI Mock-ups. You'll learn about the violin, viola, cello and double bass, bowings and stops, divisi, string seating plans and orchestra sizes, MIDI mockup tools, templates and considerations, and more. It's designed as the second semester following the standard one semester orchestration course, which is usually given in the senior year of college. It's ideally suited as the next step after studying through the Professional Orchestration Vol. 1: Basic Home Study Bundle.

Because this is a self study course you can work through the lessons at your own pace. You can use any string sample library you have, or whatever strings are included in your sequencing or notation software.

Writing For Strings comes with 28 PDF Lessons (approx. 140 pages) and approximately 6.98 hours of supporting Video Lectures (split into 30+ multi-part videos) supporting 19 key PDF lessons. Also included is the String Positions PDF Booklet, and 19 PDF Public Domain Study Scores of classical works (approx. 470 pages) for you to study the string parts. The Writing For Strings Course uses the book Professional Orchestration Volume 1 and draws from the same MP3 audio, but in your PDFs you'll also get links to YouTube video performances of most of the examples you'll be studying to hear and visualize string bowings (PDFs are updated roughly once a year to keep their contents up to date).

Note: The Writing For Strings Course included in this 2-Semester Bundle is the Lite Edition course. Don't worry! You're not missing out on anything! The Spectrotone Chart and Professional Orchestration Vol. 1 PDF book that are included in the Complete Edition course can both be found in your First Semester Professional Orchestration Vol. 1: Basic Home Study Bundle downloads.

In the USA, the typical college orchestra course is taught as a survey of orchestral instruments covered within only 1 quarter to 1 semester (depending on the school). This means a student gets on average one class lecture per orchestral instrument. Writing For Strings goes beyond that by taking the full semester to cover the string section, MIDI mock-up and recording issues, in depth score analysis using Professional Orchestration Volume 1's full page score excerpts, plus 19 bonus PDF scores of public domain classical works for self study, and much more. You’ll learn the professional’s top secret for writing success - score analysis and how to apply what you’ve learned to your own writing.

Because good string writing doesn’t just happen, you get the 4-color String Positions PDF Booklet so you can work out just how playable your parts are.

All these tools pull together to help you learn how to write for “live” string players and begin learning how to make sampled strings sound live. And finally, so you can put your new scoring skills to the test, you get a series of original 12-14 bar test scores for you to select the bowings, mark the legato bowings, and then do a MIDI mock-up that you record on your system based on the libraries you have.

Here's A List Of The 28 PDF Lessons With Supporting Video Lectures:

Lesson 0: Introduction - w/VIDEO
Lesson 1: Knowing What Size Orchestra to Write For - w/ VIDEO
Lesson 2: The Source of Coloristic Orchestration - w/ 2 VIDEOS
Lesson 3: How to Do Score Analysis and Use It In Your Writing - w/6 VIDEOS
Lesson 4: String Seating Plans - w/VIDEO
Lesson 5: Panning With String Sample Libraries w/VIDEO
Lesson 6: The Violin: A Coloristic Overview (Low to Very High Range) - w/5 VIDEOS
Lesson 7: The Viola: A Coloristic Overview (Low to Very High Range) - w/3 VIDEOS
Lesson 8: The Cello: A Coloristic Overview (Low to Very High Range) - w/VIDEO
Lesson 9: The Bass: A Coloristic Overview (Low to Very High Range) - w/VIDEO
Lesson 10: Bowing Considerations and Definitions - w/2 VIDEOS
Lesson 11: On The String Bowings
Lesson 12: Off The String Bowings
Lesson 13: Special Effects Bowings
Lesson 14: Tremolo Bowings
Lesson 15: Pizzicato Bowings - w/VIDEO
Lesson 16: Double Stops and Their Use - w/VIDEO Master Class on Stops
Lesson 17: Triple Stops and Their Use
Lesson 18: Quadruple Stops and Their Use
Lesson 19: Creating Arpeggios From Stops
Lesson 20: Trills and Fingered Tremolo
Lesson 21: Muted Strings
Lesson 22: Divisi Writing and Its Implementation - w/VIDEO
Lesson 23: Creating Your Strings Template For MIDI Mock-ups - w/VIDEO
Lesson 24: Recording Tools For Spatial Placement In Your MIDI Mock-ups - w/VIDEO
Lesson 25: Setting Sectional Levels In Your MIDI Mock-ups - w/VIDEO
Lesson 26: Advanced: Starting String Combinations - w/VIDEO
Lesson 27: Strings and Voices - w/VIDEO
Lesson 28: Final Self Assessment: The Dogs of Riga - Five Test Pieces For MIDI Mockups - w/VIDEO

How you learn.

With Professional Orchestration you learn by doing. One of the essential career skills you'll learn is how to study a score and create a condensed score of the excerpt being studied. You’re then encouraged to sequence the excerpt to learn orchestration techniques and compositional insights from the example, plus basic MIDI mock-up and recording skills. Be prepared to do a lot of practical work! And you can learn at your own pace as your schedule allows.

End Result - you learn how to write and produce your own music!


A paperback edition of Professional Orchestration, Vol. 1 is available to order from Amazon or through most major bookstores using the information below:

Title 01: Professional Orchestration Vol 1: Solo Instruments & Instrumentation Notes
Author: Peter Lawrence Alexander / ISBN: 978-0-939067-70-1

FIRST SEMESTER: Professional Orchestration Vol 1: Basic Home Study Bundle Contents
  1. Professional Orchestration. Volume 1 PDF - $54.95 Retail Value
  2. Professional Orchestration. Volume 1 MP3 Audio Package (90 tracks / approx. 12 hours of Digital Rights Management Free MP3s covering many of the examples - $59.95 Retail Value
  3. Spectrotone Instrumental Tone-Color Chart PDF - $19.95 Retail Value
  4. Professional Mentor PDF Workbook for Volume 1 - $24.95 Retail Value
  5. Professional Mentor Audio Lecture Overview Talks - BONUS!
  6. Orchestral Samples Evaluation Spreadsheets for Woodwinds/Brass, Strings and Harp - BONUS!
  7. Plus! Included with the Professional Mentor is your FREE gift from the Vienna Symphonic Library of 13 MP3/MIDI files by Jay Bacal.

Total Value: $159.80
Total Download Size: approx. 1.36GB compressed / 1.42GB decompressed (split into 5x .zip files / 2x .pdf files)

SECOND SEMESTER: Writing For Strings Course Contents
  1. 28 Lessons in PDF format with 4-color graphics (approx. 140 pages);
  2. Approx. 6.98 hours of supporting video lectures (.mov format for Mac and PC) matching 19 key lessons;
  3. String Positions PDF Booklet in 4-color graphics for Violin, Viola, Cello and Bass;
  4. 19 PDF study scores of public domain classical works (approx. 470 pages);
  5. Links to YouTube video performances of most of the examples you'll be studying to hear and visualize string bowings (updated roughly once a year to keep links current);
  6. Live MP3 student recordings of string ranges for violin, viola, cello, and bass.

Total Value: $79.95
Total Download Size: approx. 1.54GB compressed / 2.24GB decompressed (split into 10x .zip files / 1x .pdf files)

Below, you'll find the Table of Contents for the Professional Orchestration Volume 1 PDF eBook, the Professional Mentor PDF Workbook, and the Volume 1 MP3 Audio Package included in this Bundle.

TABLE OF CONTENTS - Professional Orchestration Volume 1
The First Key: Solo Instruments and Instrumentation Notes

Chapter 1: String Section Overview | Chapter 2: The Violin: Basic Information | Chapter 3: The Viola: Basic Information | Chapter 4: The Cello: Basic Information | Chapter 5: The String Bass: Basic Information | Chapter 6: Bowings, Effects, and Bowing Effects | Chapter 7: String Stops | Chapter 8: Divisi | Chapter 9: Muted Strings | Chapter 10: Pizzicato | Chapter 11: Natural and Artificial Harmonics | Chapter 12: Woodwind Basics | Chapter 13: The Flute | Chapter 14: The Piccolo | Chapter 15: The Oboe | Chapter 16: The English Horn | Chapter 17: The Clarinet | Chapter 18: The Bass Clarinet | Chapter 19: The Bassoon | Chapter 20: The Contrabassoon | Chapter 21: Brass Basics | Chapter 22: The Bb Trumpet | Chapter 23: The Tenor and Bass Trombones | Chapter 24: The Tubas | Chapter 25: The French Horn | Chapter 26: The Harp | Chapter 27: Piano, Organ, Celeste, and Virtual Orchestra | Chapter 28: The Percussion Section | Bibliography

772 pgs.

CONTENTS - Professional Mentor PDF Workbook for Professional Orchestration Vol. 1

Professional Mentor Workbook
1. Lesson Planner | 2. Score Analysis Guide | 3. Orchestral Sketchpad PDF | 4. Spectrotone Analysis Guide | 5. Spectrotone Range Sheets | 6. Recording Spectrotone Combinations | 7. VSL Self-Study MIDI Mockup | 8. Professional Mentor Writing Assignments | 9. Orchestral Sample Library Evaluation Spreadsheets

Professional Mentor Audio Lectures
1. Professional Mentor Overview | 2. Score Analysis Overview | 3. Spectrotone Analysis Overview | 4. Spectrotone Range Sheet Assignments | 5. Recording Spectrotone Combinations | 6. VSL Self-Study Overview | 7. Professional Mentor Writing Assignments Overview

CONTENTS - Professional Orchestration Volume 1 MP3 Audio Package

Includes approximately 12 hours of DRM-free MP3s, licensed from These are the full works or full movements of each piece, covering approximately 70% of the musical works used in Professional Orchestration Volume 1. Not all pieces are currently available from eClassical. Timings for the examples used in Vol. 1 are included on a PDF spreadsheet.

BEETHOVEN: Symphony 5: 2. Andante, 3-4. Allegro | Symphony 6 (Pastoral): 1. Allegro ma non troppo, 2. Andante molto mosso, 3. Allegro | Symphony 7: 2. Allegretto | Symphony 9: 4. Finale - Presto

BERLIOZ: Symphony Fantastique: 1. Reveries (Passions), 2. Un bal, 3. Scene aux champs, 4. Marche au supplice, 5. Songe d'une nuit de Sabbat

BIZET: Carmen Suites Complete: Suite #1: 1. Prelude - Aragonaise, Suite #1: 2. Intermezzo, Suite #1: 3. Seguidilla, Suite #1: 4. Les dragons de Alcala, Suite #1: 5. Marche du toreador, Suite #2: 1. Marche des contrabandiers, Suite #2: 2. Habanera, Suite #2: 3. Nocturne, Suite #2: 4. Chanson du toreador, Suite #2: 5. Garde montant, Suite #2: 6. Danse bohemienne

DEBUSSY: Images: Images 1: Gigues, Images 2: Iberia - Par les rues et par les chemins, Images 2: Iberia - Les parfums de la nuit, Images 2: Iberia - Le matin d'un jour de fete, Images 3: Rondes de printemps | Danse Sacree | Danse Profane | La Mer: 1. De l'aube a midi sur la mer, 2. Jeux de vagues, 3. Dialogue du vent et de la mer

DVORAK: Symphony #9 (New World): 2. Largo, 4. Allegro con fuoco

MAHLER: Symphony #1 (Titan): 1. Langsam Schleppend, 2. Scherzo kraftig bewegt, 3. Feierlich und gemessen ohne zu schleppen, 4. Sturmisch bewegt

MENDELSSOHN: A Midsummer Night's Dream: Overture, Scherzo, Intermezzo, Notturno, Wedding March | Symphony #4 (Italian): 1. Allegro vivace, 2. Andante con moto, 3. Con moto moderato, 4. Saltarello

MOZART: Symphony #36: 1. Adagio Allegro spiritoso, 2. Andante, 3. Menuetto, 4. Presto | Symphony #41: 1. Allegro vivace, 2. Andante cantabile, 3. Menuetto, 4. Molto allegro

PROKOFIEV: Lt. Kije: 3. Kije's wedding, 4. Troika

RAVEL: Daphnis and Chloe Suite #2 | La Valse | Mother Goose Suite: 1. Pavane de la Belle au bois dormant, 2. Petit Poucet, 3. Laideronnette imperatrice des Pagodes, 4. Les entretiens de la Belle et de la Bete, 5. Le jardin feerique

RIMSKY-KORSAKOV: Cappricio Espagnole: 1. Alborda, 2. Variazioni, 3. Alborada, 4. Scena e canto gitano, 5. Fandango asturiano Coda | Scheherazade: 1. The Sea and Sinbad's Ship, 2. The Kalender Prince, 3. The Young Prince and the Young Princess, 4. Festival at Baghdad - The Sea

SCHUMANN: Symphony #1 (Spring): 1. Andante un poco maestoso - Allegro molto vivace

SIBELIUS: Swan of Tuonela

STRAUSS: Don Juan | Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks

STRAVINSKY: The Rite of Spring: 1. L'adoration de la terre, 2. Le Sacrifice

TCHAIKOVSKY: Symphony #4: 3. Scherzo Pizzicato ostinato allegro | Symphony #6 (Pathetique): 1. Adagio - Allegro non troppo | The Nutcracker: 3. Danse de la fee, 6. Danse chinoise, 7. Danse des mirlitons, 8. Valse des fleurs

WAGNER: Die Meistersinger von Nuremberg Prelude | Parsifal Prelude | Tristan und Isolde Prelude | Lohengrin Prelude | Ride of the Valkyries

Endorsements: Professional Orchestration Volume 1

Conrad Pope, Multi-Award Winning Orchestrator
Peter Alexander was the "real deal". Though I'm not a "fan" of most orchestration books, Peter's is one that I think many musicians will find to be not only informative but inspiring as well.

Jerry Goldsmith, Academy and Emmy Award Winning Composer
The best orchestration book since Forsyth.

Bruce Broughton, Emmy Award Winning Composer
Professional Orchestration offers more opportunities to see and hear the combinations which formerly could only be imagined.

Emanuele Ruffinengo, Three-time Grammy Award Winner
Peter Alexander has done a huge work in this book. I'm completely delighted with what I've received. Reading only a few pages was enough to realize the high significance of this text, so thanks again! I will definitely recommend it to my students and friends.

Paul Thomson, Spitfire Audio
Every time I open this book I learn something new.

Endorsements: Writing For Strings Course

Patrick de Caumette, five-time Emmy Award Winning Composer
Writing for Strings, offers a comprehensive resource to the orchestration student, rich with detailed string techniques, some of the best scores from the classical repertoire and the opportunity to hear a recording of the examples played in context by a real orchestra [via the included links to YouTube performances]. A must have!

Paul Thomson, Spitfire Audio
The huge amount of study scores and [links to YouTube] recordings that are included at this price and the very clear and detailed explanations make this a no brainer in my opinion for anyone looking to acquire this knowledge.

Compare Bundles!

Use this handy table to quickly compare the contents of the Professional Orchestration Basic, Master and Everything-So-Far Home Study Bundles. The 2-Semester Home Study Bundle is an additional option that combines the Professional Orchestration Basic Home Study Bundle with the Writing for Strings Course.

All products found in these bundles are also available separately, but the best value is to start with one of these.

Basic Master Everything-So-Far 2-Semester
Professional Orchestration Vol. 1 Yes Yes Yes Yes
Vol. 1 MP3 Audio Package Yes Yes Yes Yes
Professional Mentor Workbook for Vol. 1 Yes Yes Yes Yes
Bonus! Professional Mentor Audio Lectures Yes Yes Yes Yes
Bonus! Orchestral Samples Evaluation Spreadsheets Yes Yes Yes Yes
Free Gift! 13 MP3/MIDI files by Jay Bacal and VSL Yes Yes Yes Yes
Professional Mentor Concert Audio Package Yes Yes
Spectrotone Instrumental Tone-Color Chart Yes Yes Yes Yes
String Positions Booklet Yes Yes Yes
Professional Orchestration Vol. 2A Yes
Vol. 2A MP3 Audio Supplement Yes
Professional Orchestration Vol. 2B Yes
Writing For Strings Course Yes

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