Model #: ProOrch2A-PDF
Manufacturer: Alexander Publishing

Professional Orchestration Vol 2A PDF: Orchestrating the Melody Within the String Section

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With Volume 1, Solo Instruments and Instrumentation Notes, the focus is on instrumentation, registration of instruments and how they sound in four specific registers, and learning how to do score reductions through the Professional Mentor Workbook (available separately, or in one of the Home Study Bundles for Vol. 1).

With Volume 2, the Second Key in learning Professional Orchestration, we move from instrumentation into the actual study of orchestration by learning specific combinations of instruments within each orchestral section supported by eClassical audio packages (available for separate purchase).

What you see, you hear. What you hear, you learn in your inner ear so that when you hear the device in your musical imagination, you know what it is and how to write for it. Building on this foundation from Volume 1, Professional Orchestration Volume 2A: Orchestrating the Melody Within the String Section gives you the time tested writing techniques for strings that breathe life into your music and give your work the professional sound and touch.

For fast referencing, the techniques are grouped into eight categories: Unisons, Two-Parts, Three-Parts, Four-Parts, Five-Parts, Divisi in Octaves, Divisi in Intervals, and Special Combinations.

Each technique has a brief commentary starting you off on identifying the technique and what else is happening within the score. There are also MIDI mock-up insights. Volume 2A is almost 600-pages, formatted in 8.25"x11" size, with full page/full score examples. A PDF Syllabus is included as a guide to studying the book.

You've been waiting for such a long time to learn and apply all these wonderful techniques. Why wait any longer?

Important Note: to get the most out of Professional Orchestration, you need to read music. If you learn mostly by ear, please see our Visual Orchestration series of courses, based on the Spectrotone Chart, where no textbook is required.

SAMPLE PAGES (Click to open in a new window)
Professional Orchestration Vol 2A: Introduction & Chapter 1
Professional Orchestration Vol 2A: Review by BioShock Game Composer - Garry Schyman

Download Info:

  • Your download file(s) will be available for 30 days after purchase.
  • x1 .zip file containing your PDF book and Syllabus for Vol. 2A.
  • approx. 310MB size.

    A paperback edition of this title is available to order from Amazon or through most major bookstores using the information below:
    Title: Professional Orchestration Vol 2A: Orchestrating the Melody Within the String Section
    Author: Peter Lawrence Alexander / ISBN: 978-0-939067-06-0

    Table of Contents

    Orchestrating the Melody Within the String Section

    Chapter 1 - Violins 1 + Violins 2
    Chapter 2 - Violins + Violas
    Chapter 3 - Violins + Cellos
    Chapter 4 - Violas + Cellos
    Chapter 5 - Violins 1 + Violins 2 + Violas
    Chapter 6 - Violins 1 + Violins 2 + Cellos
    Chapter 7 - Violins 1 + Violins 2 + Violas + Cellos

    Chapter 8 - Violins 1 - Violins 2
    Chapter 9 - Violins 1 (or 2) - Violas
    Chapter 10 - Violins - Cellos
    Chapter 11 - Violas - Cellos
    Chapter 12 - Cellos - Basses
    Chapter 13 - Violins 1 + Violins 2 - Violas
    Chapter 14 - Violins 1 + ½ Violins 2 - ½ Violins 2 + Violas
    Chapter 15 - Violins 1 - Violins 2 + Violas
    Chapter 16 - Violas + Cellos - Basses
    Chapter 17 - Violas - Cellos + Basses
    Chapter 18 - Violins - Violas + Cellos
    Chapter 19 - Violins - Violins 2 + Cellos
    Chapter 20 - Violins 1 + Violins 2 + Violas - Cellos
    Chapter 21 - Violins 1 + Violins 2 + Violas - Cellos + Basses
    Chapter 22 - Violins 1 + Violins 2 - Violas + Cellos
    Chapter 23 - Violins 1 + ½ Violins 2 - ½ Violins 2 + Cellos
    Chapter 24 - Violins 1 + Violins 2 + Violas + Cellos - Basses
    Chapter 25 - Violins 1 + Violins 2 - Cellos

    Chapter 26 - Violins 1 + Violins 2 - Violas - Cellos
    Chapter 27 - Violins 1 + Violas - Cellos - Basses
    Chapter 28 - Violins 1 + Violins 2 + Violas - Cellos - Basses
    Chapter 29 - Violins 1 - Violins 2 - Violas
    Chapter 30 - Violins - Violas - Cellos
    Chapter 31 - Violins 1 - Violins 2 - Violas + Cellos
    Chapter 32 - Violins 1 - Violins 2 + Violas - Cellos
    Chapter 33 - Violas - Cellos - Basses
    Chapter 34 - Violins 1 + Violins 2 - Violas + Cellos - Basses
    Chapter 35 - Violins 1 + ½ Violins 2 - ½ Violins 2 + ½ Violas - ½ Violas + Cellos
    Chapter 36 - Violins 1 - Violins 2 - Violas + ½ Cellos
    Chapter 37 - Violins 1 + Violins 2 - Cellos - Basses

    Chapter 38 - Violins 1 - Violins 2 - Violas - Cellos
    Chapter 39 - Violins 1 - Violins 2 + Violas - Cellos - Basses

    Chapter 40 - Violins 1 - Violins 2 - Violas - Cellos - Basses

    Chapter 41 - About Divisi
    Chapter 42 - Violins 1 - Violins 1
    Chapter 43 - Violas - Violas
    Chapter 44 - Cellos - Cellos
    Chapter 45 - Basses - Basses

    Chapter 46 - Violins 1 - Violins 2 playing 3rds
    Chapter 47 - Violins Divisi in 3rds
    Chapter 48 - Violas Divisi in 3rds
    Chapter 49 - Violins Divisi in 6ths
    Chapter 50 - Violas Divisi in 6ths

    Chapter 51 - Special Combinations of Octaves, Thirds, Sixths & Tenths
    Chapter 52 - Violas Divisi + Cellos Divisi in 6ths
    Chapter 53 - Violins in 3rds - Violas/Cellos (3rds)
    Chapter 54 - Violins 1 in 3rds - Violins 2 in 3rds
    Chapter 55 - Violins 1 and Violas in Octaves with Violins 2 Playing Inner harmony part in 3rds
    Chapter 56 - Violas and Cellos Doubling on 3rds
    Chapter 57 - Multiple 3rds and Sixths
    Chapter 58 - More Multiple 3rds and Sixths
    Chapter 59 - Vlns 1 + Vlns 2 (3rds) - Violas A + Violas B (3rds)
    Chapter 60 - Thirds in Three Octaves
    Chapter 61 - Violins and Violas in Sixths
    Chapter 62 - Vlns 1 div in 3rds - Violins 2 (top line) + Violas (bottom line)
    Chapter 63 - Tenths
    Chapter 64 - Violins 2 and Violas in 3rds - Cellos div
    Chapter 65 - Violins 2 in 3rds - Cellos in 3rds

    More Info

    The Works Referenced in Volume 2A (in alphabetical order)

    Beethoven - Symphony #5
    Berlioz - Symphony Fantastique
    Bizet - Carmen Suites
    Bizet - L'Arlesienne Suites
    Borodin - In the Steppes of Central Asia
    Borodin - Polovtsian Dances
    Borodin - Symphony #2
    Chabrier - Espana
    Debussy - Nuages
    Debussy - Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun
    Debussy - La Mer
    Debussy - Nocturnes
    DeFalla - Three Cornered Hat
    Dukas - Sorcerer's Apprentice
    Elgar - Enigma Variations
    Enesco - Romanian Rhapsodies
    Faure - Pavanne
    Holst - The Planets
    Mahler - Symphony #1
    Mahler - Symphony #9
    Mahler - Songs of a Wayfarer
    Moussorgsky - Night on Bald Mountain
    Rachmaninoff - Isle of the Dead
    Ravel - La Valse
    Saint-Saens - Carninval of the Animals
    Saint-Saens - Danse Macabre
    Satie - Parade
    Schoenberg - Chamber Symphony For 15 Instruments
    Strauss - Ein Heldenleben
    Strauss - Don Juan
    Strauss - Til Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks
    Stravinsky - The Firebird
    Tchaikovsky - The Nutcracker Suite
    Wagner - Overtures (Parsifal, Tannhauser, The Flying Dutchman)
    Webern - Passacaglia

    Endorsements: Professional Orchestration Volume 2A

    Garry Schyman, G.A.N.G. Award Winning Composer, BioShock
    I would highly recommend this book to any student or working professional wishing to learn or expand their knowledge of orchestration. If you intend to work professionally the skills imparted by the studies presented here will be of enormous benefit and will give you a professional advantage for your entire career.

    Daryl Griffith
    Conductor, Composer
    Orchestrator, Young Visiters (BAFTA winner), Prime Suspect (BAFTA winner), Harry Potter VI
    With Professional Orchestration 2A, Peter Alexander has done a very good job of making the various doublings and unisons within the strings section clear, so that you can readily understand what’s going on, even in some of the more complex examples presented. I was particularly pleased to see a starting basic section on divisi with enough information to get the reader thinking and listening, without delving too much into the finer points. I think that the choice of musical examples is excellent, and no composer who wishes to write orchestral music should neglect to know the scores for these pieces. This book will be extremely useful, especially to sample based composers, either striving for improved realism with their orchestrations, or who wish to transfer their MIDI compositions to a live ensemble, so I have no hesitation in recommending it.

    Peter Siedlaczek, Advanced Orchestra, Classical Choirs, String Essentials 2
    A great publication! You perfectly met the needs of so many musicians - it’s an incredibly valuable source of knowledge! I like also very much its clear structure and the way you explain complex things. A “must” not only for students, but for every musician dealing with samples and “orchestral sound”.

    Jeff Laity, Marketing Manager, TASCAM
    The new book is amazing! It builds on the first book by adding more explanations, MIDI programming advice and film scoring concerns. I can’t imagine a more exhaustive study or more organized collection of string writing. You can pre-charge my card for books 2B through 8!

    Jonathon Cox
    Composer: Death4told, Broken Oath
    Lecturer of Music at Ohio Northern University and Muskingum College
    As a music educator and practicing composer, nothing is more important to the quality of a composition than the art of orchestration. The subtle combination of instrumental timbres has the ability to make or break a score. A properly orchestrated piece can evoke emotion and take the listener to another place. It has the ability to transcend to a new plain; where beauty, love, agony and joy all co-exist in perfect harmony.

    For me, orchestration has always been one of my strong points, cultivated over many years of score study and professional application. There is nothing quite like the feeling one gets when standing in front of an orchestra, listening to a hundred musicians bring your hard work and labor to life. It truly is a life changing experience.

    Peter Alexander’s book, Professional Orchestration 2A: Orchestrating the Melody within the String Section is a unique approach to the subject of orchestration.

    It focuses on groupings within the strings, instead of the traditional “This instrument sounds good with that one” approach. It gives the reader the ability to understand how to accomplish the big, lush sounds of master composers such as Strauss, Mahler and Moussorgsky, without the need to scour countless scores and recordings. The many full page orchestral excerpts and MP3 examples perfectly depict the technique that is being described by the text itself.

    Another aspect of the book that I thought was unique and extremely useful was the incorporation of the “electronic orchestra”. The diminished availability of professional orchestras and the proliferation of affordable computers and software have lead to the rise of the MIDI orchestra. Software such as Garritan’s Personal Orchestra, Quantum Leap’s Symphonic Orchestra and Mark of the Unicorn’s Symphonic Instrument have opened up new and exciting possibilities for the professional and the hobbyist alike. The book’s included scores and MIDI mock-up techniques give the orchestrator a chance to obtain true orchestral sound and color through practical exercises and real world applications. This feature alone should make this book a must have for all musicians.

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading the text and attempting the MIDI mock-ups. This book mirrors my own approach to MIDI orchestration and I find it a very useful tool. I will recommend this book to anyone who is serious about their musical education and who wants to achieve the highest standards from their compositions and orchestrations as possible. I can’t wait to see the next volume.

    Dr. Andrew Mark Sauerwein
    Composer-in-residence and Assistant Professor of Theory/Composition, Belhaven College
    From the outset, the art and practice of instrumentation and orchestration is best understood by hearing and studying the literature: It’s all there, in the music. Peter Alexander’s Professional Orchestration, Volume 2A, embodies this tradition beautifully, and serves as an indispensable reference tool for anyone wanting to better grasp the art of string-orchestra writing.

    At first blush, a 600-page text focused exclusively on a catalog of techniques for string writing seems like overkill: one can imagine pages of descriptive prose, far more than students could work through in a typical college-level class on orchestration. But this text is primarily music, and (after a modest but effective sales-pitch to get students on board) every ounce of text is used to frame each example and lead students into its technical heart. The author’s observation about the use of MIDI mock-ups and the importance of live sound provide an excellent frame in which to develop technical facility with ears, sequencers, and sample libraries. Through the process of hearing the music, studying the score, making electronic mock-ups, and seeking out live performances, students are drawn into a well-organized and focused pursuit of the practical business of using orchestral strings effectively and expressively.

    I can imagine some instructors wishing for more “lecture” in the text itself, but I will dare to say such an approach entirely misses the point: in Professional Orchestration, the student is invited directly and immediately into the process of exploring and absorbing the art of orchestration. The classroom “lecture,” or mentorship (as it ideally should be), can then build on students’ technical engagement with individually-tailored insights and reflections. And this is essential: the teacher, not the textbook, is the best mentor; and music, more than words, provides the best explanation. By putting musical experience front and center, Professional Orchestration provides an ideal platform for such teaching and learning.