In my work with the Academy of Scoring Arts, I’ve been leading lots of orchestration discussions on both film music scores and on classical music works, and as a professional exercise, one day I decided to sit down and sequence the first two pages of the Star Wars Suite by John Williams. What this means is: I loaded up my orchestral template, and literally played in every single note in the score, so I could see how it was put together.
The video below is a narrated version of the exercise, which takes just under an hour. I strongly encourage composers of all stripes and fans of film music to take the time to watch it to see the puzzle come together one note and one instrument at a time. There are a lot of orchestration techniques used in the piece that are revealed as you hear them in an isolated context.
For the technically inclined, I am using MOTU’s Digital Performer 9 in this video along with Native Instruments Kontakt as my sampler, and a whole host of orchestral sample libraries including offerings from EastWest, 8Dio, CineSamples, and ProjectSAM.
Next influential album. "The Mississippi Delta was shining like a National guitar..." (pic on right is the latter). @PaulSimonMusic broke all the rules with #Graceland, and came out the other side having created a wholly original and inspiring fusion of musical cultures. https://t.co/pXIw0q7Drm
Next most influential album: @billyjoel is, in my eyes, one of the greatest songwriting craftsmen ever. He assimilates numerous and diverse influences fluidly, then brings it back with freshness, color, and a sense of place and belonging. His music is the soundtrack of my life. https://t.co/FGFcI9hJJW
Next album. Complete genre shift. Discovering Gershwin as a teenager led me to Ravel, and when I heard how this small-handed Spanish virtuoso conquered the demands of the left hand concerto...then brought her dazzling virtuosity and grace to the G major one...it's perfection. https://t.co/R8eExkViu9