Orchestration Secrets from Star Wars

Orchestration Secrets from Star Wars

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.

3 days ago
This Saturday, I'm excited to finish the 2nd movement of one of the most gorgeous pieces of impressionism, Claude Debussy's La Mer. Then, a presentation from composer Haim Mazar. I always get inspired from being part of these @ScoringArts events. https://t.co/lGVkoSM3RR
4 days ago
An enthralling conversation tonight with @siddkhoslamusic and @chrissymetz about the sublime and profound musical language of #thisisus. https://t.co/cCaVLkogfG daviddas photo
6 days ago
Help wanted from my PC friends: I want a super-budget video card for a PC to be able to test-drive some games. Used is fine. Minimum specs refer to AMD Radeon RX 480 4GB or NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 3GB. What should I look for?
2 weeks ago
If anyone has ever seen more marketing juice squeezed out of an old, dated, and basic (though wonderful and iconic) drum machine, I'd like to see it. (If you're not in this world, this is at least the 1000th pack of 808 samples marketed commercially.) https://t.co/fstVN8tTtw