Credits: 2 AHS

Hours: 4-0-8

Usually offered: Alt Fall (odd years)

For information contact: Diana Dabby

Course description: The Engineer’s Orchestra II provides ‘just-in-time’ harmonic and contrapuntal theory for the study of orchestration, with special attention to voice leading, instrumental doubling, spacing, balance, and color. Each week students complete preliminary exercises that target the skills necessary for that week’s focus of study. They then orchestrate piano reductions of symphonic excerpts, and vice versa, in order to apply these developing skills. The course progresses from scoring for string, woodwind, and brass ensembles to woodwind string and woodwind-brass-string combinations, and finally the full orchestra. Class discussions involve students defending their technical and artistic decisions, followed by close examination of the choices made by the original composer. Weekly recorded examples bring to life the fundamental concepts underlying the work of past and contemporary orchestrators. Guest appearances/demonstrations by instrumentalists allow students to sharpen their listening skills as they distinguish among the possibilities for bowings and articulations that inform orchestral writing. The course culminates with each student pursuing a final project, such as an original composition or arrangement.