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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Edinburgh College of Art : Music

Undergraduate Course: Orchestration 4 (MUSI10093)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh College of Art CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryOrchestration developed as an identifiable skill through the 19th century, but it remains a powerful and evolving means of musical expression not only in mainstream composition, but also in contemporary music for the moving image. This course will equip students with the practical and analytical techniques necessary to develop a secure technique for orchestral writing, within a creative context. A weekly series of lectures, supported by individual tutorials will cover a series of advanced topics in Orchestration. These will include: an analytical approach to orchestral techniques; the relationship of orchestral sound to moving image; creative approaches to orchestral colour and texture; preparation of scores and materials to a professional standard. You will study existing orchestral repertoire in detail, and develop your own skills of orchestration in a series of practical exercises.
Course description Aims of the Course

To introduce advanced concepts and techniques of orchestration, in order:
- to encourage your analytical approach to existing orchestral repertoire
- to improve your knowledge and understanding of the techniques of creating effective orchestral textures and sonorities, including to the moving image
- to develop your skills of presentation and preparation of performance materials


1. Introduction to the analysis of orchestral technique.
2. Analysis of selected scores by Gustav Mahler and Richard Strauss.
3. Cinematic Orchestration
4. Practical Orchestration Session 1
5. Practical Orchestration Session 2 (including some conducting)
6. Creating and balancing orchestral texture.
7. Analysis of selected scores by Claude Debussy
8. Effective preparation and presentation of score materials.
9. Analysis of selected scores by Igor Stravinsky
10. Contemporary orchestral effects
11. Revision class.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: Orchestration 3 (MUSI10004)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs Purchase of MS paper. Reproduction of orchestral parts.
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesUG course in Orchestration
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2017/18, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  11
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 11, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 5, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 6, External Visit Hours 3, Formative Assessment Hours 12, Summative Assessment Hours 12, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 147 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Feedback Four class exercises will be required, for formative assessment at tutorials. These will be handed out in Weeks 1,
5, 7, and 9, and will consists of sections of score to be orchestrated. Written feedback will be given on each
of these, for discussion at tutorials.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Develop a well-informed and critical approach to the analysis of orchestral scores.
  2. Develop a secure and informed technique for orchestration.
  3. Apply knowledge, skills and understanding in preparing and presenting orchestral materials in a professional manner.
  4. Develop an advanced understanding of idiomatic writing for orchestral instruments.
Reading List
Black, D. & Tom Gerou. Essential Dictionary of Orchestration. Los Angeles: Alfred Publishing, 1998.
Del Mar, N. Anatomy of the Orchestra. London: Faber, 1981.
Lawson, C. (ed.) The Cambridge Companion to the Orchestra. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003
Rimsky-Korsakov, N. (M. Steinberg ed., E. Agate trans.) The Principles of Orchestration. Toronto: Dover Publications, 1964.
Mathews, Paul. 2006. Orchestration: an anthology of writings. New York; London: Routledge.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Graduates will be able to critically identify, define, conceptualise and analyse complex/professional problems.
Graduates will be able to demonstrate some originality and creativity in dealing with professional issues.
Graduates will be able to critically review and consolidate knowledge, skills, practices and thinking.
Graduates will be able to offer professional insights, interpretations and solutions to problems and issues.
KeywordsOrchestration,Music Analysis,Music for Screen
Course organiserProf Peter Nelson
Tel: (0131 6)50 2428
Course secretaryMiss Carrie Lyall
Tel: (0131 6)50 2422
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