Arrangement & Orcherstation

Arranging Music

Arranging music is a significan part of how you wish your music to be presented. In this part we are concentraiting on composing and arranging the music. To ilustrate all the techniques and styles, I have chosen some oryginal melody lines with a contrast character to each other. This will give an opportunity to studying several possibilities of arrangement and brings some clear understanding of the basic arranging techniques. I have devaded the subject on this section;

  • Melody Harmonization
  • Horn Section
  • Strings Section
  • Rhythm Secction
  • Orchestration
  • Forms & Styles 

Each of them can be treated in the relation to another, but also can be approached as a seperate secion for the task your arrangement need. 

Melody Harmonisation

The ability to harmonize any given melody is an appropriate style is essential skill for the  professional arranger. The traditional four- part voicingis use in order to illustrate the basic  techniques of harmonization. It is because this can identify the type of the particular chord tones. The voicing usually contains the;

  • Root
  • 3’rd
  • 5’th
  • 7’th

Before considering the harmonizing techniques, it is necessary to anylize the given melody in relation to the folowing features;

  1. Chord arpeggios or movement from in the relation to the folowing features
  2. Scales or scale fragments
  3. Melodic movement by half step
  4. The relatioship of each note in the melody to the accompaning chord.

Horn Section

In this part of arrengement. I will show how to compose and arrange for a small ensemble  consisting 2-5 Horns. I will explain  how to make the  the Horn section arrangement by using some techniques, along with the clear idea of the possibilities.

  • Subsections of the Horns
    • Sax (Sax)
    • Trombones (Tb)
    • Trompets (Tp)
  • Writing for 2 horns
  • Writing for 3 horns
  • Writing for 4 horns
  • Writting for 5 horns
  • Bigband arrangement

Strings/Wind Section

The string section has been the chie lirics-harmonic element in the arrangement. This section has evolved into a five distinguishing voices and  has a major function of the ensamble. I will discuss some writing for string section technique for example;

  • Independency of the II Viol. Vla. Vcl. as equal partners with the I Viol
  • Voice crossing as a special effect
  • The register characteristics of all the instruments for structure purose and colorazation
  • Extennsion of the range of the strings instruments

Rhythm Section

A good rhythm section is esential far convincing performance. I it a back bone of the band. Since much of the rhythm section accompaniament  is improvies, each member of the rhythm secion must be well aware of their instuments. The composer / arranger should give the rhythm section just enough onformation to focus their creativity. Before studing the rhythm section as a unit, ffirst we discuss every instrument of the section;

  • Bass
  • Piano/Guitar
  • Drums & Percussions


Orchestration is a part of the music arrangement.

1- Instrumantation.

This section deals with the renges, techniques, and timbres of each of the orchestral instruments. Strings, woodwind, brass, and percussions is folowed by examination of the individual instruments within that section. There is an extended discussion about the individual instruments of each section in combination within the family as well as ithin their orchestral choirs.

2- Orchestration.

This section deals with the major scoring problems as well as techniques of transcribing piano, chamber, and band music for orchestra. An important accepted metjods of setting up a score page and copying orchetral part is also included..

Music forms & styles.

This part of the arrangement is very signifficant. To be able to write a good arrangement in the significance of the music styles, wee need to poses a good knowlege of the music history, its forms and characteristics. For example a Mozzart composicion being played in the Jazz style will change its apperance, yet if we include the characters of the music period Mozzart was composing in, it will influance the Jazz standard style we associate Jazz with. Knowing the rules of the particular music restrics us withing the bounderies of the style, but also gives us a range of the tools helping to reach the satisfying result of our arrangement. that is why it is essential to know the differance between them in therms of the music Forms;

  • Melody
  • Rhythm
  • Harmony
  • Tempo
  • Interpretation
    • embelishments / articulations

Song Arrangement

Arrangement Tips 

Arranging music

by Bill Dobbins

The Study of Orchestration

by Samuel Adler