HOSTS- Jeremy Burns, Matthew Scott Phillips
BUMPER MUSIC- "String Quartet in Modes- Dorian" (Matthew Scott Phillips)
ANNOUNCER- Mike Cunliffe
Orchestration is the art of choosing the right instruments, and the proper balance thereof, for a composition. Different considerations go into conveying different moods and emotions to better tell the story. The string section is often the most utilized. So well will focus on it's instruments: the contra bass, the cello, the viola and the violin!
- The string section is considered the backbone of the orchestra, with the other choirs often thought of as supportive.
-This section has a huge range:
-The upright, or contrabass can sound an E1 (41.2Hz) on the low end. But some models can be
extended to a low C1 (32.7Hz).
-The violin can sound as high G7-3136Hz…just the fundamentals. Not including harmonics)
-All stringed instruments are homogenous in tone color. From high to low, they all share the same tone
-Strings have a wide dynamic range, also unaffected by pitch. They can play loud and soft.
- These instruments can also make many different kinds of sounds (pizzicato, ponticello).
- A Full Symphony Orchestra consists of:
- 16-18 1st violins
- 14-16 2nd violins
- 10-12 violas
- 10-12 cellos
- 8-10 basses
- In practice, it can often be smaller than that. These numbers are not always available or practical.
- The string players typically play two to a music stand. The "first chair" musician is closest to the audience. The "second chair" position is more obscured and handles any necessary page turning.
- The size of string instruments vary, but the proportions do not. From a picture, without a size reference, a double bass and a violin look very similar.
- The body is made of wood, and is hollow. The sound holes allow the sound of the vibrating strings to enter the body, echo, and be amplified back out.
- The neck is convex. The strings are arched (in terms of their layout on the bridge). Typically, only two strings can be played simultaneously.
- The 4 main stringed instruments are tuned as follows (from low to high):
- Violin: G D A E
- Viola: C G D A
- Cello: C G D A (an octave below the viola)
- Bass: E A D G
-The lecture notes for this episode drew from a number of sources. Among them,
"The Study Orchestration" by Samual Adler, comes highly recommended.
MUSIC STUDENT 101