The Art of Composing Podcast

AOC 012: Samuel Adler and The Study of Orchestration

av The Art of Composing Podcast | Publicerades 4/7/2017

In Episode 12 of the Art of Composing Podcast, I talk to Samuel Adler, author of one of the most popular books on orchestration, The Study of Orchestration.

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What is in this episode:

* The most beneficial activities for composers learning orchestration.
* Samuel Adler’s thoughts on getting published when you’re young.
* Golden nuggets from some of the greatest teachers and composers of the twentieth century.
* Why you should copy great composers like Bach and Hindemith.
* Why the composition teacher is like a midwife.

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Tips from Samuel Adler

* Composers should play an instrument.
* Learn to sing.
* Start as early as possible. This includes the study of harmony, counterpoint, and analysis, as well as your instrument.
* Get a teacher as early as possible - this subject is too complicated and too complex to learn completely on your own.
* Get familiar with the main corpus of music that has been created, as far back as medieval times.
* Listen to and read a much music as possible.
* Get into an ensemble.
* Play chamber music on the side.
* Keep writing and keep learning.

What are characteristics of good Orchestration?
Let the orchestra choirs sound so that it doesn't all sound like a big mish-mosh.

Great Orchestrators
Igor Stravinsky
Claude Debussy
Maurice Ravel
Henri Dutilleux

The American's knew how to orchestrate better than anybody.

William Shuman
Ned Rorem
Samuel Barber

Thoughts on Walter Piston
He wasn't the best teacher because he taught by sarcasm.

Thoughts on Hindemith
You had to write a new piece for every single lesson. He would then rewrite it. You ended up writing what he would like.
I wrote like a little Paul Hindemith for a very long time.

Thoughts on Copland
He was the best teacher because he would point out there was something wrong with your piece, but he wouldn't tell you exactly what.

He would show you - identify some kind of weakness, or mistake, or wrong chord, or something like that. And instead of, like Hindemith putting the right chord, he would say, "Go home and do it." And you learned more by worrying. He said "Somethings wrong," so something must be wrong, and you tried very hard to correct it. And this was a terrific way of teaching.

On teaching in General

The composition teacher is like a midwife. He can't have the baby but he can help along.

Always try to live into the music or style that the student is writing.

Samuel Adler's Thoughts on Technology

I can tell, by looking at a score, whether that composer has composed with the computer. You have delete on the computer and you have repeat on the computer, and much of the minimal music is not as good as Philip Glass, or any of the great composers of minimal music.

Samuel Adler's Process of Composing
He starts with sketching.
He always completes his short score before orchestrating.
Orchestration is treated as a 2nd composition.

Why he wrote The Study of Orchestration
He wrote the book by default, because the books they were using didn't actually talk about orchestration - just instrumen...

Om Podcasten

Jon Brantingham talks about everything related to music composition, music theory, and creativity, to get you started on the right foot while learning to compose. Discover what you need to be doing to consistently grow as a budding composer, what tips and tricks will make the process a little less painful, and most importantly, what you can do to find your own composing voice. Jon is a composer, music composition teacher, business owner, former Army helicopter pilot, father and husband. He doesn't enjoy long walks on the beach, but instead prefers to jump in and surf. Whether you like to write in a classical or romantic style, like Jon, or you like to write 4 minutes of bleeps and bloops and call that music, or maybe you are a singer-songwriter, the Art of Composing podcast will be your guide to learning the art and craft of music composition.