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2010/1 Module Catalogue
 Module Code: MUS2029 Module Title: ADVANCED ORCHESTRATION
Module Provider: Music and Sound Recording Short Name: MUS2029
Level: HE2 Module Co-ordinator: ARMSTRONG T Dr (Music Record)
Number of credits: 10 Number of ECTS credits: 5
Module Availability
Semester 1
Assessment Pattern

Unit(s) of Assessment


Weighting Towards Module Mark (%)










Module Overview
This module develops existing orchestration skills to an advanced level with the emphasis placed on romantic and contemporary orchestral styles. Advanced Orchestration is designed to complement Advanced Arrangement offered in semester 2 but may be taken in isolation.
Pass in HE1 Orchestration and Arranging. This requirement way be waived with the permission of the module co-ordinator.
Module Aims
  • To acquire advanced orchestration skills in romantic and contemporary orchestral styles


  • To apply orchestration knowledge to practical assignments


  • To provide a level of experience which will allow large-scale professional orchestration assignments to be approached with confidence
Learning Outcomes

By the end of the module you should be able to:


  • Orchestrate skillfully and imaginatively within romantic and contemporary styles


  • Handle large ensembles with confidence


  • Utilise melody, harmony, rhythm, dynamics, timbre and style with a clear sense of expressive purpose
Module Content
  • Study of orchestral techniques of the mid 19th century and the late 20th century to the present day through an examination of relevant composers’ work


  • Contemporary instrumental writing, particularly for strings and percussion


  • Orchestrating a short romantic piano piece for a mid-19th century sized symphony orchestra


  • Orchestrating a short contemporary piano piece for a large contemporary music ensemble
Methods of Teaching/Learning
  • Ten one-hour sessions comprising lecture/demonstrations and practical work in groups


  • In-class discussions of student orchestrations with performances when class forces allow


  • Audio resources available on Ulearn
Selected Texts/Journals

Essential Reading :


Adler, Samuel, 2002: The Study of Orchestration, 3rd rev. ed. (W.W. Norton and Co).


Blatter, Alfred, 1981: Instrumentation/Orchestration (New York; London : Longman).


Brindle, Reginald Smith, 1970: Contemporary percussion ( London : Oxford University Press).



Recommended Reading :


Del Mar, Norman, 1981: Anatomy of the Orchestra ( London : Faber).


Jacob, Gordon, 1982: Orchestral Technique, 3rd ed. (London: Oxford University Press).


Rimsky-Korsakov, Nikolai, 1964: Principles of Orchestration ( Dover ).



Suggested Reading :


Piston, Walter, 1978: Orchestration ( London : Gollancz).


Macdonald, Hugh, trans. 2002: Berlioz’s Orchestration Treatise: a Translation and Commentary ( Cambridge , Cambridge University Press).


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