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  • Arranging by Examples

    The Practical Guide to

    Jazz and Pop Orchestra Arranging

    Third Edition

    Frans Absil

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    14

  • Colophon

    This e-book is a practical guide to arranging for jazz and popular music orches- tra.

    This document has been created with the public domain LATEX computer type- setting program. Diagrams were created using the LATEX picture environ- ment and the PSTricks package.

    Musical examples were created using the MakeMusic Finale 2011 music nota- tion software. Score examples were imported into the document as Encapsu- lated Postscript (EPS) files, using the graphicx package. All photographs by the author.

    The navigation links (printed in blue) in the Adobe Acrobat Reader file (the pdf-file) were created using the hyperref package from the LATEX distribu- tion.

    Free demo/trial version: This incomplete demo/trial version e-book is offered free of charge. Order and buy the full version of this music analysis E-book. See the website for payment instructions.

    Arranging by Examples: The Practical Guide to Jazz and Pop Orchestra Arranging, Third Edition, Frans Absil c©2005-2014 F.G.J. Absil, the Netherlands.

    URL Website: http://www.fransabsil.nl

    All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by

    any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or any information storage

    and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the Author.

    ii

  • Contents

    List of Figures vii

    List of Tables xi

    Preface xiii

    I Preparations 1

    1 Introduction 3

    1.1 What you will find in this book . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

    1.1.1 Arranging Techniques . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

    1.1.2 The approach: examples discussed in detail . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

    1.1.3 Notation in the book . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

    1.1.4 Assembling the arrangement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

    1.2 What you will not find in this book . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

    1.2.1 No MIDI files available . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

    1.3 Ready to get hands dirty? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

    2 Instrumentation 7

    2.1 The range of musical instruments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

    2.2 Instrument groups . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

    2.3 Orchestra sections and balance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

    2.3.1 Rhythm section . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

    2.3.2 Saxophones . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

    2.3.3 Woodwinds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15

    2.3.4 Brass . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16

    2.3.5 Strings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20

    2.3.6 Percussion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24

    2.3.7 Unfamiliar acoustic instruments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25

    2.3.8 Electronic instruments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27

    2.4 The score . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28

    2.4.1 Vertical staff order . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29

    2.4.2 Various forms of the score . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29

    2.4.3 Optimize the score for performance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32

    2.5 Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34

    iii

  • CONTENTS

    II Techniques 35

    3 Sectional harmony in four parts 37

    3.1 Basic rules . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37

    3.2 Lead with chordal tones . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39

    3.2.1 The danger of repeated notes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39

    3.2.2 Prevent repeated notes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 3.3 Harmonizing non-chordal tones . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42

    3.3.1 Diminished and secondary dominant chords . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42

    3.3.2 Rhythmic aspects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43

    3.3.3 Leading tone chords . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45

    3.3.4 Substitute chords . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46

    3.3.5 Exact parallel chords . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50

    3.3.6 Connecting minor 7th chords . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51

    3.3.7 Subdominant chords . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55

    3.4 Extensions to four-part sectional harmony . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57 3.4.1 Sequence of similar structures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57

    3.4.2 Sequences of diatonic parallel structures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57

    3.4.3 The ‘drop 2’ voicing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59

    3.4.4 Repeated notes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63

    3.4.5 Extended and altered dominant chords . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66

    4 Sectional harmony in five parts 73

    4.1 Extended four-part sectional harmony . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73

    4.2 Sectional harmony in 4ths . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77

    5 Ensemble techniques 83

    5.1 Fundamental aspects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 83

    5.2 Four-part ensemble technique . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 84

    5.2.1 Full big band . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 86 5.2.2 Reduced big band . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 88

    5.2.3 Intermediate size band . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 91

    5.2.4 Combining trombones and saxophones . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 92

    5.3 Brass voicing for extended chords . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 94

    5.3.1 Dominant seventh bitonal voicings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 95

    5.4 Percussive voicing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 95

    5.4.1 Examples of percussive brass voicings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 96

    5.4.2 Examples of ensemble voicings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 102 5.5 Tutti voicings for concert band and studio orchestra . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 106

    6 Special techniques 107

    6.1 Bell chords . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 107

    6.2 Harmonization with symmetrically distributed roots . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 108

    6.3 Intermediate leading tone harmonization . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 114

    6.4 Chromatic stepwise motion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 116

    6.5 Diatonic and exact parallel chord motion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 118

    6.6 Variable density . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 121

    iv

  • CONTENTS

    6.7 Pedal point . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 122

    6.8 Classical music techniques . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 124

    7 Woodwind voicing 127

    7.1 Voicing multiple instrument groups in a woodwind section . . . . . . . . . . . 127

    7.2 Homogeneous and heterogeneous woodwind combinations . . . . . . . . . . 130

    7.3 Woodwind voicing examples . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 134

    8 String section voicing 137

    8.1 The size of the string section in an orchestra . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 137

    8.2 Unisono strings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 139

    8.3 Sustained harmonic backgrounds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 142

    8.4 Create motion in the string parts . . . . . .