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Instrumentation (314-1-1)


Jay Alan Yim
Office Hours: By appointment

Meeting Info

RCMA Lower Level 115: Tues, Thurs 12:30PM - 1:50PM

Overview of class

The essential aim of the three-quarter orchestration sequence is to develop a practical familiarity with all of the standard orchestral instruments (and perhaps a sampling of the non-standard ones...). Topics to be addressed during the sequence will include: families of instruments, individual ranges and transpositions, idiomatic technical considerations, timbral parameters and their relationship to dynamics, transcription techniques, spatialization, texture, and extended techniques. Orchestration will be approached from a variety of perspectives: practical, historical, and structural.

Although each quarter will be taught by a different member of the composition faculty, the courses are intended to be taken in sequence. Therefore 314-1 is a prerequisite to taking 314-2, and both are prerequisites to taking 314-3 in the spring.

During the first quarter, we will focus primarily on the characteristics of solo instruments belonging to one or another instrumental choir. Combinations of instrumental forces will follow later in the sequence, in winter and spring quarters. Coursework will take the form of readings from the text, critical listening, score study/analysis, writing projects, and short quizzes. These quizzes will pertain to subjects such as notational issues, instrumental ranges, definition of terms (Italian, French, German, English), transposition, et cetera. Sometimes they will be announced ahead of time. In addition to the textbook, you will need a reliable means of notation, parameters of which will be discussed at the outset of the course.

Class Materials (Required)

No textbook required.