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DeBreved Orchestration InSensitive

I am pleased to announce that on October 25th, 2018, the inaugural DeBreved Orchestration InSensitive workshop/master class/clinic/seminar/corroboree will take place! Four people will be selected to spend a day with Tim, talking about orchestration, technology, and workflows with a focus on what it is like to orchestrate studio film scores in 2018. The Insensitive (workshop/master class/clinic/seminar/corroboree) attendees will be expected to already possess a working knowledge of the orchestra, and to have skills on notation programs and DAWs. Professional experience in the film world is not…
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Stating the obvious, why say it twice?

Over the years I have noticed that people have developed a habit of saying the same thing twice, often combining an articulation with a text description of said articulation. Some of these are standard conventions that I just think are a little silly, others are things I have seen people do without thinking. A lot of my approach has to do with thinking like a player and trusting them. A wavy line up to a note means to rip into the note, that is all…
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Parlare del niente, a rant about nothing

Niente means nothing! As such, I like to think of it as an effect, not a dynamic. It seems that a lot of people think players are computers and can really play at no volume. A good use of niente What happens when a player sees a note with a swell that starts with niente? It is impossible for many instruments of the orchestra to start from absolutely nothing, so instead they try to come in as softly as possible. If…
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A Neglected Relationship

One thing I find neglected in the major orchestration texts is the discussion of notation. Grammar is just as important a concern in music as it is in literature, and it is very important that we understand how notation works when stripped back to its essence. While the orchestra can be very forgiving when it comes to making sense of your notation, you will get a better performance, make your point more clearly, and save lots of valuable time and toner if you think about…
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Over-Notation Nation

Many people these days over-notate their music. I propose three theories for this. The first is that most people do not spend a lot of time working with a live orchestra so they do not have a lot of 'match practice'. When they do get their time with the players, they want to make sure they have everything spelled out, and so they often overdo it. Thinking they are doing the right thing, they clarify things that do not need clarifying and state things that…
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The Orchestral Default

In order to notate in a clear and concise manner, one has to understand how an orchestra will interpret any particular dynamic, rhythm or articulation. For instance, what happens if you give the violins a naked whole note and a piano dynamic marking? Even with a minimum of information, the orchestra will impart some life to that note; there is an organic trajectory to all phrases. Now what if you add an articulation or hairpins? How about at shorter rhythms? What will a pattern of…
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deBreved, the Tim Davies Orchestration Blog I have been thinking about writing a book about orchestration and notation for quite a while. The problem with this idea is time; it would be a long time before I got everything I wanted to say organized. Books are also an old medium, and do not allow multimedia and interaction. It then came to me that a blog format might be a better way to go, so here it is. The hardest part was coming up with a…
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