Contemporary Orchestration: A Practical Guide to Instruments, Ensembles, and Musicians, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Contemporary Orchestration

A Practical Guide to Instruments, Ensembles, and Musicians, 1st Edition

By R.J. Miller


484 pages

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Paperback: 9780415741910
pub: 2014-12-12
Hardback: 9780415741903
pub: 2015-01-05
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315815008
pub: 2014-12-17
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Contemporary Orchestration: A Practical Guide to Instruments, Ensembles, and Musicians teaches students how to orchestrate for a wide variety of instruments, ensembles, and genres, while preparing them for various real-world professional settings ranging from the concert hall to the recording studio. Unlike most orchestration texts, it includes coverage of contemporary instruments and ensembles alongside traditional orchestra and chamber ensembles.


  • Practical considerations: Practical suggestions for choosing a work to orchestrate, and what to avoid when writing for each instrument.
  • Pedagogical features
    • In the Profession: Professional courtesies, considerations and expectations.
    • Building the Score: Step-by-step construction of an orchestration.
    • Scoring Examples: Multiple scoring examples for each instrument.
    • Exercises: Analyzing, problem solving, and creating orchestration solutions.

  • Critical Thinking: Alternate approaches and solutions.

Table of Contents

1. Preliminary Considerations 2. Scores, Parts and Notation 3. Practical Problem Solving (A step-by-step guide through an analysis with a practical scoring solution) 4. The Violin Family 5. The Brass Family 6. The Woodwind Family 7. The Percussion Family 8. Voices 9. Harp 10. Guitar 11. Scoring for Orchestral Tutti 12. Overview of the Wind Ensemble/Concert Band Tutti 13. Scoring for Musical Theater 14. Instrument Substitution 15. Recommended Listening and Analysis 16. Parting Thoughts

About the Author


RJ Miller has composed, orchestrated, arranged, conducted, and/or produced recordings with the London Philharmonic and the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, and for such films as the digital re-release of the original The Last of the Mohicans and The Lost World. His credits appear on over 300 CDs, videos, film and television productions. His courses at the Metropolitan State University of Denver include Arranging and Orchestration, Arranging for Music Educators, and Scoring for Film and Television.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
MUSIC / General