ORCHESTRATING the LINE 3

This course is an in-depth study of textural, colouristic writing for orchestra. Through a high level of detail and detailed steps, OTL 3 is the road-map to master every element of textures, gestures and runs in order to write and use them like the great composers.

112 STUDENTS ENROLLED

Using the orchestra as colour, shape and movement like the great composers is one of the most challenging, underused and misunderstood part of writing for orchestra.

Moving beyond thinking in terms of lines, harmony and rhythmic patterns is a huge stumbling point for most if not all composers and orchestrators.

How do you write textures, gestures and runs like Dukas, Debussy, Holst and John Williams? Is there a key, a series of steps, a way of thinking?

This is the puzzle that OTL 3 solves, allowing you to think of the orchestra as colour, shape, movement and effect, all with control and understanding, and in a melodic context.


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...the third chapter in his wonderful series adds a wealth of tricks and techniques. From Respighi to Debussy, Alain’s grasp of the details is thoroughly expounded in this course. This is really an essential course for anybody with a desire to emulate classic orchestration.

Ed Buller

WHAT IS OTL 3?

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OTL 3 is the continuation of the previous two courses
and has the same main goal: Orchestrating the Line. Here we add the final, more advanced layer and we build and make use of the concepts presented in the first two courses.

It is highly recommended that you take OTL 1 and 2 first before embarking on this one as they are designed in progressive order.

Like the other two course, OTL 3 is NOT a basic orchestration course but rather designed to be taken once you have knowledge of instrumental registers, techniques and orchestral voicings as a way to bring all of that together in writing like the greats.

The OTL courses are the key to bringing it all together.

THE ROAD TO OTL 3

What I share in OTL 3 is the result of 20+ years of study and professional work.

I studied enormously to get into the mind of the great composers to understand what they did, where and why, so that I could assimilate it for myself and put it into my own writing.

I wanted to write the type of organic, colourful orchestrations I admired in my favourite composers, but not simply by imitating them.

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I wanted to understand the basic concepts and functions
so that I could apply them in my own music in any way I chose.

It took a long time, but I got there and it was the key to where I wanted to go musically.

I then started sharing this with my students with amazing, transformative results.

This is how OTL 1, 2 and now 3 came to be.

Alain once again demonstrates he has a wealth of knowledge to pass down and he does so in a clear, well organised manner

Simon Hanna

INDIVIDUAL ELEMENTS

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Everything in OTL 3 course is broken down into individual elements
, each explained with a high degree of detail so that you gain full understanding and control over each element in any musical scenario.

Then we progressively put them back together, cumulatively putting bigger and bigger textures together so you are clear at every step what, why and how they are put together.

By working with this nuts and bolts approach you gain an understanding that then allows you to not only take the many writing formulas presented, but create your own.

ON-SCREEN WRITING

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All elements are presented through on-screen, hand-written examples.
This methodology allows you to follow the thought process much better, improves understanding and ability to then go and apply.

Longer written examples also take us through the process of applying the concepts in a melodic context with detailed commentary by a working composer.

CLEAR STEPS TO APPLY

The ScoreClub credo is “apply, apply, apply”! So for this course clear steps are given for every technique, where and when to use them and also practice steps so you start working right away! You will have the tools to transform your writing, all you have to do is do the work.

COLOUR FIRST

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It makes sense that, when writing orchestral colours, we should consider very closely the effect and metaphor for every element, both individually and in combination. This is a cornerstone of this course and what makes the techniques become tools.

IT’S ABOUT THE FUNCTION

The function of each element is considered so you understand the WHY behind the technique. This crucial part of the course’s pedagogy means you don’t just see a technique, but also a way to understand how to place it in your music, right away.

PLACEMENT OF ELEMENTS

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An important aspect of this course is the placement of the textures, gestures and runs on the “scoring stage” as seen in OTL 2.

Writing a texture is one thing, but using it in a melodic context so you still have clarity in your orchestration and everything works when you are on the recording stage, well, that’s another, and OTL 3 covers that.

TONAL TEXTURES ONLY

In this course we support the melodic line, as the title suggests. So we do not cover atonal or aleatoric textures,  but rather focus on  textures in a diatonic context. (A few examples are atonal though…)

However, OTL 3 course covers core concepts that are at the essence of textural writing and can be immediately applied to any type of harmonic colour chosen.

BUILDS ON OTL 1 and 2

OTL 3 builds on the concepts seen in the previous two courses.

Many new elements presented here are given the OTL 1 and 2 treatment and also add to what we saw previously, everything linking neatly together to create a complete orchestral writing method.

EXAMPLES GALORE

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There are well over 100 audio clips
for the on-screen written examples, not to mention a couple of hours of highly detailed score study that builds on the concepts presented.

Score reductions are sometimes given to reach extra clarity and understanding of the concepts.

SCORECLUB FEATURES

  • Lifetime access to the course and any future updates
  • Course forum to ask your questions
  • Private student dashboard

SUGGESTED PRE-REQUISITES

OTL 3 is designed for composers intermediate and above.

  • Music rudiments
  • Knowledge of notation and reading
  • Orchestration textbook or course (OTL 3 is not a basic orchestration course)
  • OTL 1 and 2: It is highly recommended to go through OTL 1 and 2 as this third course builds on and makes use of techniques and concepts from the previous ones.

IN CLOSING

OTL 3 is a thorough and effective method to writing textures, gestures and runs like the greats. It is the type of course I wish I had when I started out, so here it is! All the best and I look forward to seeing you in the ScoreClub forum!

Course Curriculum

INTRODUCTION
1: INTRODUCTION & BASIC CONCEPTS 00:08:07
TEXTURE
2: TEXTURAL ELEMENT: THE TRILL 00:26:45
3: PLACEMENT & USAGE OF TRILL TEXTURES 00:36:55
4: TRILL TEXTURES SCORE STUDY 00:32:52
5: WRITING CYCLICAL TEXTURES 00:25:10
6: RUN CYCLE TEXTURES: SCORE STUDY 00:34:19
7: TEXTURAL ELEMENT: HELD NOTES 00:34:46
8: SCORE STUDY: TEXTURAL HELD TONES 00:23:10
RUNS
9: WRITING ORCHESTRAL RUNS 00:28:26
10: PLACEMENT AND FUNCTION OF RUNS 00:22:43
11: ORCHESTRAL RUNS SCORE STUDY 00:31:01
GESTURES
12: GESTURES PART I 00:32:36
13: GESTURES PART II 00:20:49
14: GESTURES PART III 00:29:43

Course Reviews

5

5
3 ratings
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  1. Phenomenal...

    5

    Very deep orchestral lessons. A lot of tips and tricks. Full of informations.
    I am sure that will improve my writing. Alain is a great teacher and
    OTL3 is great!

  2. 5

    I didn’t hesitate to purchase this and for good reason: Alain once again demonstrates he has a wealth of knowledge to pass down and he does so in a clear, well organised manner

  3. Essential

    5

    Teaching orchestration for many seems not much more than assigning roles to individual or collective instruments. Thankfully Alain thinks differently and the third chapter in his wonderful series adds a wealth of tricks and techniques. From Respighi to Debussy, Alain’s grasp of the details is thoroughly expounded in this course. As before his wonderful teaching style clearly lays out the idea, the execution, and examples. This is really an essential course for anybody with a desire to emulate classic orchestration.

About Alain Mayrand

Alain is a working composer, orchestrator, conductor and orchestrator. His credits include "Elysium", "Ender's Game" and more.

Read more about Alain on the About Page

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