Techniques of Orchestration Part 1 | How To Orchestrate a Chord

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This episode will be the first in a long series on the Techniques of Orchestration. This episode features how John Williams orchestrated the first chord of Star Wars. I examine the sections in detain and explain which instruments transpose and which sound in a different octave than written.If you are interested in purchasing The Beato Book please with me at [email protected] you would like to support my video creation, you can hit the SUPPORT button on the sidebar of my main pageYouTube - Twitter -

John Williams Music Theory Orchestration Star Wars brass section film scoring four part writing how to write for films string section woodwind section Rick Beato

Aakash R
Why Bb instead of A#???
Aimee Nolte Music
What a great chord to learn on! Who doesn't love that first Bb chord?!!
Al Strange
Thanks Rick. Really enjoying your series!
Alejo Adrián Patiño
Alex Blake
Amazing content Rick! Love your videos, they 're so inspiring. Keep up this amazing work
André Paixão
great lesson. tx!
Arthur Maslo
You are a fascinating man. Thank you so much for sharing your vast insight.
Great job-Rick !- glad I stumbled on this. I was taught that 1 note is not a chord !! But you present, just 1 note- but duplicated.\n( 1 note in theory ) but in practice-as can be heard, the timbre sounds rich & embraces combined overtones created by each instrument, & sounds like a chord.That's v'useful to know . Thankyou very much.
Aylbdr Madison
Omg, I just gained an entire new respect for composers. I knew that most horns are tuned to B flat, but I had no idea you needed to cater to that madness and actually write a C instead of a B flat. Why is that anyway? Sounds ridiculous to me, it's like if we guitarists said you had to write C when you want us to play E, lols.
B Matt
I watched this last week, and just spent the past 4 hours laying out a 40-track GPO template in my DAW, and programming keyboards. As a \
Becky Day
Me: \
What’s the program he’s using on his computer?
Wich orchestration books with this academic knowledge do you recommend? Thanks
Cal Jennings
Have you done one on John Barry? I remember him being quite popular.
Charles Reynolds
Awesome! Read my mind lol! I have been studying instruments of the orchestra, choral writing and voice leading rules a lot recently and this breakdown of a single chord (especially involving transposing instruments) is what I've been really trying to understand well. Very appreciative!
Charmand Grimloch
Hi Rick, \nCool Video, though I have to say: You say what the orchestration is, but I miss overall the concept, why Williams did this and that. You know, it is like: OK, he puts on top of the Trumpets some Flutes, but why he does that? Well as a soft sweetener because of the silvery character of Flutes in that Range what softens out the trumpets a little to make it nicer for the ear. Just as an example what what needs to be explained imo..You never talked about the characteristics of the ranges of the instruments which are also crucial for the way how williams orchestrates, btw it was until Jurrassic Park Herbert W. Spencer as the arranger and orchestrator. Another point regarding your tonic doublings: \nIt is not because he only wants to have the sound of the B flat dominated, but because he knows about the overtone spectrum of the notes and the matter of fact that you have already playing a major third and Fifth in the overtone just by playing a Bflat Tonic. And by adding more thirds for example you add more unwanted dissonances in your major chord, because The thirds contain new overtones which are in particular in this case not anymore in the diatonic scale of bflat major. You concentrate here also about all the transpositions of instruments which are important for an orchestrator on paper, but not so much for people who are mostly working with samples. More of an importance would be the reason why Williams chose to orchestrate the chord, and that has to do with \
Daniel Manahan
Would love to see a lesson segment broken up into several parts if needed where you go over the different emotions and what instrument combinations help get those emotions, and what instruments rarely get used for them. the dos and don'ts of each emotion in orchestration. \n\nfor example I rarely hear a lot of percussion in Dark Evil sounding music. Much more strings and organ sounding instruments like woodwinds. \n\nAnd Brass in the aggressive war like scenes, fight or flight emotions.
David David
wow thank you so much for all of your videos, I always searched for someone like you. keep on :)
Donal Finn
WUUT?! There's a whole opening section to the theme before they hit the money shot on the one. Maybe you mention it later, but yeah, there's four bars of building music leading up to the one.
Emanuel Magalhães Fróes
Them another 15 minutes for the F Major chord...
Emanuele Stefanutti
Your videos are always very interesting... but it’s “PIATTI” not “PAITTI” for cymbals 😉
Eric Bard
Loved this! Really excited to see the other vids you put together in this series. I'm really curious about the evolution of the timeline of orchestration from say Mozart to Rimsky-Korsakov. I'd be curious to hear you unpack that, and talk a little bit about what we today walk away with from Rimsky-Korsakov's work. Also I'm curious if you have anything to say about the places the students of Rimsky-Korsakov took his work (such as Tchaikovsky and Stravinsky). Thanks!
Ethan Popp
Hey, Rick... Huge fan of yours, as a fellow producer, engineer, arranger and orchestrator. Not to mention the fact that my (almost) two-year-old has been using Nuryl since he was about five months in utero. I just wanted to reach out and issue a slight correction on what you've said above as well as in the content of this video. While John Williams is absolutely a master of many musical crafts, he didn't orchestrate this score. He sketched the arrangement via an eight-line reduction (showing an outline of the various sections of the orchestra) however the full score was orchestrated by Herbert Spencer, who also orchestrated the other films in the original trilogy, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, and the Indiana Jones series.
Florian Raepke
8:11 usually the first trumpet plays the Bb an octave above, or am I wrong. I'm a trumpet player myself and I could swear, it's a high C for trumpet.
Frank Graves
I learned quite a bit by watching your presentation. It was very good for me as I am a chord oriented pianist. Thanks for sharing!
Franty Ozora Wattilete
Thank you so much! Cheers from Jakarta, Indonesia!!!
Fred Scalliet
Instrument transposition is superfluous information here. I, anyway, find it unnecessarily confusing in this context. Trumpets play a Bb, fine. I don't care that a C is actually written on the sheet, because if I compose for trumpets, I'll probably do it in my DAW, where a Bb is just a Bb ;-). But I understand you are targetting orchestrators. Great video as always otherwise. Thank you.
How about the 7th on a major 7th? What kind of emphasis does that typically get?
Giovanni Mangiante
I understood... Bb
Henriko Magnifico
beato? More like \
Ian Mark
EXCELLENT! Thanks very much!
Great video
Jackie Composes
Really helpful video! However, this video really only contains 1 main idea. It would be helpful if at the beginning you just say \
Jason Bell
Great video! But I'm not sure why you added the whole complication of the transposing instruments, I feel like it just added unnecessary complication with the extra notes which I feel could confuse some people. But it's a small aspect, and doesn't change the fact that the decomposition by section was great!\nEdit: But I do understand why you did it, because if people do want to orchestrate, they do need to know this kind of stuff.
Jaxon W
Very helpful
Jeff Kelley
I just love this guy!
Jeff T
The movies make it hard for me to take John Williams seriously. I know the music is phenomenal, it just has \
Jefferson Sales
Is there a Techniques of Orchestration part 2?
John Redfern
I can't tell you the chord but williams did something similar on the opening shot of Close Encounters, I always feel it!
Johnnathon Brown
Was John Williams scoring for Bb Clarinets or were they A Clarinets?
José Luis Guerra Véliz
Such a good analisis! thanks for this!
Julian morgan
Every time i watch this guy i learn something
So, I have a question. When you say the flutes are playing octave Bb, does that mean they are an octave apart from each other or maybe an octave above the Bb that's closest to middle C or am I way off base? Thanks to anyone who can explain this to me.
Leslie Schwartz
Wow Rick great into to orchestration!
Liambrownpiano productions
you are my dream teacher there is no opportunity for learning orchestration in my collage which is really annoying because I am scoring a musical and scoring and orchestrating isn't easy and I've learned a lot from you already thankyou.
Lights & Motion
This is great. I´ve always wondered how you properly orchestrate the bottom end of a big string chord. For example, I´ve heard that the basses follows the cello one octave below, playing the root. But do all the cellos play the same note, or do you employ divisi, so that half the cellos are playing the root, while the other half plays the fifth, in order to make it sound fuller. And by extension, do you usually separate the violas so that they in turn might play divisi one octave above, perhaps introducing some thirds? If you use a program like symphobia you can just play with the ensemble patches, but with a VST like LA Scoring Strings you have the option of gaining real control in the divisi sections of the strings, and I would be interested to know how that is usually done. I think many people would appreciate a video on that, since I bet many lack the understanding of what actually goes on if you go into the details. Just Like Thomas Newman and his beautiful spread triad arrangements in the bottom - how is that orchestrated? Sorry that it turned into a really long message, but these videos of yours have really gotten my analytical approach going =) Thnx a bunch Rick!
Luke Johnson
Do you have a starting point for me to learn my musical Theory so I can start studying Harmony? I'm lost and drowning! haha! You have sop many videos I just don't know where to begin with them.
Manos Protonotarios
What is the software and where are the samples from ? They sound very realistic. French horns and trumpets playing together do not play one note but two (volume goes down and up again); how can you do it if samples are of fixed duration? Same with violas. Is there a way to control this timing?
Matthew Levin
Absolutely love the way you break this down, Rick. You make it super easy to understand, even for someone who's been playing music a long time like myself lol.
Max Well
Excellent now I'm an expert B flat producer.
Mike Albanese
Cant spell Bravo Beato without a B flat. What a great teacher thank you.
Is there a good source or list of transposing instruments?
Nick Morgan
Great video, thank you for sharing!
Nick Rossi
I absolutely cannot believe the incredible amount of valuable information you provide.
Oren Haim
Beautiful Neves really close to your chair.\nThese knobs are going to break so good one day :)
Thank you! This is such helpful knowledge youve given me!
Rachid Ajewher
but why transposing instruments in a vst when played in a midi keyborad are in concert pitch ?
Randy Clower
Just came across your channel today. Subscribed! Love your channel great teaching!
Rem Wind
Awesome! So glad I found this
Ron Galloway
John Williams played piano for Henry Mancini. That's him on Peter Gunn.
Sebastian Lis Music
awesome please do more! :)
Shashank Chauhan
Thanks so much fo this. Much appreciated 🙏
Slim Yelow
The 20th FOX theme ends with accentuated orchestration on F which leads to Star Wars' Bb.
thx Rick! lets see how this will sound on my composition im working on since a while.
Perhaps you could do a video on the Guitar orchestration of Brian May,his work on the early Queen albums was quite amazing.
There is actually a 5 or so second break between the 20th FOX theme and the Fanfare opening. \
I'm going to watch all these, Rick Beato is a great guy for creating so much educational stuff - stuff that hits the spot ;-)
Tom Anderson
It might take a long time to get through this whole song at this pace. :-P The music on that album is amazing; it really sounds three dimensional.
Tosa Coem
I love your videos but you could’ve saved a lot of time just say the woodwinds are all playing B flat.
I want to orchestrate an orgasm
Vauntt's Fine Art
Absolutely amazing! Thank you very much!
A long time ago in a galaxy far away is silent \n\nThen you get smacked in the face with triumphant Bb's!\n\n\nThat is so awesome never thought about the key of the opening theme of 20th century fox intro coinciding with opening chord
Vinnie Gerards
Damnnn this is very different than making 8 bar loops turning into hiphop beats...... i hope i can do this type music someday to
Woody Scales
Nice video! What's that software you're using?
World's Okay-est Person
When I play the Trumpet's P5 major triad of F against the Bb major chord it sounds really bad. Why does it sound so bad when it sounds fine on your side. I've tried this with other P5 and it always sounds bad. How do I fix it?
The first score to Star Wars was composed and conducted by John Williams and orchestrated by Herbert Spencer (who orchestrated all three films of the Original Trilogy).
Great stuff (but \
What is your studio setup; what gear do you use?
boudjouraf talal
thank you Rick :)
John Williams did not orchestrate this. Herb Spencer did.
For as long as I can remember, this whole business off an instrument sounding a different note than what they play reminds me of Spinal Tap's amps that go to 11. it sounds like a Bb, has the same frequency as a Bb, so why do they not call it what it is?
Your brilliant Dylan could tell you: No, the timpani doesn’t sound great—it’s badly out of tune! Other than that, this is a nice first intro. to symphonic orchestration as it is.
Another great one, Rick!
Hey Rick, you’re thoughts on Frank Zappa and his orchestral works? He was self taught. It seems unimaginable.
this is awesome!
RIP Space bar!
I'm always amazed, not as much by how hard composing is as far as coming up with pieces, but how long it takes to write things to sheet music. It'd take quite a bit of time to get just to get a few minutes of score in, but for a whole 3 hour movie? It's insane.
mats persson
hi rick seen some of your videos, fantastic stuff and very inspiring for all people that loves music
thank you very much!!! awesome video! looking forward for more like this!! :D
What program for your digital orchestra do you use?
Thanks, Rick! I advise beginners to obtain a SATB + piano arrangement of any particular piece, and use that - perhaps with some MIDI instruments - to experiment with voice (instrument)  assignments. This can provide instant feedback as to how their orchestration philosophy delivers the desired effect.
shirley wilson
Isn't the timpani playing an F...not B flat? or am I hearing wrong?
It's full of bees! Flat bees!
Guys you can’t learn orchestration on YouTube. Take a class...
But now the question is why did Alfred Newman use a B flat tonality...
Георгий Быков
Thank you very much. Finaly I found this lesson, it really helps!