Writing for Strings


The course will meet synchronously on February 4, 5, 11 and 12, 2023, 10 am to 12 pm EST

Michael Patterson, a Grammy and Emmy Award-winning composer, arranger, orchestrator, and educator, assisted by members of world-class string quartets, presents an intensive four-day workshop that focuses on scoring for string quartets, string quintets, and string orchestras.

The workshop will also address the specific techniques and exercises available which can enhance the composer’s approach to melody writing, uses of harmony, rhythmic variety and form. Each session will consist of score analysis, demos, and in-depth discussion of techniques that produce effective orchestrations for film, jazz, and concert music.

Payment can be made at https://neo-academy.us/purchase?product_id=4498152

Day 1 (February 4) 

Techniques and Materials. Examples of jazz, classical, and film string quartet and quintet writing. Project assignment and guidelines for score and part preparation. Analysis of string quartet scores.

Day 2 (February 5)

Arranging/ Orchestration for the large string orchestra. Standards, pop songs, and concert works. Various string orchestra configurations. Violin, live demo of basic string bowings, double stops, open strings, vibrato, legato, non-legato, staccato, accents, effects of color, pizzicato, harmonics, artificial harmonics, trills, tremolo, mutes, scordatura, and additional techniques. Analysis of various string quartet and string orchestra scores.

Day 3 (February 11)

Notes on conducting and collaborating with string quartet and string orchestra. Repertoire Demo #2 with Cello or Bass. Discussion of practical techniques and idiomatic writing. Score review of participants' arrangements/compositions. Analysis of various string quartet and string orchestra scores. More in-depth discussion of publishing and making your scores and parts session ready.

Day 4 (February 12)

Review your projects and comments.

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