A short orchestral piece

Hi everyone! Here is a short orchestral piece that was written a couple of years ago. It was originally created on Cubase with a more futuristic synthesizer feel to it. Ever since I found Musescore I have wanted to revisit the theme and write it for a full orchestra. I have tweaked it numerous times and it seems it will take a while until I am fully satisfied with it. Melodywise the piece is acceptable but my main issue now is the playability. I am currently reading Rimsky-Korsakov's book about orchestration (and two more books are soon to arrive by mail) but I decided to take a shortcut and ask the fellow forumers for improvement tips.

Are the fast woodwind passages playable? What about the horn glissandi in the first two measures? If not, could trombones do that kind of a long slide? Are the glissandi in the string section (measures 1-3) too vague expressions or should I replace them with more accurate passages? (They are remnants from that day when I tried the glissando in Musescore for the first time and thought "Now, this is a cool sound. Let's put that here, there and there. Done!"). 

Any feedback is most welcome! Especially the kind that helps me to understand better orchestration and instrumentation. 

The score with audio:


The original Cubase-version:


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  • Nice little piece. In general woodwinds can play fast runs, but having noodled on flute I wasn't sure about the trill at the top of your run. However, I pulled out my flute and it works quite easily, so you're good there. BTW, do you want a trill between Eb and F?

  • You might want to compare the version in Musescore to the Cubase version. I hear a lot of dissonance that isn't there in the Cubase version. Or Musescore just sounds awful.

  • Steve: thank you for the feedback and confirming the flute part. I am not 100% set about the trills yet. The Musescore default on trill-symbol is the next note on the scale.

    Rowy: thank you for commenting. Back when I created the original version I was afraid of any dissonance and just tried to emulate modern film music with heavy percussion, brass and a lot of reverb. I only wanted it to sound "cool and epic", not necessarily playable. Now that I have been fascinated on composing real players there might be an issue of "too much going on" at the moment. I am eager to give everyone an interesting line to play, especially in a short theme like this. There is dissonance in the new version but not all of it is unintentional. The difference of the two versions is absolutely intentional. Musescore sound can be changed with soundfonts but it is not my main concern yet.

    Dave: thank you very much for your long and insightful reply!

    I do like the original version as well. When I am really finished with the MuseScore version I might import the MIDI to Cubase and make combination of the both versions.

    I will fix the horns and try it as you suggested. Starting from unison and arriving in different notes is intentional but I admit it was an experimental last addition before posting the score here. I will swap the high/low parts you mentioned, it's a thing I should have done earlier but I considered a less important. Valuable information, thank you!

    I think I got the reminder of dovetailing from your Brandenburg State Orchestra thread (if I remember correctly). Good to know about the strings, I will settle down with those for the moment.

    Actually I feel a bit stupid now because I have been struggling with the current default orchestra layout. I think I originally thought that I want to make it sound good without any additional instrument parts. I did not want to break the default but now I am going to do that and re-orchestrate the main theme.

    The dynamics are inconsistent mostly due to the playback. It's faster to change the volume of a part by using the dynamics mark instead of opening the mixer panel. I will fix those in the last phase. The same with staccatos in brass, they sound (Musescore playback) better in that part but I will remove them if it affects the real life timbre. I definitely need more score reading practice so I can connect the written and the heard better. I will start with your scores.

    Again, thank you for your great reply. Looking forward to update the score.

  • Do you have a score of the Cubase version, Lasse?

  • Rowy, the old version only exists as a Cubase project file. I could export the MIDI tracks (there are only a few) to MuseScore and make a readable score. But maybe later after I am done finishing this current version.

    Dave, my apologies for leaving out important context. Like Bob guessed, I was talking about MuseScore's default template. Nice to hear about your preferences though, sounds something what I would aim for as well. Your reminder about adding instruments to the line-up gave me a boost of motivation to go meticulously through the program settings (page layout, hairpin positions, everything). Surprisingly I started to see all that once-jargon in different light. I update the score in a couple of days and will probably leave the current version online for a while for comparison. Thank you for the new links as well. I'll enjoy those tonight with a few cups of coffee.

    Bob, thank you. Currently I am using MuseScore Orchestra GM (sf2). However the online playback (automatically generated on upload) comes from the default soundfont. When I get the score improved I will update the sound source.

  • Thumbs up! It's big and epic. I just listened to several other tracks from your soundcloud and you're incredibly talented. Frozen Express (Final) is lovely!

  • Bob, I am fairly sure I have tried SSO at some point earlier but I think it was too frustrating (to me) to change the instruments in the mixer panel. Tried it again and noticed the big difference. I might use it with the "final mix". 

    Thank you very much, Carlo! I am humbled by your words.

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