I recently completed a new symphony but as few on this forum will want to listen to it, I thought instead I would focus on a work which I wrote around last Christmas. The "Ancient Instruments" in question are from VSL Historical Instruments collection and include things like a glass harmonica which are not, unfortunately, available to your average local orchestra but I had fun making this and it seems that others have also generally enjoyed it. It can be found at the link below


You need to be a member of Composers' Forum to add comments!

Join Composers' Forum

Email me when people reply –


  • Ancient instruments with some modern flavors, a great idea David, I enjoyed it. I think it deserves more attention here.  Some of these instruments are not obvious, I don't know if you want to post a score but maybe you could mention some of what you used here? Thanks for posting.

    • Hi Ingo -thanks for listening. I'm attaching a score here so folk can get a better idea. The actual instruments used can be seen on the first page of the score. There is a standard baroque oboe which doubles with an oboe da caccia. The first movement is called "techno" as it is based on a very early electronic composition with the glass harmonica often following the pad which was in the original. The second movement main theme came to me in a dream from which I was woken by our dog, Ruby and so it named "romanza rubyana". More information about the instruments can be got below:
      01 - Full score - concertino for piano and ancient instruments.pdf


      • Incidentally, I am in the process of gradually updating my Reelcrafter files with improved reverb acoustic and have just done this one


        • Hi David, thanks for the score, it's a big help. If you have time and don't mind can you answer a couple of questions?  Can you tell us what reverb you are using now?

          Also on another thread you mention your work process using Dorico with expression maps. I'm currently composing on Sibelius and then exporting a midi file to a DAW (Reaper) where I use VSL instruments (VI library) as plugins. I then insert keyswitches and draw velocity curves in Reaper's midi editor. This is not particulary difficult and I feel my results are now better than what I got with NotePerformer but it is time consuming.

          My question is: Can Dorico with an expression map get me these same results more easily, and where can I get an expression map from?


          • Expression Maps in Dorico are the equivalent of soundsets in Sibelius so are primarily designed to ensure the correct patch selection and dynamic controllers but have a few extra tricks up their sleeve like automatic patch selection from note length which can be very useful with VSL in particular. Fine tuning of dynamics you'd do in the Key Editor by either drawing lines or simply freehand points which you can curve if you like. A complete set of quite sophisticated VI presets has been made by Symphonic Riot if you plan to stay with VI -- for Synchron(ized) libraries, VSL have done free ones for some libraries and I've created my own for all the ones I use which of course I'm happy to share.

            I'm now using Altiverb reverb -- the granddaddy of all and still the best of everything I've tried but there are alternatives at a lower price in terms of convolution reverb such as Eastwest "Spaces" or Liquidsonics "Reverberate" which was my previous choice.

This reply was deleted.