Composition Activity Resources
Links to resources (project descriptions, scores, recordings, videos, etc.) used for various composing, analysis and listening activities will be posted on this page.
Fantasy On An Old English Air, by Scott Watson (Shawnee Press/Hal Leonard, Grade 4)
Night Journey (Wingert-Jones, Grade 4) - A "the making of" story for this unique piece, based on Theodore Roethke's poem.
Crafting the Vertical from the Horizontal
The Orchestra: A Users Manual - Excellent online orchestration resource from composer/musicologist Andrew Hugill. Lots of information here.
Instrument Ranges handout - Brief/simple. This is no substitute for an orchestration book or website!
Alfred Music (publisher) School Band & Orchestra Parameters - Instrumentation, ranges and more regarding Alfred Music's graded band and orchestra (string and full) series.
Pedal Point Explained, with Examples - Music theory's gift to composers at all levels!
Cantus Firmus in the 20th-Century - Examples of how this centuries-old technique is still being used!
Nun Danket Alle by Karg-Elert
Passacaglia (Homage on B-A-C-H) by Ron Nelson
Sonata Allegro Form - Analysis of Franz Josef Haydn's Piano Sonata No. 37 in D Major, movement 1.
Musical Offering, by J.S. Bach - A fascinating tale!
The Bad Boys of Classical Music - A fun, and hopefully poignant, podcast episode cataloguing a rogues gallery of debauched composers.
"Ballet of the Chicks Hatching in Their Shells," from Pictures at an Exhibition, by Modest Mussorgsky
FULL SCORE (for Pictures at an Exhibition)
A look at some deft orchestrations of music originally written for piano. Most of these orchestrations are by the composer.
Pictures at an Exhibition, Mussorgsky (see above)
"Nimrod," from Enigma Variations, Elgar (arr. Elgar, also below) - This folder includes piano and orchestral scores.
Le Tombeau de Couperin, Maurice Ravel (arr. Ravel) - The wikipedia article on this piece has good background information and recordings of the original piano suite movements. HERE'S the original piano version.
Gabriel Faure, Pavane (Op. 50) - PDF orchestra score; orchestra video performance; Faure plays Pavane (piano roll!)
JOHN WILLIAMS - Bach of Our Time and Master Orchestrator!
MUSIC from JAWS: The Shark Theme • Out to Sea/Shark Cage Fugue •
Scene from "Narnia"
After viewing this scene from The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005, with music by Harry Gregson-Williams), discuss ways the music (i.e. tempo, scale/mode, texture, timbre/orchestration, form, compositional devices, etc.) contributes to the drama/narrative presented in the film.