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LuIzA
02-26-2010, 06:26 PM
So I've been toying for ages with the idea of doing a 1950's Big Band swing style song or even all out orchestral. While I can handle a few supporting small string section parts for some songs, I don't know half a crap about arranging brass and woodwind sections.. or even how the whole big band thing works with it's arrangements.

I really wanna learn more about that, does anyone know of sheet music, books or even just advice you could give me when it comes to these styles?

thanks in advance.

dannthr
02-26-2010, 09:40 PM
So I've been toying for ages with the idea of doing a 1950's Big Band swing style song or even all out orchestral. While I can handle a few supporting small string section parts for some songs, I don't know half a crap about arranging brass and woodwind sections.. or even how the whole big band thing works with it's arrangements.

I really wanna learn more about that, does anyone know of sheet music, books or even just advice you could give me when it comes to these styles?

thanks in advance.


Hm, I might not be as helpful as you'd like. I've tooled around with some Jazz theory books when I was first starting out playing piano in high school, but quite frankly, you can read 'til your eyes bleed and it won't necessarily teach you what you need to know.

My recommendation, man, is to hit up some Jazz standards books, anything you read bout 20th century orchestration will apply nicely in Jazz or Jazz-fusion contexts, so really all you need to get used to is the Jazz harmonies.

Then watch some youtube videos of 40s/50s big bands--seriously.

LuIzA
02-27-2010, 03:07 AM
Then watch some youtube videos of 40s/50s big bands--seriously.

yes, I have done that, but that doesn't really help when it comes to arranging stuff either. it's not the same as watching videos of rock bands to learn how to play guitar.

dannthr
02-27-2010, 06:05 PM
yes, I have done that, but that doesn't really help when it comes to arranging stuff either. it's not the same as watching videos of rock bands to learn how to play guitar.

Being able to listen to a piece and break down its parts in an analytical light is highly important.

Whether you're listening to a 4 piece rock-band or an 80 piece orchestra, you need to be able to dissect the music by listening to it.

I suggested watching it to help you cue in on which instruments are doing what when.

EC2151
02-27-2010, 06:15 PM
Yeah, I was going to suggest listening to a lot of Duke Ellington, or Count Basie and his band, and seeing what those two guys do, considering for the most part they are the best of the best when it comes to big bands.

LuIzA
02-27-2010, 09:23 PM
Being able to listen to a piece and break down its parts in an analytical light is highly important.

Whether you're listening to a 4 piece rock-band or an 80 piece orchestra, you need to be able to dissect the music by listening to it.

I suggested watching it to help you cue in on which instruments are doing what when.

yes, that's true. but the more (unfamiliar) instruments you have, the harder that'll be.

The Legendary Zoltan
02-27-2010, 09:31 PM
How about looking for a big band midi and opening it in a DAW program to see what they did?

LuIzA
02-28-2010, 12:50 AM
that would be wonderful. know of any?

Thoraxes
03-05-2010, 02:46 AM
If I had to reccomend a book, I'd suggest Samuel Adler's book "The Study of Orchestration".

It's the book I currently use to reference while composing for ensembles.

Another good one is by Alfred Blatter too.

Kidd Cabbage
03-05-2010, 04:31 AM
I've got the Adler book, and this is good advice. However, before you need to know about orchestration, you gotta know about the composition aspect.

The Legendary Zoltan
03-08-2010, 11:38 AM
http://tv-timewarp.co.uk/midi_files/Walter%20Murphy%20-%20Family%20guy%20theme%20song.mid

there's the Family Guy opening theme song. Does that count as big band music?