Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2023

Course Description

OVERALL LEARNING GOALS for ORCHESTRATION The intention of this course is to provide specific and usable knowledge to the undergraduate DePauw University music major (BM, BME, BMA) about writing for the instruments found in the modern symphony orchestra. The instructional frame of reference is to approach each instrument from its individual idiomatic usage, then family grouping usage (strings, woodwinds, brass, percussion), and finally full-orchestra contigurations. OVERALL LEARNING OBJECTIVES for ORCHESTRATION The course of study, which provide action-oriented and measurable objectives, will include classroom discussion of required reading from the text (and other sources) and then written assignments, including-- written assignments for individual families of string instruments, woodwind instruments, brass instruments and percussion instruments. For some chapters there are listening excerptsfor MUS323 on The syllabus does note which Chapters have audio excerpts on audio. There will also be additional assignments for harp writing, writing string harmonics and other effects including foreign language terms. In the process, the student will learn modern and historical techniques of notation appropriate for writing the score and parts, including being able to leverage technology using MuseScore, Finale or Sibelius software to accomplish these notational tasks, especially in the final project. For that project- the student will select a composer of any historical period or background from whose music a short 1.5 - 2 minute work for full, modern orchestra will be written.

Student Outcomes

The outcomes of this course will then be to have the students successfully write for these instruments individually and by family, noting the practical techniques given by the teacher (Professor Smith) and authors (Kent Kennan, Donald Grantham) and to understand the artistic decisions made by composers. The student will build confidence through the course by first writing small projects for each family of instruments, then, in combinations, followed by a final full-orchestra project.