Orchestration Project: Harmonization

Hey everyone! This project was meant to focus on harmonization in its five glorious forms: parallel, similar, contrary, oblique, and counterpoint. I used all of them, to some degree, so that’s fun. Also, to mix things up, I decided to use some different instrumentation and an eastern scale. There’s a shakahuchi (bamboo flute) and a kora, which SOUNDS like a koto, but is from Africa. Sadly, my sample library doesn’t yet include a koto, which is sad because I kind of really like that sound. But it DID have a kora, so there you go. Also, I REALLY wanted to put in some vibrato on some of the longer koto/kora notes, but the kora samples didn’t include vibrato, and modulating the pitch bend sounded like super-poop. The scale is called “in sen”, and it’s made up of 1, b2, 4, 5, and b7. I’m kind of a fan! Really interesting sound, and hard to do your harmonies wrong with a pentatonic scale like that.

Dave really liked this one, I think. He said “Wow!” or something that rhymed very closely to that, and commented that I met all the requirements but did it very musically instead of just technically meeting each requirement (which apparently I could have done… oh…). He told me I should hold onto this idea, because there is a really strong theme that could be played by any instrumentation to great effect. So that was great! Very happy to receive such positive feedback.

Finally, I performed a LOT of this piece. Which is a big deal for me. I usually wind up doing an awful lot with the mouse instead of the keyboard (the musical kind), since I’m used to that after years of making stuff on Reason with no MIDI controller. But there were some bits that aren’t snapped to the grid (e.g., the accelerando at the beginning), and I had to play all of that stuff! Not very hard, but hey, I’m a bad keyboard player, okay? So let me have this happiness!

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3 thoughts on “Orchestration Project: Harmonization

  1. CP says:

    Wow, Grasshopper – you’re good. I kept having to look over my shoulder to see if Kato or David Carradine or someone was about to jump out of the potted plant in the corner! Seriously, good work.

  2. libpulsifer says:

    Finally had a chance to spend some time on your blog. I particularly liked this one maybe because it sounds very Asian. Your keyboarding was well done!! I get lost in your music lingo but I understand that you have impressed the right person (is dave your teacher?). Good for you!!

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