Writing for woodwinds
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Writing For Woodwinds. Things to Think About…. Woodwinds. Think about the numbers you are writing for - what is the general make-up of a school band?

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Writing for woodwinds
Writing For Woodwinds

  • Things to Think About…


  • Think about the numbers you are writing for - what is the general make-up of a school band?

  • ALWAYS- think about the sound you would like to produce - All voices equal? Choir vs. Choir, lead voice over back ups? Think about dynamic contour and instrument color….


  • Execution…

  • Can they play effectively at your tempo?

  • Can they play effectively at your dynamic?

  • Can they play the full line as marked? How does AIR factor in?

  • Can they execute the articulations (think about instrument characteristics)


  • Alto Clarinet? Double either 3rd clarinet or Bass Depending on Voice strength

  • Clarinet Parts are usually split 3 ways

  • Saxophones are Flexible - either used as a Choir, as a sonority strengthener, as rhythmic background, Soloists, inner harmony


  • Melody may be doubled in octaves

  • Avoid doubling the bass line above its original Pitch

  • Exception - more than an octave between the bass line and the next highest voice…


  • Think about using the double reed quartet: 2 oboes, 2 bassoons

  • May be used as a quartet in light passages - Its all about the color you want.

  • Lighter passages - Flute can carry the melody in the upper register

  • Think if your tutti passages are balanced, top heavy, or bottom heavy


  • Put largest Vertical intervals the lower the octave - Think Harmonic Series and Clarity

  • Close vertical space in the lower octave creates a muddy sound

  • Space voices evenly in the upper register and avoid large gaps.

  • Exception - octave between two top melodic voices

  • Chords should be voiced as completely as possible in each section

Voice leading re voicing
Voice Leading/Re-voicing

  • Sometimes voice parts need to be shifted around due to range considerations. Ex. - a tenor/bass combination

  • Avoid awkward skips ( see ex no. 2 page 40)

  • Watch for Excessive Doubling of 3rds

  • Think about how you want to split voices or condense. 5 parts for 4 players? 7 parts for 12 players?

Now let s look at some scores
Now Let’s Look at Some Scores…

  • Irish Tune

  • Dvorak Serenade

  • Strauss - Suite in B flat

  • Beethoven - Octet

  • Jacob - Old Wine In New Bottles

Woodwind project
Woodwind Project

  • Recording - March 11th

  • Instrumentation - 2 Flute, 2 Oboe, 2 B flat Clarinet, 1Bass Clarinet, 1 Bassoon, 1 alto sax, 1 tenor sax, 1 bari sax - Recruit PLAYERS! Sign up on my door.

  • Stay close to 2 mins if possible. This project can be closer to Transcription.

  • Lab Day Next Week

  • Woodwind Quiz - Next Week