Arranging and orchestration skills are a hot commodity. Placements on television, in video games and animation, and in other modern revenue outlets require a detailed understanding of arranging, orchestral writing, and production techniques. In the Master Certificate in Arranging and Orchestration, you’ll gain a broad but in-depth background in arranging—for the rhythm section, horns, and strings—to writing for the full orchestra and gain marketable skills that you’ll be able to put to work immediately.
You’ll start the certificate with Arranging: Small Ensemble and Horns, which focuses on smaller bands and larger ensembles. You’ll learn techniques that can be applied to both live instrumentation or sequenced/sampled sounds. You'll explore the properties of the horn section—including the trumpet, trombone, and alto, tenor, and baritone saxophones—and study techniques and melodic embellishments that will give you a basic understanding of writing/arranging for these instruments.
You’ll then move onto Arranging: Advanced Horn Writing, where you’ll learn more advanced arranging techniques for the rhythm section and horn section. You'll learn unison, 2, 3, 4, and 5-part writing, and study techniques for voicing chords, orchestration, articulations, and background lines. You'll also learn advanced topics of harmony, such as tension substitutions and lower interval limits, knowledge that you can use to create more expressive and captivating music for both live instrumentation or sequenced/sampled sounds.
In Arranging: Woodwinds and Strings, you'll gain a true understanding of the sound and personality of woodwind and string instruments, exploring the fundamental properties of each instrument or group of instruments—its extreme range, practical or useable range, and inherent idiosyncrasies. You’ll also learn how to apply this information to actual songs, arrangements, and compositions—and in a variety of commercial music settings, such as television and film.
Once you have this solid foundation in arranging, you’ll move on to orchestration techniques. In Orchestration 1, you’ll expand your writing knowledge base and apply traditional and emerging orchestration techniques to both sampled performances and live orchestral performances. You’ll also learn how to create modern day orchestral sounds and identify the characteristics and idiomatic writing techniques for each orchestral instrument family: strings, brass, woodwinds, and percussion.
The required courses in this certificate program conclude with our most advanced orchestration course, Orchestration 2. Building on the techniques presented in Orchestration 1, this extensive course equips students with new strategies and approaches to writing for full orchestra. You’ll gain the tools you need to succeed—from making orchestration choices based on the tone color of the various instruments, to voicing chords and progressions. You’ll also take an in-depth look at orchestrating from single layer material such as solos and homophonic statements, to complex textures of four or more layers—music that is too complex to fit into a traditional melody/countermelody/harmony format.
After completing the program’s core course work, you’ll choose three electives to steer your studies in your own direction. You’ll choose from courses covering a wide array of deeper topics in Arranging, Orchestration, and Songwriting. By the end of this all-encompassing certificate program, you’ll gain the flexibility and knowledge necessary to create dynamic arrangements and orchestral pieces that will provide you with immense credibility in the musical world as well as pieces that can be used in income generation situations.
Substitutions may be requested for electives. Please contact our Continuing Education Registrar at email@example.com or call (617) 747-2146 to see if your request suits the overall academic requirements for your chosen program.
Develop your writing and arranging skills for smaller bands and larger ensembles and learn techniques that can be applied to both live instrumentation or sequenced/sampled sounds.
Take your arranging abilities to the next level of development by studying more advanced techniques for voicing chords, orchestration, articulations, and background lines.
Gain a practical, real-world understanding of the sound and personality of woodwind and string instruments, and learn how to properly apply them to songs, arrangements, and compositions.
Learn to write and apply traditional orchestration techniques to both sampled performances and live orchestral performances.
Learn advanced orchestration strategies and approaches to writing for full orchestra, including both a live orchestra and sampled MIDI mockups.
Please contact our Continuing Education Registrar to request elective substitutions.
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Create great-looking music quickly and easily with the powerful Finale music notation software, and learn techniques to maximize speed, control, and accuracy.
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Create original music to accompany a visual medium by learning fundamental to more advanced film scoring techniques.
Gain a solid foundation of sound production and engineering skills that will prepare you to work at a game development company or as a freelance game audio professional.
Master the concepts of vocal writing and arranging — from basic to more advanced—and learn to write vocal charts in a number of contemporary styles, including jazz, folk, pop, and R&B.
Essential learning for anyone interested in arranging music for a band, Arranging 1: Rhythm Section explores all aspects of writing and arranging for the rhythm section.
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