Sunday, February 12, 2012

Writing for Chamber Ensemble

As mentioned in my previous post, for your second and "major" project this semester, you have the choice of writing for band or small chamber ensemble.  Today's post has information on the second option.

Length: 5 minutes minimum

Difficulty level:  Writing for professionals frees you to write more challenging music than would otherwise be the case, but it is still of highest priority (both for the purposes of this course, as well as more generally) to write idiomatically for instruments.  Most professionals don't mind playing challenging music if it is written idiomatically (and if the challenges make musical sense to them), but they don't tend to like playing music that is poorly-written or poorly-notated.  A pragmatic consideration is that the higher the difficulty level, the lower the number of ensembles that would be able to play your music.

Instrumentation:  The Ora Ensemble consists of flute, violin, cello, and piano.  You should write for all instruments in the ensemble, although sections of your composition can feature different combinations within the group more prominently if you wish.

Deadline:  12:00 noon on Monday, 9 April, 2012 (this is both the course deadline and the ensemble's deadline).  This is for the score AND parts.  This is a firm deadline; late submissions will not be accepted.  This is eight weeks from tomorrow's (Monday's) class.

Reading:  Your work will be read by the Ora ensemble shortly after submission, possibly towards the end of that week.  The date of the reading needs to be finalized, and when it is I will announce it here.

Performance:  There is a chance that the Ora ensemble will perform one or more works in a concert in April/May (date TBA).

Copies:  I require one bound copy.  I would expect that the ensemble would like at least one bound copy and parts as well, but possibly they would like four bound copies plus parts (i.e., one copy for each member).

Other information:
  • Scores should be printed on both sides of the page.   
  • The following information should be included in the score (usually on the left hand page opposite page one of the music):  
    • Duration;
    • Instrumentation (instrument list in score order);
    • Notes to the performers (if applicable); and 
    • Program notes.
  • It should be a single movement, showing development of your musical ideas (i.e, not multiple movements).
  • More information to follow.
Other posts that you may find interesting and useful:

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