What Is Arranging?


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What Is Arranging?

  1. 1. Arranging Music – Unit 3<br />What is Arranging?<br />
  2. 2. Orginased Noise! <br />An Arrangement not only frames a song, it heightens the melody and emotions the song contains.<br />For example, the right chord, properly placed, can pump up the excitement of a chorus. <br />A riff (or melodic phrase) played on guitar; keyboard or another instrument can provide a memorable instrumental "hook" that sticks in the memory.<br />
  3. 3. Your role as an Arranger…<br />Your primary role is to arrange a piece of music (no kidding!) based on the needs or requirements of a performer, a group of performers, a conductor, producer or music director. <br />You need to makes sure that every aspect of a music piece is well harmonised, from the instruments down to the tempo. The music that an arranger works on may either be an original or an already existing music piece.<br />As an Arranger you will be writing music for many different instruments, these may not be your first instrument.<br />
  4. 4. Elements of Music<br />Pitch: Frequency of a Note, the rate of oscillations per second(Hz – Hertz). How molecules move through the air. <br />Rhythm: Duration of Notes and how they are grouped together. Rhythm is the same for the ‘Alphabet Song’ & ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’.<br />Tempo: The speed of the piece and how fast the notes are played.<br />Contour: How a Melody develops, up or down in pitch.<br />The Human Brain<br />Yes this is a real Scan!<br />Timbre: Distinguishes one instrument from another – say guitar & piano when they are playing the same note. <br />These elements combine together in the brain to form relationships and develop high-order concepts.<br />Dynamics: Loudness of a sound, how much energy was use to make it, Amplitude.<br />Reverberation: Perception of distance from the source, ‘Echo’ based on acoustic properties. <br />
  5. 5. When these elements have been through the ‘Brain Cogs’ they build the basic components for arranging music and what you must consider as an Arranger.<br />Meter: When we consider this we are thinking about how notes are grouped, their pulse. A Waltz would be in groups of three or March in two or Four. <br />Key: This is the hierarchy of importance between tones in a piece. Musical idioms means different rules that our brains know is possible. <br />Melody: The theme of the music, the succession of tones. In pop/rock music this will be different for the verse and chorus. In classical often a starting point which is developed throughout.<br />Harmony: This is dealing with the relationship between different tones. This could be another counter-melody or a chord progression that balances the main theme.<br />
  6. 6. Sam & Dave were an American soul and rhythm and blues (R&B) duo. A very influential Soul act that work for the famous Atlantic/Stax Records. <br />Taking a Song Apart<br />Suggest five reasons what makes our song so catchy and popular. <br />- Rhythm-unit very closely knitted <br />- Short melodic phrases – especially the guitar <br />Being able to take apart a composition is the best way to start to understand an Arrangement. <br />- Memorable Chorus that is returned to <br />- High energy <br />- Very danceable, achieved through rhythm <br />
  7. 7. Now to develop this knowledge we will take another song apart from the same genre – ‘Soul’.<br />This is a great example where two Arrangements are very different and create a completely different feel and character about the music. <br />The original by The Temptations (for MotownRecords - 1964) and then another well know cover by Otis Redding<br />
  8. 8. Full, busy texture, containing many sustained parts, frequent countermelodies on strings often in harmony with lead vocals, Backing singers, trumpets and saxes, accented backbeat. <br />Cleaner, simplified texture, with fewer countermelodies and less antiphony between instruments; backbeat less accented. <br />Substantial instrument forces, including string section, male and female backing singers, trumpets, trombones, alto sax, piano, drum kit, finger clicks, guitar and bass. <br />Smaller Instrument forces: bass guitar, guitars, trumpets, saxes, piano, drum kits (no backing singers or strings). <br />Many of the backing instruments /singers are lost in the mix, which is busy and muddy.<br />All the instruments are clearly heard for the most part throughout.<br />Noticeable distortion, particularly on the drums and strings.<br />Cleaner, no distortion. <br />Drier, resulting in a clearer, or detailed sound. <br />Some reverberation, leading into a warm blended sound. <br />
  9. 9. So What is Happening?<br />It’s in Common Time (4/4)- (Simple Quadruple)<br />A really simple Bass line in C Major set the meter and Tonality for the song.<br />In the key of C Major<br />- Tempo of 110bpm<br />After two bars the guitar is introduced. <br />Try to map all these things when you first start to break apart a music track – from this you can create the idea of the Arrangement.<br />
  10. 10. Common Chord Progression based in C Major.<br />Verse: C F C <br /> I IV I<br />Basic Chord Progressions around the C Major Key<br />Chorus: C Dm F G <br /> I VI IV V<br />
  11. 11. TASK:<br />Using this basic framework from the Bass and Guitar for the song ‘My Girl’ develop your own vision! <br />- Maybe Transpose into a Minor Key, A Minor is the relative Minor of C Major.<br />- You may want to completely change the Timbre of the instruments. <br />- You could try the song at different rhythms and develop a more syncopated drum beat.<br />
  12. 12. This is an excellent book that clearly explains the basic principles for all the fundamental elements of sound and music. <br />Daniel J. Levitin, (2007), ‘This Is Your Brain On Music’, Atlantic Book Ltd.<br />
  13. 13. www.themusicespionage.co.uk<br />