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Thread: Dynamics and classical music

  1. #1
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    Question Dynamics and classical music

    Does every instrument or every instruments family should move simultaneously, together, in same or similar dynamics trought a track?

    Example violins rissing on dynamics, bowing faster makes sound go huge, bigger on volume as well, does that means best practice to compose such thing or produce is to have horns same d<ynamics, so when strings sound bigger louder, horns also go bigger and louder.

    I am not much into theory, some basic things I know, but now I am trying to give my orchestration some breathing space, and make it sound more real, for now all i get is downbeats that sound same, and its really hard to find anything about dynamics, about movement of an orchestra.

    I know staccato, etc. shorts should go on same accent or it would be mess if accent is contra percussion and contra other short instrument accents, but does this rule also applies on asked above.

    Hope someone have some time to elaborate this.

  2. #2
    Member vsm's Avatar
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    Hi Mil and thank you for your question.

    This is a very interesting question! Fact is: you can do whatever you like. Of course if you add the same "crescendo" to more sections, you are going to have a much lauder and "grandioso" crescendo, but you may want to experiment and play with increasing the volume and presence of only one section and see what result is giving you.

    With the new notational softwares out there, or computer sequencers, with a good orchestral sound library, you easily experiment and see what's the result you get.

    In other words, there isn't a "defined rule" on what you are asking. You can do whatever you like according to your taste and desired result
    Fabrizio Ferrari, supervisor
    Virtual Sheet Music

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  4. #3
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    I think that combining the different expressions of instruments can actually yield some impressive results! But it will always be a challenge to incorporate different instruments with different expressions but thats art

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    Senior Member norman bates's Avatar
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    I think every instrument can have different dynamics. For instance I remember that as a trick Mahler used to make two different instruments play together the same note (let's say, a violin and a clarinet - I'm not sure he did that with those instruments but to get the idea): one starting very loud and finishing quiet, the other doing the opposite thing. Therefore you had a sort of "transformation" of the sound.
    Last edited by norman bates; Jun-21-2018 at 22:43.
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    Senior Member Vasks's Avatar
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    Be careful with orchestra sound libraries as volume is often unnatural, usually rendering every instrument exactly the same.

    You can play a bit with the mixer and different dynamic markings but you still must know normal balance differences. For example a harp playing with the entire orchestra also playing can not compete and be equal in volume and yet the playback comes off like the harp will be clearly heard.
    "Music in any generation is not what the public thinks of it but what the musicians make of it"....Virgil Thomson

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    this is the sort of question that comes down to personal taste and what texture you are trying to create. Honestly, you have to answer this for yourself in your own music, but no, there are not rules about dynamics that you have to follow.

    if you don't get to regularly spend time in an orchestra, get out and see a live orchestra perform something

    or if you don't live near a symphony, put on a record (or CD or whatever you kids listen to these days ) and listen for this very thing in your favorite recordings. Like any other style of writing, listen to what techniques other people are using, break down what they are doing and why it works and attempt it in your own music.

    but a live performance can be very inspiring, so if you can spring for a night at the symphony sometime, I'd really recommend that.

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