Welcome!
Just a few a ground rules first...

Promotion, advertising and link building is not permitted.

If you are keen to learn, get to grips with something with the willing help of one of the net's original musician forums
or possess a genuine willingness to contribute knowledge - you've come to the right place!

Register >

- Close -
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 16

Thread: Instruments On Score

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    259

    Instruments On Score

    Nowadays I'm trying to understand characteristics and usage of a variety of instruments.


    1)
    How the key of the instrument is written as shortname on a score in English?

    For Ex;

    Piccolo = (Picc.)

    Piccolo (Db) = ?

    2) In a band and orchestra do musicians use note sheets (including just their parts) or scores (including all of the parts in the song)?

  2. #2
    MMus, MA, PGCE JumpingJack's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    309
    Quote Originally Posted by zanshin777 View Post
    1) How the key of the instrument is written as shortname on a score in English?
    Not sure I understand the question.
    The key would be specified next to the name. There are a variety of styles, but you might just see for example
    Bb Cl.
    for Bb Clarinet. Other possibilities exist.

    The name (and transposition) is usually given in full at the start and abbreviated only on subsequent pages.
    Sometimes the transposition is not written on the subsequent pages, just the abbreviated instrument name (Fl., Ob., Cl., for example).

    Quote Originally Posted by zanshin777 View Post
    2) In a band and orchestra do musicians use note sheets (including just their parts) or scores (including all of the parts in the song)?
    There are exceptions, but in general each player normally has only their own part, only the conductor has the full score.

  3. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    259
    Then, for example short name of Bb Clarinet is "Bb Cl." Isn't it?

  4. #4
    MMus, MA, PGCE JumpingJack's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    309
    Quote Originally Posted by zanshin777 View Post
    Then, for example short name of Bb Clarinet is "Bb Cl." Isn't it?
    Yes.

    Some others:

    Fl. = Flute
    Picc. = Piccolo
    Ob. = Oboe
    E H = English Horn (in F)
    Bs. Cl. = Bass Clarinet (in Bb)
    Bsn. = Bassoon
    Hn. = Horn (most often in F)
    Tpt. = Trumpet (most often in Bb)
    Tbn. = Trombone
    Bs. Tbn. = Bass Trombone
    Timp. = Timpani
    Perc. = Percussion
    Hp. = Harp
    Cel. = Celeste
    Pno. = Piano
    Vn. = Violin
    Va. = Viola
    Vc. = Cello
    Cb. = Double Bass

    Some other possibilities exist, for example some scores list the English Horn as a Cor Anglais (even when everything else is in English).

  5. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    259
    1) The order of instruments in one group is determined by pitch and independent from instrument range. (Higher pitched instrument is first)

    Instrument 1 : F4-F6 (2 octaves)

    Instrument 2 : G4-G5 (1 octave)

    Since G4 is higher than F4, the order should be first Instrument 2 then Instrument 1.

  6. #6
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    259
    1) The order of instruments in one group is determined by pitch and independent from instrument range. (Higher pitched instrument is first)

    Instrument 1 : F4-F6 (2 octaves)

    Instrument 2 : G4-G5 (1 octave)

    Since G4 is higher than F4, the order should be first Instrument 2 then Instrument 1.


    2) Although English Horn is settled in woodwind group as Horn French Horn and other Horns are settled in Brass Instrument group. Why?

    3) Keyboards (Piano, Celesta and Organ) are settled in Percussion category. Why?

    4) I should think the instruments in one group as sub-groups. Right?

    For example;

    I should think Clarinet in the list as Clarinets sub-group and I should order Clarinets in its sub-group. (After I ordered Flutes (Flute, Piccolo, Recorder), Double Reeds (Oboes))

  7. #7
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    259
    1) The order of instruments in one group is determined by pitch and independent from instrument range. (Higher pitched instrument is first)

    Instrument 1 : F4-F6 (2 octaves)

    Instrument 2 : G4-G5 (1 octave)

    Since G4 is higher than F4, the order should be first Instrument 2 then Instrument 1.

  8. #8
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    259
    The list of group of instruments in the score is like in the figure.

    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/...nstruments.jpg


    1) The order of instruments in one group is determined by pitch and independent from instrument range. (Higher pitched instrument is first)

    Instrument 1 : F4-F6 (2 octaves)

    Instrument 2 : G4-G5 (1 octave)

    Since G4 is higher than F4, the order should be first Instrument 2 then Instrument 1.


    2) Although English Horn is settled in woodwind group as Horn French Horn and other Horns are settled in Brass Instrument group. Why?

    3) Keyboards (Piano, Celesta and Organ) are settled in Percussion category. Why?

    4) I should think the instruments in one group as sub-groups. Right?

    For example;

    I should think Clarinet in the list as Clarinets sub-group and I should order Clarinets in its sub-group. (After I ordered Flutes (Flute, Piccolo, Recorder), Double Reeds (Oboes))

    5) Where should human voices take place in the list?

    6) Where should Saxophone take place in Brass Instruments?

    7) Harp should have been in strings category as Plucked Strings? Shouldn't it?
    Last edited by zanshin777; 07-06-2014 at 04:44 PM.

  9. #9
    MMus, MA, PGCE JumpingJack's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    309
    Quote Originally Posted by zanshin777 View Post
    1) The order of instruments in one group is determined by pitch and independent from instrument range. (Higher pitched instrument is first)

    Instrument 1 : F4-F6 (2 octaves)

    Instrument 2 : G4-G5 (1 octave)

    Since G4 is higher than F4, the order should be first Instrument 2 then Instrument 1.
    Well, they layout is also very much to do with tradition too.

    Quote Originally Posted by zanshin777 View Post
    2) Although English Horn is settled in woodwind group as Horn French Horn and other Horns are settled in Brass Instrument group. Why?
    Because the English Horn (Cor Anglais) is a woodwind instrument; it has a double-reed like the oboe. The "French" Horn is a brass instrument and you blow into it similar to a trumpet.

    Quote Originally Posted by zanshin777 View Post
    3) Keyboards (Piano, Celesta and Organ) are settled in Percussion category. Why?
    Tradition partly. The piano is a percussion instrument (hammers hit the strings).
    You can think of these collectively as "keyboard instruments".

    Quote Originally Posted by zanshin777 View Post
    4) I should think the instruments in one group as sub-groups. Right?
    I suppose, but remember most professional orchestras only have a handful of each instrument and in older music, generally only two of each (two flutes, two clarinets etc.) The strings are the exception; there are a lot more of each of them.

    Quote Originally Posted by zanshin777 View Post
    5) Where should human voices take place in the list?

    6) Where should Saxophone take place in Brass Instruments?
    These aren't usually part of the traditional symphony orchestra.
    Saxophones are woodwind, not brass. In concert bands they usually come after the other woodwinds and before the brass.

    Quote Originally Posted by zanshin777 View Post
    7) Harp should have been in strings category as Plucked Strings? Shouldn't it?
    Yes.
    But Violins, Cello and Double bass are in the "Bowed Strings" category.

  10. #10
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    259
    Quote Originally Posted by JumpingJack View Post
    Yes. But Violins, Cello and Double bass are in the "Bowed Strings" category.
    1) How is the order of Strings Instruments (Bowed Strings, Plucked Strings, Fretted Strings (Guitar vs.)?


    Quote Originally Posted by JumpingJack View Post
    Tradition partly. The piano is a percussion instrument (hammers hit the strings).
    You can think of these collectively as "keyboard instruments".

    2)
    Then where should keyboard instruments take place?


    Quote Originally Posted by JumpingJack View Post
    These aren't usually part of the traditional symphony orchestra.

    3)
    But In opera they occur. In that case where should human voices take place?



    4)
    Just For non-standard instruments or tunings or keys i should specify the key or specific condition of the instrument on short names. Shouldn't I? Fix me please.

    Ex1 :

    Electric Guitar : E. Guit. "Standard Tuning, I don't need to specify the tuning because it's Standard Tuning"

    7-String Electric Guitar : 7-String E. Guit. "7-String Electric Guitar, Standard Tuning"

    A Electric Guitar : A E. Guit. "Open A Tuning"


    Ex2 :

    Alto Saxophone : Alto Sax. "I don't need to specify the key (Eb) because it's standard"
    Last edited by zanshin777; 07-06-2014 at 06:33 PM.

  11. #11
    MMus, MA, PGCE JumpingJack's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    309
    Quote Originally Posted by zanshin777 View Post
    1) How is the order of Strings Instruments (Bowed Strings, Plucked Strings, Fretted Strings (Guitar vs.)?
    Bowed Strings are listed as I said earlier; last after the percussion.
    Other strings tend to be lumped in with (or next to) the percussion, although these are not very common in traditional symphony orchestras.

    Quote Originally Posted by zanshin777 View Post
    2) Then where should keyboard instruments take place?
    With the percussion section as I said.
    Typically the timpani come first, then any non-pitched percussion, then the harp, and then keyboard instruments (including xylophones and such like, with the highest at the top).

    Quote Originally Posted by zanshin777 View Post
    3) But In opera they occur. In that case where should human voices take place?
    It can vary, but typically after the percussion section, next to (or with) the strings.
    Quote Originally Posted by zanshin777 View Post
    4) Just For non-standard instruments or tunings or keys i should specify the key or specific condition of the instrument on short names. Shouldn't I? Fix me please.

    Ex1 :

    Electric Guitar : E. Guit. "Standard Tuning, I don't need to specify the tuning because it's Standard Tuning"

    7-String Electric Guitar : 7-String E. Guit. "7-String Electric Guitar, Standard Tuning"

    A Electric Guitar : A E. Guit. "Open A Tuning"


    Ex2 :

    Alto Saxophone : Alto Sax. "I don't need to specify the key (Eb) because it's standard"
    Yes, that all seems fine.
    But if in doubt, it's better to give too much information than too little - at least at the start of the piece.

    But writing (or even arranging) for an orchestra is a huge challenge. Better to get proficient with smaller ensembles first.

  12. #12
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    259
    Thank you very much JJ.

    The website includes a lot of information and explanation videos about a variety of instruments.

    http://www.philharmonia.co.uk

  13. #13
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    259
    Layout Questions

    1) What is the place of Bagpipe and Heckelphone imnn the order of Double Reeds?

    2) What is the place of Cornets in the order of Trumpets?

    3) What is the place of Euphonium in the order of Tubas?

    4) What is the place of Accordion and Harpsichord in the order of Keyboards?

    5) What is the order of Balalaika, Bazouki, Sitar, Ukulele, Banjo, Mandolin in the order of Fretted Strings?

    6) Must Harp be in Strings or Percussion?


    Violin Technique Questions

    7) What is the difference between Portato (loure) and Slurred Staccato?

    8) How to get natural harmonics on violin?

    9) What is the difference between Brush Stroke and Detache?


    Other Questions

    10) Is Sopranino higher pitched than Soprano?

    11) What does second B mean in "BBb Tuba" or what does second C mean in "CC Tuba"?

    12) Do we count the strings from the lowest to highest in all stringed instruments?

    For example guitar is "E: 1, A:2, D:3, G:4, B:5, E:6"

    13) What is the node in harmonics (overtones, partials) term?

  14. #14
    MMus, MA, PGCE JumpingJack's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    309
    Quote Originally Posted by zanshin777 View Post
    Layout Questions
    This is a huge list of questions! - Do you really need to know this stuff? If so, perhaps investing in a good orchestration book (e.g. Samuel Adler) would be a good idea. I'll answer what I can, but some of this is rather obscure (and not always applicable to the typical Western orchestra).

    And I don't understand why you're making things hard for yourself. Most of this you don't need to know until you've been studying orchestration at college level for several years.

    Quote Originally Posted by zanshin777 View Post
    1) What is the place of Bagpipe and Heckelphone imnn the order of Double Reeds?
    The Heckelphone sounds an octave lower than the oboe, so I would put it below the English Horn, but above the Bassoon. It is very rare in a traditional orchestra though... but not as rare as the Bagpipe! - I don't think I've ever seen a bagpipe in an orchestral score - if there is one, everyone will be so surprised that nobody will pay any attention to where in the score it is placed!

    Quote Originally Posted by zanshin777 View Post
    2) What is the place of Cornets in the order of Trumpets?
    At the top. More typical of a big band than an orchestra though.

    Quote Originally Posted by zanshin777 View Post
    3) What is the place of Euphonium in the order of Tubas?
    Ditto - at the top (below the trombones, above the tuba).

    Quote Originally Posted by zanshin777 View Post
    4) What is the place of Accordion and Harpsichord in the order of Keyboards?
    The harpsichord comes just below the piano (if there is one), but above the organ.
    Don't think I've ever seen an accordion in an orchestra.

    Quote Originally Posted by zanshin777 View Post
    5) What is the order of Balalaika, Bazouki, Sitar, Ukulele, Banjo, Mandolin in the order of Fretted Strings?
    It would probably go Guitar, Mandolin, Banjo from top to bottom.
    It would be extremely rare to see any of the others in a typical (Western) orchestra.

    Quote Originally Posted by zanshin777 View Post
    6) Must Harp be in Strings or Percussion?
    Percussion. (Below any nonpitched instruments and above any keyboard instruments.)

    Quote Originally Posted by zanshin777 View Post
    7) What is the difference between Portato (loure) and Slurred Staccato?
    In slurred staccato, the notes are shorter and thus the gap between them is greater.

    Quote Originally Posted by zanshin777 View Post
    8) How to get natural harmonics on violin?
    The string is lightly touched at specific points along it (called nodes).
    They follow the overtone series, so the second partial (octave higher than the fundamental) for example is produced by lightly touching the string halfway between the nut and the bridge.

    Quote Originally Posted by zanshin777 View Post
    9) What is the difference between Brush Stroke and Detache?
    Détaché is the basic non-legato bowing, changing the direction of the bow for each note.
    No idea about brush stroke - sounds like what you do when you're painting!

    Quote Originally Posted by zanshin777 View Post
    10) Is Sopranino higher pitched than Soprano?
    Yes.

    Quote Originally Posted by zanshin777 View Post
    11) What does second B mean in "BBb Tuba" or what does second C mean in "CC Tuba"?
    I would need to see the context.

    Quote Originally Posted by zanshin777 View Post
    12) Do we count the strings from the lowest to highest in all stringed instruments?

    For example guitar is "E: 1, A:2, D:3, G:4, B:5, E:6"
    No. With bowed strong instruments, the uppermost string is I (the lowest is normally IV).

    Quote Originally Posted by zanshin777 View Post
    13) What is the node in harmonics (overtones, partials) term?
    See above. The node is a point along the string at which it is lightly touched to produce a natural harmonic.
    Or to be more technical, a node is a rest point between the vibrating parts of the string.

  15. #15
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    259
    I bought Essential Dictionary Of Orchestration by Dave Black according to advice of you or JonR. I learnt new things but the things on the book is pretty shallow. Adler's book looks like a great reference source but very expensive. I think that much instrumentation knowledge is enough for now anyway.

    Thank you very much JJ.

Similar Threads

  1. bad emotions- musical instruments
    By rafapak in forum Mental Stuff
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 03-12-2015, 10:06 AM
  2. Key signature in several instruments
    By rbarata in forum Music Theory
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 01-26-2011, 01:41 PM
  3. Backpacking with Instruments???
    By tara_bara in forum iBreathe Cafe
    Replies: 27
    Last Post: 10-19-2005, 04:03 AM
  4. Looking for a Joe Pass score
    By AyKay in forum iBreathe Cafe
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 01-13-2005, 07:47 AM
  5. Vocal Score question
    By primal65 in forum Music Theory
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 05-04-2004, 02:47 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •