Learn the exact orchestration techniques that top film composers like Jerry Goldsmith, Danny Elfman and others use to get the biggest, best sound from live orchestras in this expanded 2-part online course.

If you're a composer who writes for live orchestra, you need to know what Scott Smalley has taught over 2,500 film and television composers from across the world. Through 39 lessons of intense, detailed study of the music of Jerry Goldsmith and others, top Hollywood film music orchestrator Scott Smalley ("Batman," "Mission: Impossible," "The Insider") demonstrates why some Hollywood scores sound so good, and what you as a composer can do to make your scores sound bigger and better.

Enroll in this online course if you:
 are a composer who writes music for strings, brass and orchestra instruments
 are interested in a full-time or part-time career as an orchestrator
 have a basic knowledge of reading music and writing for sampled or live orchestra

About This Course
This new 2-part online course is an expanded version of the industry's most popular and longest running orchestration course taught by Scott Smalley for over 20 years.

This intensive look at the specific orchestration techniques of master film composers including Jerry Goldsmith, Danny Elfman, Basil Poledouris, Alan Silvestri, David Newman and others will show you how these master composers achieve the richest, strongest and most effective sound from live orchestras.

Through the use of audio examples and detailed scores and sketches from top films that course participants download and refer to during the 39 lessons comprising the course, Scott Smalley explains and demonstrates specific orchestration techniques and shows you how and why they work.

The course is divided into two parts - Part 1 explains important orchestration concepts including techniques of balancing and voicing the orchestra and the use of the Zed Clef, a special technique developed by Scott to guide the process of creating voicings and harmonizations. This is followed by detailed lessons about orchestrating for strings. Part 2 of the course focuses on orchestrating for brass and orchestrating for woodwinds, and closes with a discussion of orchestral recording techniques and other additional topics.

Prerequisites: Some familiarity with writing for orchestral instruments using samples or live players is helpful. This course extensively utilizes scores and sketches (downloadable in PDF format) so a basic knowledge of how to read music is required to achieve the best results from this course. Part 1 should be taken before Part 2 as the orchestration concepts explained in Part 1 are referred to throughout both parts of the course.

Estimated Time To Complete: Including score and sketch study time, between 15 and 40 hours for each of the two course parts depending on the amount of existing experience writing/orchestrating for orchestra and the amount of study time spent on each lesson.

Course Materials: Scores, Sketches and Example Sheets studied in course provided in downloadable PDF format to print out for reference during course presentation (may also display online with a PDF viewer if preferred). Also, a glossary of special musical terms and course orientation guide is provided for download.

Technical Requirements: Computer browser with current version of Flash plug-in installed is required to view the course presentation. Adobe Acrobat Reader or other PDF reader required to view downloadable course materials. iPad/iPhone compatibility will be available late May, 2011.

What You'll Learn In This Online Course
  • How top film composers achieve the Hollywood Sound from film scoring orchestras
  • How to orchestrate effectively for strings, brass and woodwinds
  • How to effectively balance the orchestra and work with instruments in their various ranges
  • The concepts of transparency, strength and division and how to create and use them
  • How to voice chords and harmonies for maximum effect
  • How soften or strengthen instruments and sections using color, not volume
  • The use of triadic harmonies, pyramids, polychords, chromatic clusters and more
  • How to use the concept of mediant chord relationships
  • How to create and effectively use special effects such as string sweeps, woodwind sweeps and more
  • How to determine the priority of notes when voicing a chord and dividing its notes among instruments
  • The importance of intervals to maintain harmonic clarity, use of hybrid scales
  • The concept of the Zed Clef and its usage to determine voicings, blend, and harmonic effects
  • Manipulation of the tessaturic ranges of instruments to achieve balance and sonic placement
  • Effective recording techniques when working with live orchestras

Click here for a sample Film Music Institute online course lesson.
FMI2110 The Art of Orchestration for Film and TV Part 1 - Includes Lessons 1-19: Orchestrational Concepts, Orchestrating for Strings

     4 Monthly Payments of $99 each
     Single Payment of $349 (Save $47)

Includes all downloadable course materials, access to course student forum, questions answered personally by instructor, and more.

Enroll in this Course

FMI2120 The Art of Orchestration for Film and TV Part 2 - Includes Lessons 20-39: Orchestrating for Brass, Orchestrating for Woodwinds, Recording Techniques

     4 Monthly Payments of $99 each
     Single Payment of $349 (Save $47)

Includes all downloadable course materials, access to course student forum, questions answered personally by instructor, and more.

Enroll in this Course

Course Instructor

Steven Scott Smalley

Scott Smalley is one of Hollywood’s top orchestrators, and has worked with many top composers including Danny Elfman, Basil Poledouris, and others. His unique approach to orchesetration and his ability to concisely and effectively teach his orchestration methods to students have made him one of the top orchestration teachers in the industry.

Why You Will Learn More From a Film Music Institute Online Course

Tired of overly expensive courses, inconvenient travel, and rigid class schedules? Film Music Institute online courses let you learn when you want, where you want at your own speed using cutting-edge online rapid learning technologies that allow you to learn more quickly and efficiently. Forget about reading impractical books, travel hassles and expenses, or listening to an instructor who hasn't worked professionally in years. At the Film Music Institute, you engage in a world-class learning experience focusing on practical skills, experience, and knowledge you can apply to your career immediately.

And because our courses are taught by experienced industry pros, the information and skills you're learning are state-of-the-art techniques used by working pros today.