Finding and Working With A Quality Orchestrator

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In past columns, we’ve examined how you, the composer, approach recruiting the various members of your production team. Arguably the most complex hiring decision involves your orchestrator. When music became an industry, orchestration sprang into being as a distinct, but necessary, specialty, allowing the composer to produce more material in less time. It’s strange, but in recent decades the term has come to cover so much territory as to be almost meaningless. All definitions involve acceptance of some abbreviated, incomplete form of the composer’s composition (“the sketch”) and the production or completion of the notated score which yields the written parts for the performing ensemble. The rub comes from the wide range of what constitutes a “sketch” these days.

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