Development, Arrangement and Orchestration of a Melody · Music for Media· Film Score OST · Angela Mintegi

Development, Arrangement and Orchestration of a Melody

Development, Arrangement and Orchestration of a Melody

(0) 27/01/2017 19:21h

In this post I´ll try to explain a task that its usual to do and consists in developing an original idea from the customer.
If one person has a musical idea and like to carry it to a determinate style with a property instrumentation and  doesn´t have the tools and/or the knowledge to do that, maybe is interested in this service.
In this case I´ll talk about Soundtrack, although it´s possible to apply to any other kind of music.

In the first talks director-composer the goal is to transmit the soundscape that is wished to get. There are many ways to do that.
It´s very normal that the director use concrete references to explain the music they want in his sequence. For example: "I like the violins in the scene in the shower in "Psycho" (Hitchcock 1960, Original Soundtrack, Bernard Herrmann)
Or: "Something like the piano in the ritual sequence of "Eyes wide shut" (Kubrik 1999) . György Ligeti ~" Musica Ricercata, II "Mesto, Rigido E Cerimoniale".

     (Yes, indeed the references use to be of the first level,  but one makes whatever I can .... Who is afraid?)

Nevertheless, in other times, the directors go  farther away and show the musical idea that they are created for their projects. Maybe simply humming or playing on a keyboard or guitar and recording it.
   (I don´t forget the great directors capable to compose the soundtracks of their films)
In these cases the task is not really of composition and more of the development and orchestration.
Taking as a base the melody provided and the suggestion of the style that is expected, the goal consists in finding the instrumentation and the arrangement property to the work.
Also, it will to consider the scenes in which the music will be in, the lenght, the changes of intensity along the sequences and the exact point when they occur.
Almost always, when we take a melody as a main theme of the soundtrack, we must compose various little pieces, with different texture of orchestration, to put it in the film. If the director wants the people whistled the main theme when the film is over, it will have to sound many times.
So, the melody will sound played by a piano solo in the moment of intimacy or simpleness, Or we expend all the artillery of French Horns and Timpani when the story arrives to the grand finale. But the motif must be clear to get an unequivocal identification.

With the continuous repetition of the motif along the running time, is get the circumstances that just with some notes whistled, everybody is thinking about Indiana Jones, for example, or Darth Vader (Star Wars- The Imperial March John Williams).

Darth Vader

Obviously, we can´t fill all the soundtrack with a short melody. We have to continue and to develop it.
About this melody or motif, I open a parenthesis to remind to James Newton Howard, whom was in Bilbao recently, and gave a conference, quite interesting.  The conference consisted in a conversation with Fernando Velázquez, playing piano both from time to time. I want to emphasize two notes about the melody:
_A good melody is that can be used in all moods; sadness, happiness, fear, thriller, etc..
_He use to put lyrics to the melody, also if the finality is the instrumental score and no vocal.

So, based on a good melody, the development is shown by the tempo of the story. In order to illustrate all this process  in an empiric way, I put for example the case of the Main Title of "One Bullet in Kuiper" Jorge Aguirre 1916.
Jorge send me an audio mp3 recorded by himself. With a keyboard he played the "Main Theme" he wanted for his film.
From that point on,  I started to work, talking with him the few variations around his track, but trying to respect to the maximum his idea.
We had met to determinate the kind of instrumentation and the orchestration style.
The next note of J. Aguirre explains, better than me, the atmosphere that he wanted for this film and his cinematographic and musical references.

Una bala en Kuiper

"For this project, my idea it was to create a soundtrack in the symphonic style, adventurous, and with a certain epic way, that John Williams was fixed in "Star Wars", and since then, would be the reference for the science fiction films of adventure and the sub-genre "Space Operas".
Fanfare created around wind section and acellerated tempo.  Since the 50th´s it was experimented a lot with electronic sounds associated with sci-fi films.  Herrmann, indeed, used the theremin to "The Day the Earth Stood Still"  Robert Wise 1951.
But the electronic sounds mentioned before were relegated to serie b pictures or even z with the pass of the decades. Normally usual when there is a fault of resources or budget. But Nowadays, fortunately, with the software, MIDI, and the samples suitable is possible to recreate a symphonic score with an  orchestral appearance.
Personally, I got really satisfied with the final soundtrack, standing out the track of the Finale , forceful and memorable at the same time, and the track for the role of Mr. Nathan, hypnotic and unhinged. One more time I´ve can work with Angela Mintegi in a project, together,  and it has been a gratefully experience, with a wide exchange of knowledges, anecdote and definitely good times. This close cooperation between the director and the composer is fundamental and the result always is positive."

I must express my gratitude to Jorge, because his  collaboration in this blog, and add it was for me also gratifying and instructive task all the work we have done together in several films.
Next, the audios referred.
First of all, the audio home-made recorded by Jorge with a keyboard, showing clearly the motif of the "Main Theme" :

Una Bala en Kuiper- Idea para Main Theme

This one is the Main Theme developded for the Final and the Credits:

Andromeda Leaving the Planet-Finale (End Credits)

A musical idea can  carry to to different sonic places. It depends on the instrumentation and style used, without changing a note.
The next example is a composition of my own, arranged for different instrumentation.
The first one is written for Pianos, Guitars and Contrabass.

Divertimento Piano Guitar

This is the version of the same score, "Divertimento",  adapted for String Quartet:

Divertimento String Quartet

Below, the video where is possible to watch the score written for String Orchestra.


Comments (0)

Make a comment

All the fields are necessary.. The comments will be revised before its publication.. Your e-mail will used just to reply your question. In no case it will be published or comunicate to thirds

Type the captcha

In this blog. I´ll go writing posts about the Composition of Soundtracks for film.  As it would be news about this subject,  as of works from me or others,  I´ll try to bring up to date it.

Berklee College of Music

Music for Media Ángela Mintegi · Tel: +34 606 91 20 66

Legal Notice - Web Map - Diseñador Web Diseño web profesional