Theatre Music Editions

Home | OrchestrationsWhy reorchestrate? | About Theatre Music Editions | Contact usLinks |

Why is reorchestration necessary?

Most conductors have faced the same problem. Either the venue or the budget is too small for a full orchestra. You wait for the parts to arrive and you start to mark them for the players. Armed with a combination of pencil, manuscript paper, paper clips etc you face up to the problems: you've only got one horn instead of the four in the score, so that passage for horns 1 and 3 will need the third part transcribed into some other part, the clarinet will need to take the second oboe part at figure 16, the section for three trombones simply defies solution, especially as there is no room to write on any of the other brass parts. Hours later and the realisation dawns: you have created a palimpsest that will still need to be explained to the players at the band call!

And so on.

Is it worth it? Maybe it would be easier just to use a piano! But a piano really doesn't do justice to the sound that the composer intended. And so we return to square one!

I have found that taking the effort to reorchestrate complete opera scores, reducing them for a chamber ensemble produces better results both in terms of the sound produced and the satisfaction of the players involved.