Multimedia Orchestration and Instrumentation: About and Overview

Multimedia Orchestration and Instrumentation is an interactive reference and learning guide containing in-depth video demonstrations to teach the student composer, orchestrator, and arranger how to write  more effectively and idiomatically for the acoustic instruments. These videos feature professional instrumentalists in numerous video clips along with accompanying text and graphics.

This self-contained reference on the orchestral instruments allows students and instructors to have perpetual access to these demonstrations via the internet on their desktop computers, tablets, and/or smartphones via online subscription.

NOTE: The program assumes subscribing students have a working knowledge of music theory.

Contents of program:

• Strings, 182 video demonstrations & text:
66 Violin videos, 45 Viola videos, 40 Cello videos, 31 Double bass videos.

• Woodwinds, 119 video demonstrations & text:
25 Flute videos, 27 Oboe videos, 39 Clarinet videos, 28 Bassoon videos.

• Brass, 105 video demonstrations and text:
30 Horn videos, 21 Trumpet videos, 25 Trombone videos, 25 Tuba videos.

• Percussion (50 videos) and Harp, (40 videos) demonstrations and text:
Videos of Timpani, Snare Drum, Bass Drum, Tam-Tam, Cymbals Triangle.
40 video demonstrations of the Harp.

The videos and text cover basic techniques, articulations, numerous repertoire examples, and special effects (harmonics, etc). Repertoire examples include excerpts from Bach, Beethoven, Elgar, Mahler, Mozart, Prokofiev, Stravinsky, Tchaikovsky, Wagner, and other renowned composers.

For instructors, Multimedia Orchestration Online:

• The program can be used in conjunction with orchestration and/or composition courses, and any curriculum designed for teaching the in-depth workings of the instruments of the orchestra.

• It can be used outside the classroom, where subscribed students have perpetual access to demonstrations via the online program, enabling faster and more enriched learning about the instruments.

• Instructors are welcome to contact Tristan Arts at for special discount rates for their classes / institutions.

Online Subscriptions:

• Subscriptions are available for 3-month reduced material for free, 1 year, or 3 years for each family of instruments. Users can keep track of their subscriptions via the My Account and My Instruction pages on the website.

Multimedia Orchestration: Its Main Purpose

The French composer Hector Berlioz believed musical ideas are fused with the instruments which play them. This fusion of musical ideas and their instruments creates the listener’s experience; they don’t exist apart from each other.

During the last movement of Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique, the bassoons and tubas play the Gregorian Chant “Dies Irae” interspersed with tubular bells, and are answered by trumpets and trombones, depicting the atmosphere of the Underworld. The passage’s terrifying evocation has a cinematic quality similar to a modern horror film.

However, if Berlioz had scored the passage for say, clarinets and cellos instead, the effect would have been less ominous. Berlioz’ choice of bassoons and tubas countered by trumpets and trombones best conveys this moment of the musical story. This small example is what the art of instrumentation and orchestration is all about. The two videos highlight the instrumentations of two brief passages from famous works, one from Symphonie Fantastique and the second from Mozart’s Requiem:

So if you want to write music which conveys a waterfall, urban chaos, powerful emotions or the Underworld (like Berlioz), having in-depth knowledge of how instruments achieve their musicality is indispensable.