The Professional Orchestration Writing For Strings Home Study Course
By Peter Lawrence Alexander
Digital Download

Required TextProfessional Orchestration Volume 1

College Professors – This course is available for licensing to your school

The Professional Orchestration Writing For Strings Home Study Course, now using both video and audio, is designed as a second semester class focusing on orchestration issues for the string section compared to the first semester which covers instrumentation issues for all the orchestral instruments. Whether for class or home study, you can cover all the material in 12 -15 weeks. Or, you can set up your own self-paced program to fit in with your schedule and take your time without “stressing out” to get it all done by a certain date.

Why a Separate Writing For Strings Course?
String writing, whether for live or electronic strings, is the backbone of the orchestra and many recording sessions for “pop” dates. The string section has many shades and colors. It can be broken down into a string quartet, string quintet, smaller ensembles within the larger string ensemble, and with more complex divisi writing. Because of the amount of material to be covered, a semester or more of focused attention is needed.

With this thinking, you go through the First Movement of Ravel’s String Quartet, three string quartets and one string quintet by Mozart. Ravel’s string writing is impeccable because he asked lots of questions and brought in concert violinists to review his parts to make sure they were playable and to mark the bowings. Mozart played the violin so his part writing fits well “under the hand.”

There are other works by Ravel, plus Resphigi (who studied privately with Ravel) and Stravinsky (who studied privately for several years with Rimsky-Korsakov). For pizzicato you study an entire movement by Tchaikovsky that’s pizz only.

What You’ll Accomplish
In lessons 1-4 you’ll learn to analyze scores and string positions for solo violin, viola, cello and bass.

In Lessons 5-13, you’ll learn about the different bowings using the provided QuickTime videos, analyze and mock-up the full page/full score examples from Professional Orchestration, then analyze and optionally mock-up 15 different scores that complement the lessons.

In Lesson 14, you’ll learn techniques for recording sampled strings.

In Lesson 15, you’ll learn further insights for testing sampled string libraries.

You Get
1. 15 lessons with 4-color graphics. On print-out over nearly 125 pages of text!

2. QuickTime videos demonstrating string bowings courtesy Dr. Michael Hopkins, University of Vermont.

3. Separate String Positions booklet in 4-color for Violin, Viola, Cello and Bass

4. 15 study scores – On print-out, over 450 pages of scores

5. Downloadable live recordings of 15 of the 18 scores as performed by student orchestras.

6. Access to the Alexander University Online Library.

Summary Table of Contents
Lesson 1: Violins, String Positions Booklet
Lesson 2: Violas, String Positions Booklet
Lesson 3: Cellos, String Positions Booklet
Lesson 4: Basses, String Positions Booklet
Lesson 5: Double Stops
Lesson 6: Triplet Stops
Lesson 7: Quadruple Stops
Lesson 8: Arpeggios From Stops
Lesson 9: Trills & Fingered Tremolos
Lesson 10: Bowings, Fingered Tremolos
Lesson 11: Tremolo
Lesson 12: Pizzicato
Lesson 13: Divisi
Lesson 14: Recording Sampled Strings
Lesson 15: The Music Never Lies