Music for an orchestra

Music for an orchestra

Before the HKCEE, our music teacher asked if anyone wanted to arrange a piece for a primary school orchestra.

I felt this was a great chance. I may never get an orchestra to play my work again in my whole life.

I signed up for the class by our music teacher with just one other student. The two of us were responsible for scoring one half of an assigned song.

I knew nothing about orchestration. I just knew how to compose simple melodies.

I had a hard time learning the skills and terms of orchestration.

The piece we had to orchestrate was a song called Flying Free. I started thinking of rhythms and notes to go with the lyrics.

I began experimenting with the sounds of different instruments. I arranged them in a way to suit the lyrics. My teacher found quite a number of mistakes in my first version. What I had done wrong was write down the sound I wanted without considering if it could be played on an instrument.

I corrected the score by taking into account the difficulties of playing different instruments. We then merged my composition with my classmate's.

A primary school choir was to play our score. I first thought that it would be a small orchestra. It turned out to have some 60 or 70 members!

On the day of the performance, I was really excited. The orchestra accompanied a 200-member choir on stage. I realised that the strings were too powerful, drowning out the sound of the choir and other instruments.

But I was quite pleased with their performance and felt elated at hearing my arrangement played. Scoring a piece of music for an orchestra was a fantastic experience. It helped me discover that I can create music not only by performing on an instrument but also by contributing to the arrangement of a piece for other performers.

I continue taking lessons from my teacher. I have since arranged other pieces for both Chinese- and Western-style musical ensembles.

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