Please note: there may be some adjustments to the teaching arrangements published in the course catalogue for 2020-21. Given current circumstances related to the Covid-19 pandemic it is anticipated that some usual arrangements for teaching on campus will be modified to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students and staff on campus; further adjustments may also be necessary, or beneficial, during the course of the academic year as national requirements relating to management of the pandemic are revised.

Orchestration MUSIC1004

  • Academic Session: 2021-22
  • School: School of Culture and Creative Arts
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 1 (SCQF level 7)
  • Typically Offered: Runs Throughout Semesters 1 and 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: Yes

Short Description

The course introduces basic principles of instrumentation together with consideration of historical and compositional factors. In semester 1 you will have lectures on the development of the "classical" orchestra from the 18th to 20th centuries. The assignments will include exercises in analysing and reducing orchestral scores into versions for two pianos and in orchestrating existing piano pieces. In semester 2 you will be shown how to devise three short compositions using techniques inspired by works by 20th century composers and to orchestrate them. You will provide a set of parts for one of them to be performed by professional musicians.


One-hour lecture and one hour seminar per week as scheduled in MyCampus.

One 3-hour workshop.
Individual tutorials (2 hrs)

Requirements of Entry

Admission to the BMus programme or Year 2 of the MA programme


Three exercises in orchestration, weighted 25% (due mid semester 1), 25% (due end semester 1), 50% (due end semester 2)

Main Assessment In: April/May

Course Aims

To introduce basic principles of instrumentation together with consideration of historical and compositional factors.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of the course, students should be able to demonstrate:
a) Knowledge of instrumentation
b) Competence in the technical study of orchestration
c) Awareness of historical style and compositional principles relating to instrumental music

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.