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Acoustic and MIDI Orchestration for the Contemporary Composer: A Practical Guide to Writing and Sequencing for the Studio Orchestra PAP/CDR Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0240520216
ISBN-10: 0240520211
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Andrea Pejrolo is a music technology professor at Berklee College of Music, MIDI programmer, sound designer, composer/ arranger, and jazz acoustic and electric bassist. He is also the author of Acoustic and MIDI Orchestration for the Contemporary Composer (Focal Press, 2007) and has written several articles for music magazines in the US and abroad. Andrea created the iAcousticA Studio drum library available in Kontakt, EXS-24, iDrum, Giga Studio, and Reason NN-XT formats. He has collaborated on many varied projects with US and UK production companies, theaters, music festivals, websites, and international organizations
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 308 pages
  • Publisher: Focal Press; PAP/CDR edition (September 26, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0240520211
  • ISBN-13: 978-0240520216
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.6 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #883,122 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
This is a good book, easy to digest yet surprisingly thorough.

However, be warned. The otherwise awesome kindle edition is lacking the critical audio examples that you get when buying the printed version.

Why? I don't know. The kindle can handle audio files. Or the publisher could make the examples available on their web site.

But neither option is available. Which ruins an otherwise great read, since you'll be zooming along learning about this or that intonation -- and then the author will say "check out this sample track on the CD" -- but, woops, no audio samples are available on the kindle. I'll bet all the examples would take less than 2 or 3 MB of space as MP3 files, which would be fine. I hope Amazon or the publisher corrects this error.

Luckily, I was able to get ahold of the author himself and he helped me connect with the samples. But that's just crazy! Cool of him. Bad on Amazon!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I wrote a detailed review a couple of weeks ago that gave this book a three star rating. It was not vulgar or inappropriate in any way, yet it was completely deleted. However, I just received an email from Amazon soliciting my opinion once again!

In short, the book has some decent information on sequencing techniques, though some of it just demonstrates a firm grasp of the obvious, i.e., "use controller messages to add expression" and other similar gems.

The orchestration part of the book covers the rhythm section (don't over quantize) as well as the various sections of the orchestra and how to sequence those instruments realistically. The book does not cover how to combine instruments from the various sections. Stings + woodwinds anyone? You will have to look elsewhere for that type of information.

Recommended for beginners.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I ordered this book in great anticipation to find lots of technical details as to MIDI composition. However, the book appears to be mainly intended for students who are at their beginning trials (or little beyond) of computer composition. Though good at that level, and containing lots of very useful information and tips, the book does not go into the techniques, and their illustration, far enough. Many of the suggestions remain just that, without showing specific work. Ditto with techniques. "Use CCx for situation y" but, although sometimes graphically shown, many times the narative is not developed into thorough presentation. In other words, I would have desired (much) more analysis and examples.

Then, there's too much introduction to traditional instruments, occupying quite a hefty chunk of the book. When creating a book of this nature, one would expect that the reader be beyond elementary stages. After all, orchestration is a capstone discipline. Evidently, one must know the ins and outs of traditional orchestration in order to procede to the next level. The authors mention this, so I won't dwell on it. In my experience, the composer who uses a computer to realise his/her musical ideas, struggles mostly with less than perfect samples, which behave differently when in combination with other samples than when are sounded only by themselves. For example, no matter how good a violin section sample may be, when put together with viola section samples it will behave differently. I know, books that fully render MIDI composition experience can be of interminable dimentions. However, more extensive books are very much needed, and I am sure that readers would copiously benefit from the present book's authors' vast experience. I also realise that such books will be more expensive than this one.
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Format: Paperback
A great book for beginners and intermediate orchestrator enthusiasts who wishes to sequence their scores in the computer. Provides a pretty technical explanation of using sample libraries and the way to actually sequence different sections of the orchestra.

A very good blend of traditional and modern orchestration insights. Book is very well organized in addressing different needs of modern day orchestration using computers.

I would recommend this book for any budding composer or orchestrator who wishes to create a mock-up of the orchestral piece...
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Format: Paperback
Thanks to Andrea Perjolo and Richard DeRosa. This book is extremely helpful to the computer musician/producer who wants to learn how to make his MIDI productions shine.

The chapters are separated by orchestral sections, and detailed guidelines are provided for each, in terms of sequencing, arranging, applying effects, etc., with many examples provided so you can see and hear what is being discussed.

The book is very comprehensive, as I would expect from professors from Juliard and Berklee.

I was not prepared, when I first read this book, however.

After I finished it the first time, I had to go back and completely review everything I could about the MIDI features/capabilities/procedures of my MIDI interface, and of my DAW.

What I mean is that I could understand the MIDI concepts and functions that the authors were outlining and I could follow along adequately, but I had to do a significant amount of review to get to the point where I was able to implement these very useful guidelines and recommendations on my specific MIDI controller/DAW.

I also learned about what features to look for in sample libraries, samplers, and synthesizers.

On my second pass throough the book, I was actually prepared to work through the exercises.
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