At least they were listening

I recently got an email from a student who compiled a list of things that I said in last semester’s Orchestration class. I’m not going to dispute any of these. I don’t quite remember WHY I said some of them, though. My recollections are in parentheses.

– “Write this for bassoons and it’ll sound like burrito night.”

– “The high range of this is on mushrooms.” (not sure, maybe oboe?)

– “I don’t generally find myself asking, ‘What would Johann do?'” (as in Strauss)

– “If you want them to be really quiet, give them rests… unless they are middle school percussionists.”

– “I don’t think Stravinsky thought, ‘Debussy? What crap!'” (part II of Rite)

– “You wake up every morning and there’s a new low note on the bass clarinet.”

– “The Nuclear Whales Sax Ensemble has a version of ‘Fanfare for the Common Man’ that will… it will make you salute.”

– “This would be layer cake… and THIS would be brownies.” (overlapping vs. interlocking scoring for woodwinds)

– “Right… and I’m gonna build a house and assume you all have a vertical leap of 8 feet and not build stairs.” (assuming that performers will play whatever you write)

– “I want you to treat these scores… like gateway drugs.”

– “Don’t go above that C. Ok, the D if you have to… if it’s your birthday or something.” (high range of trumpet, I think)

– “Unless you are Holst. If you get to be Holst, send me a postcard.”

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One Comment

  1. Ryan Sirmeyer
    Posted September 21, 2010 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    I’ll have to say, this was one of my few favorite classes I took. Every class was a blast.

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