Jay C. Batzner is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Central Florida where he teaches theory, composition, and technology courses as well as coordinates the composition program. He holds degrees in composition and/or theory from the University of Missouri Kansas City, the University of Louisville, and the University of Kansas.

Jay's music is primarily focused around instrumental chamber works as well as electroacoustic composition. His music has been recorded on the Capstone, Vox Novus, and Beauport Classical labels and is published by Unsafe Bull Music.

Jay is a sci-fi geek, an amateur banjoist, a home brewer, and juggler.

The List

Next spring I'm teaching orchestration. I'm looking forward to this in a big, big way. It will be the first time the class has been offered here so I've really been working on the course's design. There is so much information I want the students to experience that I'm convinced I'm just going to work them all like dogs. And they will love it.

In the textbook department, I'm seriously considering using the Forsyth book. This class will be predominately non-composition majors and the big name texts are simply overkill on content and cost. In addition to the book, I'm going to require them to buy probably 6 Dover miniature scores (great bang for buck there, too). I want to provide a historical survey of orchestrational techniques so here are the biggest contenders:

1. Brandenburg Concerti
2. Mozart 40 and 41
3. Symphonie fantastique
4. Late Romantic Something (Mahler? Dvorak 9? Brahms? Scheherezade? Till Eulenspiegel or other Strauss?)
5. La Mer
6. Rite of Spring? Schoenberg 5 Pieces? Planets?

Clearly I'm having some trouble with 4 and 6. Please note that these are not going to be the only scores we deal with. I'm making another listening/score id list of about 2 dozen works that the students will need to know and discuss. Right now I'm just dealing with scores that are Dover minis. I really wished that Sibelius 5 was a miniature score because I'd put that on the 6 slot. Maybe they need the full-sized score of that one...

Wise and Learned Internet, let me have it. Are the Brandenburgs even worth it? I'm starting to think "no."