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Arranging Horn Parts


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I'm looking for any info on how to arrange horn parts for my funk/rock/blues/jazz band, and also any information on windows-based basic software that I can do it on. I'm also curious as to whether you can get any sequencer-type software that will run on a PDA like a palm? Any help would be most appreciated, Alex
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[quote]Originally posted by alexclaber: [b]I'm looking for any info on how to arrange horn parts for my funk/rock/blues/jazz band, and also any information on windows-based basic software that I can do it on. I'm also curious as to whether you can get any sequencer-type software that will run on a PDA like a palm? Any help would be most appreciated, Alex[/b][/quote] From an arranging lesson of mine from my website: Arranging for Horns (Three Part Primer) I'll give you a note for note primer on three part writing, but in the end, use your ears and common sense, keeping in mind the ranges of the instruments, but think musically, and unless your just doing a direct "lift" of the horn parts from a C.D. , then remember that they don't have to be playing the whole time... Anyway, in three part harmonization, the quality of the given 7th chord and whether the given melody note has a chord tone, an extension, or neither determines the harmonization... In general, the harmonization should conform to the following principals: Span one octave or less... Add two parts below the given melody... Do not double (repeat) any note in two voices... Do not have a half-step between the upper two voices... Include as much parallel motion as possible... The principals below are the main guides for adding two parts in a three-part harmonization: Add the 3rd and the 7th to the given note... If the given note is the 3rd or the 7th, add the other one (the 7th or the 3rd) and any other chord tone... If the melody note is an appropriate higher extension, the 3rd or the 7th may be added along with the other chord tone... Now, the exceptions: The 5th of a major or minor triad may be changed to the 6th(making a major or minor 6th chord) when using triads to harmonize major and minor 7th chords... For half-diminished chords, the harmonization should include the b5, avoiding major 2nds between the upper two voices... For diminished 7th chords, add any other two chord tones to the given note... For major 7 chords and minor 7 chords, the 5th and the 3rd may be added to a given 9 or b9... If a given melody note to be harmonized is not a chord tone or an appropriate extension (for instance a #11, with a minor 7 chord) it should be harmonized exactly parallel to the harmonization for the next melody tone... Other options are to use only parallel diatonic triads, quartal voicings(harmonization in 4ths), polychords (using notes derived from the altered tones of an altered chord that make up a "new" triad)... And when I'm in a hurry, I throw all of this out, and just write all unison and octaves, with the occasional harmonization... With your having three saxes, you should be creative... Have the bottom two voices harmonized in 3rds, 4ths, 5ths, 6ths, 7ths, octaves, while the top guy solos through it... For the funk thing, space is as important as filling the measures... Think in syncopation with groups of four 16th notes... Think of octave doits on the "and" of 1,2,3, and 4...(placed strategically) Think of hits on the last 16th of each beat as well...(placed strategically) Here's an instrumental arrangement of mine from 1998, it's a Tower of Power style arrangement of the Christmas song "O Come O Come Emmanuel" [url=http://www.scottjonesmusic.com/aufiles/jazzmaster/Track01.ram]O Come O Come Emmanuel[/url] -Streaming only This is a 6 piece horn section: 2 trumpets, alto and tenor sax, two trombones... In this, I considered the two saxes, their own section, apart from the bones and trumpets... I often had the saxes playing against the "other section", or in the spaces... Every now and then, I would join them with the bones, or the trumpets for power... Also, I would have the trumpets play an octave line, followed by a harmonization in the saxes.... Or I would harmonize the melody to a point under the lead trumpet, then have the two trumpets join in octaves at the end of the melody for power... Anyway, as I said, in the end, use your ear and common sense... Really, the classical "rule" of NO parallel 5ths and many others, go out the window in any modern music and become more of a tool or conceptual element than "can't do's"...and it all comes down to a matter of the composer/arranger's discretion... For most mainstream jazz writing, the most commonly used intervals are 3rds and 6ths, not strictly parallel, but diatonic... Quite often, "clusters" and tight harmonic structures using 2nds and 7ths are more frequent in more modern styles... Anyway, some stuff to get it going... Peace, Scott
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alex- i found that other thread, but it was one you started. a month ago. what have you been doing since then? has your band been gigging/rehearsing with horns? let us know what's up. in the other thread a couple of people mentioned some good bands to listen to for studying horn parts, were any of them useful? are there other bands whose horn stuff you like more, say cake or no doubt or they might be giants? what style is your band?
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Alex- Sjones rundown is excellent. Please try it. If you are not familiar with the terms he uses you might need to get an introduction to music therory book. Let us know I am sure Sjones has some ideas and I could check my old texts. And don't forget that one of the quickest ways to train the ear and learn by example what Sjones has shared is to try and transcribe stuff. Recommended are James Brown and TOP (Tower of Power) horn section. There is an excellent instrumental JB outtakes CD box. Try transcribing TOP horns appearing on other peoples records before their own first. Good luck, Mike
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