Orchestration Class Final Exam (Final Project Reading) 2nd Term, SY 2017-2018

These are the final projects of my Orchestration 1 class in De La Salle College of Saint Benilde, School of Design and Arts, Music Production Program.



Orchestration Lecture: Score Analysis On Tchaikovsky 4th Symphony 1st movement.

Here’s a short clip from my orchestration class. An interesting orchestration technique is done by Tchaikovsky which switches the focus of the listener from the melody to the countermelody.

Concepts in Orchestration Workshop/Lecture (March 10, 2016)

I will be conducting a lecture/workshop on March 10, 2016, 10am-12pm at the University of Santo Tomas Conservatory of Music. The main topic of this lecture is creating separation between ideas in orchestration and guiding the listener’s attention in a multi-layered texture orchestration. I may throw in some composition and music production ideas as well. See you there! 🙂Screen Shot 2016-03-08 at 3.04.50 PM

Walang Anuman (Video and PDF Orchestra Score)

I had the privilege of arranging and orchestrating the music for Nicole Asensio’s song “Walang Anuman”. I also asked permission to post the orchestral score here for arranging and orchestration students to use as reference in their studies. Notice though that the score includes a drum set, which is not present in the final audio. We recorded two versions of the song, one with full rhythm section, the other without. We ended up releasing the one without the drums.

click to view the score: Walang Anuman (Full Orchestra Score)

Here’s a Soundcloud link to the draft orchestra mockup, which is reflected exactly on the orchestral score above.

below is the final version and music video of the song.

Lyrics: Nicole Laurel Asensio / Norris Lopez
Music: Nicole Laurel Asensio/ Diedonne Russo
Arranged and Orchestrated by: Juan Carlo Magsalin of Manila Philharmonic Orchestra

CAST: Sid Lucero Nicole Laurel Asensio Jim Paredes (Mafia lord- father) Charles Bennet (young son) Manu Respall (barber) Miguel Vasquez (body guard) Mavi Lozano (violinist) JC Magsalin (contrabass) Gino Lopez (guitarist) Michael De Castro (pianist)

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: Nicole Laurel Asensio

DIRECTOR: Gorio Vicuna

DOP: Jhep Veloso
Camera Operator: Peter Frac
WARDROBE and HAIR: Joseph Aloysius
MAKEUP: Nicole Pastrano
GAFFER: Allen Cristobal
LIGHTING CREW: Dave Montalbo Allen Santorio
UTILITY: Gerry Geneblazo Jojo Canonoy

CATERING: Big Belly Productions

VENUE: Fernwood Gardens,
Special Thanks to Al and Barbara Bennett

Finale 2014: Preparing Classroom Exercises

Here’s a quick Finale 2014 tip for educators. When preparing exercises for students, especially for harmony and voicing exercises, I usually want to separate each measure into small adjacent staff systems for students to write on. The way to do this is to go to “Page Layout” and uncheck “Avoid Margin Collisions”. This will let you move individual staff systems to wherever you want.

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If you want to place the whole note in the middle of the measure, you will need to download a JW Plugin called “JW Change. This plugin does a lot of things, including moving the note entry horizontally within a measure.

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Here’s a video of how I did my class exercise in Finale 2014.


Tom & Jerry Live Scoring

To my orchestration students, I stumbled upon this really cool video. It’s a live performance of the music used in old Tom and Jerry cartoons. In relation to our current lesson in Brasses (and subsequent lessons in Woodwinds and Percussion), there are a lot of articulation here in use that are hard to describe in class without examples. Let’s get on with the observations:
– music starts off big and comedic. then at about 0:31, changes into a smaller comedic orchestration
– from 0:31, notice the really quick, short, and energetic melody presented by strings. this helps in the presentation of the hyper-active cat-and-mouse scenes.
– notice when the solo violin comes in at 0:51, the orchestration of the other material (harmonic and counterpoint) thins out to let the solo violin project more (solo violin is doubled with flute at 1:02).
– 0:57 comes the trumpets using mutes. i can’t really tell though if they’re using straight mutes or harmon mutes.
– 1:15 in this orchestration, the addition of the sax section (usually 2 altos, 2 tenors, 1 baritone, but in this case its 3 altos and 1 baritone). this gives the music that jazz-y feel along with the addition of the drum set.
– at 1:32, a solo muted trumpet comes in off-camera.
– 1:47 here you see trumpets using the plunger to get that “wah-wah” effect.
– 2:00 here you’ll see a trombone glissando using the slide.
– 2:14 one of the many “weird” percussion instruments you’ll encounter: trashcan and plates/pans.
– 2:21 another weird percussion instrument. the “screaming man”.. hehe
– 2:29 perfect example of a quirky melodic line in the strings doubled by the marimba to add to that comic effect.
– 2:45 trombone solo counterpoint with slide glissandi
– 2:48 off camera, you’ll hear the brasses do a flutter tongue effect.
– 3:03 trombone using a harmon mute and using his hand for a “wah-wah” effect.
– 3:30 you guys just imagine the scene that needs that kind of percussion.
– 4:55 yes, a gunshot can be used as a percussion instrument (just like one of, i think, mozart’s pieces that requires for a cannon to be shot).

Live Performance of Written Work


The feeling of accomplishment will always be there every time one of my orchestrations or arrangement gets played live. Although, admittedly, this is always accompanied by another feeling; as if I have just submitted my thesis and is currently under scrutiny by the whole college department.

In terms of being an arranger and orchestrator, I always think of the process as a never ending learning event. Every music I orchestrate pushes my creativity into different directions; directions which I wouldn’t initially think of looking into at the beginning of the writing process.

This YouTube clip is from last Jan. 19, 2015. The show’s organizers commissioned me to orchestrate the song People (T. Bennett version). The music was performed by Arthur Manuntag with the String Minstrels Orchestra.