Bachelor of Music - Orchestration Year 1 Unit Outline

Unit of Study - Orchestration

The following applies to Year One Bachelor of Music students.

Unit Outlines

Unit Name


Unit Code


Unit Duration

Year long unit over 4 terms

Year Level



Instrumentation and Improvisation

Module Code


Year Coordinator

Dr Matthew Fields

Unit Coordinator

Glenn Carter-Varney

Teaching Staff

Lecturer:      Leonie Wobking
Sessionals: Dr Ern Knoop, Mary Ann Mangion-Needham





Credit Points

2 per term; 8 per year
Course total = 24

Mode of Delivery

x Face to face
x Online
x Distance/independent learning (un-timetabled)
x Full-time
x Part-time
x External

Delivery/ Contact Hours

Lecture 1 hour
Personal Study recommended - 2 hours


Bachelor of Music

Resource Requirements

  • Software
  • Computing resource requirements
  • Technical Help


Unit Aims

In this unit students will develop knowledge and understanding of instruments' range, application, capabilities and best methods used in compositions and arrangements.  An increase in awareness of overall sound and technical difficulties in instrumental groups to increase skills toward composition writing for each instrument will develop throughout the unit.  Social, interpersonal and communication skills will be developed and applied when writing lyrics.  In addition, knowledge and understanding of improvisation techniques and application of music technology software will be developed to incorporate as a resource for writing compositions and arrangements. 

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students are expected to be able to:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of technical components from the four major orchestral instruments.
  2. Research and evaluate instruments' harmonic and melodic applications in musical works.
  3. Display social, interpersonal and communication skills in writing original song lyrics, knowledge of negative or positive outcomes and social responsibilities, including poetic and lyrical techniques and the ability to communicate a musical message or idea to listeners.
  4. Display knowledge of improvisational skills in the use of chordal and rhythmic patterns while performing and producing musical works.
  5. Develop interpretative and creative compositional/arranging skills to combine given or create original sound FX and instrumental parts into rhythmical and melodic structured accompaniment with given film.

Teaching Outline

Year 1


Term One

  • Introduction to the string instruments
  • Part writing and range of string instruments
  • Listening tasks for string instruments to set music
  • Playing techniques

Term Two

  • Introduction to woodwind instruments
  • Part writing and range of woodwind instruments
  • Scoring of woodwind instruments
  • Listening tasks for woodwind instruments to set music

Term Three

  • Part writing and range of brass instruments
  • Listening tasks for brass instruments to set music
  • Brass band study
  • Improvisation: An alternate approach

Term Four

  • Rhythm - percussion, voice and the keyboard
  • Words and melody
  • Written analysis on improvisation
  • Listening tasks for percussion instruments to set music
  • Setting audio sound patches to create an arrangement that accompanies video clips

Prescribed and recommended readings:

Required textbook(s)

  • Online Books (MOODLE)
  • AGME – Orchestration Textbook
  • AGME – Instrumentation Workbooks (4)
  • AGME – Theory Textbook
  • AGME – Finale/Sibelius Textbooks
  • Assignment Guidelines (4)
  • Lecture notes from your lecturer relating to Orchestration for extra reading material.
  • Oxford Music Online, a subscription to Grove Music Online includes The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians 2/e, The New Grove Dictionary of Opera, the new Grove Dictionary of Jazz 2/e, The Oxford Companion to Music and The Oxford Dictionary of Music 2/e, plus updated content bibliographies, specially-commissioned articles only available online, and new and revised entries from the forthcoming The Grove Dictionary of American Music.
  • JSTOR Journals and book subscriptions
  • video tutorials

Reference Materials
Online streaming videos available of live tutorials.
Additional material on DVD if requested are given/posted to students in groups, upon completion of viewing students are required to return DVDs and then they will be supplied the next group of DVD’s.

  • Exploring Music
  • Contemporary music course by Clive Cockburn
  • Creative Inspirations by Mark Mothersbaugh

Reading List

  • Melodies and their Treatment: A.J. Leckie
  • Chords Scales and Simple Improvisation: Books 1+2. by Michael Furstner
  • Blues Basics for Beginners by Michael Furstner
  • Scales and Arpeggios for the Jazz Pianist by Michael Furstner
  • A Guide to Rock and Pop
  • A complete idiot’s guide to arranging and orchestration by Michael Miller
  • Teaching popular music by Peter Dunbar-Hall
  • The Craft of Lyric Writing by Sheila Davis
  • Rock, Jazz & Pop Arranging by Daryl Runswick
  • Writing music for hit songs by Jai Josefs
  • Jazz Improvisation 1 – Tonal and Rhythmic Principles by John Mehegan
  • Melody in Songwriting by Jack Perricone (Berkelee Press)
  • Harmony by Mark Sarnecki

Barbara Owen and Arthur W.J.G. Ord-Hume. "Orchestration." Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. Oxford University Press. Web. 22 Sep. 2014. <>.
Mervyn Cooke. "Film music." Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. Oxford University Press. Web. 22 Sep. 2014. <>.


Student assessment 

Assessment Type

When assessed

(% of total unit marks)

Learning Outcomes Assessed

Assessment 1
Type: Workbook
Word length: n/a
Topic: Instrumentation Strings Workbook
Students will complete a set of questions with small practical tasks (e.g. application of string writing) that will develop knowledge of string instruments.

Term 1 Week 9


1, 2,

Assessment 2
Type: Workbook
Word length: n/a
Topic: Instrumentation Woodwind Workbook
Students will complete a set of questions with small practical tasks (e.g. application of woodwind writing) that will develop knowledge of woodwind instruments.

Term 2
Week 9


1, 2,

Assessment 3
Type: Workbook
Word length: n/a
Topic: Instrumentation Brass Workbook
Students will complete a set of questions with small practical tasks (e.g. application of brass writing) that will develop knowledge of brass instruments.

Term 3
Week 9


1, 2, 4

Assessment 4
Type: Workbook and Practical
Word length: Short answer and short report (300 words)
Topic: Instrumentation Rhythm and Percussion Workbook
Students will research and complete a set of questions with small practical tasks that will develop knowledge of rhythm and percussion instruments.  In addition to the workbook students will write a report on the practical task that will include elements of music technology software to implement arranging to given sound samples of film.

Term 4 Week 9


1, 2, 3, 4, 5


Graduate Attributes

Successfully completing this unit will contribute to the recognition of attainment of the following graduate attributes.

A. Research, critical thinking and inquiry

Learning Outcomes

A1. adjust knowledge to new circumstances to problem solve creatively and with imagination in public performance/professional practice

1, 3

A2. research, analyse, evaluate, think critically, organize evidence clearly and logically in a range of circumstances, including written work, performance and professional practice

 2, 5

B. Knowledge and Skills


B1. knowledge of music technologies required in performance/professional practice


B2. advanced knowledge of music theory, aural, and performance/professional practice in either solo or group settings

1, 4

C. Communication


C1. communicate effectively to a variety of audiences using oral,  written, audio and visual applications to extend learning, (including while directing ensemble groups, instrumental tutoring,  and other professional practice), and utilising  assessment, negotiation and understanding

3, 4, 5

C2. ability to contribute to teams and resolve conflicts whilst supervising group tasks, performing or other professional practice


D. Independent Learning


D1. independent learning in a self-directed manner while being able to reflect on and evaluate work practices and performance to achieve goals

4, 5

E. Creative and Professional Understanding


E1. demonstrate professional understanding and respect for standards of current music knowledge, pedagogy, performance/professional practice.


E2. open to innovative concepts, procedures and philosophies in performance/professional practice and application of creativity.

4, 5