Orchestration is the study or practice of writing music for an orchestra (or, more loosely, for any musical ensemble, such as a concert band) or of adapting music composed for another medium for an orchestra. Also called "instrumentation", orchestration is the selection of different instruments to play the different parts (e.g., melody, bassline, etc.) of a musical work. For example, a work for solo piano could be adapted and orchestrated so that an orchestra could perform the piece, or a concert band piece could be orchestrated for a symphony orchestra. Only gradually over the course of music history did orchestration come to be regarded as a separate compositional art and profession in itself. In classical music, most composers write the melodies, chord progression and musical form for a piece and, then, if they want the piece to be played by an orchestra, they orchestrate the piece themselves. In musical theatre, however, the composer typically writes the melodies and then hires a professional arranger or orchestrator to devise the parts for the pit orchestra to play. Similarly, when a film company is making a film score, a composer thinks up the main melodies and themes for the score, and then one or more orchestrators are hired to "flesh out" these basic melodies by adding accompaniment parts, basslines, backing chords, and so on. In jazz big bands, the composer or songwriter writes the lead sheet, which contains the melody and the chords, and then one or more orchestrators or arrangers "flesh out" these basic musical ideas by creating parts for the saxophones, trumpets, trombones, and the rhythm section (bass, piano/jazz guitar/Hammond organ, drums).


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