Scott Smalley Orchestration Course Now Available Online

Film Music Magazine • April 6, 2011

The Film Music Institute is excited to announce that Scott Smalley’s legendary Art of Orchestration for Film course is now available in a 100% online version to composers, orchestrators and music students worldwide at

This new 2-part online course, is an expanded version of the industry’s most popular and longest running film music orchestration course taught by top Hollywood orchestrator Scott Smalley (“Batman,” “Mission: Impossible,” “The Insider”) for over 20 years to over 2,500 students worldwide.

The course is centered around an intensive look at the specific orchestration techniques of master film composers including Jerry Goldsmith, Danny Elfman, Basil Poledouris, Alan Silvestri, David Newman and others. Participants learn how these master composers achieve the richest, strongest and most effective sound from live orchestras.

Through the use of audio examples and detailed scores and sketches from top films that course participants download and refer to during the 39 lessons comprising the course, Scott Smalley explains and demonstrates specific orchestration techniques and shows participants how and why they work.

The updated and expanded course is presented in two parts:

The Art of Orchestration for Film Part 1 introduces and explains Smalley’s unique orchestration concepts, tools and techniques for balancing the orchestra to match the emotional and dramatic landscape of film music. Also in Part 1 is a study of orchestration for the string section, detailing specific methods for orchestrating for strings to achieve the highest quality orchestral sound.

The Art of Orchestration for Film Part 2 features with a detailed study of orchestration for the brass section, including how to create strength, transparency, how and when to use various combinations of brass instruments to achieve specific sounds, and how to create a powerful brass section sound, and much more. Part 2 concludes with a detailed study of orchestration for woodwinds and a section on recording techniques for studio orchestras.

Topics covered over the two sections of the course include:
How top film composers achieve the Hollywood Sound from film scoring orchestras
How to orchestrate effectively for strings, brass and woodwinds
How to effectively balance the orchestra and work with instruments in their various ranges
The concepts of transparency, strength and division and how to create and use them
How to voice chords and harmonies for maximum effect
How soften or strengthen instruments and sections using color, not volume
The use of triadic harmonies, pyramids, polychords, chromatic clusters and more
How to use the concept of mediant chord relationships
How to create and effectively use special effects such as string sweeps, woodwind sweeps and more
How to determine the priority of notes when voicing a chord and dividing its notes among instruments
The importance of intervals to maintain harmonic clarity, use of hybrid scales
The concept of the Zed Clef and its usage to determine voicings, blend, and harmonic effects
Manipulation of the tessaturic ranges of instruments to achieve balance and sonic placement
Effective recording techniques when working with live orchestras
Course participants have direct contact with instructor Scott Smalley and can email questions at any point, plus participants have access to a special Course Forum where participants can share information, discuss orchestration and class topics, and ask questions of Smalley and other course participants.

Prerequisites: Some familiarity with writing for orchestral instruments using samples or live players is helpful. This course extensively utilizes scores and sketches so a basic knowledge of how to read music is required to achieve the best results from this course.

*** THROUGH APRIL 28, 2011

Register before April 28,2011 and receive $100 off the regular course fee of $395 for each part
Only $295 for each part through April 28, 2011
Visa, MC, Amex, and Paypal Accepted

To register today for the course to get immediate access, or view a sample lesson visit:

The Scott Smalley Art of Orchestration for Film course is also available in a live version taught in Los Angeles on May 14-15, 2011 – for more information visit:

For more information on the Film Music Institute visit: