You are on page 1of 3

PROFESSIONAL ORCHESTRATION: A P RACTICAL H ANDBOOK - From Piano to Strings

This adaptation of broken sixths applies the principle of having one legato part combined
with a second, non-legato part carrying out the rhythmic notation. Its a setting possible at
all tempos and dynamic levels.

At (1) the first violins are divided in octaves to compensate for the stronger forte dynamic
as well as to fill the need for greater sonority as the figure ascends to a higher range. The
entrance of the bass part at (2) requires a three-octave spread to avoid the large gap in the
middle register and to add emphasis value to this part.

Additional Comments. The Violins 2 part is a challenge for repeated notes/round robin
programs. If repeated notes are ineffective, a new eighth note line can be created by having
F go down to D, E down to C, etc.

5. Broken Thirds
There is very little difference between the method of arranging these intervals for strings
and that given for sixths. The type of adaptation is determined by the style, tempo, and
dynamic of the passage in question.

Similar treatment can, of course, be applied to broken intervals in the tenor and bass
ranges as shown in Examples S-6 [c] and [d]. The versions given at Examples S-6 [a] and
[c] are called for in fast tempos while those at Examples S-6 [b] and [d] are playable in
most moderate and slow tempos. (See the second movement of Beethovens Sixth Symphony for
string parts in broken thirds.) The upper eighth note stems (cello) in Example S-6 [c] have an
alternative modification which permits a legato effect for broken intervals at fast tempos.

Example S-6

8
Extract from Professional Orchestration: A Practical Handbook From Piano to Strings (Book)
Copyright 2009 by Peter Lawrence Alexander. All rights reserved.
Music engraving by Max Tofone (www.mtmusicservices.com)
Use this chart to determine where string unisons begin and end and what register they take place in
for each instrument. Basses have been written where sounds (an octave where written, is an octave
higher).
Appendix I

Chart of String Unisons

89
PROFESSIONAL ORCHESTRATION: A P RACTICAL H ANDBOOK - Workbook

Serious Variations

50
Extract from Professional Orchestration: A Practical Handbook From Piano to Strings (Workbook)
Copyright 2009 by Peter Lawrence Alexander. All rights reserved.
Music engraving by Max Tofone (www.mtmusicservices.com)