5. Three layer string orchestra + flute, oboe, clarinet + three horns (melody + harmony + texture)
By adding extra instruments to our ensemble, we suddenly get a lot more room to maneuver! In our previous examples, we had to have all our layers in only the strings, but now, we can color our sonic atmosphere in other timbres and use our layers in even more interesting ways.
In this arrangement, the flute starts out with the theme, which is then taken by the oboe and lastly by the first and second violins in octaves with the clarinet doubling the lower octave. Switching the melody from instrument to instrument makes this short piece constantly interesting.
The harmony is in the beginning played by tremolo violins and violas. Note that now, the dynamic marking of these strings has changed from mp to p. The reason for this is to dynamically make room for the flute, which can now really sing the theme so we can hear it loud and clear. The cellos are still playing the same texture as in the previous arrangement, but now, this layer is complimented by a subtexture layer in the clarinet. The triplets and eighth notes create a somewhat dense and moving feeling. The double basses are the only instruments, that still have not changed from our first arrangement.
In bar 6, where the mf part starts, we have now added a rich texture in the flute and oboe, which are playing 16th sextuplets based on the harmonic progression. This texture enriches the high part of our composition and gives it a triumphant and “flying” feeling. The cellos and violas are in this part exactly the same as in the previous arrangement. In bar 6, we finally also add the horns, which take the role of the harmony. 3 horns are more than enough to make the harmony heard loud and clear. Even if we erased out the horns, we could still sense the harmony because of the flute and oboe and violas and cellos. But because, the woodwinds are playing fast and transient notes, it is a lot better to have some long and steady horn notes that really bring the harmony forward. Having long notes in your harmony acts as sort of a super glue that holds the whole orchestration together.