Skip to main content

Unit information: Advanced Orchestration in 2021/22

Unit name Advanced Orchestration
Unit code MUSIM0043
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Professor. Ellison
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of Music
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description including Unit Aims

This unit provides a thorough grounding in the techniques of orchestral writing. Individual instrumental capabilities will be studied, but the emphasis will be on techniques for blending instruments and developing these into more complex orchestral textures. Examples used will be drawn mainly from nineteenth and twentieth century orchestral literature.


  • Provide students with clear understanding of professional orchestral score layout
  • Develop students' ability to blend and balance fairly complex instrumental colours in an orchestral context.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Students successfully completing this unit will be able to:

  1. demonstrate an advanced working knowledge of the capabilities and blending of orchestral instruments (e.g.1.1 range, 1.2 dynamic profile, 1.3 technical limitations)
  2. arrange passages in appropriate style, using given exemplars
  3. layout complex pages of score in a fully professional manner

Teaching Information

Teaching will be delivered through a combination of synchronous and asynchronous sessions, including seminars, tutorials, and self-directed exercises.

Assessment Information

Portfolio assignment 1 25%

Portfolio assignment 2 25%

Project 50%


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. MUSIM0043).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.