Photograph of an orchestra practicing in a large theatre auditorium

Music 2: Orchestration and Arrangement

Course Level: 2 (HE5) | HE Credits: 60 | Approx. Duration: 15 months at 10hrs/week


This unit introduces the study of orchestration, transcription and arrangement through the exploration of case study works by established composers from different eras of musical history and your own practical work. The exercises and assignments are designed to provide practical experience in handling different instrumental groups and will develop your ability to blend and balance an ensemble texture. You will be required to listen to a range of music, develop your own opinions and preferences and reflect on the orchestration style of other composers on your own learning journey.

This unit is a requirement for those students planning to undertake their Major Project in Orchestration
at Level 6.


The aims of this unit are to:

  • A1: develop an understanding of the use of instruments, individually and in combination
  • A2: learn how to adapt existing material so that it can be played successfully on different
  • A3: develop an awareness of the styles of orchestration adopted by established composers
    through history
  • A4: develop your knowledge of score notation conventions and the ability to reflect critically on
    your own work


On satisfactory completion of the unit you will be able to:

  • LO1: orchestrate material for a range of instrumental groupings demonstrating appropriate use of the
    range and techniques of each instrument (A1)
  • LO2: arrange existing material for different instruments, including making piano reductions of
    ensemble works (A2)
  • LO3: recognise and write about styles of orchestration by established composers and reflect on how
    your research has developed your own skills (A3)
  • LO4: present your work using conventions of notation and score layout using appropriate software,
    and reflect critically on your own learning (A4).

Course sample

Click here to download the Music 2: Orchestration and Arrangement course sample