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Arrangement and its Features

make music

Yes! There is a topic about which we can talk long and hard, and at the end of the conversation did not budge an inch. The question of how to make an arrangement puts in a hopeless impasse. You begin to ask yourself - how to explain a person how to do it, if work on the arrangement requires not just a bunch of computer software, and not even a studio packed with synthesizers and treatment. it requires something else - the taste, knowledge, hearing, musical baggage, experience and so on... Well, of course, a decent room, adequate control and quality environment for recording important too.

 So I'm hardly in the next few paragraphs, and tens of thousands of words can thoroughly describe the algorithm for creating arrangements. Especially - I can not give unambiguous advice about what you should do to your arrangement immediately sounded on all radio stations. But one thing I still can tell. And it will help you avoid the most common mistakes. Well, you know, as the proverb - clean, not where washed, and where do not litter. About this and will be discussed - mostly not about what to do, but about what not to do.

Thus, the most common problems faced, and therefore deal with them, the average arranger.

Form and content

To begin with - it should be clearly understood that the arrangement - it does not composition. This setting for the works of his way to file.Therefore it is necessary to reflect - and whether the content of the form that you want to give him? For example, take the song in the genre of chanson and trying to make it a disco. Possible, of course, as a result you get something a la disco, but for fans it will be a slap chanson, and fans of dance genres, probably just missed your pearls on deaf ears and attention.

Choose a genre in which the song will be heard by the most authentic and harmonious. Do not need Russian round dance song trying to pass off as bossa nova, not worth of heavy metal mold lullaby. Not if your goal - experiments - there is definitely a flag in your hands. But here we will focus on a more or less standard, "academic" approach.

Then - understand whether the material chosen to spend his days and nights trying to lick it up to hit the state. Pay attention to the original data. Whether the text is good? I wonder whether the music? If a lot of mistakes in the text, templates, blunders - most likely, even with the good arrangement of the final result will cause many negative. If musical promise poor and uninteresting - you can, of course, work out in the harmonic substitutions, rewrite most of the melodic lines, and so on, but the question is - is it worth it? Maybe easier to take up something else or come up with a new song from scratch?

Of course, when it comes to the implementation of a commercial order for the arrangement - there will have to be reconciled. And bang your head against the wall trying to polish and remove ticks hit of sad gray-lettered sound mass. It's even possible you will be able to make a hit out of a bad song, but never get it done well. So, song "sing their" on the radio and at corporate, and will be safely forgotten. If the question is about money - and God bless her.  And if you still have the creativity - becomes sad.

So, the first recommendation - do not stomp synthetic socks silk threads. Rate critical material with which to work with.

Much - does not mean good

One of the main problems of any arranger - no matter experienced and novice - to look at the complexity of his work not take a fresh look at. Rather, with ear. We come up with the party, bringing it to the ideal state in our view, and then begin to come up with something else. A first batch of spinning, spinning, spinning, and eventually we get used to it so that you're starting to forget what it is. Come up with more and more parts. And to each of them get used. And we think that arrangement sounds poor that our skill was never solved, we can cooler, more interesting, bigger! And no one will appreciate our genius, if we add one more tool that's here and another two or three over here.

At one point there is a realization that the music has nothing to breathe. We shoved it in so many ideas, sounds, parties and votes, which was not clear that all of this - music. Begin to remember - that, in the beginning I thought "stroke of genius", and where is he? And, well, it blocked the other "a magnificent passage" or he's lost among these two "great sequences" or among the hundred and forty-three votes "bewildering chorale." And it's okay if it still comes awareness. Because in most cases without interference arranger and does not understand that listening "it" is impossible.

And what do we do now? We must get rid of something ... But what? And it's good and it's great shame and pity, and spent so much time.

So - the second recommendation. Do not glue the wallpaper in two layers visible will still only one. Leave arranged air, let the listener receives pleasure consistently beat for beat, minute by minute.

Do not force it to strain in an attempt to understand what there is somewhere sounds. Do not try to fill every pause some sound. If in doubt of the need for the party - so it does not exactly need. In the end, let listen to a pair of triple your friends interim job, and ask them to criticize. And be sure to do beat yourself up on hands.

Sell too expensive

And so often happens - we came up with an interesting move in our opinion, or the design is very beautiful sound synthesizer. Inserted it after the second line. We listened - very good. And we think - what if someone does not rasslyshit this move or sound? Add it once more after the third line, and to secure the well after the fourth. And in general - and it can cram in the chorus? Well, at least a couple of times? And then lose out in the introduction, the code ...

And thus - with a not sound as many. What we get as a result? One nugget that we found helpful piece of granite, and the exact same roll underfoot everywhere and always, and for them too lazy to bend over ...

It is important to emphasize the most successful moments of the arrangement. Bring them to the listener. But it is also important not to stuff his carrot gruel for breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week.

So, the third council. Sell a little, but expensive. Repeat your coup in another verse, but rather through the verse. Let the listener put the song again at first, only in order to hear it again this time.


Human hearing - is part of a complex mechanism, part of the nervous system. It's not just the ears with holes that trap bass throb and rhythmic limb broadcast team "Twitch!" (And many, by the way, and spasmodic).

Arranger task - to stimulate the listener's attention, do not give him bored periodically pop sound gourmet blotches, due to which it will not switch the song.

The human psyche is constructed so - note lasts from 15 to 30 seconds on the same object, and then there is addictive, and the brain begins to look for new experiences and sensations. Knowing this - use. You mass means of expression: harmony, rhythm, tempo, timbre solutions, dynamic accents and downs, melodic henchmen, special effects, spatial processing, modulation (as in the musical-theoretical sense, and the sound designer) and so on. Frighten listener, make him laugh, or think of something different. Your task - to get his attention.

But here it is important not to overdo it! No need to make a mosaic of music, of course, if you do not put in front of it is a technical problem.

In general, the fourth council. Do not go into the wilderness with a can of Coke in the hope that in a couple of sand dunes on the way you meet a stall. In short, consider the elements to stimulate attention throughout the song, the listener fell asleep from boredom.

Avoid clichés

Once upon a time, being engaged in the course of the composition at a remarkable teacher and composer Pauline Medyulyanovoy Viktorovny, I heard from her a great phrase that always remember. I told her a lot of things to remember, but this phrase crashed into consciousness. "When the composer has nothing to say, he uses the chromatic scale or reduced seventh." In this phrase, concentrated flavor and musical wisdom. And, of course, it involves not only themselves primitive means of expression, which is the listed items, but also many other templates lotions. These gadgets may be relevant as to the composition and to the arrangement because the arrangement is practically mandatory includes composers beginning.

I will explain a little bit. Some Sample items are very useful when there is a specific task, and it should be done in a short time. For example, ask a composer to write a "maudlin song about love" - immediately to the place you have to "golden sequence" standard harmonic turnover (example - Dm-G-C-F-Hm ♭ 5-E7-Am). In such cases, templates help satisfy everyone - the customer happy ("what a brilliant composer!"), Composer full.

But it's still a rather special case, although quite common. And often a musician who invented the song, and he wants to arrange it, and then refers to this process not as a craft, as well as creativity. But creativity must also have a strict framework, and if so in this framework violated any rules, then these violations should be deliberate and justified. So, have to make a rule - to avoid patterns and clichés, not to come under attack fellow musicians who are ready to compare you with any singing cowards on TV.

So, what may be a cliché in the arrangement? A lot of them. Something you might be themselves and not just annoying in "hits" on the radio. For example, spoken pathetic whisper last 3-4 lyrics. Yes, yes, work with the voice - is also arrangement. And if every arranger will before the final chord always make a stop with a pause (stop time) filled with sugary whisper - this will soon begin to tell jokers of gum-Club.

Another example template - use " Cher effect " on the voice . Sometime in the late '90s singer Cher sang the great song Believe, and many students were in awe of how places her voice has been processed . Since then, even the most backward provincial producer considers it his duty to push a similar effect in any song , believing , apparently, is a sign of a hit and mastery. In fact, this voice processing - nothing more than a side effect of tuning vocals, and in many cases it is more marriage. But nothing can be done - fashion is fashion , and all the music channels in each clip we see and hear the singers with a "kink " in the ligaments, makes strange uterine sounds instead of singing . And now, after a dozen years , this effect does not appear sporadically. Sometimes included " hard " tuning sung the whole song.

Another possible pattern - modulation . It's about tone modulation in this case . Almost always modulation - this recognition of worthlessness as arranger. When arranger understands that the song is going to end , and ideas for the development and wrapping up to the climax is not - it uses beaten, proved welcome. And what ? Very cool! Copy one verse and chorus , but then again - and raise all a semitone or tone . Delov 15 seconds. Once all , for some reason forget that modulation - a means of expression, which requires the same careful approach , as well as inventing melodies , the development of the rhythm section or the creation of the lyrics.

There are a few examples of the creative use of modulation in popular music.

Ella Fitzgerald singing Mack The Knife - throughout the song constantly paced the key up and down. The meaning of this - not taking arranger, and in the process demonstrate the vocal abilities of the greatest singer.

Similarly often did Freddie Mercury Queen in songs and in his solo work . Whole song howl on tops - ugly , but the remarkable vocal capabilities is also a sin to keep in check. Therefore often used in songs modulation , and not even a semitone or tone , but also on the wider intervals . A very good example - Dave Clark song Time, which performed Mercury . Written for the musical , the song features the vocals of the singer accounted for , and , beginning in G major , by the end of the scale sounds Before rising to the quart . Naturally, in addition to the transition to a different key , have been applied and other ways to highlight the stress towards the climax - wagering , saturation choruses , orchestral tutti , and so on .

Became super popular due to other musical song Belle - another example of excellent possession modulation technique and taste fine composer. Riccardo Kochchante is undoubtedly a master of his craft, every few cycles takes tone up a minor third, completing the tonal plan of the very reduced seventh, which now sounds like oh unbanal.

Well, by the way, can not forget our fellow citizens - the song "Prudy" David Tukhmanov, which became popular in the performance of Igor Talkova. Beginning in C # m, then, seems to be primitive, goes into Dm. And there would be nothing remarkable here, if at the end, during the sad and dramatic solo accordion suddenly appeared anxious pause and tone would not return back to the C # m. How it's done - you can find and listen to this record. It's just a masterpiece.

With modulation is approximately clear. Not worth it to do if it is not needed. It should solve the problem of art, but in any case not be an end in itself.

Chromatic scales, diminished seventh chords, stop time with a whisper - with all this, too, need to be extremely careful.

About some other cliche I also wrote in the article about Lyrics. The text is also part of the song, and the work on the text of his rhythm over melodiousness - it's the same arrangement. Perhaps, some said article will also be useful.

In general, the fifth council. Mirrors are useless in a room where there is no light. Use the available means of expression only if they are justified. Each time, ask yourself - "why am I doing this?".

basic principles

And a little more about what is to adhere to the basic principles at work on the arrangement.

The principle of contrasts

Contrast principle underlies any kind of art. Arts, literature, music, movies - all have contrasting lines. Still life - bright fruit on a monotone background. In movies and novels - both positive and negative characters, poems and severity of the plot. And in music - about contrasts can not forget.

Verse dolled chorus downhole. The singer deep voice? Add a thin high lead sound in the pauses between phrases. Rhythm section? In verse hi-hat - ride in the chorus, the verse side-stick - in the chorus with a small rim shotom.

And so on. Use your imagination to find contrasts.

The principle of development

Do not forget the golden section , the principles of which most clearly formulated by Leonardo da Vinci in his Vitruvian Man . To understand how the golden ratio is realized in music - not necessarily to study creativity da Vinci ( though, in terms of all-round development - very useful ) . Enough to understand that this is the point located approximately in the third quarter of your opus . Around this time you have to do everything to bring development to the climax . It is in this part often culminates followed by recession lasting about a quarter of the work.

Also do not forget about the gradual development from verse to verse. Moreover, the development - it does not necessarily seal fabric or adding other instruments. Perhaps you can find your own way to development.

Sometimes development can be almost imperceptible. Well, let's add one drum fill-or slightly more delay or reverb given on vocals. Or effects of some one-time launch. In general - made some move from the spot.

Arrangers often used "bare" piano or guitar as accompaniment in the first verse, add the bass and drums in the second, with overdrive guitar or synths in the chorus, and so on. This is also a kind of pattern, but it is, so to say, classic, classic and, as you know, is not obsolete. However, this does not mean that every arrangement you should be built this way.

One of the clearest examples of the work on the development of a musical work - a song by Queen called I Want It All. I often cite examples from the work of this group - first, because of his great love for their music , and secondly - because of its unique balance. Not for nothing is the " classic rock " - it met almost all the laws of classical music. However, as you may have noticed , I do not spread their records , without violating the rights of authors. Each for himself can decide where and how they can listen , I only give leads. Would highly recommend to listen carefully labeled composition. Example brilliant drama, constructed by only three or four chords , with minor deviations. There and change rhythms , and smooth verses saturation , and applying different textures accompaniment , dramatic and powerful guitar solos and qualitative study of codes , a gorgeous middle portion and chorales , in general - the arrangement itself is a work of art .

Slimming shape

Also, do not forget about the musical form. About the "third part" of "breeches" (which I wrote in the aforementioned paper of lyrics). Do not forget that sometimes after a rapid development, you want something relaxing, abstract.

Learn read on the internet, what are the forms of music. Music students are taught this by a thick book "Analysis of musical works " Mazel and Zuckerman . If you find and overpower - will be a big plus. But even if not - ask at least for search engines on the main types of musical forms . The most frequent forms in popular music - songs ( Aab ) , couplet - pripevnaya ( Ababii ) , is sometimes used as a form of rondo ( ABAVAG or BAWAG ) is periodic or simple form (AAA). Also experienced composers and arrangers apply advanced form , where in addition to verse and chorus have the connecting part - bridge ( ABVABV ) . Unlikely that you immediately want to master the techniques of the sonata form , but if you still looks into the question - it can be quite useful knowledge

It only seems that the form is of little importance to the listener. In fact, it is a very powerful tool for psychoacoustic subliminal. With interleaving portions you enter the listener into a kind of trance state, drawing and holding his attention. Too tight or too short of some parts may dislodge from the desired state, to divert and make music to lose interest.

In the case of a form - no need to invent anything. Musical minds centuries crystallized "working" scheme, which we can now simply enjoy. These circuits act primarily on the subconscious, so hardly anyone deliberately accuse you of plagiarism. On the contrary - if someone called your work slender shape - you can be sure you've heard very flattering opinion of a professional.


Basics instrumentation lie in another musical science - in counterpoint . Previously , when there was such a variety of instruments , often in the role of the orchestra ( which , incidentally, also did not exist in the classical sense ) is either one organ or choir, or , for example, the harpsichord . And the party is often not separated by instrument and by the voices of the Register . There is an upper voice , middle, lower ... Most votes were four - on the principle of the chorale (two female voices - soprano and alto, and two male - tenor and bass ) . Then began to appear Inventions and Fugues , with more complex melodic patterns , and, accordingly, often with fewer votes ( two or three) .

Naturally, when the organ played roughly the same sound different voices - is necessary to ensure the readability of these votes. Accordingly, the parties lined up according to certain laws (strict letter), which ensured that every vote will be taken individually.

Now, when the musical means become extremely accessible, corrupted data circumstance arrangers often allow lawlessness in their creations. No resource constraints - internal brake is also disabled. Subtotal - overloaded, oversaturated arrangement.

At the heart of any instrumentation must be elements of counterpoint. Simultaneously, following the voice should sound (preferably - no more!)

  • solo instrument (vocals, guitar, synthesizer);
  • harmonic instrument (piano, strings, guitar, or a combination of accurate);
  • rhythm (drums, percussion, drum machines);
  • bass (base arrangements, foundation);
  • countersubject (henchmen, filling, extra solo part).

To this we may add, perhaps, different effects, and then - will have to control myself not to overdo it. Henchmen do not have vocal score, they need to shade it. Tools harmonic groups should not fight each other for no parties, no Registers.

Some of these elements can sometimes miss. Occasionally can intersperse and additional games - but the main fabric should not be overloaded.

Figuratively - if a beautiful woman all uvesit gold - it is not something that will not even better, it runs the risk of collapse, break the legs and suffocate. The same with music. Decorate her chain, rings and earrings, Comb, dress, goo d. And it will be beautiful. And if solid decorations - collapse.

look engineer

Do not forget that the song is not sent immediately on the radio after the completion of work on your arrangement. This arrangement has yet to record your voice, do the mixing and mastering. So, working on the arrangement, think about those who will succeed you, Sir.

If the vocalist will be difficult to sing - good execution will not work. Singers - people fragile, just that - get on your nerves, worry, it does not work ... If the arrangement does not give the Executive breathe - it's a bad arrangement. Singer should be comfortable. Then he sings beautifully and with soul. Then your arrangement will be easier and more pleasant to listen to.

If the information on the recording engineer is too difficult to style your party into the mix - you can say goodbye to half of its findings, he simply cuts out. Because well flattened fewer parties - better than bad when reduced battery sounds. Each arranger must have at least some idea of the process information. To inventing games - care about what their fate awaits.

Remember about the form and content. Arrange a good song well. Good arrangement reduces well. Good product easy to listen to. Recipe, as you can see, simple. Everything should be fine.

Be creative

If the information on the recording engineer is too difficult to style your party into the mix - you can say goodbye to half of its findings, he simply cuts out. Because well flattened fewer parties - better than bad when reduced battery sounds. Each arranger must have at least some idea of the process information. To inventing games - care about what their fate awaits....

I hope I succeeded in some way to organize all the information you need. Well, the best advice that can be given to any arranger - listen to good music, soak it in yourself, and if possible - analyze. And then no rules and laws will not distract you from work.


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