Orchestrating from Octavos

Orchestrating from Octavos

Steve Rogers
[email protected]
Old Rochester Regional High School

TI:ME Technology Areas Addressed:

Electronic Musical Instruments


High School


Music Theory


eMac with Sibelius
Korg X5D


88 Minutes

Prior Knowledge and Skills:

Basic understanding of standard notation, rhythm, meter and scale structure.
Knowledge of Sibelius step entry.

NAfME Standards of 1994 Addressed:

NAfME Standards of 1994: Performing on instruments, alone and with others, a varied repertoire of music.

NAfME 2014: Performing 

NAfME Standards of 1994: Composing and Arranging Music within specified guidelines.
NAfME Standards of 1994: Reading and notating music.

NAfME 2014: Creating 

NAfME Standards of 1994: Listening to, analyzing and describing music.

NAfME 2014: Responding 


octavo handouts


By the completion of the lesson, students will have entered a four part choral octavo into a Sibelius file by real time entry, explored optional instrumental voicings, and printed the arrangement.


Students sign on their workstatins in the lab and boot up Sibelius. Teacher demonstrates the means by which the parts are entered in real time.
Teacher distributes octavos individually to guarantee variation.
Students real time enter parts, utilize varied combinations of voicings until they find a favorite, and print out their arrangements for evaluation with a short written explanation of their instrument choices.
Seudents then have Sibelius play their arrangements for each others’ appreciation.


Arrangements are evaluated for accuracy of pitch both on paper and by ear.

Follow Up:

More elaborate arrangments could be entered for orchestrative purposes.

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