Audio: instrumentation (0:08)

Figure: instrumentation

instrumentation plays the same piece of music twice using different instruments. The first time it is sung by a choir, the second time it is played by a string quartet. The instrumentation figure shows the score.

Instrumentation is the process of combining instruments together to produce a piece of music. Orchestration is a similar process and, although there are slight differences between the two terms, we use them interchangeably throughout the guide.

The purpose of instrumentation is to change the timbre of a piece of music.

You need to orchestrate your music if it is to be recorded or performed live. You do this at the start of the writing process and use the full score format to write each individual instrument on a separate staff. Otherwise, you can use short score format and orchestrate at any time: in advance, during the writing process, or at the end. You can change the instruments at any time and increase or reduce the number whenever you feel the need.