Bad Habits That Weaken Your Choral Writing

For better or worse most arranging is done on a computer, which means that composers rely increasingly on how things sound on playback.  While there’s nothing wrong with this approach (it’s what I do), the computer has a way of making certain things sound better in playback than they will in real life.  When I […]

Apps For Arranging Music

Incorporating technology into your music arranging process is essential if you want to work more efficiently.  It’s basically a given that you will use some kind of music notation software (Finale, Sibelius, Dorico, Musescore) and/or DAW (ProTools, Logic, Cubase) but there are a lot of really great tools out there that will help you work […]

Pop Choral Voicing Techniques (28 Ways to Harmonize a Melody)

When writing a choral arrangement, variety is more complicated than complexity.  That variety encompasses not just melody and harmony, but also voicing and timbre. As an exercise for a recent conference presentation, I decided to take a simple melody (Mary Had a Little Lamb) and come up with as many ways to harmonize it as […]

The Five Common Mistakes New Arrangers Make

Arranging music is extremely rewarding but it is not without its challenges.  In looking at my own early arrangements as well as mentoring other arrangers, I’ve learned to watch out for certain pitfalls.  Avoiding these five common mistakes is one way you can make sure your arrangements don’t come across as amateurish. 1. Over Arranging […]

How to S.T.A.R.T. Arranging

Arranging music, like a lot of creative activities, can seem really overwhelming at first.  But if you follow these five principles (after all, who doesn’t like a cheesy acronym?) you’ll be able to set achievable goals for yourself and notch some early wins as an arranger! Keep It Simple Even when you’re a seasoned professional, […]