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Borrowing or hiring orchestral sets

Discussion in 'Music' started by rebeccaclarke, Aug 7, 2011.

  1. I am about to take over a music department that has stagnated for a while and one of my main tasks is to establish some regular ensembles in school. The school has only a very limited library of orchestral stuff (actually, I have only found about 4 sets) and although my budget is high by most standards, it doesn't run to lots of expensive orchestral sets!
    I am already watching a couple of sets on eBay, and I am also planning to visit my local libraries to see if there is any stock available for loan. I have also contacted some friends at neighbouring schools who may have stuff that we can borrow or buy. It is also my intention to contact the local county music office, but as it is an independent school, I cannot be sure that they will help me.
    So my question is really to anyone who might know of other sources of ensemble music that I could access? Particularly anyone who works in an independent who might know of other places I could try!
    thanks in advance!
     
  2. I am about to take over a music department that has stagnated for a while and one of my main tasks is to establish some regular ensembles in school. The school has only a very limited library of orchestral stuff (actually, I have only found about 4 sets) and although my budget is high by most standards, it doesn't run to lots of expensive orchestral sets!
    I am already watching a couple of sets on eBay, and I am also planning to visit my local libraries to see if there is any stock available for loan. I have also contacted some friends at neighbouring schools who may have stuff that we can borrow or buy. It is also my intention to contact the local county music office, but as it is an independent school, I cannot be sure that they will help me.
    So my question is really to anyone who might know of other sources of ensemble music that I could access? Particularly anyone who works in an independent who might know of other places I could try!
    thanks in advance!
     
  3. v12

    v12

    You should find that each county has a music lending library - usually free (they used to be, anyway) - they will search and order in any sets of music by almost any composer as far as I remember.
    Try googling 'city name/county music lending library' and you'll doubtless find something.
    Hope this helps.
     
  4. Alas most music libraries now charge - not very much of course.
    Other options:
    If a piece is out of copyright you can find parts to print out on imslp.org. Be careful to check that you are not breaking the rules of course.
    You can go direct to the hire library. Boosey and Hawkes http://www.boosey.com/pages/licensing/ is very useful and will let you have all the parts that you need. Unfortunately you have to pay rather a lot (c.£300) and the scores can often be in less than prime condition. There are a few other publishers and you my have to hunt around if you have a piece in mind but I have found that most of the music my orchestra plays is held by Boosey. Another excellent feature of all hire libraries is to hire a conductor's score on approval for a very small fee. This will help you to gauge suitability for your ensemble.
    Other than hire, you may find that buying sets is not as expensive as you think. The Music Gifts company http://www.musicgifts.co.uk/ holds the entire Kalmus library and will send you a catalogue if you give them a call. Goodmusic http://www.goodmusicpublishing.co.uk/ is another excellent company, where you can view the music online before deciding whether to order. It's very reasonable and ideal for school ensembles - often providing arrangements of music which is just out of reach, such as the Sorcerer's Apprentice, or rescoring slightly (removing contrabassoon parts) or just writing Trumpet in F parts for a Bb instrument.
    That supplies me with everything I use.
     
  5. florian gassmann

    florian gassmann Star commenter

    County music libraries certainly lend to independent schools (they often form the bulk of borrowers in some areas). As muso-tim wrote, they do make a charge these days, but in my experience it is a fairly modest one (typically £20 to hire an orchestral set for three months).
     
  6. There may be issues with my suggestion, but what about the Petrucci Music Library (http://imslp.org/wiki/Main_Page)? If memory serves me correctly, there are some scores on here that have ensemble parts. Granted, much of the repertoire on here isn't modern, but perhaps worth a shot. In addition, it may be possible to capitalise on Sibelius' scan music function to transfer the music across, make some minor alterations and then print out your modified score.

    I'm currently making some of my own arrangements of pieces - and getting quicker at it! What about setting GCSE/A Level students the task of orchestrating something for the ensemble too?
    Good luck! [​IMG]
     
  7. Thanks everyone for so many helpful replies! I will be on the case first thing tomorrow!

     
  8. I've not used an existing resource for ten year - I always arrange my own, partly because I nver have all the instruments required by many orchestral scores. I find the "flexible" arrangements tend to be rather unexciting.
    Do you have all the instruments for an orchestra?
     
  9. florian gassmann

    florian gassmann Star commenter

    Totally agree. There is far too much doubling in "flexible arrangements" so that a good wind player never gets to feel that they have their own spot. I was lucky in working in schools that had several full orchestras, the best of which could play standard classical and early romantic repertoire (although nothing like a Mahler symphony!), but arrangements were usually necessary for the third orchestra. When I didn't have time to do my own, I would mark-up one of those flexible arrangements with instructions on which passages were to be solos for particular players (never did stop the odd 4th clarinet starting to double the leading oboe's solo, though!).
     

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