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Building horn section harmony lines

SteveK

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I'm working on transcribing some old 60's soul numbers and as is typical of the genre there is a lot of horn section work going on.

I was wondering is anyone has any insight into how these or other sections are harmonically constructed?
e.g. if there is a second or subsequent horn the obvious options are to play in unison, at octaves or on different chord tones.

I'd appreciate any suggestions or if anyone knows of any literature available on this topic.
Thanks, Steve
 
You could try Hal Leonards Funk/Disco Horn Section - it has the score for Superstition, Hold On I'm Comin', Pick up the Pieces and a dozen or so others. There's nothing very sophisticated about the arrangements - in most numbers 4 instruments are all hitting the same note, but if not then they are just a suitable harmonic interval apart following the same line.
 
I've got the Hal Leonard book called "R&B Horn Section" with transcriptions of well known tunes like "Soul Man", "Dancing in the Street", "Midnight Hour", "Knock on Wood" and more. It seems very good.

I've also got quite a few charts of horn parts for lots of other tunes, but the standard ranges from excellent to rubbish.

If you wanted to borrow the HL book or see if I have a particular song, then drop me a PM. I'm only down the other end of the Hog's Back in Farnham (no longer cut off by snow).

Rhys

PS I remember seeing another thread on this subject in the old BreakfastRoom forum - wonder if anyone can find it.
 
There are some excellent little articles by Paul Coats on arranging for two, three and four horns which were very useful to me as I needed divorcing from traditional harmony to get the things to sound right!

They used to be on SOTW, but I can't seem to find them rifgt now - some of his articles are on Saxgourmet.
 
Literature: "The Professional Arranger Composer" by Russel Garcia. For the pros, so I never use it!! Nothing for me. You can do a lot with unisons and octave unisons. If tyou are arranging for stage/gigs you perhaps want powerful arr. For a recording you might need something more complex. I think there is a differece between the styles in Rocksax when it comes to arranging. Blues, oltime R&B and R&R is different compared to Soul and Funk.

If you're looking for horncharts this link is great: http://s256641734.onlinehome.us/index.shtml . I bought two arrangments (Hold On I'm Commin'" and "Unchain My Heart", Joe Cocker version) for 3-part hornsection (trp, ts, trb).

We have plans for arranging a workshop for "Arranging Horns in Rockmusic". Lots of players want to learn how to do simple hornarrangments in semi-professsional and hobby bands. There is some demand in this subject! NB: I'm not going to be the teacher/leader at this eventually workshop!!!! Just serving coffee and beer to the participants!!

Thomas
 
I'm spending much time on listening to hornsections. Here is a very tasty horn-section and - arrangement. A five piece hornsection (1 bs, 1valve trb, 1 ts, 2 trp). The hornarrangement is written by Lee Thornburg, LA who also is on valve trombone. The barisax player is David "Woody" Woodford, LA. One of the best, now living, rocksaxplayers. He is an excellent arranger but on this song his friend Thornburg wrote the charts.

Etta James - "Sugar On the Floor" : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4IeiHeXLE90

Thomas
 
Voicings are a funny thing.

One of the primary considerations I always have in mind is "what does this instrument sound like in this part of the horn". So, if I know what type of sound timbre or intensity or fatness I want in a certain place, I'll be sure to pick a note in a specific part of a horn's range —*THEN I'll figure out how to best reconcile this with the chord of the moment.
 
Voicings are a funny thing.

One of the primary considerations I always have in mind is "what does this instrument sound like in this part of the horn". So, if I know what type of sound timbre or intensity or fatness I want in a certain place, I'll be sure to pick a note in a specific part of a horn's range —*THEN I'll figure out how to best reconcile this with the chord of the moment.

That's why if I am arranging using Finale I always view a "transposed" rather than a "concert pitch" score - it gives me a much better feel for where I am in each instruments' range. "View in Concert Pitch" is reserved for those occasions when I've just totally hamonically confused myself, and need help to figure out what is going on!
 

Similar threads... or are they? Maybe not but they could be worth reading anyway 😀

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