Tip #156 – Orchestrating Closed Fifth Structures

One interesting idea that I just read about that I want to share with you all is on how to orchestrate the closed fifth cluster.

To remind, the structure of the closed fifth cluster is a major or minor triad in root position with an extra note added a perfect fourth below the melody note.

The orchestration revolves around the idea of separating between two orchestral families.

In other words, try having the three notes that form the major/minor triad from one instrumental family in your orchestration while having the extra tone of the cluster come from a completely different instrument.

Not only will this create a variety and blend in the timbre, but it will also make the “cluster” sound become more pronounced.

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Tip #155 – Building Four-Part Closed Fifth Clusters

Once again, the title of today’s tip might sound a bit intimidating… but it is a lot more simpler than you think.

Today, we will be talking about building clusters that span over the harmonic interval distance of a perfect fifth by using only four different pitches.

Basically, to build a closed fifth cluster, you take a melody and harmonize underneath it by a perfect fifth interval. Then, you “fill in the middle” with the diatonic minor third of major fifth. So, now you have a bunch of triads. Finally, you add a note a perfect fourth below the melody note. And there you go, harmonization built from closed fifth clusters:

Thank you so much for taking the time to read! Feel free to comment, share, and subscribe for more daily tips below! Till next time.