Orchestration and Arrangement - CMAT5120

Looking for a different module?

Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2023 to 2024
Autumn Term 5 15 (7.5) Ruth Herbert checkmark-circle


A highly practical module which will introduce you to the complex formal conventions surrounding professional score presentation, instrumentation and orchestration, harmonising and reharmonising melodies, creating introductions, basslines or countermelodies, layering and textures. You have the opportunity to work across a wide range of styles and will also explore timbre in the context of original arrangements. Following a series of given briefs, you will work towards the production of a portfolio which will contain orchestration, arrangement and harmonisation assignments.


Contact hours

Total Contact Hours: 22
Independent Study Hours: 128
Total Study Hours: 150

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods

Arrangement and Orchestration Portfolio (85%), including a 450-word written commentary (15%).

The Arrangement and Orchestration Portfolio comprises: Technical Orchestration Exercises (20%); Harmonisation Exercises (20%); and Arrangement (5 minutes) 45%

Reassessment methods

Like for like.

Indicative reading

Indicative Reading List

Adler, S. (2016) Revisiting Music Theory: Basic Principles. 2nd Edn. Routledge: London.
Adler, S. (2016). The Study of Orchestration. 4th Edn. New York: Norton.
Blatter, A. (1997). Instrumentation and Orchestration. New York: Wadsworth / Thomson.?
Coker, J. (2005). A Guide to Jazz Arranging and Composing. Rottenberg: Advance Music.
Gould, E. (2011) Behind Bars: The Definitive Guide to Music Notation. Faber: London.

See the library reading list for this module (Medway)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1) demonstrate knowledge and critical understanding of key techniques, concepts and principles relevant to contemporary and commercial music, including its production and performance;
2) interrogate relationships between musical creation, performance and reception;
3) demonstrate flexibility of thought and an ability to change or adapt materials for different contexts;
4) create, adapt and edit music using appropriate technological resources;
5) conceive musical ideas and manipulate them in an inventive and individual way.

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1) assimilate different theoretical and aesthetic systems of thought and to relate theory to practice;
2) critically examine assumptions, concepts and hypotheses in the light of evidence, to make informed choices and to apply insights from one area of study to another;
3) synthesize inputs (knowledge, materials, information) in order to generate outputs in written or practical format;
4) demonstrate skills in information communication technologies and use of electronic information sources;
5) demonstrate effective approaches to time management, including the ability to plan and to set priorities.


  1. Credit level 5. Intermediate level module usually taken in Stage 2 of an undergraduate degree.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
Back to top

University of Kent makes every effort to ensure that module information is accurate for the relevant academic session and to provide educational services as described. However, courses, services and other matters may be subject to change. Please read our full disclaimer.