Instrumentation Tutor

Orchestral instrumentation for composers, conductors and musicians.

Features

baseline-music_note-240px_w_border

Instruments

Detailed instrumentation for 30+ orchestral instruments. Range, transposition, registers/timbre, clefs, tuning and foreign names are all included.

baseline-book-240px_w_border

Reference

General knowledge and quick-reference summaries of transpositions, ranges and clefs. Perfect for score reading and transcription.

baseline-help-240px_w_border

Quiz

A customised learning experience where you select the instruments, ensembles and topics you need to memorise.

baseline-brightness_3-240px_w_border

Dark Mode

Stylish dark mode for saving battery and saving your eyes.

baseline-mail_outline-240px_w_border

Contact Developer

Need help or want to share something? The app's developer is an email away.

Included Instruments

Woodwind

  • Piccolo*
  • Flute
  • Alto Flute*
  • Oboe
  • English Horn*
  • Clarinet (B♭)
  • Clarinet (A)*
  • Bass Clarinet*
  • Bassoon
  • Contrabassoon*

Brass

  • Horn (Double Horn)
  • Trumpet (C)*
  • Trumpet (B♭)
  • Tenor Trombone
  • Tenor Trombone (F trigger)
  • Bass Trombone (F/G♭ trigger)*
  • Tuba

Strings (bowed)

  • Violin
  • Viola
  • Cello
  • Contrabass (4/5-string)

Strings (plucked)

  • Harp*

Percussion (pitched)

  • Timpani
  • Chimes (Tubular Bells)*
  • Glockenspiel
  • Xylophone*

Percussion (unpitched)

  • Snare Drum
  • Bass Drum
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Suspended Cymbals
  • Tam-Tam*

Keyboards

  • Piano
  • Celesta*

*Not included in free version.

Instruments

The Instruments section contains detailed information on 32 instruments within the orchestra. 

All ensembles and instruments are shown in score order. Instruments’ range, transposition, registers/timbre, clefs, tuning and foreign names are all included.

 There’s also detailed notes on harp-tuning and its notation, as well as the piano’s pedals.

Reference

The Reference section has 5 tabs containing important information and instrument summaries.

General explains scientific pitch notation, provides a cheat sheet for pitch intervals, and contains a full list of the app’s instruments (in score order).

Range provides a cheat sheet* for the orchestra’s range, and notes on how range applies to different instruments.

Transposition provides a cheat sheet* for the orchestra’s  transpositions, notes on concert-pitch vs transposing instruments, translating Solfège (aka Solfeggio), and notation for single and double-octave transposition.

Registers & Timbre includes an explanation of these two terms and how they apply to different instruments.

Clefs provides a cheat sheet* for the clefs used by each instrument in the orchestra. It also includes general notes on clefs and their function.

*Not included in free version.

Quiz

The app’s Quiz includes more than 1000 questions. Customise your learning experience by selecting individual instruments, specific ensembles, or the entire orchestra.

Focus on the topics you need to memorise. Select from range, transposition, registers/timbre, clefs, tuning or foreign names. If you can see it in the Instruments section, you can study it in the Quiz.

Flashcards are used instead of multiple-choice questions. Multiple-choice questions might make us feel smart, but they’re not good for memorising information. Flashcards force us to learn and remember.

Frequently Asked Questions

At the moment there isn’t one. In order to create an iOS version I’d need to buy more equipment, learn iOS’s programming language, learn its development environment and pay a subscription fee for listing on the App Store. I’d love to make the app available for iOS users, but don’t have the time or money necessary.

If anyone out there wants to create a version of the app for iOS, please get in touch through the Contact form in the top menu.

The free version locks access to some content. The list of locked instruments is indicated by an asterisk (*) in the list of included instruments. Cheat sheets within the app’s Reference section are also locked.

Absolutely not. When future content is added to the app, you’ll get it at no extra cost. Simply download the update and it’s yours. However, as the app’s content develops, so will its price.

Despite being related, instrumentation and orchestration are two different subjects. Instrumentation is about the instruments themselves, their strengths, weaknesses, limitations and guidelines for use. I’d like to provide information on orchestration, but at the moment I can’t.

There are lots of books out there that cover orchestration, but they’re expensive (~US$250). If you’re on a budget, check out Orchestration Online and Film Score Analysis on YouTube. Orchestration Online also has a fantastic Facebook group. You can also find public-domain scores to study via imslp.org.

In order to complete the first stage of the app I’ve stuck to the most common instruments within the orchestra. I do want to add more.

You can vote on which instruments to add next via the app’s forum. You’ll need to register as a forum member in order to access the poll and vote.

Researching the most popular textbooks, multiple online sources, and talking to accomplished composers and performers.

Experts don’t agree on much when it comes to instrumentation. To account for that uncertainty I’ve used meta analysis. This requires collation of information from multiple sources, then identifying the most common answers, or the average of the most common answers. The result is information that should be more reliable than a single source.

Absolutely! I want to add more instruments, more information, and more features. I’m currently working on adding instrument pictures and extended techniques. However, this is currently a solo project, so please be patient. If you’d like to request additional features or content, please do so via the app’s forum.

The app doesn’t include audio or video because it’s prohibitively expensive. Audio or video requires hiring musicians, or licensing existing content. However, if the app is able to make enough money I’ll revisit the idea of including audio/video examples.

Flashcards are used because the goal is to memorise information. Multiple-choice questions are appealing to app developers and users for all the wrong reasons. They make users feel smart and allow developers to implement a fun-game mechanic into their app. However, multiple-choice questions are not good for improving the retention of information. In contrast, flashcards don’t provide an easy way out. They force us to remember information and thereby practice the skill we’re trying to develop.

The amount of spam coming in became unmanageable, and some of it was pretty graphic. As a result, I’ve pulled down the forum. However, you can still get in touch with me via the Contact button in the app’s menu.

Copyright 2019 © Caldera Sound

Close Menu