Orchestral Transcription William Wieland
Please choose one of the following orchestral excerpts and transcribe at least the melody—but more if you can.

  • On a sheet of blank staff paper, write “This is my own work.” and sign it. Note the number of the example you transcribed.
  • Begin with a treble clef and the key signature. (I have listed the key of each excerpt.)
  • Listen to the excerpt and choose an appropriate time signature. There is more than one right answer. (There is also more than one wrong answer.)
  • Sing tonic. Determine the first pitch of the melody.
  • Transcribe the melody onto your treble staff. Label it with the instruments and/or voices that are performing the melody.
  • If you can, add a bass clef and transcribe some or all of the bass line. Once again, try to identify who is performing.
  • Transcribe as much as possible without an instrument. Check your work with an instrument.
  • Add more if you can—perhaps inner parts that stand out. The timpani in 1. is straightforward. (You might add another bass clef.)
  • Finally, add articulations, dynamics, and a metronome marking. (You can check with a metronome.)
1.  — D major
— The timpani plays quarter notes and only two important pitches, tonic and dominant.
2. — E minor
— Almost exclusively dotted half notes.
3. — B flat major
— The melody begins with a dotted eighth note, then a sixteenth note.

When you have finished as much as you can, I will show you the answers.

If the melody is completely accurate, you earn 100 points. Each correct note in an extra part will offset an error in your melodic dictation. (You can earn 100 points even if your work is not completely correct.)