Classical orchestral music

I’ve been working on this song for a week, and I can’t wait to share it. I’ve been refining my skills for the past month, and this is my first step towards building some sort of portfolio.

I started off with some sort of warlike, mechanical theme, but the song ended up sounding somewhat like a romantic 19th century composition. So I went with it, and I’ve titled the song “Terror and Majesty”.

Here’s the link, in case my soundcloud embed doesn’t show up.

I was also wondering if there is actually a market for this kind of music on ROBLOX. If there is, I’d be interested in working with anyone who’s looking for that.


Well done mate. This sounds really good.

I have some little notes.
It seems a little too reliant on wind instruments and the build up isn’t quite there for the sudden end (to be honest, I thought the song would burst into a chorus after the quiet end).

I would also suggest looking in to mixing such as panning and width, as your instruments felt very central (like all the instruments are coming from only the middle of the stage) , instead of being spaced out across a stage.

Still good job. :wink:

I am curious, what did you make this in, and where did you get the instruments used in this piece? I’d love to mess around with these sorts of instruments. :grin:


I like the actual composition. I see what you were after. Overall I like it, good job dude!

Two suggestions I have are to 1) Work on the key and 2) Fill it up some more!

Right now it seems to be on a chromatic scale or some minor key and it sounds weird. I would put it into a major key or (if it’s chromatic) a minor key.

Filling up a song is what I like to call it when I’ve finished the composition and want to add details. It can be connected with mixing as I’m trying to make the song sound full. I add pads, some miniscule background noise (sometimes) and more details to the percussion. Adding reverb and delays is also a good idea.

Hopefully that can help you out. Good job! I look forward to hearing more soon!


Thanks for the feedback guys!

I don’t quite understand what you mean about the wind instruments. Did I overuse the flutes? I always have double bass + tuba + bassoon playing together, although I did vary the dynamic level of the tuba. Do I just need more brass in places?

As for the end, I’m actually planning to continue the piece, but after working hard on it for a week I felt like this was a good stopping point. I love the idea of using an ostinato to build suspense, but I didn’t realize that breaking out of one could be so difficult. The goal is to one day be able to write this in an afternoon!

Anyway, I think modulating to the dominant created some fertile ground to introduce new material, although I’m not totally certain on what the form of the piece will end up being.

I totally agree — it certainly makes it feel less realistic. I’ll have to work on that.

I used Studio One’s Symphonic Orchestra. It’s a great, lightweight sample library, although it does cost 100 bucks. I’m not sure if you can use it outside of Studio One though.

I actually will defend this, because I feel every tonal choice I made lends character to the piece. The opening theme is strange, but I wanted it to sound chaotic and dissonant. I think the repeating pitch in the ostinato establishes the tonal center strongly enough that the theme doesn’t make the music wander.
The rest of the piece somewhat resembles the Phrygian dominant, which gives it a darker and more more mysterious character. It also sets up the modulations pretty well, I think.

In general, I really love using non-standard harmonies to add to the character of a piece. If I were going for something less dramatic, I would probably resort to the usual minor or major. But gosh do I love those exotic modes.

I dislike the idea of using pads for this kind of music, but I might experiment with some other percussion. In retrospect, I do think the final modulation could use some buildup with some percussion, perhaps a timpani roll or a cymbal or something.

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This song has a nice character to it. It could definitely fit the theme of a Roblox game. Reminds me of the Great Strategy. As a quick nitpick I’ll say it seemed a little repetitive. There are clearly parts that try to break away however I would have preferred it if the beat was removed or more greatly altered in those sections. Really not a big deal though. Good job man.

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Hi! This actually really intrigued me so I listened throughout the entire composition. I have a few things that I’d like to point out from both composer’s and casual listener’s POV, and also ways you can fix/avoid them! Also, please don’t take any of my comments very dear and near to heart - I just want to help you improve!

Some good things first, a.k.a... "Pros"?

  • The composition seems to be very detailed and worked out, I enjoyed it!
  • The theme is awesome - really fits your described genre!
  • Overall sounds to be written within the standards: structure wise it appears to be good and can definitely be considered “orchestral”!
  • It’s not repetitive for the most part, and thus is enjoyable to listen to!

1. There aren't many low-pitched instruments playing

This can cause the composition to sound very... dry and incomplete, if you get me. Also, bassy instruments add to the tension and really helps in buildups, which is (I assume) something you were trying to achieve in a couple of parts. It also balances out the track and makes it sound more professional if done right! Just always make sure to slap some Tubas and Horns playing lower notes, or string Basses with Celli, maybe even some Bass Winds if you want!

2. Narrow variety of instruments

You seemed to have a big focus on brass and woodwind, which is definitely okay if you were making a brass band/big band composition! But, assuming the title is correct, orchestral music needs much more than that. There was only a small part of a violin movement throughout the entire song, where it could've been background chords and what not. Also - more percussion! There's nothing wrong with having just the snare, but some cymbals and crashes definitely enrich the experience :)

3. The overall sound feels pretty dry, but that's not necessarily bad!

I always like to hear some "liveliness" in the sounds, especially the orchestral music. Easy way to do it is to apply some slight reverb to everything at once or separately to each instrument - it really does the trick! Listening to a track like this without reverb can make it sound not as professional as it is and adding some is a nice trick to have up your sleeve! Now, it doesn't mean that you should slap reverb on everything - sometimes a dry, clean sound is the best, especially in bass guitars and drums! But again, orchestral soundtracks usually are recorded with a live orchestra playing in the studio, and there's natural reverb coming in. Now, to achieve this, you can add some slight reverb and it should (more or less) sound more natural!

4. Try spending a bit more time at the mixing/post-production stage!

Adding those extra touches is important, because not only can it make it sound super professional, but it can also fix and potentially turn some things in an entirely different direction! ..Quite literally.

Some quick tips:

  • Even out the volumes of the instruments. Sit back, play your track and just play around with the volume until it sounds about right to you - the background should be nicely audible, yet not clogging up the solo parts.
  • Panning - this one is pretty subjective, as you may choose to have everything centered - but slightly “stereoizing” the track can make it an enjoyable experience! Whatever DAW you use, there should be a “Stereo Enhancer” plugin or something related to that - it automatically sorts panning out for you, but not always perfectly, so be aware of that!
  • Equalizing (EQ) - maybe your composition feels like it needs some extra bass volume or contrasted lows and highs? Equalizing frequency volumes can extract some extra mood from the sounds or improve the quality of them!
  • Mentioned this before, but reverb is a magic tool!

I hope these can help you in the future and if you ever need some extra help - let me know, I’d be glad to aid you :slight_smile:


Alright, cool. When I said use pads, I meant to do it to fill up space. You’re right, that’d be weird if they were like really noticeable.

For orchestral music you could try using plain noise too.

But seriously if you don’t want to don’t do it. Keep it up man :slight_smile:

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Thanks so much for the feedback. This is really helpful.

I’d like to say that I did have double bass AND bassoons AND tubas playing almost all of the time, with contrabassoon occasionally. However, I did have them playing rather quietly most of the time, as the double bass is often playing pizzicato (which probably is inappropriate in retrospect) and I didn’t want it to get swallowed. The bass is rather subtle, maybe too subtle.

I do think the song could benefit from having the strings pop out more in places. I’ll have to look into that.

And gosh, I didn’t really do any post-production. It’s somewhat embarrassing now that I think about it. I just updated the track with some basic reverb/pan/level adjustments, but this is not an area I’m acquainted with, lol.

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Mixing is a learning curve, but can really add to your work.

I made two versions of a song called drifter.
The first was short and didn’t have much mixing in it, the second however I really tried experimenting and listening back to what was going on, and I feel it added a lot more fun to my mix.

Listen to Drifter! by David Blackburn #np on #SoundCloud

Listen to Drifter! Extended by David Blackburn #np on #SoundCloud

Its not great but I’m proud how the second turned out, which I’ll take what I learned into my next piece of music. :grin:


sounds really good

but one thing i will say is that it felt a bit quiet and calm in a lot of parts when personally the music should really have been louder

but other than that it’s a really good track

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