Notation Project #2: Transform a Score

The second notation project scaffolds students through higher order thinking skills of analysis, evaluation, & creation within Bloom’s Taxonomy by transforming an existing piece of music from one setting to another. The primary objective for this assignment is to foster fluency in part formatting, score formatting, and exporting with music notation software. The secondary objective is to provide students with a “real world” example of how to use music notation software for instructional purposes in addition to gaining and applying knowledge in instrument ranges and voicing. 

Since learners may have varied experiences & interests, the following four options may provide a template for learners to work within. While any piece can be used, an SATB version of The National Anthem is provided for learners to transform into a different instrumentation and key before formatting and exporting score, parts, and recordings.

Through transforming a piece a music into another form, learners will get the opportunity to be able to apply the following concepts and skills:

  • Orchestration, arranging, & transposition skills.
  • Entering lyrics & chord symbols.
  • Score & part formatting.
  • Exporting pdf and audio files.

Project Requirements

For each of the four project orchestration options, please include the following

  1. Full Score(s) – This should include the original SATB version of the song being transformed (with lyrics). Your name should be included (IN BOXED TEXT) at the top right corner of the page along with the title of the piece at the top of the page and the original composers name. Please include a double bar line & rehearsal marks at the end of each section (A section, B Section, A Section, & Coda) and make sure that this is a transposed score. Note – The choral version will submit 2 scores (one full & one reduced) in lieu of submitting parts.
  2. Parts – For each of the orchestration options except Choir, parts should be submitted in one pdf file along with the full score, organized in score order (Sibelius will do this for you). All parts should be formatted to fit on one page and clearly legible so that they look professional and there are no lines, slurs, text, and other objects colliding with one another.
  3. Recording(s) –  Once the orchestration is complete, export a recording in .mp3 format and upload. Students who choose the Choral option should only upload the reduced score. 

Project Orchestration Options:

  1. Band Version Requirements
    • Full Score should be the original 4-part SATB version which includes the following wind instruments:
      • Flute
      • Clarinet (1 & 2/3)
      • Alto Saxophone
      • Tenor Saxophone 
      • Baritone Saxophone
      • Trumpet (1 & 2/3)
      • Horn 1-2
      • Trombone (1 & 2/3)
      • Euphonium
      • Tuba
  2. Choral Version Requirements
    • First Draft should be the original 4-part SATB version WITH vocal text analysis under the bottom line of music.
    • Final Draft should be a reduction of the original SATB into 3-part mixed voices WITH text under the bottom line of music. The title at the top of the page should have the word REDUCTION in it to indicate that it is a modification of the original. Every requirement listed in the FIRST DRAFT pertains. Proper chord spelling, voice leading, and adherence to rules of harmony are crucial for this assignment. 
    • Recording should be exported (in .mp3 format) and uploaded via canvas. 
  3. Orchestra Version Requirements
    • Full Score should be the original 4-part SATB version which includes the following orchestral instruments:
      • Flute
      • Clarinet (1 & 2/3)
      • Trumpet (1 & 2/3)
      • Horn 1-2
      • Trombone (1 & 2/3)
      • Tuba
      • Violin
      • Viola
      • Cello
      • Bass
  4. Orff Version Requirements
    • Full Score should be the original 4-part SATB version which includes the following Orff instruments:
      • Soprano glockenspiel
      • Alto glockenspiel
      • Soprano xylophone
      • Soprano metallophone
      • Alto metallophone
      • Two alto xylophones
      • Bass metallophone
      • Bass xylophone

Exporting in Sibelius

Extending Further:

An additional option for transforming a piece of music would be for students to select an existing piece of their own choosing from a midi format, before arranging, formatting, and exporting. This project extension gives learners the experience of importing & cleaning file types along with use of some of the specialized arranging tools within Sibelius while encouraging students to apply these skills towards music that interests them.

The purpose of this assignment is to leverage the skills gained in music notation with learners knowledge in arranging and orchestration in a way that satisfies their own interests and career aspirations, by meeting the following guidelines:

  • Consist of an arrangement or transformation of an existing work into another genre or type of ensemble.
  • Be at least 60 seconds in length, but no longer that 2 minutes.
  • Have a title and the composer’s name.
  • Have your name, listed as the arranger.
  • Exported and submitted as a pdf (score and parts) and non-midi sound file.

Lyric Entry, Importing, & Arranging Tools:

Midi files can be found on any number of websites or though a simple google search. In this final instructional video, brief examples of how to import and clean midi files is provided along with some basic arranging tools that are offered in the plug-in packages:

Additional Resources


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