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HL #00121625
ISBN 9780876391457

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Arranging for Horns:

by Jerry Gates
available from

Write for a horn section! In this book, you will learn how to add saxophones and brass to a rhythm section ensemble. You will learn the capabilities and characteristics of the most common instruments, and how to order them effectively. You will also learn the different roles that a horn section can serve in your ensemble. Online audio tracks demonstrate the key concepts, as exemplified in a complete score.

You will learn to:

  • Write for alto, tenor, and baritone saxophone, as well as trumpet and trombone
  • Construct common voicings, such as unisons, octave unisons, two- to five-part soli, and open voicings
  • Expand your harmony by using jazz chords
  • Use brass mutes
  • Compose many textures, including melodies, solis, fills, pads, comping parts, background lines, and others
  • Score advanced harmonic techniques characteristic of brass sections, such as chromatic approach chords, four- and five-part voicings, tension substitutions, and more

Jerry Gates is a composer, educator, orchestrator, arranger and producer, with credits ranging from symphonic arrangements for the jazz quartet Poetic Jazz and the ensemble Sinfonia Baltica to television shows such as The Dennis Miller Show and Hassan El Shafei (Arab Idol, Sultana) to commercials for companies such as Nestlé, Log Cabin maple syrup, Scope mouthwash, and Bank of America. He teaches contemporary writing techniques and leads ensembles of all sizes at Berklee College of Music.

"An amazing book that opens your mind for new horn arranging techniques. Horns on steroids!"

Hassan El Shafei, Artist/Record Producer

“Arranging for Horns is the one-stop-shop the young arranger can make to explore the techniques, applications, and context for contemporary horn arranging. Jerry Gates masterfully compiled three decades of experience—both in classroom and in professional writing—into an organized and concise 80-page text. Highly recommended!”

Adi Yeshaya, Composer, Arranger (Prince, Aretha Franklin, The Voice)

“An insightful and valuable resource for all arrangers. Jerry’s explanations are very clear and concise. Highly recommended!”

Mark Harrison, Keyboardist/Composer, Music Educator, and Author

"Jerry is a devoted musician and educator who has written yet another clear and concise book! This time Jerry guides the reader through a direct and useful approach to writing horn arrangements. Included are rhythm section considerations, notations, and a valuable mention about contour shaping as the blueprint for a successful arrangement. This book demystifies arranging for horns and inspires us to dive right in. There are great tools included and distilled from Jerry's many years of experience and education. I highly recommend it for anyone who wants to get quick and positive results without excess theory to weigh the creative process down."

David Goldblatt, Composer, Pianist, and Music Director (for national television programs, world tours, and varied media)

Jerry Gates' Arranging for Horns is a concise yet thorough guide to horn arranging in jazz and popular styles. The book progresses through each vital instrument, offering writing techniques for them as individuals and as a group. Arranging for Horns goes one step further than many treatments of this topic, looking at how an arrangement can vary throughout a song—changing the intensity of the music. This added consideration gives arrangers a powerful tool for adding shape and contour to their songs. Recommended for all arrangers and songwriters.

Ben Newhouse, Composer and Educator