What is Arranging? And Why is it Such a Powerful Tool for Songwriters?

What, exactly, is arranging? How is it different from composing and production? And why should songwriters care about it?

In short, it is your secret weapon for making songs more powerful.

You don’t have to be a veteran songwriter with a library of original material under your belt to write your own arrangements, either—you just need the motivation to get creative with your music.

Want to get started? Well, SMT teacher and composer Ethan Foote will be teaching a weekly “Arranging for Songwriters” workshop on Wednesdays from February 17th to March 10th.

In the upcoming workshop, Ethan will give you the tools you need to enhance your music and songwriting through the process of arranging. In addition to exploring your own songs alongside arrangements you know and love, you’ll also be examining elements like instrumentation, harmonization, and structure so you can better understand how to use them to your advantage.

Click here to register for Ethan’s workshop—or watch the video below to hear Ethan talk about the magic of arranging.

Ethan Foote is a composer and performer of concert music, rooted in the traditions of jazz, Western classical, and folk. He writes and plays in many contexts, including theatre and interdisciplinary art. While studying Literature and Philosophy at Oberlin College (BA 2010), Ethan played in jazz ensembles, attended concerts of classical and contemporary music, and took classes in music theory and music history. He is currently pursuing a Masters of Fine Arts in music composition at Vermont College of Fine Arts. Ethan teaches double bass, bass guitar, acoustic and electric six-string and 12-string guitar, and cello. Visit his website to learn more.

Background song “Cypress” by Marian McLaughlin
Arrangement for bassoon, flute, and clarinet by Ethan Foote

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