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What is arranging ?
Arranging is the art of taking a piece of music and making it your own – or taking a melody and adding different instruments under it such as a rhythm section or even a full horn section. The “arrangement” is then the final product of all the instruments coming together during that one piece of music
On one hand, it’s obvious. Arrangement is the flow of a song from start to finish. It has sections: like an intro, verse, buildup, chorus, breakdown, drop, and outro.
First (and most familiar) is structural arrangement, which is the movement of energy, sections and transitions in your music.
Next is instrumental arrangement – how the notes, chords, and melodies are laid out across the the different instruments in your ensemble. Remember, this can change during the course of your track! Moving the melody line from a vocal to a synth can drive it home in a new and refreshing way.
Finally there’s spatial arrangement, which is placing sounds within your mix by determining their volume, panning, and sense of presence. Here is that list in form of pretty bullet points to make this as simple as possible.
That’s a lot to take in, so let’s keep trying to simplify this. At the end of the day, arrangement solves for three things: