Sydney Recording Studio and Dovetailing

Sydney Recording Studio and dovetails don’t sound like two things that would be in any way related to each other. This is not so. In our Sydney Recording Studio, Crash Symphony Productions, we use this musical technique a great deal. In this article we will explain what dovetailing is, and when to employ it.

What is Dovetailing?

Dovetailing is a compositional technique that is used in the arrangement of music. Essentially, it recreates the effect of the piano sustain pedal when composing for polyphonic ensembles like strings, horns, or even backing vocals. Think about when you play a C major chord on the piano and depress the sustain pedal on the piano. What happens? Each note that you play will be sustain and continue until its natural decay or until the play takes his or her foot of the sustain pedal. It is a truly beautiful sound and it is a sound that is unique to the piano. Eventually, after you play each note in a scatter entry, you will form a full C major triad. C is first played, then followed by E, and finally the G note. These are the notes that are played in a basic C major triad that is root position. What we want to create is the effect that the sustain pedal creates as each note in the chord is held. To do this we will need three voices in our ensemble. Let us use a violin trio as our example ensemble.

How we Create Dovetailing in our Sydney Recording Studio

Firstly, we would write the note of the C root note. The first violin that enters would play this. Then the second violin will enter shortly thereafter. The first violin will continue to hold the note that it started playing, but the second violin has now entered and is forming a nice major third chord. So whilst the two violins entered at different times, they are now playing simultaneously. Finally, the third violin enters with the G note. This G note enters whilst the other two notes are still playing. Now three notes are sounding at the same time. This is exactly what will happen on a piano as the notes are played.

When would our Sydney Recording Studio use this technique?

Dovetailing is a compositional technique that is commonly employed when we have arranged strings, horns, or choral parts on the piano. Translation of the sustain-pedal function is more complex when arranging for monophonic instruments. As sound that can be used in a musical production, dovetailing is really important and sounds great.
For more information on how we can help you arrange please contact our Sydney Recording Studio, Crash Symphony Productions.