Orchestration for Strings

Arrange and compose your own original pieces for the string section of an orchestra.

Gifting options available at checkout.

Next Session Starts April 19

2 Hours A Week

12 Sections

Creating a string arrangement is the most powerful way to make a piece of music soar. Whether adding an epic string part to your latest pop song or composing for a classical quartet, there's so much you can do with these dynamic instruments. 

This course is all about helping you compose and arrange for violin, viola, cello, and bass. We'll look at the individual instruments of the bowed string family and explore a specific textural framework for creating better arrangements. By the end you'll understand how to create monophonic, polyphonic, chordal, and homophonic textures, and have a portfolio of original works ready to unveil at your next performance. We'll even record your final activity for you with a live quartet! 

Considering but not sure yet? Reach out to us at [email protected] to talk to someone who can answer all your questions!

Ian davis 04

Ian Davis

Composer, Arranger, Art Rocker

Ian is a composer/arranger/teacher living in Brooklyn, NY. He's written orchestral arrangements for such indie luminaries as Feist, Daniel Rossen, My Brightest Diamond, Landlady, and others. He plays and tours with Landlady and Relatives. He is an associate teaching artist with the New York Philharmonic's Very Young Composer's program. His music can be heard at

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Course Outline

  1. Start
    Section 1


  2. Start
    Section 2

    The String Section

  3. Start
    Section 3

    The Violin

  4. Start
    Section 4

    The Viola

  5. Start
    Section 5

    The Cello

  6. Start
    Section 6

    The Contrabass

  7. Start
    Section 7


  8. Start
    Section 8


  9. Start
    Section 9


  10. Start
    Section 10


  11. Start
    Section 11


  12. Start
    Section 12



It has been a genuine pleasure to work with the Soundfly team. Their music chops combined with their ace design put them way out ahead of the competition.

Ethan Hein

MusEDLab, New York University

I highly recommend this colorful tour through the string family. It's packed with clear, memorable examples and whimsical humor. The original arrangements alone will inspire new and experienced orchestrators alike.

Kris Nolte

Educator and Orchestrator

I'm amazed at the quality of feedback and value this course provides. Soundfly is onto something really good here.

Mark Strozier

Student, Kansas City


What will I learn in this course? 

You'll learn about the quirks of the individual instruments of the string section, the violin, viola, cello, and contrabass, and how to compose for all of them, individually and all together. By the end of this course, you'll have your own portfolio of original works ready to show off. 

Are there any pre-reqs?

The expectation is that you already know how to read and write music notation. If you don't, you can always check out our free course for a quick refresher. No prior knowledge of the string section or orchestra is necessary.

What do I get at the Basic level? 

At the Basic level, you get immediate, unlimited access to all the course content, including 11 engaging videos, an original composition demonstrating all the concepts, more than 20 well-known classical pieces with analysis, and more than 30 short writing prompts. 

What do I get at the Pro level? 

The Pro level is for students really committed to taking their art to the next level. You'll receive everything in the other two levels, plus an in-depth weekly check-in with a personal mentor who has extensive experience in the subject. This "Course Advisor" will help you stay accountable to your goals and offer detailed weekly feedback on your work. 

Can I upgrade after I've purchased the course?

Of course! If you've started the course at the Basic or Plus level but decide you'd like the extra support from classmates or expert advisors, just send us an email to [email protected], and we'll help you make the upgrade. You'll be placed in either a current or a future session.  

What does it mean that the course starts on April 19?

As soon as you purchase a course at any level, you can start exploring the course material immediately. On April 19, the session begins, which means that if you're in the Pro level, you'll begin a guided experience that includes weekly activities, feedback from Course Advisors, and much more. This is intended to help you stay accountable and get the feedback you need to succeed. 

Will there be future sessions of the course?

Yes! We plan to run new sessions roughly every two months. Check back shortly for firm dates, or sign up for a Soundfly account to receive email updates about course dates and new course launches.

How do I give the course as a gift?

Soundfly courses make great gifts for the music lover in your life. To purchase a course as a gift, first sign into your Soundfly account, or create a new account for you (the purchaser). Pick the price level you'd like to give, click to purchase, fill in your information, check the box below the credit card form saying you're buying the course as a gift, and click to pay. You'll shortly receive an email gift certificate that you can give to a friend.

How do I sign up for a course using a gift certificate?

Create your own Soundfly account, navigate to the course you've been gifted, and click to "buy now." On the check out page at the bottom of the form, you'll see a field where you can enter the code on your gift certificate. Enter the code, no credit card info needed, click "Apply," and enjoy the course!