Orchestration for Strings

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

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. Along the way, you'll get personalized feedback on your work from an expert Soundfly Mentor. 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. 

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

More About Ian
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Work with an Expert Mentor for Six Weeks

Sign up for this course with six weeks of personal mentorship from an expert, and get unlimited access to the content, forever.

Price $499

Payment plans available. to find out more.

Subscribe for Access to All Our Courses

Get access to all our premium courses without mentorship for a low monthly price.

Price $39/month

Write better arrangements for string instruments

By the end of this course, you’ll be able to confidently write original music or arrangements for the string section of an orchestra or a quartet.

Study the Particulars of Each Instrument

We start by exploring the specific sounds, ranges, and dynamics of each individual string instrument.

Master a Texture-Based Approach to Arranging

We practice and explore four important textures to facilitate composing and arranging.

Create Your Own Portfolio of Works

We include multiple writing prompts to get you composing and building your portfolio right away.

Practice Writing Various Bowing Techniques

We look at how bowing techniques can inject dynamism into a performance and practice writing them.
Are you an educator? If so, you can access educator discounts. !


Our expert mentors do whatever it takes to ensure that you achieve your musical goals for the course and leap forward in your learning.

Ian Temple

Composer, Pianist
  • Composer marrying piano, strings, & electronics
  • Multiple video soundtracks, including award-winning film
  • Has had works performed at major venues across three continents

Tim Maryon

Arranger, Film Scorer
  • Award-winning composer
  • MA in Film Scoring from the Royal College of Music
  • Has written for clients including the BBC and Victoria Beckham

Andre Madatian

Film Scorer, Composer, Educator
  • Degree in Film Scoring from Berklee College of Music
  • Music has appeared Bravo, CBS, Oprah Winfrey Network, and more
  • Touring guitarist and performer


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



Who this course for?

This course is for beginning orchestrators, as well as more experienced composers looking to better understand traditional approaches to writing for the string section of an orchestra.

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.

How does a Soundfly course work?

We offer two ways to experience our courses: with mentorship or with a subscription. Enrolling with mentorship involves in-depth weekly personalized support and feedback from an expert for the six week duration of the course.

Enrolling with a subscription does not include mentorship but gives you access to all of the courses on to go through at your own pace for as long as you're subscribed (and tons of extra perks — see below).

What do I get if I enroll as a subscriber?

As a subscriber, you'll get unlimited access to all the course content on, including this course and all our other premium courses, to go through at your own pace. This includes all the videos, tutorials, demos, quizzes, activities, downloads, and other materials within our courses. You're also entitled to discounts of up to 33% on our mentorship programs, you will be invited to join our exclusive community Slack group, and you'll have access to exclusive discount perks courtesy of our partner brands. You can cancel anytime.

You can find out more about subscribing here.

What do I get if I enroll with mentorship?

Our mentorship program is our science-backed learning model designed to help you learn more efficiently and effectively. When you sign up, we'll pair you with an expert who will tailor the course to your experience level, offer detailed weekly feedback on your work, answer any questions you have, help you blow past obstacles, and keep you on track to accomplish your musical goals.

You can find out more about mentorship and our expert mentors here.

You'll also get unlimited, lifetime access to all the course content and lifetime access to our tight-knit musician community group on Slack, where you'll find peer-to-peer feedback and support, lots of inspiration, and fun, musical conversations with fellow Soundfly students, mentors, and staff.

How does the pricing work?

A subscription costs $39/month or only $19/month if you enroll annually.

Enrolling with mentorship costs $499 for six weeks of intensive support from an expert, plus lifetime access to the specific course you're purchasing. Payment plans are available — reach out to [email protected] to find out more.

Is there a money-back guarantee?

Yes, if you enroll with mentorship. If you enroll with mentorship and the course isn't what you expected, we will give you a full refund as long as you tell us before the start of the second week, in order to honor the valuable time of our mentors.

We're also happy to move you to a subsequent session, if you end up not having as much time as you expected. Once again, let us know as soon as possible!

How long does this course last?

Our courses were designed to be taken in six weeks. If you enroll with a mentor, you will go through that six week curriculum. If you enroll with a subscription on the other hand, you can choose to use the six week structure, or you can ignore it and jump around as much as you want.

Will there be future sessions of the course?

Yes! Check back shortly for firm dates, or sign up for a Soundfly account to receive email updates about course dates and new course launches.