In music, an arrangement is a translation of a piece of music to a different instrument or collection of instruments from that for which it was originally written. An arrangment may just be a reduction for a single-instrument (piano in particular), or it may also be meant to simplify the original piece (at your local music store, you'll see authentic transcriptions and Easy Piano Versions of popular music).

The art of arranging tends to evolve over time -- certain instruments or voicings will be favored in certain regions and during certain eras. To differentiate from a setting, all arrangements of a certain piece generally have the same theme or melody, while settings just share texts.

One of the most active types of arranging right now in America actually doesn't involve instruments at all -- it's a cappella arranging to cover modern popular music, in the college a cappella community. The advent of vocal percussion has changed the art somewhat, allowing the tonal voices to focus on melody and harmony rather than rhythm, but a great a cappella arrangement can give the proper rhythmic feel without requiring VP at all.

Often a reference to something unpleasant that one doesn't want to name. If someone says "I've made arrangements", it's likely that anything from a romantic breakup to a contract killing is about to happen.

In combinatorics, arrangement is the partition of space into cells formed by overlaying a collection of surfaces (often hyperplanes).

--back to combinatorics--

Ar*range"ment (#), n. [Cf. F. arrangement.]


The act of arranging or putting in an orderly condition; the state of being arranged or put in order; disposition in suitable form.


The manner or result of arranging; system of parts disposed in due order; regular and systematic classification; as, arrangement of one's dress; the Linnaean arrangement of plants.


Preparatory proceeding or measure; preparation; as, we have made arrangement for receiving company.


Settlement; adjustment by agreement; as, the parties have made an arrangement between themselves concerning their disputes; a satisfactory arrangement.

5. Mus. (a)

The adaptation of a composition to voices or instruments for which it was not originally written.


A piece so adapted; a transcription; as, a pianoforte arrangement of Beethoven's symphonies; an orchestral arrangement of a song, an opera, or the like.


© Webster 1913.

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