The notes of a chart are just that – until you tell the players how you want those notes to be played. That is where articulations bridge the gap – from just a bunch of notes, to EXACTLY how those notes should be performed by the players in the ensemble. The articulations you write for the players will literally make or break the sound of a chart – assuming that you are dealing with half way decent players.
If you are a horn player, you have undoubtedly been reading articulations throughout your musical career. Many rhythm section players, however, are pretty clueless (in my experience) when it comes to writing articulations for horn players in a chart.
This lesson covers 99% of the articulations you will need in your arranging career for horn players. There are certainly many more if you are writing for strings, but these are the basics when it comes to arranging for small groups up to big band. Please let me know if you have any questions by leaving them in the comments.