Treatise on Instrumentation (Dover Books on Music) [Hector Berlioz, Richard Strauss] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. The most influential. Book Source: Digital Library of India Item : Hector ioned. Berlioz’s orchestration treatise is a classic textbook which has been used as – Berlioz’s Orchestration Treatise: A Translation and Commentary -.

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Treatise On Instrumentation

You could not be signed in. It can even figure in a joyful piece, so long as it has a fiery or stately character. The effect then becomes incomparably more orchestratiom and beautiful. The latter consists of an imposing mass of string instruments, all the other wind instruments doubled or tripled, and ten musicians playing eight pairs of timpani tuned to different notes.

One can also say that one particular instrument is more suitable than another to produce certain effects or to express certain feelings.

In general the organ is meant for total domination, it is a jealous and intolerant instrument. It was left to Weber to discover the terrifying quality of these low notes when used to sustain sinister harmonies. A distinction must be drawn between theatre orchestras and concert orchestras.

Whereas massed brass instruments in great military symphonies evoke the idea of a warlike band in shining armour, marching on to glory or to death, the numerous unisons of clarinets playing with them seem to represent the loved women, proud-eyed and deeply passionate, who, stirred by the sound of arms sing as they fight, and crown the victors or perish with the vanquished.

The brilliant effect produced by military bands in some streets of large cities supports this statement while appearing to contradict it. In such a case when the violins are playing in unison the composer may want to increase their power even further, and has them doubled by the violas playing an octave below them.

The viola is as agile as the violin; its lower strings have a peculiarly penetrating quality; its higher notes are distinctive and have orchestratiion sad and passionate intensity; in general its tone has a quality of deep sadness which distinguishes it from all other stringed instruments. The purpose of the present work is therefore first to indicate the range of some essential parts of the mechanism of the instruments, then to proceed to the study, hitherto much neglected, of the nature of the timbrethe peculiar character and expressive potential of each of them, and finally to that of the best tratise known of combining them in an appropriate manner.


This produces a rather prolonged metallic shimmer, sinister in quality though without the formidable power of a stroke on the tam-tam.

This article is also available for rental through DeepDyve. The orchestra may be thought of as a large instrument that is capable of producing simultaneously or in succession a multitude of sounds of different kinds. An orchestra with a thousand wind instruments, and a chorus of two thousand voices, if placed in an open plain will not have one twentieth of the musical effectiveness of an ordinary orchestra of eighty musicians and a chorus of a hundred voices carefully arranged in the hall of the Conservatoire.

When blended with the lower notes of clarinets and bassoons over a tremolando of the double basses, the lower notes of the cor anglais produce a novel and special sound, eminently suitable for giving a menacing colour to musical ideas where fear and anguish predominate.

The player strikes each side of the instrument and can thus play a succession of fairly rapid notes. One may find in their scores passages with a passionate intent and martial tone that are oddly at variance with the sound of the oboes that play them. The soprano saxhorn in B flat is more frequently used than that in Orcjestration and though it is a tone lower than the C saxhorn it is already difficult or at least very strenuous for the player to sound the last two notes; these valuable notes must therefore be used very orchestdation and must be introduced in a skilful way.

The resulting sounds produce accompaniments which singers appreciate, as they do not cover their voices. In general this is true. Since each of these instruments has its own special character it is at least likely that the composer chose one rather another because he preferred this particular timbre, and not through any caprice.

Berlioz Treatise on orchestration

The oboe would have sounded too childlike and its voice would not have seemed pure enough. At first some would only accept as music sequences of consonant harmonies, interspersed with a few dissonant suspensions. In many orchestras these are the only sticks used and this is a great pity.


All the more so as composers usually do not have the excuse of an original rhythm which they might want to enhance and bring out over subsidiary rhythms.

Symphonie fantastiqueOp. But there is nothing more brilliant, better defined and more devoid of shrillness despite their brilliance than all the notes of the upper octave. A new edition of the original Treatise was published in as volume 24 of the New Berlioz Edition.

At first it is a barely perceptible voice that seems afraid of being heard. Francs Juges overture, bar and following; Symphonie Fantastiqueofchestration movement, bar 25 and following, 49 and following; Roman Carnival overture, bar and following; Le Corsaire overture, bar and following]. There were fanatics of melody, for whom every piece of music with more than three parts was unbearable. But there is a further point.

Concerning the design of our theatres and opera houses and the requirements of dramatic performances, this orchestratioh in the shape berllioz an amphitheatre is not possible for orchestras that are ttreatise for the performance of operas. The need for runs of treattise kind is extremely rare, and we confess we have not yet come across it.

Their use without our explicit permission is illegal. Ordinary rhythms, devoid of melody, harmony or tonality, or of anything that constitutes real music, but intended solely to provide a beat for soldiers on treayise march, become exciting when performed by a mass of forty or fifty drums on their own. The two lower strings, the C and G strings, have a smooth and deep sound which is admirably suited in such cases, but their low register means that they can only be given a bass line that is more or less melodic, while the true singing parts must be reserved for the higher strings.

In the case of drums, bass drums, cymbals and timpani, for example, if they are used all at once to play certain rhythms in the commonplace manner, they can remain grouped together.