Cambridge Core – Nineteenth-Century Music – Berlioz’s Orchestration Treatise – edited by Hugh Macdonald. Berlioz’s orchestration treatise is a classic textbook which has been used as – Berlioz’s Orchestration Treatise: A Translation and Commentary -. revise the “Treatise on Instrumentation” by Hector. Berlioz . composition and orchestration with therich expressive On the other hand, even Berlioz’ orchestral.

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Treatise on Instrumentation Dover Books on Music.

Treatise on Instrumentation – Wikipedia

Modern orchestrarion generally write their flute parts too uniformly high; they always seem worried that they will not stand out above the rest of the orchestra. But if they were to put their bow aside and used the thumb and three fingers, with the right hand supported by the little finger resting on the body of the violin, as is done when playing the guitar, they would soon be able to play with ease and at speed passages such as the following, which at the moment are impossible.

It may preserve some of its character if given to the flutes, and will hardly lose anything if played by the clarinets. Kennan’s book, which was my first book on orchestration is inferior to these two, in my opinion.

But this would involve something very different, and the composer who wanted to show off the prodigious and innumerable resources of such an instrument would certainly have to perform a novel task. Great importance seems to be attached nowadays to this art of instrumentation, which was unknown at the start of the previous century; sixty years ago, many who were regarded as true friends of music tried to hinder its development. His preference is to give wind melodies to two or more instruments.

But if they are playing a rhythmic dialogue, one part of which is performed by the bass drums and cymbals, and the other by timpani and drums, it is probably the case that the effect will become immeasurably better, more interesting and more beautiful if the two groups of percussion instruments are placed at the two ends of the orchestra, and therefore at a fairly great distance from each other.

Symphonie fantastiqueOp.

Grand traité d’instrumentation et d’orchestration modernes, Op.10 (Berlioz, Hector)

Almost at once a new kind of pedantry arose: Harp harmonicsespecially with several harps in unison, are even more magical. Beethoven sometimes used it in pairs, as with trumpets, but the berljoz practice of writing it for three parts seems to me preferable. He must first appoint two assistant conductors who when beating time in the general rehearsals must constantly keep their eye on him so as to communicate the tempo to the masses that are too far away from the centre.


Their turn to be noticed, rejected, accepted, repressed, liberated and exaggerated only came later.

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A small and flimsy vaudeville orchestra can be noisywhere a great mass of musicians properly deployed will be extremely gentle and, even in its most vehement outbursts, will produce the most beautiful sounds. Nothing is so virginal and pure as the colour given to certain melodies by the timbre of the middle range of a clarinet in the hands of a talented player. The practice has developed in France of writing all these instruments, as well as the saxotrombas and the saxtubas, both the lowest and the highest, on the G clef, as is done with horns.

It is treatiise voice of heroic love. Orchestratioon have said that the horn is a noble and melancholy instrument, and this is true despite those joyful hunting fanfares that are often mentioned. The only exception that should be made is for those instruments that are excessively powerful or have a timbre that stands out because of its individuality.

They have probably all admired the wonderful effect produced in the great Orchestratipn flat concerto sc. Pages with related products. This applies to trombones, ophicleides, orchewtration, and in many cases to trumpets and cornets. Read reviews that mention various instruments berlioz treatise examples orchestration composers instrument orchestra section instrumentation wagner composer learn later regarding saxophone.

But as large orchestras always have four bassoons, the composer may with advantage write four real parts, or better still, three parts with the lowest doubled an octave below, to give more strength to the bass line.

As with the bass drum, cymbals, timpani, trombones, and all instruments that have a thunderous, explosive or reverberating sound, the triangle is nowadays deplorably misused.

Meyerbeer is the first to have introduced this sound into the opera house. I believe I have already stated that it seemed to me impossible to explain how beautiful orchestral effects are invented, and that this faculty, which practice and reasoned observation probably help to develop, is, like the faculty of creating melody, expression, and even harmony, one of the precious gifts that the poet-musician, like an inspired creator, must have received from nature.


The violins in particular can express a vast range of nuances that seem at first sight incompatible. Hector Berlioz sets out each section of the orchestra in a logical fashion, reference book style and describes each instrument in a clear, readable and enjoyable manner.

This method is probably far superior to the opposite one which most contemporary French and Italian composers have now adopted. Its tone is less penetrating, more veiled and deeper than that of the oboe, and is therefore not suitable for expressing the gaiety of rustic tunes.

Berlioz Treatise on orchestration

The percussion instruments on their own; particular attention will be given to getting the timpani players to tune their instruments properly. Its timbre is incomparably nobler than that of ophicleides, bombardons and serpents, and has something of the vibration of the timbre of a trombone.

But in the thousand combinations that are possible with the monumental orchestra we have just described there would reside a harmonic richness, a variety of sounds, a succession of contrasts, which cannot be compared with anything that has been achieved in art to this day.

Clearly all was lost.

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. I used them for the first time in three parts, in the scherzo of a symphony [ Romeo and JulietQueen Mab scherzobar and following], above a fourth, non-harmonic, violin part which consists of a continuous trill on berlkoz lower note.

The middle range, particularly when the player is not very skilled, is all too reminiscent of the sound of the serpent and the cornet. Berloiz the chorus and harps and pianos alone. This is what Beethoven has done in the following passage Example:

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