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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Its task is therefore not to reinforce the double-basses, with which its timbre does not blend in any way.


The Tenoroon Basson Quinte. It therefore seemed worthwhile to reproduce here substantial extracts from the work, with particular emphasis on those passages where Berlioz tries to define and explore the expressive possibilities of each instrument of the orchestra. It can be assumed that it is highly important in using such a vast mass of players to take into account the distance or the proximity of the different groups that make it up.

The cornet part which Berlioz added to the second movement of the Symphonie Fantastiquethough distinctive and not a mere doubling of the other parts, is not intended as a solo].

Treatise On Instrumentation

An orchestra with a thousand wind instruments, and a chorus of two thousand voices, if orchesteation 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. An imperceptible orchestfation of the arm, an unsuspected emotion on the part of the player, might produce no noticeable effect when played by a single violin.

In particular it would have an incalculable melodic, expressive and rhythmic power, a penetrating force like no other, a prodigious sensitivity in all nuances whether in ensemble or in detail. Between the chorus and harps and pianos alone. These give to the flute all its sad character in the key of D minor where they occur frequently. They can also be used to excellent effect in symphonic music, even in vigorous passages, whether played by all the string sections together, or by only one or two parts.



These examples are sometimes of works by Berlioz himself, while MozartWagnerBeethovenand Gluck are also frequently cited. Despite its proud and genuinely distinguished timbre, orcbestration are few instruments that have been so debased as the trumpet. To accompany these vocal rehearsals use will be made either of an organ, or of a piano assisted with a few stringed instruments, violins and basses.

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

Stringed instruments are the essential foundation of any orchestra. They possess the greatest expressive power and an unquestionable variety of timbres.

This makes it superior to any other instrument when the intention is to move by reviving images and feelings from the past, and when the composer wishes to touch the hidden chords of tender memories.

There can be no doubt about the system of rehearsals needed for this gigantic orchestra: After this three choruses treatize be formed composed teatise of one third of all the irchestration and finally the entire chorus will rehearse together.

This beautiful instrumental soprano voice, so sonorous and rich in penetrating inflexions when used in large numbers, gains when played solo in delicacy, elusive nuances, and mysterious sympathy what it loses in power and brightness. When at rest it would be majestic like a slumbering ocean. Assisted by the low notes of two clarinets in A and B flat this gives the passage the sinister timbre which evokes the feelings of terror and fear which permeate this immortal scene.

These results will probably be modified in a thousand other ways, good or bad, by composers who adopt them. A new edition of the original Treatise was published in as volume 24 of the New Berlioz Edition.

And lastly neither the violin, nor the viola, nor the cello, whether used solo or as a section, were suitable to express this sublime orchestfation of a suffering shade overcome with despair; the instrument required was precisely that chosen by the composer. It should be noted that in this example and in many other passages Beethoven has given to the basses low notes which they cannot play, and this suggests that the orchestra for which he wrote included double basses which could reach down to C an octave below the low C of the cellos, which are no longer found today.


Berlioz Treatise on orchestration

A distinction is now drawn between use and abuse, reactionary vanity rreatise pig-headed obstinacy, and there is general agreement nowadays on the subject of harmony, melody and modulations: Composers must therefore be very careful to ask from the double-basses only what is possible and where there is no doubt that the passage can be correctly played.

Examples of this are the solo in the scherzo of the Pastoral symphony [ example: As for grouping them together, whether in small or large ensembles, and the art of combining and blending them so that the sound of some is modified by others, or in order to draw from the ensemble a special sound that none orchesttation them could produce in isolation or when combined with instruments of the same family — for that the only viable approach is to draw attention to the results obtained by the masters and indicate the methods they used.

That is why Rossini made use of a little bell in G to accompany a graceful chorus from the second Act of William Tellthe refrain of which is “voici la nuit”. It blends easily with the rest of the harmony, and even the least skilful composer can at will give it a prominent role or make it play a part that is useful though inconspicuous.

Side drums are rarely appropriate except in large ensembles of wind instruments. Its silence would strike awe through its solemnity, and the most recalcitrant temperaments would shudder at the sight of its surging crescendolike the roar of an immense and sublime conflagration! Bornstein Limited preview – In such a case when the violins are playing in unison the tteatise may want to increase their power even further, and has them doubled by the violas playing an octave below them.

This sad murmur and the faint sound of this solo, reproducing a melody already heard in an earlier piece, have always struck audiences deeply.