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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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The clarinet would perhaps have been more suitable, but some of its ochestration would have been too forceful, and none of the softest notes could have been scaled down to the weak, faded and veiled sound of the F natural in the middle range and of the first B flat above the stave.

Side drums are rarely appropriate except in large ensembles of wind instruments.

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.

Hence it has not as yet been possible for them to reach the point of lrchestration other branches of the art of music. All the more so as composers usually do not have the excuse of an original rhythm which orchestrstion might want to enhance and bring out over subsidiary rhythms. These and other examples I might mention seem to me altogether admirable.

With illustrative full-score musical examples from works by Berlioz, Mozart, Beethoven, Gluck, Weber, Wagner, and others, and numerous smaller musical examples. Those of the lower register are particularly suited, especially with held notes, for those coldly threatening effects, and for the dark tones of still rage which Weber ingeniously invented. And yet the bass drum can be admirably effective when used intelligently. These results will probably be modified in a thousand other ways, good or bad, by composers who adopt them.

A melodium played by a sensitive musician can and should introduce there harmony and civilisation, and bring about in time the disappearance of those grotesque howls which are still the concomitant of religious services. Instead, the strong beat of every bar is struck, the orchestra is crushed, the voices obliterated; nothing is left, neither melody, nor harmony, nor line; krchestration the tonality barely emerges.

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

For many years composers have complained of the awkward obligation, caused by the lack of a treatisw timpani sound, to avoid using the instrument orcuestration chords which did not include either the tonic or the dominant; no one ever asked whether a single timpanist might not play on three timpani.

But if the tiers are erected in a special hall or at one end of a church, and if, as often is the case, the end of this building is constructed of thick materials and causes the sound of the instruments close to it to reverberate with excessive force and harshness, then the effectiveness of the reflectors and the resulting reverberation can easily be reduced. The instrument requires harmony, or at least the unison of the other members of its family for its various qualities to manifest themselves completely.


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.

Treatise on Instrumentation – Wikipedia

Attempts are being made at this moment to block the progress of music on other fronts. One common practice to give great power to a passage for the violins orchwstration to have the first violins doubled by the seconds playing an octave below; but if the passage is not written too high it is much better to have all the violins playing in unison. I therefore believe that in the majority of cases it is better to do without this instrument than to replace it in this way.

Straussand Rimsky-Korsakov. It has therefore been used in a modern symphony to parody, degrade and vilify a melody; the dramatic purpose of the work required this strange transformation orchesttration refers to the last movement of the Symphonie Fantastique ] […]. When pizzicato is used in a passage played forte it is in general necessary that it should be written neither too high nor too low, since the highest notes are thin and dry in sound, and the lower ones are too dull.

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 berlio 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 orchestrztion vanquished.

These extracts are collected here on a page devoted entirely to the treatise also available in the original French. Beriloz Read Edit View history.

It is better in such cases to write them in two parts than to make the clarinets play in unison or in octaves. This book is comprehensive but indeed quite old. Besides, if four or ttreatise instruments are used in unison, it provides a smooth sound which is excellent for the bass line of bands of wind instruments. This is the place to draw attention to the importance of the different points of berlkoz of the sounds. Spontini was the first to use it in his triumphal march in La Vestale and a little later in a few pieces in Fernand Cortezwhere it was well motivated.


Explore the Home Gift Guide. It can express all manner of vigorous feelings, proud and grand, and the majority of tragic accents. This orcnestration that the old system of double-bass players orchestratioh simplify their partsa system widely adopted in the old instrumental school and exposed to the dangers we have indicated, is nowadays completely rejected.

Discover Prime Book Box for Kids. AmazonGlobal Ship Orders Internationally. Even then it would be very difficult to bring together oechestration Paris voices of any quality; at the moment the study of singing there is neither very widespread nor very advanced. The use made by most composers of the lower notes of the flute is limited or unsatisfactory.

A timpani stick with sponge head, or a bass drum stick, is sometimes used to set a cymbal vibrating when suspended by its thong. Dover Publications November 8, Language: I must admit that in our time this prejudice against the viola part has not been completely eliminated, and that even in the best orchestras there trwatise still players who have not mastered the art of viola playing any better than that of the violin.

Berlioz Treatise on orchestration

The second coach will rehearse in the same way the first and second tenors. Care should be taken in this case to provide numerous tuning forks in the orchestra; this is the only way to preserve exactly the correct pitch of a crowd of instruments that are so different in character and temperament. The following runs produce an excellent effect in the scene of the bathing women in Act II of Les Huguenots.

Amazon Second Chance Orchewtration it on, trade it in, give it a second life. Then it was not possible at the time to write for violas distinctive parts which required from the players a normal ebrlioz of proficiency. From some points of view the former ofchestration, generally speaking, inferior to the latter.

Then came the turn of modulations. This also includes a section by Strauss on the development of some instruments between Berlioz’ time and Strauss’ time especially the Saxophone familyas well as a section by Berlioz on conducting.

Gluck and Beethoven have shown a wonderful understanding of the uses of this valuable instrument, and it is to the oboe that they both owe the deep feelings aroused by some of the most beautiful passages in their music. This is done by suspending a number of hangings and concentrating at this point materials that are suitable for intercepting the sound waves.

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