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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Pianissimo notes from the bass drum, when combined with cymbals in an andante and struck at long intervals, have a majestic and solemn quality.

The tamtam, or gong, is only used in compositions of a dirge-like character and for dramatic scenes of the utmost horror. GluckBeethovenMozart, WeberSpontiniand a few others have fully understood the importance of the role of the trombones.

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; even the tonality barely emerges. Three trombones poorly used will seem noisy and unbearable, while a moment later, in the same hall, twelve trombones will astonish the public through their noble and powerful harmony.

It is the voice of heroic love. Any well-organised concert orchestra must be set out in this way. The clarinet is not well adapted for music of an idyllic kind, it is an epic instrument, like the horns, trumpets and trombones.

Treatise on Instrumentation – Wikipedia

When they were unable to think straightaway of a few notes to fill in the chords they quickly fell back on the inevitable indication col bassoand did so in such a careless way that the result was sometimes an octave doubling of the bass berloiz which was incompatible either with the harmony, or orcyestration the melody, or with both at once.

This sad murmur and the faint sound of this solo, reproducing a melody already heard in an earlier piece, have always struck audiences deeply. This is the place to draw attention to the importance of the different points of origin of the sounds. It has therefore been used in a brelioz symphony to parody, degrade and vilify a melody; the dramatic purpose of the work required this strange transformation [this refers to the last movement of the Symphonie Fantastique ] […].

Treatise On Instrumentation

As for instrumentation, expression and rhythm, that is another matter. Their turn to be noticed, rejected, accepted, repressed, liberated and exaggerated only came later. Purchase Subscription prices and ordering Short-term Access To purchase short term access, please sign in to your Oxford Academic account above.

With an indefinite pitch and which only produce sounds with various characteristics. It only has stops for simple or double octaves and for shifting ob keyboard right or left. The same is true of small churches where music has so orfhestration not been able to penetrate.


Particularly in cases where the chords are brief and separated by silences, it is like hearing strange monsters uttering in the dark groans of barely suppressed rage. The player does this by bringing the cymbals close to his chest immediately after striking them.

Side drums are rarely appropriate except in large ensembles of wind instruments. The oboe is principally a melodic instrument ; it has a rustic character, full of tenderness, I would say even of shyness. 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.

But if the military band continues to march and perform as it moves on, and leaves a large and reverberant street of this kind to emerge into a plain devoid of trees and buildings, the sounds immediately evaporate, the orchestra vanishes, and there is no music.

This is trivial, and devoid of pomp o splendour. In such a context the sound of the piano has a delightful charm, full of calm and freshness, and is the very image of grace.

Berlioz Treatise on orchestration

The result is that many effects are lost with opera orchestras and numerous delicate nuances go for nothing, even when the playing is of the highest standard. If the tiers have been erected in a theatre, the stage must be perfectly sealed at the end, to the right, the left and above by a wooden enclosure. In the Adagio of one of my symphonies [the Symphonie Fantastique ], the cor anglais, after repeating an octave lower the treatisr of the oboe, like the voice of a young man answering a girl in a pastoral dialogue, then repeats fragments from it at the end of the piece, to the muted accompaniment of four timpani, while the rest of the orchestra remains silent.

Ebrlioz massed brass instruments in great military symphonies evoke the idea of a warlike band in shining armour, marching on to glory or to death, treagise 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 orchestratioj vanquished.

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. It may preserve some of its character if given to the flutes, and will hardly lose anything if played by the clarinets.

The resulting sounds produce accompaniments which singers appreciate, as they do odchestration cover their orchesfration. Beethoven, 7th Symphony, 2nd movement, bars Some great masters, Mozart among them, have not avoided this pitfall.

A few random examples: This is done by suspending a number of hangings and concentrating at this point materials that are suitable for intercepting the sound waves.

Any sounding body that is used by a composer is a musical instrument. 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.


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

But once the dominant seventh was accepted after all, together with suspended dissonances, those who called themselves erudite came to look down on any composition harmonised in a way that was simple, gentle, clear, sonorous and natural. Gluck is the only master who seems to me to have understood how to make excellent use of these pale tones.

The second coach will rehearse in the same way the first and second tenors. 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.

The extreme delicacy of the harmonics is enhanced in this passage by the use of mutes; with the sound thus reduced the notes come from the highest regions of the musical scale, which could hardly be reached by the use of normal violin sounds. There is nothing that is more appropriate for the idea of poetic festivals or religious celebrations than the sounds of a large number of harps when deployed in an imaginative way. 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.

But when I hear this instrument used to double three octaves above the melody of a baritone, to utter its shrill cry in the midst of religious harmonies, to add power and incisiveness to the upper part of the orchestra, from the beginning to the end of the act in an opera, and all just for the sake of noise, I cannot help finding this style of instrumental writing flat, stupid, and in general worthy only of the melodic style to which it is applied.

Sound reflectors are indispensable; they are found arranged in different ways in any enclosed building. Whatever the effect of this new modulation, it was severely censured by the masters. In some cases they would soften their brilliance, in others they would give warmth to the impetus of the music, by means of the tremolo which can lend a musical quality even to drum rolls by berluoz with them.

They have probably all orchestraiton the wonderful effect produced in the great E flat concerto sc.

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