Treatise on Instrumentation (Dover Books on Music) [Hector Berlioz, Richard Strauss] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. The most influential. Berlioz was one of the first composers to deal greatly with orchestration. In this treatise he talks about what the different sounds that instruments make (tone. Includes full-score musical examples from works by Berlioz, Mozart, Beethoven, Music History and Theory – Books on Music; /; Treatise on Instrumentation.

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In musical festivals up till now all that has been heard are standard orchestras and choruses but with their parts quadrupled or quintupled, depending on the smaller or larger number of performers. Bornstein Limited preview – The notes, chords and arpeggios that they project across the orchestra and the chorus have exceptional splendour. The feelings of absence, oblivion, and painful loneliness which arise in the minds of some listeners when they hear this forsaken melody would not have a quarter of instrumentatoon force if knstrumentation by any instrument other than the cor anglais.

At the time when the practice was to modulate only to related keys, the first to venture to a distant key was greeted with treatkse, as he could have expected. It would convey the laments, whispers and mysterious sounds of virgin forests, the shouts, prayers, songs of triumph or lamentation of a people with an expansive soul, an ardent heart, and fiery passions.

The use made of the piano in the single example I have just mentioned is quite different. The latter consists in writing for the horns exactly as for bassoons and clarinets, without taking into account the vast difference between stopped notes and open notes, and also between different stopped notes, or the difficulty for the performer to play a particular note after another that does not lead to it naturally, or the doubtful intonation, poor sonority and harsh and strange sound produced when two thirds or three quarters of the bell are stopped.

Cymbals are often used in conjunction with the bass drum, but as I have just said about the latter instrument, they can be used separately to excellent effect in many circumstances.

His treatise was meant to indicate the range of the instruments, and part of their mechanism ; examine their timbre berlio, their character and range of expression ; and study the best-known methods for combining them.


The sounds of the second octave can be very suitable for pieces of a joyful character, and the whole dynamic range can be used.

Treatise on instrumentation and orchestration by Hector Berlioz

Comparison may also be made with the Report written instrumetnation Berlioz on the musical instruments exhibited in at the Great Exhibition in London, and available on this site both in the original French and in an English translation. Whatever the effect of this new modulation, it was severely censured by the masters. There are only few examples in his orchestral writing, and when he makes use of this it is almost always for a special effect.

Its tone quality is so distinctive that it is not necessary in an orchestra to have exactly the same number of violas as of second violins.

Treatise on Instrumentation – Wikipedia

The highest notes have a raw quality which have perhaps not been sufficiently exploited. From a poetical point of view, this art is as little susceptible o being taught as that of inventing beautiful melodies, fine successions of chords or rhythmic forms that have originality and power. Its low strings have a characteristic, husky timbre while its high notes are distinguished by their mournfully passionate sound.

The upper register has a somewhat piercing character which should only be used in an orchestral fortissimo or in extrovert runs in a brilliant solo passage some of the high notes can nevertheless be sustained piano when the tone production has been carefully prepared.

Francs Juges overture, bar and following; Waverley overture, bar 55 and following; Symphonie Fantastique3rd movement, bar and following; 4th movement, bar 1 and following; King Lear overture, bar 67 and following]. Their turn to be noticed, rejected, accepted, repressed, liberated and exaggerated only came later. The sound of the two piccolos comes out an octave above and therefore produces sequences of elevenths, the harshness of which is extremely appropriate in the context.

This is what Beethoven has done in the following passage Example: Until Beethoven and Weberall composers, Mozart not excepted, have insisted either in confining it to the demeaning role of filling up, or in making it sound two or three rhythmic patterns, always the same, which are flat, ridiculous, and frequently jar with the character of the pieces where they occur.

The poverty of the writing of older composers is obviously preferable to this ignorant and hateful wastage. This is an essential precondition for achieving the best possible results and calculating with sureness the intended effects. The violin The viola The cello The double-bass The harp.


It might join in an ensemble piece, in a very large orchestra, but only to enhance gradually the power of a strong rhythm which has already been established, and which is gradually reinforced by successive entries of the most sonorous instruments.

Hector Berlioz’s Treatise on instrumentation and orchestration

Such is the case with the passage from the storm of the Pastoral Symphonywhich conveys so well the suggestion of a violent wind charged with rain and of the dull rumbling of a squall. This method should result first in an excellent quality of performance which could not be obtained under instrumentatlon old system of collective rehearsals; it would not require more than four rehearsals at the most from each player.

The best layout for performers, in a hall which is suitably proportioned in relation to bedlioz numbers involved, is to raise them one above instrumwntation other by a series of tiers set out so in such a way that each row can project the sounds it instumentation to the audience without any intervening obstacle.

He was forty and had already written the Fantastic Symphony, his most famous composition, and Harold in Italyhis Symphony with solo viola. In general this is true. We have not set ourselves the task of writing a collection of textbooks for different instrumntation, but rather to study how they can contribute to musical purposes when combined with each other.

An imperceptible movement of the arm, an unsuspected emotion on the part of the player, might produce no noticeable effect when played by a single violin. Berlioz was also known as a great conductor in his time, in addition to a composer. To please these people it was absolutely essential to saturate compositions with major or minor seconds, sevenths, ninths, fifths and fourths, used without reason or purpose, unless it is assumed that the point of this harmonic style is to offend the ear instrumentatin often as possible.