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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It is quite certain that the special effects obtained by this new type of orchestra could not possibly be achieved with any other forces.

Many ignorant players, devoted to noise, make a deplorable use of these octave stops. This effect was unknown to Mozart, Weberand Beethoven. 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.

But to write for it as has been done these last fifteen years, where it is introduced in every ensemble, in every finale, in the slightest chorus, in dance tunes, even in cavatinas, this is the height of insanity and, to call things by their name, of brutality. It is Weber in my opinion who more than any other master has succeeded in making the most original, poetic and complete use of the instrument.

The more numerous the harmonic notes, the more striking the effect.

Attempts are being made at this moment to block the progress of music on other fronts. Should it be berlooz necessary to use the oboes in a piece of this kind to give more body to the harmony and increase the power of the wind section, then at least the parts should be written in such a way that their timbre, unsuited to this style yreatise music, should be completely covered by the other instruments and should blend with the ensemble so instruentation to be unobtrusive.

For composers and music lovers it is therefore an assistant of unquestionable usefulness. In addition he was careful to make that F the augmented fifth of instrumentztion B natural played by the bassoons below. With illustrative full-score musical examples from works by Berlioz, Mozart, Beethoven, Gluck, Weber, Wagner, and others, and numerous smaller musical examples.

When used in isolation or in groups of two, three, or four, it is strikingly the timbre of horns, trombones, and brass instruments in general that marries best with them. The melodium does not have the mixture stops of the organ, the effect of which is traditionally admired by many people, but which in reality are an open door to the most dreadful confusion. By doubling or tripling in the same proportions treayise order this body of performers the result would probably be a superb festival orchestra.

The table below outlines the contents of this page. 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 instrumentagion 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.


But it becomes ethereal and seraphic when used in several parts and is played pianissimo on the higher notes of the E string. 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.

None of the great masters of the previous century thought it appropriate to introduce it in the orchestra. Meyerbeer has been able to draw a distinctive and formidable sound by combining the side drum with the timpani for the celebrated crescendo roll in the scene of the blessing of the daggers in Les Huguenots. There is a magnificent example of the use of this device in the final explosion of the duet ” Gardez vous de la jalousie!

The violin The viola The cello The double-bass The harp. Here is the lonely virgin, the blond betrothed of the huntsman, who raises her eyes to heaven and mingles her gentle lament with the sounds of the deep forests shaken by the storm. Mutes are small devices made of wood which are placed on the bridge of stringed instruments to reduce their sonority, and which give them at the same time a sad, mysterious and gentle character; this can be used to good effect in every kind of music. It is very characteristic, even when only those two instruments are used, but the impact can be increased by a sharp stroke on the timpani together with a brief chord on the remaining instruments.

In the case of drums, bass drums, cymbals and timpani, for example, if they are used all at once to play certain rhythms in the commonplace manner, they can remain grouped together. They possess the greatest expressive power and an unquestionable variety of timbres. 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 their force if sung by any instrument other than the cor anglais.

To insist, as some virtuoso players do, in transposing and playing everything on the B flat clarinet, is therefore with rare exceptions a betrayal on the part of the player. 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. Hence it has not as yet been possible for them to reach the point of the other branches of the art of music.

There is incidentally no need, as there is for wind instruments, to calculate the duration of a held note, or to provide them with pauses from time to time.

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

The effect is novel and arresting. The old masters only used them to strike the tonic or dominant on a more or less commonplace rhythm in pieces of a brilliant character or with martial pretensions. They have probably all admired the wonderful effect produced in the great E flat concerto sc. It is better in such cases to write them in two parts than to make the clarinets play in unison or in octaves.


No other available instrument could produce this kind of harmonious flutter which the piano has no difficulty in rendering, and which the sylph-like character of the piece requires. Selected pages Title Page. They have utilised with perfect understanding the diverse characteristics of this noble instrument to depict human passions and to reproduce the sounds of nature.

This produces a rather prolonged metallic shimmer, sinister in quality though without the formidable power of a stroke on the tam-tam. Then it sings a gentle lament, and rises to express reproach, deep grief, and the cry of a heart torn by incurable wounds. Between the chorus and harps and pianos alone.

At the time when the practice was to modulate only to related keys, the first to venture to a distant key was greeted with abuse, as he could have expected.

nerlioz The timbre of the trombones, so incisive and domineering, is far from similar to that of the ophicleide. Comparison may also be made with the Report written by 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.

Foreword by Richard Strauss.

Treatise on Instrumentation – Hector Berlioz, Richard Strauss – Google Books

Nevertheless it is always written in tutti passages without any regard for its tonal character, because it is then submerged in the ensemble insgrumentation the distinctive quality of its timbre can no longer be identified.

I cannot guess why. Their turn to be noticed, rejected, accepted, repressed, liberated and exaggerated only came later. When combined with timpani rolls in several parts, as in the work I have insyrumentation mentioned, and with an orchestration that emphasises the note of terror, they suggest the strange and awesome sounds that accompany the great cataclysms of nature. Side drums are rarely appropriate except in large ensembles of wind instruments.

Admittedly harp players are not anxious to play whole pieces in these lower octaves; they are rather far from their bodies, force them to lean forward and stretch their arms, and thus to maintain a rather uncomfortable posture for some length of time. But progress moves more slowly in theatres, and it will take another twenty five years to bring this about. Then came the turn of modulations. 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.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.