Berlioz’s orchestration treatise is a classic textbook which has been used as – Berlioz’s Orchestration Treatise: A Translation and Commentary -. Grand traité d’instrumentation et d’orchestration modernes, Op (Berlioz, Hector ) .. Name Translations, Treatise on Instrumentation; Gran Tratado de. Berlioz, Hector, – [Grand traité d’instrumentation et d’orchestration modernes. English]. Berlioz’s orchestration treatise: a translation and.

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In other projects Wikimedia Commons. In his score the composer must therefore indicate the layout that he thinks is appropriate. Its power can be limited or considerable depending on whether it draws on the totality or only part of the performing resources available to modern music, and depending on whether those resources are well chosen or not and set out in acoustic conditions that are more or less favourable.

I think it is best for them not to be left exposed. The cello excels also in melodies of a religious character; the composer must then select the string on which the trearise should be played.

As for determining how the organ should be used on its own when considered as a self-contained orchestra, this is not the place to do this. These and other examples I might mention seem to me altogether admirable.

It is better in such cases to write them in two parts than to make the clarinets play in unison or in octaves. Let us say immediately that the same is true of the majority of wind instruments. The practice of some masters nowadays of treating the three trombones and ophicleide as a quartet, with the latter taking the real bass part, may not be above reproach. Obviously it would be necessary to adopt a style of extraordinary breadth every time the entire mass of players and singers is used, while delicate effects, light and fast movements, should be reserved for small orchestras which the composer could easily assemble and make to dialogue with each other in this crowd of musicians.

The clarinet is not well adapted for music of an idyllic kind, it is an epic instrument, like the horns, trumpets and trombones.

The sound of the trombone is so distinctive that it orchestratino never be heard except to produce a special effect. It possesses to the highest degree nobility and grandeur. It has therefore been used in orchestrstion modern 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 ] […]. These results will probably be modified in a thousand other ways, good or bad, by composers who adopt them.

But as large orchestras always have four bassoons, the composer may with advantage write four real parts, or better still, three parts with the lowest doubled an octave below, to give more strength to the bass line.

It serves then orrchestration complete trumpet chords, and to contribute to the orchestra groups of notes, whether diatonic or chromatic, which because of their speed would be unsuitable for trombones or horns.


Account Options Sign in. 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 a grand opera, where in addition to the wind instruments I have mentioned you hear two cornets, one ophicleid, and also percussion instruments and sometimes six or eight harps, the orchestra cannot make do with twelve first violins, eleven treatize, eight violas, ten cellos and eight double-basses.

The need for runs of this kind is extremely rare, and we confess we have not yet come across it.

This makes them suitable for compositions of a funereal or awe-inspiring character. The timbre of the middle and upper ranges does not have a strongly defined expressive character. Then came the turn of modulations. But this would involve something very different, and the composer who wanted to show off the prodigious and innumerable resources of such an instrument would certainly have orchestrration perform a novel task. 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!

It orchestrtaion seventy years to reach that point! One common practice to give great power to a passage for the violins is 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.

As a result it has become the solo instrument that is indispensable for quadrilles, galops, variations and other second-rate compositions. All rights of reproduction krchestration for the texts and translations on this page. It has been M.

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

Musical directors should ban completely the use of these hybrid instruments, whose weak sound drains one of the most interesting parts of the orchestra of much of its colour and energy, especially in the lower notes.

Selected pages Page xxiv. Many composers studied the work closely, such as MussorgskyMahlerR. The different keys of the saxhorn, like those of the cornet, start in descending order from the typical instrument, the little soprano saxhorn in C, which is an octave above the cornet in C.

Yet even in this case the organ would not really blend with the other instruments, but would answer and question them. But when eight, ten, twelve or more drums play rhythmic accompaniments or crescendo rolls in a military march, they can provide magnificent and powerful support for wind instruments.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. At first it is a barely perceptible voice that seems afraid of being heard. 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. The clarinet would perhaps have been more suitable, but some of its sounds 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.


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. Among percussion instruments of indeterminate pitch it is without doubt the bass drum that has caused the greatest havoc and introduced most nonsense and vulgarity in modern music.

Berlioz’s Orchestration Treatise: A Translation and Commentary – Berlioz – Google Books

The second coach will rehearse in the same way the first and second tenors. The poverty of the writing of older composers is obviously preferable to this ignorant and hateful wastage.

Many ignorant players, devoted treztise noise, treatixe a deplorable use of these octave stops. This is an orchestratiion precondition for achieving the best possible results and calculating with sureness the intended effects. Hunting fanfares only sound joyful when they are played on hunting horns, a rather unmusical instrument, whose strident and brash sound does not in any way resemble the chaste and reserved voice of the horns. Among all percussion instruments the timpani berkioz to me the most valuable, or at least those which are most commonly used, and from which modern composers have been able to draw the greatest number of picturesque or dramatic effects.

I believe I have already stated that it seemed to orcehstration 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.

Te Deum8th movement; the original version of the Royal Hunt and Storm from Les Troyens was written for saxhorns, which nowadays are replaced by horns, trumpets, and cornets; the same applies to the great finale the Trojan March of Act I of Les Troyens ]. The upper notes played fortissimo are excellent for violent and shattering effects, as for example in a storm or in a piece of a ferocious or infernal character.

His preference tteatise to give treattise melodies to two or more instruments. But to try to go beyond this would be to trespass on the territory of inspiration, where only genius is bberlioz of making discoveries, because genius alone is able to range over it. The lower notes of the oboe, which sound ugly when exposed, may be suitable in certain harmonies of an eerie and sorrowful character, when played together with the lower notes of clarinets and the low D, E, F and G of the flutes and the cor anglais.

Attempts are being made at this moment to block the progress of music on other fronts.