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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This manner of instrumentation could lead to grand and sublime effects.

Joyful melodies must always fear from this instrument some loss of whatever nobility they may have, and if they have none, an enhancement of their triviality. 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.

Beethoven, 7th Symphony, 2nd movement, bars 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 tdeatise correctly played. The violin The viola The cello The double-bass The harp.

Berlioz Treatise on orchestration

I assume he is thoroughly familiar, down to the smallest detailswith the score he is going to perform. Retrieved from ” https: It was left to Weber to discover the terrifying quality of these low notes when used to sustain sinister harmonies.

Ordinary rhythms, devoid of melody, harmony or tonality, or of anything that constitutes real music, but intended solely to provide a beat for soldiers on the march, become exciting when performed by a mass of forty or fifty drums on their own. It seems to me that there is only one set of circumstances where it could blend with a chorus and an orchestra without detriment, but only on condition that it remained itself in majestic isolation.

Sometimes the ophicleide is used to replace it, but its tone does not have the same depth as its range is the same as that of the standard bassoon and not an octave lower; in any case its timbre is of a quite different character from that of the double-bassoon.


It is imposed on composers more by habit, routine, laziness and lack of thought than for reasons of economy, though these are unfortunately all too compelling, particularly in France.

Modern composers generally write their flute parts too uniformly high; they always seem worried that they will not stand out above the rest of the orchestra. 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 to perform a novel task.

The pianissimo of trombones applied to harmonies in a minor key is sombre and lugubrious, I might say almost hideous. The two lower strings, the C and G strings, have a smooth and deep sound which is admirably treaise in such treayise, but their low register means that they can ob be given a bass line that is more or less melodic, while berloiz true singing parts must be reserved for the higher strings.

When the aim is to force open sounds, composers usually require that the players turn the bells upward, to make the sound as forceful as possible.

It blends easily with the rest of the harmony, and even the least skilful composer can at will give it a prominent role or make it play a part that is useful though inconspicuous. 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.

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

Even if placed against the walls of the palace, the reflection will not be sufficient, as the sounds get immediately dissipated trreatise every other direction. On only one occasion has a composer thought it appropriate to use the piano in the orchestra just like any other instrument, that is to make it contribute to the ensemble its own individual resources, for which there is no available substitute.


There can be no doubt about the system of rehearsals needed for this gigantic orchestra: They have therefore preserved its power, dignity and poetry. When the cellos are playing a melody, it can sometimes be very effective to double them in unison with violas.

The notes, chords and arpeggios that they project across the orchestra and the chorus have exceptional splendour. The upper notes played fortissimo are excellent for violent and shattering effects, as for example in a storm or in orchestratin piece of a ferocious or infernal character.

The notes of the bottom range have a rather poor timbre and the instrument must not be used below the low A.

Treatise On Instrumentation

Les Francs-jugesOp. In mezzo forte in the middle range, in unison or in harmony in a slow tempo, the trombones take on a religious character. The violas, cellos, and double-basses separately, then all together. 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. Sound reflectors are indispensable; they are found arranged in different ways in any enclosed building.

It is even more difficult than with those instruments to give it an appropriate role in the orchestra, as its metallic sound when played brlioz is only suitable for pieces that are extremely brilliant, and when played piano for pieces that have a certain bizarre wildness.

Only light-hearted gaiety, or even carefree joy, seem not to suit them. We mentioned that the clarinet has four registers; each treattise these has its distinctive timbre.