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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 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.

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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 line which was incompatible either with the harmony, or with the melody, or with both at once.

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. It may be possible to combine the organ with the different elements that build up the orchestra, and this has been done several times. But there is a further point.

It is enough to examine any of his works to lay bare his limited skill in this respect […]. No eBook available Amazon. 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.

There are several reasons for the unjust bondage of this noble instrument. In the case of drums, bass drums, cymbals and timpani, for example, if they are used all at once to play berlikz rhythms in the commonplace manner, they can remain grouped together. Behind all these fine combinations melody was non-existent. The effect has a stabbing, lacerating quality, like a dagger blow.

The reason for this probably lies in the development of this branch of art, and perhaps also in the proliferation of teeatise opinions, varied doctrines, pronouncements whether reasonable or treatkse, spoken or written, which is elicited by even the slightest works of the berluoz insignificant composers. Here is a delightful example of the use of pizzicato in the second violins, violas and basses, while the first violins play arco.

When he wants the sound to reverberate, he should write long sustained notes with the indication: Views Read Edit View history. Nevertheless it is always written in tutti passages without any regard for its tonal character, because it is then submerged in the ensemble and the distinctive quality of its timbre can no longer be identified.

Fortunately this system has now been almost entirely abandoned. It can even figure in a joyful instrumentatino, so long as it has a fiery or stately character. The instrument requires harmony, or at least the unison of the other members of its family for its various qualities to manifest themselves completely. The violas, cellos, and double-basses separately, then all together.


From a poetical point of view, this art is as little susceptible of being taught as that of inventing beautiful melodies, fine successions of chords or rhythmic forms that have originality and power. Translated by Theodore Front. The tone of the cellos then acquires a very rounded and pure quality without ceasing to predominate. No one before had suspected the peculiar affinity between two so very different instruments when used tretise this way.

Beethoven used it in the finale of his C minor symphony and in that of the Choral Symphony.

Bells have been introduced into orchestral writing to produce effects that are dramatic rather than musical. This means that the old system of double-bass players who simplify their partsa system widely adopted in the old instrumental school and exposed to the dangers we have indicated, is nowadays completely rejected. 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.

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. But he has been equally successful in giving the instrument passages of a sad or desolate character.

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

This is done by suspending a number of hangings and concentrating at instrumentstion point materials that are suitable for intercepting the sound waves. But if they are playing a rhythmic dialogue, one part of which is performed by the bass drums and cymbals, and the other by timpani and drums, it is probably the case that the effect will become immeasurably better, more interesting and more beautiful if the two groups of percussion instruments are placed at the two ends of the orchestra, and therefore at a fairly great distance from each other.

I have said that the horn is a noble and melancholy instrument, and this is true despite those treztise hunting fanfares that are often mentioned. This is the place to draw attention to the importance of the different points of origin of ibstrumentation sounds. Gluck is the only master who seems to me to have understood how to make excellent use of these pale tones.

It takes a long time to discover the Mediterraneans of music, and longer still to learn to navigate them. The treatise is illustrated with a wealth of musical examples taken partly from Berlioz himself, but for the most part from the works of previous composers, especially InstrumentahionBeethoven and Weberand a few contemporaries, notably Meyerbeer ; a list of these is given elsewhere on this site.

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

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

And yet it would be interesting to try once to make simultaneous use of all the musical resources that can be assembled in Paris, in a work specially written for the occasion. In addition to the dazzling colours which this multitude of different sounds could generate at any moment, there would be harmonic effects previously unheard that could be produced:. 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.


The following runs produce an excellent effect in the scene of the bathing women in Act II of Les Huguenots. It possesses to the highest degree nobility and grandeur. I must admit that in our time this prejudice against the viola part has not been completely eliminated, and that even in the best orchestras there are still players who have not mastered the art of viola playing any better than that of the violin.

Here music is far from our national habits, the government does everything for theatres, but nothing for real music.

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 berpioz the cor anglais. The notes, chords and arpeggios that they project across the orchestra and the chorus have exceptional splendour.

Some went further and wanted to dispense altogether with any accompaniment, pretending that harmony was a barbarous invention. In a single forte trombones in three part harmony, especially in their middle range, convey an expression of heroic pomp, of majesty and pride, which only a prosaic and vulgar melody could diminish or teratise.

Account Options Sign in. One may use as many timpanists as there are timpani in the orchestra, in order to produce rolls and rhythms with two, three, or four parts, depending on the numbers available.

Gluck and Beethoven have shown a wonderful understanding of the uses of this valuable instrument, and it is to the oboe that they both owe the deep feelings aroused by some of the most beautiful passages in their music. The most direct, beautiful and noble march theme loses its nobility, directness and beauty if heard on the oboes. They do not merely threaten, instrumengation proclaim, they sing instead of roaring.

But as large orchestras always have four bassoons, the composer may with advantage write four real instrumentatlon, or better still, three parts with the lowest doubled an octave below, to give more strength to berlilz bass line. Almost at once a new kind of pedantry arose: