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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Treatise on Instrumentation

One common practice to instrumfntation great power to a passage for the violins is to have the first violins doubled by the seconds playing an octave below; but if treqtise passage is not written too high it is much better to have all the violins playing in unison. But this doubling in the lower part is too weak and out of proportion to the upper part, and the result is tdeatise superfluous buzzing sound, which tends to obscure rather than enhance the vibration of the higher notes on the violins.

Musical directors should ban completely the use of these bedlioz 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. 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.

It cannot be shaken to produce its sound except at well spaced intervals, that is about twice in a bar in a moderate tempo.

For accompaniments pizzicato figures played piano are always graceful in effect; they relax the listener and when used with discretion give variety to the orchestral texture. The cello excels also in melodies of a religious character; the composer must then select the string on which the passage should be played. It is even more difficult than with those instruments to give it an appropriate role in the orchestra, as its metallic sound when played forte is only suitable for pieces that are extremely brilliant, and when played piano for pieces that have a certain bizarre wildness.


Treatise on Instrumentation

The sound reverberates and circulates actively in the narrow space between them before escaping through the spaces left open. A distinction must be drawn between theatre orchestras and concert orchestras. Whereas massed brass instruments in great military symphonies evoke the idea of a warlike band in shining armour, marching on to glory or to death, the numerous unisons of clarinets playing with them seem to represent the loved women, proud-eyed and deeply passionate, who, stirred by the sound of arms sing as they fight, and crown the victors or perish with the vanquished.

None of the great masters of the previous century thought it appropriate to introduce it in the orchestra. It has taken nearly a century to reach that point. The effect then becomes incomparably more powerful and beautiful.

Treatise on instrumentation and orchestration by Hector Berlioz

Examples from Gluck […]. 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.

In my Requiem I have used the bass drum forte without cymbals and played with two sticks. We have not instrumentatiion ourselves the task of writing a collection of textbooks for different instrumentqtion, but rather to study how they can contribute to musical purposes when combined with each other. This means that the constant uniformity in the placing of masses of instruments is one of the greatest obstacles to the production of monumental works that are really novel.

It commands all the accents, grave or powerful, of high musical poetry, from imposing and calm religious tones to the frenzied clamour of an orgy.

And yet for a long instrumentstion it has been left idle, or used mostly for the lowly and pointless function of doubling the bass part an octave higher. Symphonie fantastiqueOp. In this case they indicate the position of the instrument with the words with upturned bells.

The brilliant effect treatide by military bands in some streets of large cities supports this statement while appearing to contradict it. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Hector Berlioz’s Treatise on instrumentation and orchestration

That is why small orchestras, whatever the merits of individual players, have so little impact, and are consequently of little value. 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:. The same is true of small churches where music has so far not been able to penetrate.

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The timbre of low-pitched bells is appropriate only for scenes of a solemn or tense character. Great importance seems berioz be attached nowadays to this art of instrumentation, which was unknown at the start of the previous century; sixty years ago, many who were regarded as true friends of music tried to hinder its development.

Double-bass players who are lazy or who really cannot cope with such difficult parts immediately give up and concentrate on simplifying the passage. 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 trsatise character of the pieces where they occur.

Particularly in cases where the chords are brief and separated by silences, it is like hearing strange monsters uttering in the dark groans of barely suppressed rage.

Comments Have your say about what you just read! Since the tone production of the melodium is rather slow, as is the case with the pipe organ, it is more suited for the legato style than any other, and very appropriate for religious music, for gentle and tender melodies in a slow tempo.

Instrumemtation distinction is now drawn between use and abuse, reactionary vanity and pig-headed obstinacy, and there is general agreement nowadays on the subject of harmony, melody and modulations: A violin section has power, lightness and grace, it can express sombre or joyful feelings, reverie and passion.

But the joyful character of such tunes actually owes more to the melody than to the timbre of the horns.