Cambridge Core – Nineteenth-Century Music – Berlioz’s Orchestration Treatise – edited by Hugh Macdonald. Berlioz’s orchestration treatise is a classic textbook which has been used as – Berlioz’s Orchestration Treatise: A Translation and Commentary -. revise the “Treatise on Instrumentation” by Hector. Berlioz . composition and orchestration with therich expressive On the other hand, even Berlioz’ orchestral.

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There is nothing more vulgar, I would even say more monstrous and less designed orchestratiln blend with the rest of the orchestra teratise those more or less fast passages written as solos for the middle range of the ophicleide in some modern operas. Nowadays violas are often divided into first and second. Let us say immediately that the same is true of the majority of wind instruments.

The following runs produce an excellent effect in the scene of the bathing women in Act II of Les Huguenots. When a musician was not capable of performing adequately a violin part, he turned to the viola. 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.

The sounds of the oboe are suitable for expressing simplicity, artless grace, gentle happiness, or the grief of a weak soul.

These results will probably be modified in a thousand other ways, good or bad, by composers who adopt them. Particularly in cases where the chords are brief and separated by silences, it is like hearing strange monsters berliox in the dark groans of barely suppressed rage. A brief discussion of conducting practices in Europe during Berlioz’s day. This has always been the case, and there is therefore no cause for surprise.

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The clarinet is not well adapted for music of an idyllic kind, it is an epic instrument, like the horns, trumpets and trombones. But if they are properly composed, well drilled and well conducted, and if they are playing real music, they should be called powerful ; in truth, the difference between these two words could not be greater.

Pages with related products. It can be used for melodies and accents of different kinds, though it cannot match the artless gaiety of the oboe or the noble tenderness of the clarinet.

As for determining how the organ should be used on its own when considered as a self-contained orchestra, orchwstration is not the place to do this. A violin section has power, lightness and grace, it can express sombre or joyful feelings, reverie and passion.


Beethoven sometimes used it in pairs, as with trumpets, but the established practice of writing it for three parts seems to me preferable.

Treatise on Instrumentation – Wikipedia

The Roman Carnival overture is a good illustration. Table of contents Top of the page. Instead, the strong beat of every bar is struck, the orchestra is crushed, the voices obliterated; nothing is left, neither orchrstration, nor harmony, nor line; even the tonality barely emerges. I have said that the horn is a noble and melancholy instrument, and this is true despite those joyful hunting fanfares that are often mentioned.

Berlioz was also known as a great conductor in his time, in addition to a composer.

In mezzo forte in the middle range, in unison or in harmony in a slow tempo, the trombones take on a religious character. Barbaric it is nonetheless, since quite apart from the harmonic congestion produced, it necessarily introduces into the harmony the most dreadful chaos through the unavoidable inversion of chords. 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. There is nothing that is more appropriate for the idea of poetic festivals or religious celebrations than the sounds of a large number of harps when deployed in an imaginative way.

The strings of the top octave have a delicate and crystalline sound of voluptuous freshness; this makes them ideal for expressing graceful, fairylike ideas, and for whispering the gentlest secrets of smiling melodies. Given time, care and the necessary expenditurethis is how it could be done in Paris.

As I have already said, these low notes blend well with the lower register of the cor anglais and of the clarinets; they provide the soft nuance in a dark colouring. 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. When pizzicato is used in a passage played forte it is in general necessary that it should be written neither too high nor too low, since the highest notes are thin and dry in sound, and the lower ones are too dull.

The same is true of small churches where music has so far not been able to penetrate. Formerly opera orchestras were always made up of string instruments in numerical proportion to the mass of the other instruments; but for some years now things have changed. One may mention here that the usual practice in the orchestra is to divide the violins into two groups, first and second, but there is no reason why they should not each be subdivided further into two or three parts, depending on what the composer is trying to achieve.


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

This sad murmur and the faint sound of this solo, reproducing a melody already heard in an earlier piece, have always struck audiences deeply. A new edition of the original Treatise was published in as volume 24 of the New Berlioz Edition. I therefore believe that in the majority of cases it is better to do without this instrument than to replace it in this way. 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:.

Their quivering and thin sound, which cuts through the rest of the orchestra, can be eminently suitable whether for feelings of extreme ferocity, combined with the shrill shrieks of piccolos and strokes on the timpani or the side drum, or for the feverish excitement of a bacchanal where joy turns to frenzy.

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, orchestartion and gentle character; this can be used to good effect in every kind of music. 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.

There were fanatics of melody, for whom every piece of music with more than three parts was unbearable. Sound reflectors are indispensable; they are found arranged orcheatration different ways in any enclosed building. In such a case when the violins are playing in unison the composer may want to increase their power even further, and has them doubled by the violas playing an octave below them. Beethoven used it in the finale of his C minor symphony and in that of the Choral Symphony. Then it sings a gentle lament, and rises to express reproach, deep grief, and the cry of a heart torn by incurable wounds.