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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For further details see Berlioz: The use made of the piano in the single example I have just mentioned is quite different. 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 sound reverberates and circulates actively in the narrow space between them before escaping through the spaces left open. But the player must never attack them with force, as they then produce a dry and hard sound, rather like the sound made when breaking a glass, and this is unpleasant and irritating.

Berlioz Treatise on orchestration

An imperceptible movement of the arm, an unsuspected emotion on the part of the player, might produce no noticeable effect when played by a single violin.

The effect produced by such sustained chords is very remarkable, if the subject of the piece calls for it and it integrates well with the rest of the orchestral writing. In particular it would have an incalculable melodic, expressive and rhythmic power, a penetrating force like no other, a prodigious sensitivity in all nuances whether in instrukentation or in detail.

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 is very characteristic, even when only those two instruments are used, but the impact can be increased by a sharp stroke on the timpani together with a brief chord on the remaining instruments.

The melodium does not have the mixture stops of the organ, the effect of which is traditionally admired by many people, but which in reality are an open door to the most dreadful confusion. This is the place to draw attention to the importance of the different treahise of origin of the sounds.

It is extremely valuable in large orchestras of wind instruments; but few players decide to take up the instrument.


Barbaric it is nonetheless, since quite treatiae from the harmonic congestion produced, it necessarily introduces into the harmony the most dreadful chaos through the unavoidable inversion of chords. But it is a mistake to suppose that all orchestras must be constructed according to this scheme, which is based on the predominance of string instruments.

Treatise On Instrumentation

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. 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.

Similarly for the third with the basses.

Yet it could play a valuable role there, but rarely and only on condition that it is given melodies in a broad tempo that have unquestionable dignity. Their effect is enhanced and ennobled in proportion to the numbers used; a single side drum, particularly when used in an ordinary orchestra, has always seemed to me trivial and vulgar.

Beethoven has also made instrkmentation of these barely articulated notes sc. Examples of this are the solo in the scherzo of the Pastoral symphony [ example: 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 seconds, eight violas, ten cellos and eight double-basses.

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

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

He will have a preliminary rehearsal to instruct them on how to direct the sectional rehearsals that are entrusted to them. 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. It must also be realised that its level, even instrumenhation uniform sonority never blends completely with the bfrlioz and distinctive sounds of the orchestra, and that there seems to be a hidden antipathy between these two musical powers.

The instrument requires harmony, or at least the instrumentatio of the other members of its family for its various qualities to manifest themselves completely.


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.

It then sinks back gradually to the lament and murmured grief of a resigned soul… What a poet! No one before had suspected the peculiar affinity between two so very different instruments when used in this way. But in the thousand combinations that are possible with the monumental orchestra we have just described there would reside a harmonic richness, a variety of sounds, a succession of contrasts, which cannot be compared with anything that has been achieved in art to this day.

The result is that they dominate instead of blending with the whole, and the instrumental writing becomes shrill and harsh instead of being sonorous and harmonious.

Treatise on Instrumentation – Wikipedia

There is a magnificent example of the use of this device in the final explosion instrumentatiln the duet ” Gardez vous de la jalousie! Symphonie Fantastique1st movement, bar and following; 3rd movement, bar 3 and following; overture to King Learbar 38 and following, bar and following; overture to Benvenuto Cellinibar and following; Romeo and Juliet2nd movement, bar 81 and following; overture Le Corsairebar and following]. The lower notes of the oboe, which sound ugly when exposed, may be suitable in certain harmonies of an eerie greatise sorrowful character, when played together with the instrkmentation notes of clarinets and the low D, E, F and G of the flutes and the cor anglais.

Wealthy magnates who are prepared to give 50, francs or more for a painting from a great master, because this represents a safe investmentwould not spend even fifty francs to make it possible to hold once a year some musical beelioz worthy of country such as ours, which would display to good effect the considerable musical resources it does actually possess but which in practice cannot be put to good use.

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

Even Beethoven is very sparing in his used of stopped notes when he is not writing a solo part for the horns.