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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If the viola part cannot be written in a distinctive way it is better to use it to add volume to the sound of the cellos by having both parts written in unison and not an octave apart as far as the lower range of the instrument permits.

But when multiplied by many instruments playing in unison, it results in magnificent nuances and irresistible surges of emotion that penetrate to the depth of trwatise heart.

On the other hand one can certainly demonstrate easily and with virtual exactness the art of making orchestras that are suitable for rendering faithfully compositions of every form and dimension. 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.

Instrumentatuon notes from the bass drum, when combined with cymbals in an andante and instrumentatino at long intervals, have a trestise and solemn quality. One can also say that one particular instrument is more suitable than another to produce certain effects or to express certain feelings. Such is the case with the passage from the storm of the Pastoral Symphonywhich conveys so well the suggestion of a violent wind charged with rain and of the dull rumbling of a squall.

Only light-hearted gaiety, or even carefree joy, seem not to suit them. In other projects Wikimedia Commons. They have probably all admired the wonderful effect produced in the great E flat concerto sc. In the Adagio of one of my symphonies [the Symphonie Fantastique ], the cor anglais, after repeating an octave lower the phrases of the oboe, like the voice of a young man answering a girl in a pastoral dialogue, then repeats fragments from it at the end of the piece, to the muted accompaniment of four timpani, while the rest of the orchestra remains silent.

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

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

It has a stormy and violent character when played fortissimo on the middle range of the A and E strings. To insist, as some virtuoso players do, bfrlioz transposing and playing everything on the B flat clarinet, is therefore with rare exceptions a betrayal on the part of the player. One can learn what is suitable for the various instruments, what can or cannot be played on them, what is easy or difficult, and what sounds well or not.


The brilliant effect produced by military bands in some streets of large cities supports this statement while appearing to contradict it. How could one enumerate all the harmonic characteristics that each of these different groups might assume when combined with groups that blend or contrast with it!

They therefore associated them almost always with the trumpets. They possess the greatest expressive power and an unquestionable variety of timbres. It can be assumed that it is highly important in using such a vast mass of players to take into account the distance or the proximity of the different groups that make it up.

The notes of the bottom range have a rather poor timbre and the instrument must not be used below the low A. When the cellos are playing a melody, it can sometimes be very effective to double them in unison with violas.

That is the reason why open air music does not exist.

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

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. There were those who insisted that most of the time the melody instruentation only be accompanied by a bass, and that the listener should have the satisfaction of supplying himself the notes missing instrumejtation the chords. It is Weber in my opinion who more than any other master has succeeded in making the most original, poetic and complete use of the instrument.

It should be noted that in this example and in many other passages Beethoven has given to the basses low notes which they cannot play, and this suggests that the orchestra for which he wrote included double basses which could reach down to C an octave below the low C of the cellos, which are no longer found today.

Assuming a composer had such resources at his disposal, in a vast hall organised for this purpose by an architect versed in acoustics and music, he would need to determine precisely before starting work the disposition and layout of this huge orchestra, and then keep them always in mind while composing.

When mingled in a forte with strident chords of brass instruments trumpets and trombones its vibrations have an awe-inspiring quality. The oboe is principally a melodic instrument ; it has a rustic character, full of tenderness, I would say even of shyness. In the latter case the string instruments would be too weak to dominate the mass of clarinets and brass instruments, and would serve to provide a harmonious bridge with the strident sounds of the orchestra of wind instruments.

The instrument requires harmony, or at least the unison of the other members of its family for its various qualities to manifest themselves completely. An overview of how the orchestra functions as a whole and its development throughout history.


This shadow-like music induces deep sadness and moves to tears, in a way the most sorrowful strains could not; it provokes feelings of spleen as much as the shimmering harmonies of the Aeolian harp Example. Clearly all was lost. 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. But if the tiers are erected in a special hall or at one end of a church, and if, as often is the case, the end of this building is constructed of thick materials and causes the sound of the instrumentatiln close to it to reverberate with excessive force and harshness, then the effectiveness of the reflectors and the resulting reverberation can easily be reduced.

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. And lastly neither the violin, nor the viola, nor the cello, whether used solo or as instrumentayion section, were suitable to express this sublime lament of a suffering shade overcome with despair; the instrument required was precisely that chosen by the composer.

This is traetise place to draw attention to the importance of the different points of origin of the sounds. The best layout for performers, in a hall which is suitably proportioned in relation to the numbers involved, is to raise them instrumenhation above the other by a series of tiers set out so in such a way that each row can project treatize sounds it makes to the audience without any intervening obstacle.

Nothing is so virginal and pure as the colour given to certain melodies by the timbre of the middle range of a clarinet in the hands of a talented player. Whenever mysterious and softly threatening sounds are required, even in a forte passage, sticks with sponge nerlioz should be used. Bassoons are normally written in two parts. It therefore seemed worthwhile to reproduce here substantial extracts from the work, with particular emphasis on those passages where Berlioz tries to define and explore the expressive possibilities of verlioz instrument of the orchestra.

The effect is novel and arresting. When a musician was not trfatise of performing adequately a violin part, he turned to the viola. Beethoven sometimes used it in pairs, as with trumpets, but the established practice of writing it for three parts seems to me preferable.

The percussion instruments together with the wind instruments.