Berlioz’s orchestration treatise is a classic textbook which has been used as – Berlioz’s Orchestration Treatise: A Translation and Commentary -. Grand traité d’instrumentation et d’orchestration modernes, Op (Berlioz, Hector ) .. Name Translations, Treatise on Instrumentation; Gran Tratado de. Berlioz, Hector, – [Grand traité d’instrumentation et d’orchestration modernes. English]. Berlioz’s orchestration treatise: a translation and.

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The upper register has a somewhat piercing character which should only be used in an orchestral fortissimo or in extrovert runs in a brilliant solo passage some of the high notes can nevertheless be sustained piano when the tone production has been carefully prepared. The authority of a hundred old men, be they all agedshould not persuade us to find ugly what is beautiful, nor beautiful what is ugly. It also includes extracts from Berlioz’s writings on instruments in his Memoirs and in his many articles for the Parisian press.

But it should be noted in such cases that the sound of the bass trombone always tends to predominate over the other two, especially if the first is an alto trombone.

This page was last edited on 1 Octoberat But a careful study will reveal that it possesses an expressiveness of its own, and is well suited to orchestrtion some feelings which no other instrument can match.

It must also orchwstration admitted that berliooz an orchestra a single trombone on its own almost always seems more or less out of place.

That is why Rossini made use of a little bell in G to accompany a graceful chorus from the second Act of William Tellthe refrain of which is “voici la nuit”. 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.

The most direct, beautiful and noble march theme loses its nobility, directness and beauty if heard on the oboes. In the latter case the string instruments would be too weak to dominate the mass of clarinets and brass berioz, and would serve to provide a harmonious bridge with the strident sounds of the orchestra of wind instruments.

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

Composers then naively believe that they have orchestrated their music in an energetic way and written something beautiful!

Views Read Edit View history. Beethoven has also made use of these barely articulated notes sc.

After this three choruses will be formed composed each of one third of all the singers; and finally the entire chorus will rehearse together. Let us say immediately that the same is true of the majority of wind instruments.

The percussion instruments on their own; particular attention will be given to getting the timpani players to tune their instruments properly. Harp harmonicsespecially with several harps in unison, are even more magical. The ocrhestration, or gong, is only used in compositions of a dirge-like character and for dramatic scenes of the utmost horror.


This lack has resulted in numerous more or less clumsy orchesstration and arrangements of the original scores. This method is probably berljoz superior to the opposite one which most contemporary French and Italian composers have now adopted.

In such a context the sound of the piano has a delightful charm, full of calm and freshness, and is the very image of grace. He must first appoint two assistant conductors who when beating time in the general rehearsals must constantly keep their eye on him so as to communicate the tempo to the masses that are too far away from the centre.

These cause each key to sound both the fundamental note and the octave or double octave of the note, or the double octave without the octave, or even the octave above and the octave below simultaneously. Hence its priceless ability to produce a distant sound, the echo of an echo, a sound like twilight. It cannot be shaken to produce its sound except at well spaced intervals, that is about twice in a bar in a moderate tempo.

In other projects Wikimedia Commons. Meyerbeer has been able to draw a distinctive and formidable sound by combining the side drum with the timpani for the celebrated crescendo roll in the scene of the blessing of the daggers in Les Huguenots.

Some parts of an orchestra are meant by the composer to question and answer each other, and this intention only becomes clear and beautiful if the groups which engage in dialogue are placed at a sufficient distance from each other.

Up till now they have only used the thumb and the index finger for plucking, and the result is that they are unable to play passages or arpeggios involving more than semiquavers in common time and at a very moderate tempo.

None of the great masters of the previous century thought it appropriate to introduce it in the orchestra. I have said that the horn is a noble and melancholy instrument, and this is true despite those joyful orchestratino fanfares that are often mentioned.

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 teatise 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.

This can be seen in the solo in the minor in the recapitulation of the 1st movement of the symphony in A [ example: This betrayal will be even more obvious and reprehensible if it involves, for example, the A clarinet [which alone could play a low C sharp]. Musical directors should ban completely the use of these hybrid 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.


The violin The treatixe The cello The double-bass The harp. The two lower strings, the C and G strings, have a smooth and deep sound which is admirably suited in such cases, but their low register means that they can only be given a bass line that is more or less melodic, while the true singing parts must be reserved for the higher strings.

It can be seen that in this ensemble of performers choristers do not predominate. Our aim in this work is merely to study those instruments that are used in modern music and to try to discover the rules for creating harmonious understanding and striking contrasts between them, by taking into account above all their expressive potential and the individual character of each. orchestratkon

The ignorance of the middle ages, groping treatiwe the laws of berlilz, must probably be credited with the introduction into organs of these monstrosities which routine has preserved and bequeathed to us. For example to reproduce in a musical way the great images of the mass for the dead in a RequiemI have used four small orchestras of brass instruments trumpets, trombones, cornets and ophicleides placed some distance from each other at the four corners of the large orchestra.

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.

In such cases they assume the character of trumpets, but magnified to an enormous extent. Sometimes the ophicleide is used to replace it, but its tone does not have the same depth as its range is the same as that of the standard bassoon and not an octave treattise in any case its timbre is of a quite different character from that of the double-bassoon.

Berlioz’s Orchestration Treatise: A Translation and Commentary – Berlioz – Google Books

The effect has a stabbing, lacerating quality, like a dagger blow. The use made by most composers of the lower notes of the flute is limited or unsatisfactory. Bassoons are normally written in two parts. Hence on almost all occasions when the attempt has been made to bring these two incompatible forces together, either the organ largely overshadowed the orchestra, or the orchestra, increased to inflated proportions, almost completely obliterated its opponent.

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.