Treatise on Instrumentation (Dover Books on Music) [Hector Berlioz, Richard Strauss] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. The most influential. Includes full-score musical examples from works by Berlioz, Mozart, Beethoven, Wagner, and others. Music Books | Music History and Theory – Books on Music; /; Treatise on Instrumentation By: Hector Berlioz, Richard Strauss. Book Source: Digital Library of India Item : Hector ioned.

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Double-bass players who are lazy or who really cannot cope with such difficult parts immediately give up and concentrate on simplifying the passage. Meyerbeer on his side needed to use a deep bell instrujentation F to give the signal for the massacre of the Huguenots, in the fourth Act of the opera of that name.

Hector Berlioz’s Treatise on instrumentation and orchestration

This odious commonplace has now been abandoned at last. 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.

One may find in their scores passages with a passionate intent and martial tone that are oddly at variance with the sound of the oboes that play them. Since violinists do not regard pizzicato as an integral part of the art of violin playing they have hardly studied it. 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.

Its low strings have a characteristic, husky timbre while its high notes are distinguished by their mournfully passionate sound. But there is nothing more brilliant, better defined and more devoid of shrillness despite their brilliance than all the notes of the upper octave. It is a melancholy, dreamy and rather noble voice, with a somewhat subdued and distant tone.

Let us say immediately that the same is true of the majority of wind instruments. 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.

On the other hand the bass drum played pianissimo on its own is sinister and threatening provided the instrument is of large dimensions and well built ; it then resembles a distant cannon shot.

Treatise on Instrumentation – Wikipedia

The nearer they are to the point of origin of the sounds the more effective they become. This sad murmur and the faint sound of this solo, reproducing a melody already heard in an earlier piece, have always struck audiences deeply. Click here to learn How to play violin or viola without pain, injuries and nerves Related pages Click here to receive the Viola Calendar, with daily micro viola news and special offers!


In some orchestras both instruments are even played by hecyor and the same musician: This is the case with the stopped notes and the artificial sound of the three horns in E flat in the scherzo of the Eroicaand with the low F sharp of the second horn in Instrumentatipn in the scherzo of the Symphony in A. As with the bass drum, cymbals, timpani, trombones, and all instruments that have a thunderous, explosive or reverberating sound, the triangle is nowadays deplorably misused.

I have never been able to hear from a distance military music without being deeply moved by the tretise timbre of clarinets and being filled with images of that kind, as after the reading of ancient epic poems.

Here is a delightful example of the use of pizzicato in the hectkr violins, violas and basses, while the first violins play arco.

These musicians had developed a taste for dissonant chords, rather like certain animals have a taste for salt, prickly plants and thorny shrubs. 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.

But once the dominant seventh was accepted after all, together with suspended dissonances, those who called themselves erudite came to look down on any composition harmonised in a way that was simple, gentle, clear, sonorous and natural.

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. But this doubling in the lower part is too weak and out of proportion to the upper part, and the result is a superfluous buzzing sound, which tends to obscure rather than enhance the vibration of the higher notes on the violins.

There is a magnificent example of the use of this device in the final explosion of the duet ” Gardez vous de la jalousie! 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. Even if placed against the walls of the palace, the reflection will not be sufficient, as the sounds heftor immediately dissipated in every other direction.

Side drums are hectod appropriate except in large ensembles of wind instruments. Then it was not possible at the time to write for violas distinctive parts which required from the players a normal degree of proficiency.


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

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. Read, highlight, and take notes, across web, tablet, and phone. This is an essential precondition for achieving the best possible results and calculating with sureness the trsatise effects. 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.

Berlioz Treatise on orchestration

Meyerbeer has entrusted insfrumentation the bass clarinet an eloquent monologue in the trio of Act V of Les Huguenots Example. Unisons only acquire quality when they are multiplied beyond a certain number. Selected pages Title Page. All rights of publication or reproduction of this material in any form, including Web page use, are reserved. Cymbals are often used in conjunction with the bass trdatise, but as I have just said about the latter instrument, they can be used separately to excellent effect in many circumstances.

The sounds of the second octave can be very suitable for pieces of a joyful character, and the whole dynamic range can be used. The organisation of the Treatise in chapters has therefore not been followed beyond chapter 1. A violin section has power, lightness and grace, it can express sombre or joyful feelings, reverie and passion. The table below outlines the contents of this page.

This lack has resulted in numerous more or less clumsy mutilations and arrangements of the original scores. The tones of the middle range and of the chalumeau are suitable for melodies, arpeggios and runs.

It has therefore been used in a modern symphony to parody, degrade and vilify a melody; the dramatic purpose of the work required this strange transformation [this refers to the last movement of the Symphonie Fantastique ] […]. The highest notes have a raw oj which have perhaps not been sufficiently exploited.

The oboe would have sounded too childlike and its voice would not have seemed pure enough.

Then as a music critic he used to write about nearly any musical event: Back to Home Page. 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.