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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It renders these admirably in cantabile passages. Attempts are being made at this moment to block the progress of music on other fronts.

The table below outlines the contents of this page. The composer must always be careful to indicate the duration he wishes to give to cymbal strokes that are followed by a rest.

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

The violins in particular can express a vast range of nuances that seem at first sight incompatible. The performers of all kinds which together make up the orchestra would then seem to be the strings, tubes, boxes, flat surfaces, of wood or metal, that are like machines endowed with intelligence but actuated by a vast keyboard played by the conductor under the direction of the composer.

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 orchhestration in unison and not an octave apart as far as the lower range of the instrument permits. It would erupt like a volcano. The only difference is that whereas for berlioa horn in C basso the real sound must be imagined to be an octave below the written note in the G clef, for some very low saxhorns the sound must be imagined to be two octaves below.

Examples from Gluck […]. In the chorus of the priests of Isis in the Magic Flute Mozart has provided wonderful examples of how to give them the voice and manner of high priests. The orchestra may be thought of as a large instrument that is capable of producing simultaneously or in succession a multitude of sounds of different kinds. When Monteverdi tried to add to them the dominant seventh chord without preparation, he was assailed with criticism and invective of every kind.

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. Bells have been introduced into orchestral writing to produce effects that are dramatic rather than musical. Every time I have heard the organ playing together with the orchestra it seemed to me to produce a dreadful effect; it interfered with the orchestra instead of orcheshration it.


A vigorous marcato rhythm in a vast choral piece or a frenzied dance gains a great deal by being played not by a single pair of cymbals but by four, six, ten or even more, depending on the size of the venue and the numbers of the other instruments and voices. At the time when the practice was to modulate only to related keys, the first to treattise to a distant key was greeted with abuse, as he could have expected.

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. This cost-cutting method is intolerable: They have therefore preserved its power, dignity and poetry. It has a stormy and violent character when played orcheestration on the middle range of the A and E strings.

Treatise on Instrumentation – Wikipedia

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. Their turn to be noticed, rejected, accepted, repressed, liberated and exaggerated only came later. Messe solennelle Grande messe des mortsOp. In a single forte trombones in three part harmony, especially in their middle orchestratin, convey an expression of heroic pomp, of majesty and pride, which only a prosaic and vulgar melody could diminish or nullify.

Joyful melodies must always fear from this instrument some loss of whatever nobility they may have, orhestration if they have none, an enhancement of their triviality. The second coach will rehearse in the same herlioz the first and second tenors. Only the very soft stops seem to be suitable for the accompaniment of voices.

This has always treztise the case, and there is therefore no cause for surprise. The conductor should proceed as follows in his analytical work. The clarinet is not well adapted for music of an idyllic kind, it is an epic instrument, like the horns, trumpets and trombones. The fragmented melody is similarly accompanied by a tremolo on some of the strings, while the double-basses pluck intermittently a deep note and provide a heavy pulsation under the harmony, and the harp plays fragments of barely sketched arpeggios.

When in a state of agitation it would recall tropical storms. Among all percussion instruments the timpani seem to me the most valuable, or at least those beerlioz are most commonly used, and from which modern composers have been able to draw the greatest number of picturesque or treaatise effects.


The tones of the middle range and of the chalumeau are suitable for melodies, arpeggios and runs. After this three choruses will be formed composed each of one third of all the singers; and finally the entire chorus will rehearse together. This applies orchestraation trombones, ophicleides, double-bassoons, and in many cases to trumpets and cornets. But if they are playing a rhythmic dialogue, one part of which is lrchestration by the bass drums and cymbals, and the other by timpani and drums, it is probably the case that the effect berlio become immeasurably better, more interesting and more beautiful if the two groups of percussion instruments are placed at the two ends of the orchestra, and therefore at a fairly great distance from each trearise.

A small and flimsy vaudeville orchestra can be noisywhere a great mass of musicians properly deployed will be extremely gentle and, even in its most vehement outbursts, will produce the most beautiful sounds. Index of Berliozs works.

Double-bass players who are lazy or who really cannot cope with such difficult parts immediately give up and concentrate on simplifying the passage. The poverty of the writing of older composers is obviously preferable to this ignorant and hateful wastage. The effect then becomes incomparably more powerful and beautiful.

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

Its power can be limited or considerable depending on whether it draws on the totality or only part berlipz 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 ocrhestration favourable.

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:.