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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A new edition of the original Treatise was published in as volume 24 of the New Berlioz Edition.

Hector Berlioz’s Treatise on instrumentation and orchestration

It has therefore been used in a modern symphony to parody, degrade and vilify a melody; the dramatic purpose of the work required instrumentztion strange treeatise [this refers to the last movement of the Symphonie Fantastique ] […]. The extreme delicacy of the harmonics is enhanced in this passage by the use of mutes; with the sound thus reduced the notes come from the highest regions of the musical scale, which could hardly be reached by the use of normal violin sounds.

The oboe is principally a melodic instrument ; it has a rustic character, full of tenderness, I would say even of shyness.

Yet even in this case the organ would not really blend with the other instruments, but would answer and question them.

The Treatise is also available in an up-to-date English translation with detailed commentary: But it is a strange way of belittling this majestic instrument to reduce it to this secondary role. This lack has resulted in numerous more or less clumsy mutilations and arrangements of the original inshrumentation. It is just good enough to hetcor monkeys dancing and to accompany the tricks of conjurers, jugglers insrtumentation swallowers of swords and snakes on public squares and at the dirtiest of cross-roads.

It renders these admirably in cantabile passages. It should however be mentioned that Jector. And yet the bass drum can be admirably effective when used intelligently. The following runs produce an excellent effect in the scene of the bathing women in Act II of Les Huguenots.


The reason for this probably lies in the development of this branch of art, and perhaps also in the proliferation of critical opinions, varied doctrines, pronouncements whether reasonable or unreasonable, spoken or written, which is elicited by even the slightest works of the most insignificant composers.

If the tiers have been erected in a theatre, the stage must be perfectly sealed at the end, to the right, the left and above by a wooden enclosure. Hetor the effect of this new modulation, it was severely censured by the masters. Meyerbeer is the first to have introduced this sound into trextise opera house.

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 celebration worthy of country such as ours, instrumenation would display to good effect the considerable musical resources it does actually possess but which in practice cannot be put to good use.

That is why small orchestras, whatever the merits of individual players, have so little impact, and are consequently of little value. Admittedly harp players are not anxious to play whole pieces in these lower octaves; they are rather far from their bodies, force them to lean forward and stretch their arms, and thus to maintain a rather uncomfortable posture for some length of time.

The conductor should proceed as follows in his analytical work. Common sense suggests that unless the composer is obliged to make do with whatever size of orchestra is available, he must put together his body of performers according to the style and character of the work he is writing and the type of principal effects the subject may require.

As for instrumentation, expression and rhythm, that is another matter. The effect then becomes incomparably more powerful and beautiful.

Fortunately this system has now been almost entirely abandoned. A brief discussion of conducting practices in Europe during Berlioz’s day. 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! No less terrifying in their lugubrious resonance are the exposed strokes of the gong, as M.


Comparison may also be made with the Report written by Berlioz on the musical instruments exhibited in at the Great Exhibition in London, and available on this site both in the original French and in an English translation. References could of course be multiplied. The clarinet is not well adapted for music of an idyllic kind, it is an epic instrument, like the horns, trumpets and trombones.

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

Treatise on Instrumentation

The different keys of the saxhorn, like those of the cornet, start in descending order from the typical instrument, the little soprano saxhorn in C, which is an octave above the cornet in C. Concerning the design of our theatres and opera houses and instrumentatoon requirements of dramatic performances, this layout in the shape of an amphitheatre is not possible for orchestras that are meant for the performance of operas.

The sounds of the second octave can be very suitable for pieces of a joyful character, and the whole dynamic range can be used. Until Beethoven and Weberall composers, Mozart not excepted, have insisted either in confining it to the demeaning role of filling up, or in making it sound two or three rhythmic patterns, always trratise same, which are flat, ridiculous, and frequently jar with the character of the pieces where treatiise occur.

The beflioz needed would be fifteen first violins, fourteen seconds, ten violas and twelve cellos, but they should not all be used together in pieces where the accompaniment needs to be very soft. It would convey the laments, whispers and mysterious sounds of virgin forests, the shouts, prayers, songs of triumph or lamentation of a people with an expansive soul, an ardent heart, and fiery passions.

The timbre of low-pitched bells is appropriate only for scenes of a solemn or tense character.