The most important conclusion to be drawn from our study of orchestration is that orchestration can bring out and enhance any aspect of the music.
Orchestration : an anthology of writings
Once the composer gets into the habit of thinking about how timbre can mark and enrich important formal points, clarify and bring into better focus details of rhythmic design, enhance details of harmony and counterpoint, orchestration becomes what it should be for maximum artistic effect: an integral part of composition itself.
Various people have contributed importantly to this book. Guillaume Jodoin carefully and intelligently proofread the text, always asking pertinent questions. My colleague Sylvain Caron generously gave his time to read the text and made constructive comments.
Daniel Barkely kindly helped with some of the score examples. Preliminary considerations. Basic notions, part 1. Basic notions, Part 2. Appendix: some pedagogical ideas. The Study of Orchestration. New York: W. Norton and Co.
Creative Orchestration and Arrangement Syllabus
Berlioz, Hector. Treatise on Instrumentation. New York: Edwin F. Kalmus, Brindle, Reginald Smith. Contemporary Percussion. London: Oxford University Press, The collection then traces the history of orchestration, beginning with Beethoven's Orchestra with writings by Berlioz, Wagner, Gounod, Mahler, and others , the 19th century Mahler, Gevaert, Strauss the fin de siecle on the edge of musical modernism; writings by Berlioz, Jadassohn, Delius, and Rimsky Korsakov , early modern Busoni, Schoenberg, Stravinsky, Grainger, and others , and high modern Carter, Feldman, Reich, Brant.
Many of these pieces have never been translated into English before; some only appeared in small journals or the popular press and have never appeared in a book; and none have ever been collected in one place. The study of orchestration is a key part of all students of music theory and composition. Orchestration provides a much needed resource for these students, filling a gap in the literature. Paul Mathews teaches at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University where he has previously been chair of Music Theory and currently directs the music classes on the main Hopkins campus.
His recent scholarship concerns the dialectic of French and German orchestration in the late nineteenth century. I want to constantly keep growing this list. What your favorite books on the subject and why? The list can be found here for anyone who is interested. This isn't much help because I only studied one and I think it was the Adler book. It was fine. I am going to be annoying and say the best orchestration teacher is just listening to lots of music and looking at the scores to see how certain sounds are made. Once you have a general idea how orchestration is done you have to fill your head with formulas that are best learned by hearing it.
Unless you're one of those gifted people who can hear things without having to memorize what other composers have written. Or maybe you're lucky enough to have an orchestra that will play stuff you write so you can learn from that. Back in the day I studied composition under Adler. We did not get along and I personally disliked his music, but that orchestration book is a really great reference.
Charles Koechlin's "Treatise on Orchestration" is the best orchestration book out there. Koechlin approaches the subject from a poetical perspective first and foremost, and his text is brimming with examples. There are three "problems" with it though:.
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Still, I've browsed through a lot of orchestration books and this is by far the best one I've set eyes on. But if you're looking for something more concise or practical I would recommend either Rimsky-Korsakov or Walter Piston. Thanks, TwoPhotons! I appreciate your input!
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I'm not familiar with it. Consider it added to my list! Having that conductor's perspective would be great for those composing for live ensembles. Thanks for the suggestion!
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