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Berlioz's Orchestration Treatise
A Translation and Commentary

$84.99 (C)

Part of Cambridge Musical Texts and Monographs

  • Date Published: April 2007
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521036115

$ 84.99 (C)

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About the Authors
  • Berlioz's Orchestration Treatise (1843) is a classic textbook by a master of the orchestra, which has not been available in English translation for over a century. This is a book by and about Berlioz, since it provides not only a new translation but also an extensive commentary on his text, dealing with the instruments of Berlioz's time and comparing his instruction with his practice. It is thus a study of the high craft of the most distinctive orchestrator of the nineteenth century.

    • A translation and edition by internationally renowned Berlioz scholar
    • An important historic textbook, reflecting on nineteenth-century performance
    • Important aid to the understanding of Berlioz's music
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    "When I received the book, I confidently expected a good modern translation of this seminal work on orchestration and an informative commentary. My expectations were exceeded in both respects. A better translation and commentary than the present one can scarcely be imagined. Indeed, as far as commentary is concerned, this book is an essential reference tool for scholars of every nationality and for all performers of Berlioz's music." Journal of Musicological Research

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    Product details

    • Date Published: April 2007
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521036115
    • length: 432 pages
    • dimensions: 244 x 170 x 22 mm
    • weight: 0.68kg
    • contains: 13 b/w illus. 187 music examples
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of illustrations
    A note on the edition
    A note on the translation
    List of abbreviations
    The Treatise
    1. Bowed strings
    2. Plucked strings
    3. Strings with keyboard
    4. Wind: introduction
    5. Wind with reeds
    6. Wind without reeds
    7. Wind with keyboard
    8. Brass with mouthpiece
    9. Woodwind with mouthpiece
    10. Voices
    11. Pitched percussion
    12. Unpitched percussion
    13. New instruments
    14. The orchestra
    15. The conductor and his art
    Appendix: Berlioz's writing on instruments
    General index
    Index of Berlioz's works.

  • Author



    Hugh Macdonald, Washington University, St Louis
    Hugh Macdonald is Avis Blewett Professor of Music at Washington University, St Louis. He has been General Editor of the New Berlioz Edition since its inception in 1967. He has edited The Selected Letters of Berlioz (1995) and Volumes IV, V, VI, VII, and VIII of the Berlioz Correspondance générale (1992– ). He is also author of Skryabin (1978) and Berlioz (1982).

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