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Berlioz's Orchestration Treatise
A Translation and Commentary


Part of Cambridge Musical Texts and Monographs

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

£ 57.99

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About the Authors
  • Berlioz's Orchestration Treatise is a classic textbook which has been used as a guide to orchestration and as a source book for the understanding both of Berlioz's music and of orchestral practice in the nineteenth century. This was the first English translation of Berlioz's complete text since 1856, and it is accompanied throughout by Hugh Macdonald's extensive and authoritative commentary on the instruments of Berlioz's time and on his own orchestral practice, as revealed in his scores. It also includes extracts from Berlioz's writings on instruments in his Memoirs and in his many articles for the Parisian press. The Treatise has been highly valued both for its technical information about instruments but also for its poetic and visionary approach to the art of instrumentation. Berlioz was not only one of the great orchestrators of the nineteenth century, he was also the author with the clearest understanding of the art.

    • 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
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    Product details

    • Date Published: May 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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