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Encyclopedia > Orchestration

Orchestration is the study or practice of writing music for orchestra (or, more loosely, for any musical ensemble) or of adapting for orchestra music composed for another medium. It only gradually over the course of music history came to be regarded as a compositional art in itself. For other uses, see Music (disambiguation). ... This article cites very few or no references or sources. ... A musical ensemble is a group of two or more musicians who gather to perform music. ...

There are two general kinds of adaptation: transcription, which closely follows the original piece, and arrangement, which tends to change significant aspects of the original piece. In practice, however, the terms transcription and arrangement are often used interchangeably.

Orchestration applies, strictly speaking, only to the orchestra, whereas the term instrumentation applies to all instrumental groups. Instrumentation in this sense subsumes orchestration. In the study of orchestration--in contradistinction to the practice--the term instrumentation may also refer to consideration of the defining characteristics of individual instruments rather than to the art of combining instruments.

Some composers--Maurice Ravel is a notable example--have orchestrated their own piano works and that of others.

In commercial music, especially musical theatre and film music, independent orchestrators are often used because it is difficult to meet tight deadlines when the same person is required both to compose and to orchestrate.

Film orchestrators often work from a short score (that is, a score written on several musical staves). Broadway orchestrators are more likely to work from a piano score (as does Jonathan Tunick when he orchestrates Stephen Sondheim's songs, for example) or a lead sheet. In the latter case, arranging as well as orchestration will be involved. In musical notation, the staff or stave is a set of five horizontal lines on which note symbols are placed to indicate pitch and time. ...

Historically significant orchestration texts

  • Hector Berlioz (1844): Grand traité d’instrumentation et d’orchestration modernes.
  • François-Auguste Gevaert (1863): Traité general d’instrumentation.
  • Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov (1912): Основы оркестровки (Principles of Orchestration)
  • Cecil Forsyth (1914): Orchestration.
  • Walter Piston (1955): Orchestration.
  • Samuel Adler (1982/1989/2001): The Study of Orchestration, 3rd. ed., ISBN 0-393-97572-X.

Hector Louis Berlioz (December 11, 1803 – March 8, 1869) was a French Romantic composer best known for the Symphonie fantastique, first performed in 1830, and for his Grande Messe des Morts (Requiem) of 1837, with its tremendous resources that include four antiphonal brass choirs. ... François-Auguste Gevaert (July 31, 1828 in Huysse, near Oudenarde - December 24, 1908 in Brussels) was a composer. ... Nikolai Andreyevich Rimsky-Korsakov (Russian: , Nikolaj Andreevič Rimskij-Korsakov), also Nikolay, Nicolai, and Rimsky-Korsakoff, (March 6 (O.S. March 18), 1844 – June 8 (O.S. June 21) 1908) was a Russian composer, one of five Russian composers known as The Five, and was later a teacher of harmony and... Walter Hamor Piston Jr. ... Samuel Adler (1809-1891) was born in Worms Germany, and became a rabbi in 1842. ...

See also

This article cites very few or no references or sources. ... In music, an arrangement refers either to a rewriting of a piece of existing music with additional new material or to a fleshing-out of a compositional sketch, such as a lead sheet. ... In music, transcription is the act of notating a piece or a sound which was previously unnotated. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Elastic Scoring is a style of orchestration or music arrangement that was first used by the Australian composer, Percy Grainger. ...

External links

  • Artistic Orchestation by Alan Belkin.
  • The Orchestra: A User's Manual by Andrew Hugill with The Philharmonia Orchestra. In depth information on orchestration including examples and video interviews with instrumentalists of each instrument.
  • The Study of Orchestration by Samuel Adler.

  Results from FactBites:
Orchestration - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (965 words)
Orchestration is the study and practice of adapting music for an orchestra or musical ensemble.
However, in practice orchestration is often used interchangeably with arrangement, rewriting a piece of pre-existing music for a specific set of instruments or voices, often in harmony or with additional original material, and both terms often describe the scoring of material which is not pre-existing.
An orchestrator will usually be presented with a piece in short score (that is, written on around three or four musical staves) or else the piece will be written as if it were to be played on a piano.
Introduction to Music - Orchestration, the Colours of Music (1205 words)
Orchestration is the art of composing for an orchestra, always keeping in mind each instrument's potential and limitations.
Orchestration is just as important in composition as is counterpoint, the fugue, or the study of musical forms.
Stravinsky wrote glissandos for all instruments and frequently used the harmonics of the double bass, techniques that Vincent D'Indy (not a fan of such devices) described as "horror effects worthy of the movies." Scriabin was already rethinking the use of equal temperament tuning in his orchestra.
  More results at FactBites »



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