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Publisher Description

It is not the purpose of this work to write a treatise on instrumentation or to prepare a pedagogical analysis of orchestration only, but rather to trace the evolu-tion of the orchestra and of orchestration in connection with the history of music proper. Special emphasis will be laid upon what may be termed the IMPELLING FORCES to which the development of orchestration is due. This necessitates a considerable repetition of familiar facts that do not lend themselves to further original treatment. The restatement of such facts, however, would seem to form an indispensable background for the main theme, which is thereby exposed with all its attending phases of logical evolution.

In addition to extended studies of orchestral scores themselves, the standard works of Berlioz, Gevaërt, Riemann, Parry, and others have, as a matter of course, been referred to. The subject under discussion has already been admirably handled by Lavoix in his voluminous work entitled "Histoire de L'Instrumentation," but it was unquestionably done through French glasses, and the scores of not one German romanticist are submitted to careful analysis beyond those of Weber and Wagner. "Parsifal" had not been produced at the time when Lavoix's book went to press, nor had such representative composers as Brahms, Saint-Saëns, Tschaikowsky, Dvorak then won their full meed of recognition. It is obvious, therefore, that the orchestration especially of the nineteenth century offers a fertile field for further profitable research. Again, the present writer is not aware of the existence of any comprehensive work in the English language upon the history of the orchestra and of orchestration.

Throughout these pages the achievements of the more prominent composers are set forth in such manner as to indicate not only the distinctive features of their orchestration but of their general creative ability as well. In each case, the general style of composition and its significance as a contribution to musical literature are first enlarged upon. This is followed by an examination of the differentiated treatment of the strings, the wood, the brass, presented in logical sequence. A final analysis is then made of the individual method of orchestration as a whole, together with its relative value in the evolution of orchestration.

In the Appendix to this book will be found a few musical illustrations selected from representative orchestral scores.


Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S.A.
April 30, 1905.

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