The Book of Musical Knowledge: The History, Technique, and Appreciation of Music, Together with Lives of the Great Composers, for Music-Lovers, Students and Teachers

By Arthur Elson | Go to book overview

LVII
ORCHESTRATION

THOUGH made up of different instruments, the orchestra may be regarded as a unit from the point of view of composer, conductor, and audience. The conductor's share in the matter will be treated in a special chapter, but it has seemed worth while to explain here a part of the composer's work, and certain points that the audience may look for when hearing orchestral music.

The orchestra of Bach, although it had many instruments now obsolete, did not give quite the effect of the full modern orchestra, as it lacked many of the deeper instruments, such as the tubas, contrabassoons, and so on. Bach's music, therefore, is not overpowering in effect, but flows along naturally and smoothly. The contrapuntal character of his music (written as if in parts instead of chords) makes this fluent quality particularly noticeable. In some cases the modern instruments replace the obsolete ones.

Handel's and Bach's scores were often merely outlined, or only partially filled out. In this music the composer was often the leader, and sat at the harpsichord, or organ, where he could arrange his own harmonies to suit himself. For modern purposes, some of the old scores have bad to be "filled in" by more recent composers.

Thus in the case of the oratorio "The Messiah," which is given widely even to-day, there are two such refurbishings, as already stated, -- one by Mozart and one by Robert Franz.

The scores of classical and modern times are complete, having been wholly finished by their composers; and from them the student can trace the growth of the orchestra.

The symphonies of Haydn and Mozart led to those of Beethoven, who is the great representative of the classical period. The classical orchestra consisted of first and second violins, violas, 'cellos, contrabasses, flutes, sometimes a piccolo, oboes, clarinets, bassoons, horns, trumpets, sometimes trombones, and kettledrums. With these the composer could give all the effects he desired.

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The Book of Musical Knowledge: The History, Technique, and Appreciation of Music, Together with Lives of the Great Composers, for Music-Lovers, Students and Teachers
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface v
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations xi
  • Part I - The Evolution of Music 1
  • Part I the Evolution of Music 2
  • I - Primitive and Savage Music 3
  • II - Greece and Rome 13
  • III - Early Christian Music 23
  • IV - The Minstrel Knights 31
  • V - The Schools of Counterpoint 42
  • VI - The Harmonic Style 58
  • Part II - The Great Composers 67
  • Part II the Great Composers 68
  • VII - Bach 69
  • VIII - Handel 77
  • IX - Gluck 85
  • X - Haydn 91
  • XI - Mozart 98
  • XII - Beethoven 108
  • XIII - Schubert 120
  • XIV - Weber and Romanticism 128
  • XV - Mendelssohn 135
  • XVI - Schumman 143
  • XVII - Chopin 151
  • XVIII - Italian Opera 158
  • XIX - Cherubini and French Opera 170
  • XX - Berlioz and Other Frenchmen 179
  • XXI - Liszt and His Circle 188
  • Part III - Musical Form 307
  • XXXI - Melody and Appreciation 309
  • XXXII - Figures and Phrases 317
  • XXXIII - The Song-Forms 324
  • XXXIV - The Rondos 331
  • XXXV - The Sonata-Allegro Form 336
  • XXXVI - Other Sonata Movements 341
  • XXXVII - The Orchestral Forms 345
  • XXXVIII Dances and Piano Styles - Dances and Piano Styles 351
  • XXXIX - The Vocal Forms 360
  • XL - The Contrapuntal Forms 366
  • Part IV - The Instruments 376
  • XLI - The Piano and Its Predecessors 377
  • XLII - The Organ 384
  • XLIII - The Voice 391
  • XLIV - The Violin 398
  • XLV - Other Bowed Instruments *
  • XLVI - Plucked-String Instruments 413
  • XLVII - Flute and Piccolo 420
  • XLVIII - Oboe and English Horn *
  • XLIX - The Bassoons 433
  • L the Clarinets 438
  • Li Horns, Trumpets, and Cornets 444
  • Lii Trombones and Tubas 450
  • Liii Instruments of Percussion 456
  • Part V - Special Topics 463
  • LIV - Some Famous Pianists 465
  • LV - Some Famous Singers 474
  • LVI - Violinists and Violin Music 483
  • LVII - Orchestration 491
  • LVIII - Conducting 496
  • Lix Acoustics 503
  • LX - How to Read Music 515
  • LXI - Modern Music 538
  • Appendix 569
  • Index 581
  • Index to Supplementary Chapter 606
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