Like most books and courses with the title “Orchestration,” this tome focuses only the building blocks of instrumentation, and not the actual “technique,” whatever the title may claim. And yet its perspectives are novel, and many bits of advice are priceless. It opens with a rare section on the science of tone production, and leads from there to a top-down analysis of the orchestra in score order: winds, brass, percussion, harp, and strings. But one must realise that this is a uniquely Italian perspective on orchestration, and limited to a sector of culture and period – in this case, Italy of the late 1940’s. For instance, there’s the classification of saxhorns (called “flicorni”) with tubas, perfectly reasonable from an instrument-builder’s perspective as both are whole-tube instruments in principle. Saxophones are placed after this in order in the book, rather than right next to their single-reed progenitors, the clarinets, probably because of their use in marching bands along with saxhorns. Interestingly, the authors spend a whole chapter discussing jazz style and arranging, which does them enormous credit. However, it’s very old information, gleaned from a distance. Their idea of modern jazz is Glenn Miller, and this tragic lack of hipness was not updated when the book was revised. So I can recommend it as a supplementary text, with the caution that its data is a bit on the weathered side.
For better control in delicate scoring, use the horn’s middle register, especially in the octave bet
While dovetailing a line between woodwind instruments can feel very natural, truly seamless doubling
Comparing the spectrum of normally played harp notes with harmonic tones reveals a wealth of informa
Use extreme caution when applying extreme dynamics, and be aware of the physical realities and limit
EVERYTHING YOU DON’T NEED TO KNOW (BUT MAYBE SHOULD) ABOUT HORN BUMPERS If you were to ask the avera
Recently in the middle of the current ongoing massive run of 165 evaluations for the 2021 Orchestrat