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eee iehativoon GEORGE FREDERICK McKAY Allyn and Bacon, Inc., Boston, 1963 To my colleagues and to the many students who have shared with ime the adventure of experience and discussion from which this theory of orchestration gradually emerged. fe eee fener emieeeere Sesest Soe a De aCe Ses ORCHESTRAL SOUNDS SUMMONED UP BY THE GEN- iuses of music sometimes seem like sheer magic, but the imagination and flair of the master composer must inevitably be based upon certain principles of tonal relationship and procedure which are the same for both the student beginner and the devel- oped artist. Clear and effective sound and structure stem from applications of unity, contrast and variety. ‘These applications can be formulated into fundamental types of technique which can be understood and utilized by every student of music. The main purpose of this book is to formulate a general theory based on such techniques. There have been too few theoretical speculations on or mn by the composers of the past. Much has been written ts about the technicalities of instrumenta: too little has been said by the creative artists themselves about “how” to write for the orch pioneering effort by Berlioz, ly and evocative and, in spite creative insight. The modem revision by Richard Strauss has further values derived from Strauss’s own experienced crafts- manship. Rimsky-Korsakov, in his Principles of Orchestration, offered many creative suggestions, but fell short of a complete general theory, Richard Wagner began his book On Condueting with the sentence, “The secret of good orchestral sound is sustained tone.” With this fragmentary statement we are left groping at unfulfilled total analysis because there are so many other sources of “good orchestral sound.” Sibelius has been quoted as saying, “The orchestra has no pedal." He meant that while improvising on the piano, use of the pedal produces @ continuous resonance that can be had in , v PREFACE the orchestra only by adding actual supplementary sustaining ‘material. ‘This is also strikingly true, but again, we are left grop- ing toward a cor ing analysis of “how’ to write “good” orchestration that this treatise is directed, ‘The methods of orchestration discussed in these pages, with their emphases upon central principles of effective sound and per- formance by small ensembles, were developed through many years of experience in orchestration. At first, standard books were used for reference and in teach- ing, but these were found to have an overemphasis on factual material and a lack of workable general theory. Later, a method was adopted which emphasized the imita- tion of styles used by various master composers. To learn orches- tration the student was asked to analyze the scores of Bach, Mozart, Tchaikovsky, Debussy, etc., and t cipal styles by writing full-score exampl method and led to much effective technic and the gradual formu- lation of a generil theory. Eventually this method was also abandoned because, in writing for full orchestra, actual perform- ance was t00 difficult to obtain; as a result, knowledge had to , the student was usually ‘on; and his own individuality Finally, through further experiments in teaching, it became clear that the best results came from a freely creative use of gen- eral theory. The most creative orchestration occurred when the student was unburdened from imitating masterworks and was allowed to develop personal expression restricted only by the ‘most fundamental guiding principles and by the sincere artistic criticism of an interested teacher. studies, orchestration can be the most tate sense of creativity can be had only nn can be tried out in actual performance if that which is wri vi PREFACE \ All the formulations contained in this book can be tried successfully on a small ensemble of the type usually avai among members of an orchestration class. (See page 212 for an example of a laboratory-type ensemble used at the University of Washington.) Ik is not necessary to write only for the large orchestra. The basic principles of clear organization and tonal interest are esentially the same for ten instruments as for one hundred. In forming an orchestra for which to write, it is best to have some representation of each family of sound (e.g., two wood- ‘winds, one brass instrument, a few strings, a piano or other per- cussion) or some combination that will make available two or more choirs of sound (three woodwinds, four strings and piano, for instance). Any available small combination of mixed instru: ‘ments wall provide, for the student, much basic experience in the application of general principles. By writing for small groups, much time will be saved and the experience gained can later be applied to writing for the large orchestra, ‘Complete knowledge is method strongly motivated by emphasis upon creativity; (4) | means for testing results by actual performance; (5) an and progressive study plan; (6) analytical discussion which stresses contemporaneity and musical frontiers; (7) prin- ciples of value to listener and conductor; (8) examples trans- posed to actual sound for the convenience of the reader, and (9) charts citing specific pages in standard scores where further illus trations may be found (see pages 218-220), vil