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Thesaurus

of Orchestral

Devices

THESAURUS OF

ORCHESTRAL DEVICES

SECONDE PARTIE

LE SACRIFICE: INTRODUCTION

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Stravinsky. LE SACRE DU PRINTEMPS

Reproduced by permission ofBoosey &Hawkes, Inc., New York, andBoosey & Hawkes, Ltd., London

THESAURUS OF

ORCHESTRAL DEVICES

By

GARDNER READ

PITMAN PUBLISHING CORPORATION

NEW YORK

TORONTO

LONDON

UL &/M

Published, 1953

All rights reserved

2PSJ90

Associated Companies

Sm Isaac Pitman & Sons, Ltd.

London

Melbourne

Johannesburg

Sir Isaac Pitman & Sons (Canada), Ltd.

Toronto

I

TO

ARTHUR COHN and NICOLAS SLONIMSKY

peripatetic encyclopedists and

indefatigable begetters of pandects,

lexicons, and thesauri

FOREWORD

This book represents that rare thing in musical scholarshipa "first time anywhere."

Musical literature is signally lacking in up-to-date manuals of orchestral practice. Texts

that describe the individual instruments are plentiful, of course, but only a few consider in any detail the subtle art of combining instruments. The present volume is unique in that it

summarizes and lists illustrations of hundreds of orchestral devices, thereby making it possible

as never before for the student to survey the whole field of orchestration. It was a man-sized

job, and it took Gardner Read's meticulous and persistent mind, and his composer's intimate

knowledge of the orchestra and its potentialities, to carry it out successfully.

No one composer has ever exploited all the possibilities of the modern orchestra. Mofe than any other phase of music, the art of orchestration has depended upon the combined

imagination of practising composers everywhere. This Thesaurus is a compendium and store-

house of orchestral experience, especially of contemporary writers, as deduced from actual works. With a minimum of text and a maximum of example the author makes it possible for the music student and all others interested in orchestral craft to examine devices, from the most common to the most recondite, that may be found in the published scores of a wide

variety of composers. No composer will ever want to use all the effects listed in this book. On the other hand, no composer is so universally adept as not to be able to profit from a

perusal of the many illustrations exhibiting the ingenuity and coloristic imaginings of his

colleagues.

It is a comment upon the present state of musical achievement in our country that this

Thesaurus of Orchestral Devices should have been conceived and executed by an American

composer and teacher. Both Gardner Read and his publisher deserve our thanks.

New York,

January, 1953.

AARON COPLAND

VU

PREFACE

Orchestrating is not just arranging music for the orchestra: it is composing for the 1 instruments. It is thinking first and foremost in terms of instrumental color, balance,

and sonorityinventing a melodic line that finds expression only, for example, in the

English horn, and in no other instrument; writing a sonority that can be achieved by no other

combination than muted brass; or weaving an insistent rhythmic ostinato that reaches full expressiveness only by the muffled tenor drum. Perhaps this is the reason why there are so many

merely "good" instrumentators and so few outstanding masters of orchestration.

It must, however, be constantly borne in mind by the orchestratorthe experienced

craftsman as well as the novicethat the employment per se of such devices as flutter-tonguing

in the brass, glissandi in the harp, and col legno and sul ponticello in the strings does not necessarily

guarantee colorful, or even effective, orchestration. And certainly the musical value of an orchestral work does not depend primarily on even the most skilful and imaginative use of

these or other instrumental devices. Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, and Brahmsfour giants

who find comparatively slight representation in this volumecreated many fine works for the orchestra without so much as a hint of "effect" or the employment of colorful and unusual

instrumental devices.

During the past hundred and fifty years or more, nevertheless, the conception of color, density, clarity, timbrewhatever one chooses to call ithas asserted a persuasive and cumulative

influence on the creative orchestrator. All of the instrumental devices catalogued here are therefore perfectly legitimate, and by now even indispensable, ingredients in the orchestrator's

tonal palette. Some of them, of course, have been in use for hundreds of years, such as the bow

tremolo and pizzicato, first introduced by Monteverdi about 1624. Others, including most of the harp and percussion effects, are comparatively recent, and still newer devices are yet in the experimental stagefor example, the microphone techniques of radio and film music. It did

not he within the scope of the present volume to include movie, radio, and jazz effects other than those found in serious symphonic scores, nor to delve into the vast hterature of chamber music and opera. In compiling any kind of thesaurus one must of necessity draw the line

somewhere, and so it seemed advisable to concentrate on symphonic works readily available

to the music student and professional musician. Numerous exceptions have been made, however, in the case of well-known operatic excerpts which have become part of the standard orchestral

repertoire.

The perceptive orchestrator will observe that the overwhelming majority of the scores referred to in the Thesaurus are impressionistic or programmatic in content and style, for most

of the orchestral devices listed herein are products of essentially harmonic music, dramatic and

romantic in conceptdescriptive in effect. The works of the linear composers, Bach to Hindemith, find small representation because the very nature of the music precludes thinking

ix

PREFACE

primarily in terms of exotic color and unusual sonority. This is perhaps the best answer possible

to those who will look in vainand with amazementfor extensive quotations from the scores

of Hindemith, admittedly one of the creative giants of the twentieth century and an orchestrator

without peer.

This Thesaurus of Orchestral Devices is intended to be a lexicon of instrumentation which

will serve the student and/ or professional orchestrator in the same manner and to the same degree

that Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, Rogct's Thesaurus of English Words, or Webster's New

International Dictionary aid both the student of literature and the established writer. As far as

is known, no such thesaurus of orchestration has ever before been compiled. It is hoped that

the book will meet a very real need among embryo orchestrators and seasoned composers

alike, especially since nearly every work quoted is available in a study score edition, generally

at an agreeably modest price, and a great many are, of course, commercially recorded. In the interests of practicability, only works published in miniature or study score format (up to

January I, 195 1, and made available to the author) are included in the Thesaurus. Certain excep-

tions have been made where a large score is the only one printed, but no manuscript works

of any kind have been referred to. The detailed plan used for the presentation of the material

quoted in the Thesaurus may be found on page 41.

It is regretted that the present scope of the Thesaurus did not allow for examples of the

instrumental devices found in modern chamber music works, other than those from two notable exceptions: Stravinsky's Histoire du Soldat and Schonberg's Pierrot Lunaire. The six

string quartets of Bartok as well as the complete chamber works of Schonberg and Stravinsky

are veritable gold mines for the device-prospecting musician; in fact, they might almost be

considered a basic text of modern string technique, at least so far as the various uses of sul

ponticello, sul tasto, col legno, glissandi, and pizzicati effects are concerned. The adventurous and

ambitious student of orchestration is strongly urged to make these works as integral a part of

his score library as Symphonie Fantastique, La Mer, and Le Sucre du Printemps.

No one is more aware of the limitations and unavoidable omissions in the Thesaurus than

the author himself. When nearly one thousand study scores had to be examined page by page, it was perhaps inevitable that some significant or interesting uses of any of the modern orchestral

devices catalogued should be overlooked. Some examples, moreover, were deliberately not

listed when it was felt that the device in question had been amply illustrated on certain other

pages of the work in hand. If, for instance, every example of the use of bow tremolo in the

strings had been given, there would literally have been room for nothing else in the book; and all the instances of the use ofdetache bowing found in scores from Haydn's time to the present

would fill a volume twice the size of this one

Finally, it must be strongly emphasized that the number of times a work is, or is not, quoted

from is absolutely no indication of the composition's artistic worth. Many extremely worth- while scores are sparsely represented in the Thesaurus and some obviously meretricious works

are quoted from quite extensively; it is entirely a matter of how much each makes use of and

clearly illustrates the technical devices with which this book is primarily concerned.

It is no

part of the purpose of the Thesaurus to make an aesthetic or purely musical evaluation of the

devices used in scores from the past to the present. Every musician would do well to remember

PREFACE

that the art of orchestration, like all Art, does not depend upon technique alone, no matter how brilliant this may be. But when technique and expression and musical content are inextricably joined and interwoven, musical creation, of which instrumentation is but one important facet, becomes valid and enduring.

Boston, Massachusetts,

January, 1953

XI

G. R.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

Without the support and generous cooperation of the music publishers the compil-

ation of such a volume as the Thesaurus of Orchestral Devices could not have been

accomplished. The following publishers are deserving of much more than the con-

the author's deepest gratitude and

ventional word of thanks and have, as appreciation

Karl F. Bauer of Associated Music Publishers, Inc.; Maurice Baron of M. Baron Co.; Betty

Randolph Bean and the late Ralph Hawkes of Boosey and Hawkes, Inc. ; Alexander Broude

of Broude Brothers ; Ralph Satz of Chappell and Co., Inc. ; Quinto Maganini of Edition Musicus New York; Henri Elkan ofElkan-Vogel Co.; Joseph Fischer of J. Fischer &Bro.; Edwin F.

Kalmus; Guy Freeman of Leeds Music Corp.; Felix Greissle of E. B. Marks Music Corp.;

Milton Feist of Mercury Music Corp.; Lyle Dowling of Oxford University Press, Inc.; Walter

Hinrichsen of C. F. Peters Corp.; Arthur PafFrath of Salabert, Inc.; Benjamin Grasso of G. Schirmer, Inc. ; and Ray Green, who as executive secretary of the American Music Center

made available the New Music and Arrow Music Press editions. The following publishing

houses also generously donated their score publications to the author: C. C. Birchard Co.;

Bomart Publishing Co. ; Composers Press, Inc. ; Carl Fischer, Inc. ; Mills Music, Inc. ; Novello

and Co., Ltd. ; Pro Art Publications ; Robbins Music Corp. ; Southern Music Publishing Co., Inc.

and Weintraub Music Co.

Kindest thanks are likewise due to Karl and Irene Geiringer, Dika Newlin, and Klaus

G. Roy for their invaluable aid in compiling the extensive lists of foreign terminology;

to Carlton Gamer, Richard Mann, and Vincent Trunfio for long hours spent double-

checking spellings and page and measure numberings; to my wife for patiently helping

to correct proofs, and to Nicolas Slonimsky, who scrutinized the book with an eagle's eye for errors and omissions.

they know,

Finally, very special appreciation must be extended to Dr. Philip James, head of

the department of music in the Graduate School of New York University, who as Advisory Editor for the Pitman Books on Music brought the present volume to the

publisher's attention,

and who has at all times given to

his editorial work

on

the

Thesaurus unfailing conviction and infectious enthusiasm.

xui

Foreword by Aaron Copland

Preface

Acknowledgments

CONTENTS

PART I

vn

ix

xiii

THE INSTRUMENTS OF THE ORCHESTRA

Introduction

 

4

Chapter

i

Nomenclature of Instruments

6

Chapter

2

Comparative Table of Ranges

11

Chapter

3

Evolution of the Modern Symphony Orchestra

29

PART II

WOODWINDS

Introduction

Chapter 4 Extreme or Extended Ranges

40

43

(1) Piccolo (2) Flute (3) Oboe (4) English Horn (5) Clarinet (6) Bass Clarinet (7) Bassoon

(8) Contrabassoon

Chapter 5 Double-tonguing .

Chapter 6 Triple-tonguing

Chapter 7 Flutter-tonguing

Chapter 8 Glissandi and Portamenti

Chapter

9 Bells Up

Chapter 10 Harmonics

Chapter 11 Off-stage

Chapter 12 Echo-tone

Chapter 13 Vibrato Chapter 14 Slap-tongue

Chapter 15 Muted . Chapter 16 Miscellaneous Effects

Chapter 17 Woodwind Terminology

xv

56

60

63

68

72

74

75

76

77

78

79

80

83

Introduction

Chapter 18

CONTENTS

PART III

BRASSES

Extreme or Extended Ranges .

(1) Horn (2) Trumpet (3) Trombone (4) Tuba

Chapter 19

Mutes

90

92

104

(1) Mute Types (2) Echo Sounds (3) Hand in bell (4) Hat over bell (5) In stand (6) Other

indications

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Chapter 25

Chapter 26

Chapter 27

Chapter 28

Chapter 29

Chapter 30

Chapter 3

Stopped or Brassy Tones.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.112

(1) Stopped (2) + (3) Stopped

(7) Open

\- (6) Openbrassy

h (8) Hand in bell (9) Half-stopped (10) Other indications (11) Stopped and

f- (4) Mutedbrassy (5) Muted

Open Combined

Stopped-Open ( H

o

Open-Stopped ( o + )

Triple-tonguing

122

125

128

Flutter-tonguing

Trills and Tremoli

Glissandi

Bells Up

Off-stage

130

133

137

141

144

Jazz Effects

(1) Flare

.

(2) Growl

(3) Lip slur

(4) Rip

Miscellaneous Effects

Brass Terminology

(5) Smear (6) Vibrato (7) Wah-wah (8) Wow

146

149

152

Introduction

Chapter 32 Timpani

PART IV

PERCUSSION

.

158

159

(1) Extended Range (2) Chords [Intervals] (3) Dampened (4) Methods of Striking (5) Muffled

(6) Pedal Glissandi (7) Stick Types (8) 2-Timpani Roll (9) With 2 Sticks (10) Other Effects

Chapter 33 Bells, Glockenspiel, Marimba, Vibraphone, and Xylophone

(1) Glissandi (2) Muffled (3) Off-stage (4) Stick Types (5) Tremolandi

XVI

.

.

173

(6) Other Effects

CONTENTS

Chapter 34 Cymbals (Pair and Suspended)

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.180

(1) Dampened (2) Methods of Striking (3) Stick Types (4) Other Effects

Chapter 3 5 Bass, Snare, and Tenor Drums

196

(1) Dampened (2) Methods of Striking (3) Muffled (4) Off-stage (5) Stick Types (6) Without

snares (7) Other Effects

Chapter 36 Gong, Tambourine, and Triangle

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

-213

(1) Dampened (2) Methods of Striking (3) Muffled [Muted] (4) Off-stage (5) Stick Types

(6) Other Effects

Chapter 37 Other Percussion Instruments

221

(3) Off-stage (4) Stick Types

(5) Other Effects (6) Other Keyed Percussion Instruments (7) Other Pitched Percussion

(1) Methods of Playing or Striking (2)) Muffled [Muted]

Instruments (8) Other Unpitched Percussion Instruments

Chapter 3 8 Percussion Terminology .

232

PART V

KEYBOARD INSTRUMENTS

Introduction

Chapter 39 Celesta, Organ, and Piano

(1) Glissandi (2) Tone-clusters (3) Tremolandi (4) Other Effects

Introduction

Chapter 40 Glissandi

PART VI

HARP

237

238

250

251

(1) In one hand (2) In two hands (3) Chordone hand (4) Chordtwo hands (5) Combina-

tions

Chapter 41 Harmonics

257

(1) Singleeither hand (2) Double (3) Triple (4) Quadruple (5) Combinationstwo hands

Chapter 42 Homonyms (Enharmonics)

(1) In one hand

(2) In two hands

Chapter 43 Non-arpeggiato

Chapter 44 "Pres de la table"

Chapter 45 "Sons etouffes"

Chapter 46 Tremolandi and Trills

Chapter 47 Miscellaneous Effects

Chapter 48 Harp Terminology

2— (G.429)

xvn

262

264

266

268

269

271

273

CONTENTS

PART VII

STRINGS

Introduction

Chapter 49 Bowing

(I) Detache (2) Legato

(3) Marcato and Martelc (4) Spiccato and Staccato (5) Saltando

(6) Strike with bow

(7) Au talon

(8) Punta d'arco

(9) Full bow (10) Middle of the bow

278

283

(II) Reverse Bowing (12) Successive Down-bows (13) Successive Up-bows

Chapter 50 Pizzicati

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

(1) Arpeggiato

(7) "Slap"

(2) Chords

(3) Glissando

(4) Left-hand

(5) Nail

(11) Vibrato

(8) "Snap"

(9) Thumb

(10) Tremolando

(13) Pizzicati and Non-pizzicati Combined

(6)

.

.

.322

On Harmonics

(12) With 2 fingers

Chapter 51

Tremoli

(1) Bow (2) Finger (3) Bow-Finger (detache trill or interval) (4) Glissando (5) Measured

(6) On Harmonics (7) Bow and Finger Combined (8) Tremoli and Non-tremoli Combined

Chapter 52

Col Legno

(1) Glissando (2) On Harmonics (3) Tremolo (4) Non-tremolo (5) Col Legno and Pizzicato

Combined (6) Col Legno and Modo Ordinario (arco) Combined

Chapter 53

Sul Ponticello

(1) Back of bridge (2) Glissando (3) On Harmonics (4) Pizzicato

(5) Tremolo (6) Non-

347

372

381

tremolo (7) Sul Ponticello and Col Legno Combined (8) Sul Ponticello and Modo Ordinario

Combined

Chapter 54 Sul Tasto

»

394

(1) Glissando (2) On Harmonics (3) Pizzicato (4) Tremolo (5) Non-tremolo (6) Sul Tasto

and Sul Ponticello Combined

Chapter 55 Mutes

403

(1) Muted and Open Combined (2) Mutes on gradually (3) Mutes off gradually

Chapter 56

Natural Harmonics.

Chapter 57

Artificial Harmonics

Chapter 58 Multiple Divisi

(1) Divisi a 3 (2) Divisi a 4

a 9 (8) Divisi a 10 (9) Divisi a 11

(3) Divisi a 5

(4) Divisi a 6

(10) Divisi a 12

Chapter 59

Solo Parts

Chapter 60

Chapter 61

Soli Parts

Chord Notation

Chapter 62

Double-stopped Unisons

Chapter 63

Glissandi and Portamenti.

5) Divisi a 7 (6) Divisi a 8

408

441

455

(7) Divisi

477

491

532

537

542

(1) Ordinary Glissando (2) Slow or Measured Glissando (3) In Harmonics (4) To a Harmonic

(5) Other Indications

Chapter 64

Off-stage

.

.

.

.

.

xvm

.

.

.

•'

554

Chapter 65 Open Strings

Chapter 66 Specific Strings

Chapter 67 Reverse Arpeggio

CONTENTS

Chapter 68 Scordatura (Unusual Tuning) .

(1) ViolinI or II

(2) Viola

(3) Violoncello

Orchestra (5) BassModern Orchestra

Chapter 69 Senza Vibrato

Chapter 70 Miscellaneous Effects

Chapter 71 String Terminology

List of Publishers

List of Composers and Works

555

559

572

573

and Early Romantic

576

578

581

583

587

Index of Abbreviations

.

.

.

601

Index of Notation

605

Index of Numerals

609

Index of Nomenclature and Terminology .

6ll

XIX

ILLUSTRATIONS OF SCORES

Stravinsky : Le Sacre du Printemps

Frontispiece

Rimsky-Korsakoff: Scheherazade

 

2

Mahler : Symphony No. 4

.

36

Britten : Sinfonia da Requiem .

38

Strauss: Don Quixote

.

86

Schonberg : Fiinf Orchesterstiicke

.

88

Bartok: Violin Concerto .

154

Milhaud : Les Choephores (IV. Presages)

.

156

Debussy :

La Mer .

. 246

Ravel : Rapsodie Espagnole

.

248

Bartok: Dance Suite

.

276

XX]

PART I

The Instruments of the Orchestra

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3

INTRODUCTION

Nothing seems to date more quickly than an orchestration text-book. New instruments

are added to the symphony orchestra, others become obsolete, ranges are extended,

techniques improved and expandedand one more tome on instrumentation becomes

It is a regrettable fact that at this time there is not in existence a single

itself outmoded.

completely thorough, reliable, or up-to-date text on even the basic technique of orchestration,

including the correct ranges for the standard instruments. Such volumes as the Berlioz-Strauss

Treatise on Instrumentation and Rimsky-Korsakoff's Principles of Orchestration have historical

interest and significance, but are assuredly not adequate as methods of scoring for the modern

orchestra. And certain more recent books, such as that of Schillinger, are not only full of

popular (but erroneous) cliches and such informative gems as [sic] "There is an unwritten

international code of ethics by which composers limit themselves to the written 'g' of the

second octave [for clarinet]," but they also still largely indicate the restricted ranges of the eighteenth-nineteenth-century orchestra. We must await with patience the appearance of

Arthur Cohn's monumental Art and Science of Orchestration, which gives promise of being the

ne plus ultra in instrumentation