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date: 28 February 2021

Instrumentation and orchestrationlocked

  • Kenneth Kreitner,
  • Mary Térey-Smith,
  • Jack Westrup,
  • D. Kern Holoman,
  • G.W. Hopkins,
  • Paul Griffiths
  •  and Jon Alan Conrad


The art of combining the sounds of a complex of instruments (an orchestra or other ensemble) to form a satisfactory blend and balance. The term ‘orchestration’ is often used to denote the craft of writing idiomatically for these instruments. ‘To orchestrate’ has also come to mean to score for orchestra a work written for a solo instrument or small ensemble. There have been many attempts to differentiate the terms ‘orchestration’ and ‘instrumentation’ since Berlioz juxtaposed the two in the title of his Grand traité d’instrumentation et d’orchestration modernes (Paris, 1843); in this context the two terms should be considered as inseparable aspects of a single musical concept. Instrumentation by itself is a more general term, denoting the selection of instruments for a musical composition, either as part of the composer’s art or by the performers for a particular performance.

See Orchestra; see also Arrangement. For a discussion of rock band instrumentation, ...

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Analecta musicologica
International Musicological Society: Congress Report [1930-]
Brass and Woodwind Quarterly
Proceedings of the Musical Association
Rivista musicale italiana
A. Lavignac and L. de La Laurencie, eds.: Encyclopédie de la musique et dictionnaire du Conservatoire
Musical Quarterly
Zeitschrift für Musikwissenschaft
Musica disciplina
Archiv für Musikwissenschaft
Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart
Musical Times
Rivista italiana di musicologia
Tijdschrift van de Vereniging voor Nederlandse muziekgeschiedenis [and earlier variants]
Schweizerische Musikzeitung/Revue musicale suisse
Early Music
Sammelbände der Internationalen Musik-Gesellschaft
Annales musicologiques
Studia musicologica Academiae scientiarum hungaricae
O. Strunk: Source Readings in Music History (New York, 1950/R)
Journal of the American Musicological Society
Journal of Musicological Research
Historical Brass Society Journal
Hamburger Jahrbuch für Musikwissenschaft
Proceedings of the Royal Musical Association
Galpin Society Journal
Revue belge de musicologie
Jahrbuch der Musikbibliothek Peters