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date: 17 October 2019

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