by Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov

LESSON 1 NOTES: In the first two lessons we will provide a general overview of the instruments of the orchestra. We will start with the String and Wood-wind Instruments in Lesson 1, then cover the Brass and the remaining instruments in Lesson 2.

Rimsky-Korsakov did not focus on the details of the instruments. Although he originally thought about including instrumentation in the text, that idea was abandoned in the final treatise. Rimsky-Korsakov wrote: "This book is written for those who have already studied instrumentation...The present work deals with the combination of instruments in separate groups and in the entire orchestral scheme: the different means of producing strength of tome and unity of structure; the subdivision of parts; variety of color and expression in scoring. (Rimsky-Korsakov, Preface to Last Edition).

Instrumentation is only briefly touched upon as Rimsky-Korsakov assumed the reader already has a basic knowledge of the instruments of the orchestra. This topic is well covered in many books and many online resources.
It is important to have this knowledge and if there are enough people who want to delve into instrumentation we could possibly go into more depth or cover the material in another course.

The material on instrumentation may be rudimentary to some and if you know the material well, you may want to hold off and revisit us in Lesson No. 3. Or you may want to go through these two chapters as a refresher and perhaps you can assist other learners.

The interactive scores start in Lesson 3. Here is an example:

Click on Play Button below to Play from the Score

Professor Brick Comments: With the passage of nearly a century after this text was written, many of the practices RK designates as cautionary are much more common and widely used today. Over the years, once difficult techniques have become standard repertoire for today’s players. Certain orchestral instruments appearing in many 20th century works were not in existance in RK's lifetime and certain techniques had yet to become accepted. Whereas RK’s cautions are notable, I encourage everyone to explore some of the limits defined herein. Also, remember that RK’s comments apply pretty much to live performance. In general, if an orchestration is successful live, it will be successful in a recording HOWEVER the opposite is not true. Since I suspect much of this crowd will be interested in recording aspects as well, I may, from time to time, comment when significant differences arise if you all find this sort of comment helpful.

Chapter I


A. Stringed Instruments.

The following is the formation of the string quartet and the number of players required in present day orchestras, either in the theatre or concert-room:

In larger orchestras, the number of first violins may amount to 20 and even 24, the other strings being increased proportionately. But such a great quantity of strings over-powers the customary wood-wind section, and entails re-enforcing the latter. Sometimes orchestras contain less than 8 first violins; this is a mistake, as the balance between strings and wind is completely destroyed. In writing for the orchestra it is advisable to rely on a medium-sized body of strings. Played by a larger orchestra a work will be heard to greater advantage; played by a smaller one, the harm done will be minimized.

Suggestion Position of Strings in the Orchestra
[Editors Note: Some Orchestras have 1st & 2nd violins on either side of the stage] (positions may vary depending on the work,the venue the orchestra and other factors)

Video of Violins Playing in an Orchestra

Video of Cellos Playing in an Orchestra

Video of Double Basses Playing in an Orchestra

Whenever a group of strings is written for more than five parts-without taking double notes or chords into consideration-these parts may be increased by dividing each one into two, three and four sections, or even more (divisi). Generally, one or more of the principal parts is split up, the first or second violins, violas or violincellos. The players are then divided by desks, numbers 1, 3, 5 etc. playing the upper part, and 2, 4, 6 etc., the lower; or else the musician on the right-hand of each desk plays the top line, the one on the left the bottom line. Dividing by threes is less easy, as the number of players in one group is not always divisible by three, and hence the difficulty of obtaining proper balance.

Professor Belkin Comments: Using Divisi and Double Stops - While Rimsky explains various ways to divide the strings, he does not specify WHEN it is better to divide them, and when to use double stops. Apart from the obvious limits on the playability of double stops, the governing principle is as follows:
- use double stops for strong ACCENT
- use divisi for thinning down the sound
Playing more than 2 notes at a time on a string instrument always involves a slight rhythmic bump: 3 and 4 note chords need a short moment of preparation. Also they are never played completely simultaneously. Therefore, while they cannot be inserted seamlessly into a very quick or very legato line, IF the music requires a strong accent, they add lots of punch. IN cases where classical composers have written them into quick lines, conductors may divide a 4 note chord into 2 x 2.

Nevertheless there are cases where the composer should not hesitate to employ this method of dividing the strings, leaving it to the conductor to ensure equality of tone. It is always as well to mark how the passage is to be divided in the score; Vlns I, 1, 2, 3 desks, 6 'Cellos div. A 3, and so on Division into four and more parts is rare, but may be used in piano passages, as it greatly reduces volume of tone in the group of strings.
Note: In small orchestras passages subdivided into many parts are very hard to realize, and the effect obtained is never the one required.

String parts may be divided thus:
Possible combinations less frequently used are:
Note: It is evident that the tone quality in b and e will be similar. Still b is preferable since the number of Vns II (14-10-6) and Violas (12-8-4) is practically the same, the respective roles of the two groups are more closely allied, and from the fact that second violins generally sit nearer to the violas than the first, thereby guaranteeing greater unity in power and execution.

The reader will find all manner of divisions in the musical examples given in Vol. II. Where necessary, some explanation as to the method of dividing strings will follow in due course. I dwell on the subject here in order to show how the usual composition of the string quartet may be altered.

Stringed instruments possess more ways of producing sound than any other orchestral group. They can pass, better than other instruments from one shade of expression to another, the varieties being of an infinite number. Species of bowing such as legato, detached, staccato, spiccato, portamento, martellato, light staccato, saltando, attack at the nut and at the point, and V V V(down bow and up bow), in every degree of tone, fortissimo, pianissimo, crescendo, diminuendo, sforzando, morendo-all this belongs to the natural realm of the string quartet.

Professor Belkin Comments: The "Quartet" - RK (and various other writers on orchestration) often refer to the string section as "the quartet", despite the fact that it has five sections. This is because the normal role for the double basses in classical orchestration is to double and solidify the cellos with the same bass line an octave lower, leaving only four real parts. This is the "normal" sound of the string orchestra. Another reason for this terminology is that many of the basic ways of arranging the string orchestra derive in large part from the (solo) string quartet. N.B.: When RK uses this term he does NOT refer to a quartet of soloists within the orchestra!

The fact that these instruments are capable of playing double notes and full chords across three and four strings-to say nothing of sub-division of parts-renders them not only melodic but also harmonic in character.

Note: To give a list of easy three and four-note chords or to explain the different methods of bowing does not come within the scope of the present book.

From the point of view of activity and flexibility the violin takes pride of place among stringed instruments, then, in order, come the viola, 'cello and double bass. In practice the notes of extreme limit in the string quartet should be fixed as follows:

Higher notes given in Table A, should only be used with caution, that is to say when they are of long value, in tremolando, slow, flowing melodies, in not too rapid sequence of scales, and in passages of repeated notes. Skips should always be avoided.
Note: In quick passages for stringed instruments long chromatic figures are never suitable; they are difficult to play and sound indistinct and muddled. Such passages are better allotted to the wood-wind.
A limit should be set to the use of a high note on any one of the three lower strings on violins, violas and 'cellos. This note should be the one in the fourth position, either the octave note or the ninth of the open string.

Nobility, warmth, and equality of tone from one end of the scale to the other are qualities common to all stringed instruments, and render them essentially superior to instruments of other groups. Further, each string has a distinctive character of its own, difficult to define in words. The top string on the violin (E) is brilliant in character, that of the viola (A) is more biting in quality and slightly nasal; the highest string on the 'cello (A) is bright and possesses a 'chest-voice" timbre. The A and D strings on the violin and the D string on the violas and 'cellos are somewhat sweeter and weaker in tone than the others. Covered strings (G), on the violin (G and C), on the viola and 'cello are rather harsh. Speaking generally, the double bass is equally resonant throughout, slightly duller on the two lower strings (E and A), and more penetrating on the upper ones (D and G).

Open Strings of the Stringed Instruments
Note: Except in the case of pedal notes, the double bass rarely plays an independent part, usually moving in octaves or in unison with the 'cellos, or else doubling the bassoons. The quality of the double bass tone is therefore seldom heard by itself and the character of its different strings is not so noticeable.
The rare ability to connect sounds, or a series of sounds, the vibration of stopped strings combined with their above-named qualities-warmth and nobility of tone-renders this group of instruments far and away the best orchestral medium of melodic expression. At the same time, that portion of their range situated beyond the limits of the human voice, e. g. notes on the violin higher than the extreme top note of the soprano voice, from
upwards, and notes on the double bass below the range of the bass voice, descending from

(written sound)

lose in expression and warmth of tone. Open strings are clearer and more powerful but less expressive than stopped strings.

Comparing the range of each stringed instrument with that of the human voice, we may assign: to the violin, the soprano and contralto voice plus a much higher range; to the viola, the contra alto and tenor voice plus a much higher register; to the 'cello, the tenor and bass voices plus a higher register; to the double bass, the bass voice plus a lower range.

The use of harmonics, the mute, and some special devices in bowing produce great difference in the resonance and tone quality of all these instruments.

Professor Welter Comments: Harmonics - the loudest possible dynamic with harmonics is mp.

Harmonics, frequently used to day, alter the timbre of a stringed instrument to a very appreciable extent. Cold and transparent in soft passages, cold and brilliant in loud ones, and offering but little chance for expression, they form no fundamental part of orchestral writing, and are used simply for ornament. Owing to their lack of resonant power they should be used sparingly, and, when employed, should never be overpowered by other instruments. As a rule harmonics are employed on sustained notes, tremolando, or here and there for brilliant effects; they are rarely used in extremely simple melodies. Owing to a certain tonal affinity with the flute they may be said to form a kind of link between string and wood-wind instruments.

Another radical change is effected by the use of mutes. When muted, the clear, singing tone of the strings becomes dull in soft passages, turns to a slight hiss or whistle in loud ones, and the volume of tone is always greatly reduced.

Professor Brick Comments: Read this paragraph again! “Con Sordino” does not necessarily mean a passage will be “soft” it means the passage will be “softer” “Con Sordino” is a relative term. Folks new to the art of orchestration are always shy to write above mf “con sordino” You shouldn’t be shy. “Con Sordino in loud passages becomes a great coloration. This will also be of great importance when discussing the very cool little brass mutes and the very special types of woodwind mutes.

The position of the bow on the string will affect the resonance of an instrument. Playing with the bow close to the bridge (sul ponticello), chiefly used tremolando, produces a metallic sound; playing on the finger-board (sul tasto, flautando) creates a dull, veiled effect.

Note: Another absolutely different sound results from playing with the back or wood of the bow (col legno). This produces a sound like a xylophone or a hollow pizzicato. It is discussed under the heading of instruments of little sustaining power.

The five sets of strings with number of players given above produce a fairly even balance of tone. If there is any surplus of strength it must be on the side of the first violins, as they must be heard distinctly on account of the important part they play in the harmonic scheme. Besides this, an extra desk of first violins is usual in all orchestras, and as a general rule they possess a more powerful tone than second violins. The latter, with the violas, play a secondary part, and do not stand out so prominently. The 'cellos and double basses are heard more distinctly, and in the majority of cases form the bass in octaves.

In conclusion, it may be said that the group of strings, as a melodic element, is able to perform all manner of passages, rapid and interrupted phrases of every description, diatonic or chromatic in character. Capable of sustaining notes without difficulty, of playing chords of three and four notes; adapted to the infinite variety of shades of expression, and easily divisible into numerous sundry parts, the string group in an orchestra may be considered as a harmonic element particularly rich in resource.

Black lines on each string denote the general range in orchestral writing; the dotted lines give the registers, low, medium, high, very high.

B. Wind Instruments.

Apart from the varying number of players, the formation of the string group, with its five constituent parts remains constant, satisfying the demands of any orchestral full score. On the other hand the group of wood-wind instruments varies both as regards number of parts and the volume of tone at its command, and here the composer may choose at will. The group may be divided into three general classes: wood-wind instruments in pair's, in three's and in four's (see table below).

Arabic numerals denote the number of players on each instrument; roman figures, the parts (1st, 2nd etc.). Instruments which do not require additional players, but are taken over by one or the other executant in place of his usual instrument, are enclosed in brackets. As a rule the first flute, first oboe, first clarinet and first bassoon never change instruments; considering the importance of their parts it is not advisable for them to turn from one mouthpiece to another. The parts written for piccolo, bass flute, English horn, small clarinet, bass clarinet and double bassoon are taken by the second and third players in each group, who are more accustomed to using these instruments of a special nature.

Professor Brick Comments: This is a very curious statement. Don’t take RK’s words literally here. RK’s use of the term “Bass Flute” does not apply to the instrument we know today as the “Bass Flute” as the instrument was not invented until after his death. Rather I believe he refers to a Bass Flute as a flute lower than the C flute. By today’s terminology, the “alto flute” is a much more common doubler than the bass flute. Whereas almost any professional orchestra will have a flautist that can double on Alto the same cannot be said about the Bass Flute (and definitely not the contrabass flute!) On a recent recording date in Prague I was surprised to be informed that not a single bass flute was available. To be sure, even here in NY the roster of Bass Flutes is quite limited. Similarly, in many cases, bassoon players do not double on contrabassoon. It’s always good to check with the orchestra manager for that particular groups doublings.

The formation of the first class may be altered by the permanent addition of a piccolo part. Sometimes a composer writes for two piccolos or two English horns etc. without increasing the original number of players required (in three's or four's).
Note:1: Composers using the first class in the course of a big work (oratorio, opera, symphony, etc.) may introduce special instruments, called extras, for a long or short period of time; each of these instruments involves an extra player not required throughout the entire work. Meyerbeer was fond of doing this, but other composers, Glinka for example, refrain from increasing the number of performers by employing extras (Eng. horn part in Rousslan). Wagner uses all three classes in the above table (in pair's: Tannenhauser-in three's: Tristan -in four's: The Ring).

Note 2: Mlada is the only work of mine involving formation by four's. Ivan the Terrible, Sadko, The Legend of Tsar Saltan, The Legend of the Invisible City of Kitesh and The Golden Cockerel all belong to the second class, and in my other works, wood-wind in pair's is used with a varying number of extras. The Christmas Night, with its two oboes, and two bassoons, three flutes and three clarinets, forms an intermediate class

Considering the instruments it comprises, the string group offers a fair variety of color, and contrast in compass, but this diversity of range and timbre is subtle and not easily discerned. In the wood-wind department, however, the difference in register and quality of flutes, oboes, clarinets and bassoons is striking to a degree. As a rule, wood-wind instruments are less flexible than strings; they lack the vitality and power, and are less capable of different shade of expression.

Suggested Position of Woodwinds in an Orchestra
(positions may vary depending on the work,the venue, the orchestra and other factors)

In each wind instrument I have defined the scope of greatest expression, that is to say the range in which the instrument is best qualified to achieve the various grades of tone, (forte, piano, cresc., dim., sforzando, morendo, etc.)-the register which admits of the most expressive playing, in the truest sense of the word. Outside this range, a wind instrument is more notable for richness of color than for expression. I am probably the originator of the term "scope of greatest expression". It does not apply to the piccolo and double bassoon which represent the two extremes of the orchestral compass. They do not possess such a register and belong to the body of highly-colored but non-expressive instruments.

The four kinds of wind instruments: flutes, oboes, clarinets and bassoons may be generally considered to be of equal power. The same cannot be said of instruments which fulfill a special purpose: piccolo, bass flute, English horn, small clarinet, bass clarinet and double bassoon, Each of these instruments has four registers: low, middle, high and extremely high, each of which is characterized by certain differences of quality and power. It is difficult to define the exact limits of each register; adjacent registers almost blend together and the passage from one to another is scarcely noticeable. But when the instrument jumps from one register to another the difference in power and quality of tone is very striking.

The four families of wind instruments may be divided into two classes:
a) instruments of nasal quality and dark resonance-oboes and bassoons (Eng. horn and double bassoon); and
b) instruments of "chest-voice" quality and bright tone-flutes and clarinets (piccolo, bass flute, small clarinet, bass clarinet).
These characteristics of color and resonance-expressed in too simple and rudimentary a form-are especially noticeable in the middle and upper registers. The lower register of the oboes and bassoons is thick and rough, yet still nasal in quality; the very high compass is shrill, hard and dry. The clear resonance of the flutes and clarinets acquires something nasal and dark in the lower compass; in the very high register it becomes somewhat piercing.

Note to Table B. In the above Table B the top note in each register serves as the bottom note in the next, as the limits to each register are not defined absolutely. The note G fixes the register of flutes and oboes, C for the clarinets and bassoons. In the very high compass those notes are only given which can really be used; anything higher and not printed as actual notes are either too difficult to produce or of no artistic value. The number of sounds obtainable in the highest compass is indefinite, and depends, partly on the quality of the instrument itself, partly on the position and application of the lips. The signs > < are not to be mistaken for crescendo and diminuendo; they indicate how the resonance of an instrument increases or diminishes in relation to the characteristic quality of its timbre. The scope of greatest expression for each typical instrument is marked thus, |_______| under the notes; the range is the same in each instrument of the same type.

Note: It is a difficult matter to define tone quality in words; we must encroach upon the domain of sight, feeling, and even taste. Though borrowed from these senses, I have no doubt as to the appropriateness of my comparisons, but, as a general rule definitions drawn from other sources are too elementary to be applied to music. No condemnatory meaning however should be attached to my descriptions, for in using the terms thick, piercing, shrill, dry, etc. my object is to express artistic fitness in words, rather than material exactitude. Instrumental sounds which have no musical meaning are classed by me in the category of useless sounds, and I refer to them as such, giving my reasons. With the exception of these, the reader is advised to consider all other orchestral timbres beautiful from an artistic point of view, although it is necessary, at times, to put them to other uses.urther on, a table of wind instruments is appended, outlining the approximate limit of range, defining different qualities of tone and indicating the scope of greatest expression (the piccolo and double bassoon excepted).
Flutes and clarinets are the most flexible wood-wind instruments (the flutes in particular), but for expressive power and subtlety in nuances the clarinet supersedes them; this instrument can reduce volume of tone to a mere breath. The nasal instruments, oboe and bassoon, are less mobile and supple; this is accounted for by their double reed, but, having to effect all sorts of scales and rapid passages in common with the flutes and clarinets, oboes and bassoons may be considered melodic instruments in the real sense of the word, only of a more cantabile and peaceful character. In very quick passages they often double the flutes, clarinets or strings.

The four families are equally capable of legato and staccato playing and changing from one to the other in different ways, but distinct and penetrating staccato passages are better suited to the oboes and bassoons, while the flutes and clarinets excel in well-sustained legato phrases. Composite legato passages should be allotted to the first two instruments, composite staccato passages to the latter pair, but these general directions should not deter the orchestrator from adopting the opposite plan.

In comparing the technical individualities of the wood-wind the following fundamental differences should be noted:
a) The rapid repetition' of a single note by single tonguing is common to all wind instruments; repetition of a single note by means of double tonguing is only possible on the flute, a reedless instrument.

b) On account of its construction the clarinet is not well adapted to sudden leaps from one octave to another; these skips are easier on flutes, oboes and bassoons.

c) Arpeggios and rapid alternation of two intervals legato sound well on flutes and clarinets, but not on oboes and bassoons.
Wood-wind players cannot manage extremely long sustained passages, as they are compelled to take breath; care must be taken therefore to give them a little rest from time to time. This is unnecessary in the case of string players. In the endeavor to characterize the timbre of each instrument typical of the four families, from a psychological point of view, I do not hesitate to make the following general remarks which apply generally to the middle and upper registers of each instrument:
a) Flute: Cold in quality, specially suitable, in the major key, to melodies of light and graceful character; in the minor key, to slight touches of transient sorrow.

b) Oboe: Artless and gay in the major, pathetic and sad in the minor.

c) Clarinet: Pliable and expressive, suitable, in the major, to melodies of a joyful or contemplative character, or outbursts of mirth; in the minor, to sad and reflective melodies or impassioned and dramatic passages.

d) Bassoon: In the major, an atmosphere of senile mockery; a sad, ailing quality in the minor.
In the extreme registers these instruments convey the following impressions to my mind

Note: It is true that no mood or frame of mind, whether it be joyful or sad, meditative or lively, careless or reflective, mocking or distressed can be aroused by one single isolated timbre; it depends more upon the general melodic line, the harmony, rhythm, and dynamic shades of expression, upon the whole formation of a given piece of music. The choice of instruments and timbre to be adopted depends on the position which melody and harmony occupy in the seven-octave scale of the orchestra; for example, a melody of light character in the tenor register could not be given to the flutes, or a sad, plaintive phrase in the high soprano register confided to the bassoons. But the ease with which tone color can be adapted to expression must not be forgotten, and in the first of these two cases it may be conceded that the mocking character of the bassoon could easily and quite naturally assume a light-hearted aspect, and in the second case, that the slightly melancholy timbre of the flute is some-what related to the feeling of sorrow and distress with which the passage is to be permeated. The case of a melody coinciding in character with the instrument on which it is played is of special importance, as the effect produced cannot fail to be successful. There are also moments when a composer's artistic feeling prompts him to employ instruments, the character of which is at variance with the written melody (for eccentric, grotesque effects, etc.).
The following remarks illustrate the characteristics, timbre, and employment of special instruments:

The duty of the piccolo and small clarinet is, principally, to extend the range of the ordinary flute and clarinet in the high register. The whistling, piercing quality of the piccolo in its highest compass is extraordinarily powerful, but does not lend itself to more moderate shades of expression. The small clarinet in its highest register is more penetrating than the ordinary clarinet. The low and middle range of the piccolo and small clarinet correspond to the same register in the normal flute and clarinet, but the tone is so much weaker that it is of little service in those regions. The double bassoon extends the range of the ordinary bassoon in the low register. The characteristics of the bassoon's low compass are still further accentuated in the corresponding range of the double bassoon, but the middle and upper registers of the latter are by no means so useful. The very deep notes of the double bassoon are remarkably thick and dense in quality, very powerful in piano passages.
Note: Nowadays, when the limits of the orchestral scale are considerably extended (up to the high C of the 7th octave, and down to the low C, 16 ft. contra octave), the piccolo forms an indispensable constituent of the wind-group; similarly, it is recognized that the double bassoon is capable of supplying valuable assistance. The small clarinet is rarely employed and only for color effects.
The English horn or alto oboe (oboe in F) is similar in tone to the ordinary oboe, the listless, dreamy quality of its timbre being sweet in the extreme. In the low register it is fairly penetrating. The bass clarinet, though strongly resembling the ordinary clarinet, is of darker color in the low register and lacks the silvery quality in the upper notes; it is incapable of joyful expression. The bass flute is an instrument seldom used even today; it possesses the same features as the flute, but it is colder in color, and crystalline in the middle and high regions. These three particular instruments, apart from extending the low registers of the instruments to which they belong, have their own distinctive peculiarities of timbre, and are often used in the orchestra, as solo instruments, clearly exposed.
Note: Of the six special instruments referred to above, the piccolo and double bassoon were the first to be used in the orchestra; the latter, however, was neglected after Beethoven's death and did not reappear until towards the end of the 19th century. The Eng. horn and bass clarinet were employed initially during the first half of the same century by Berlioz, Meyerbeer, and others, and for some time retained their position as extras, to become, later on, permanent orchestral factors, first in the theatre, then in the concert room. Very few attempts have been made to introduce the small clarinet into the orchestra (Berlioz etc.); this instrument together with the bass flute is used in my opera-ballet Mlada (1892), and also in my most recent compositions, The Christmas Night, and Sadko; the bass flute will also be found in The Legend of the Invisible City of Kitesh, and in "Ivan the Terrible" (revised).
Of late years the habit of muting the wood-wind has come into fashion. This is done by inserting a soft pad, or a piece of rolled-up cloth into the bell of the instrument. Mutes deaden the tone of oboes, Eng. horns, and bassoons to such an extent that it is possible for these instruments to attain the extreme limit of pianissimo playing. The muting of clarinets is unnecessary, as they can play quite softly enough without artificial means. Is has not yet been discovered how to mute the flutes; such a discovery' would render great service to the piccolo. The lowest note on the bassoon:

and on the oboe and English horn:

are impossible when the instruments are muted. Mutes have no effect in the highest register of wind instruments.

Professor Belkin Comments: More on Woodwinds - Rimsky's comments on the woodwinds are an excellent start to understanding them. Basically the winds have two uses in orchestration: melodic and harmonic. The melodic use of the winds is almost always as SOLO instruments. (Doubling the same instrument at the unison adds very little loudness, and usually just sounds a bit out of tune.) In first learning to use them, it is useful to think of each wind instrument as really three instruments in one: low, medium, and high. Although the register transitions are not overly drastic, as one moves into each new register, the color changes sufficiently to be considered another color. So: it is better to think of writing for "high flute and low bassoon" rather than just flute and bassoon - all the more so, as the balance between the individual winds, as well as with other instruments will vary *radically* according to the register used. The harmonic use of winds is discussed later in the treatise. Suffice it to say here, that once again, it is best to think of each wind instrument as three in one when calculating blend.

Coming Next Lesson: Lesson 2 - GENERAL REVIEW - Brass, Percusson and Other Instruments.

Want to learn more?

At the GPO Tutorials Page there is additional information.

Artistic Orchestration - by Professor Alan Belkin
GPO Ensemble Building Tutorial- by R. Davis
Master Class GPO STRINGS Tutorial - by R. Davis
GPO Scoring for Woodwind Tutorial - by Terry Dwyer

For an abundance of information about the orchestra go to the Philharmonia site for "The Orchestra: A User's Manual".

"I am a mere artisan in music, but you will be an artist in the fullest sense of the word."- Petr Tchaikovsky in a letter to Rimsky-Korsakov