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The Study of Orchestration

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  468 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
Through two highly successful editions, The Study of Orchestration has set the standard for orchestration texts, providing the most comprehensive treatment of both orchestration and instrumentation. The Third Edition retains the elements that have made the book a classic while embracing new technology and responding to the needs of today s students and teachers."
Hardcover, Third Edition, 864 pages
Published April 12th 2002 by W. W. Norton & Company (first published September 29th 1982)
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Dec 31, 2009 rated it liked it
We used this as the textbook for Orchestration and Analysis this past semester. It was invaluable to me as I wrote arrangements for woodwinds, brass, and percussion, providing me with lots of crucial information about these instruments that I would not have know otherwise. I especially liked the diagrams of each instrument's range and registral characteristics. However, it was alarming how many errors are in this book. I understand that it's very hard to know a great deal about each instrument, ...more
Michael Barry
Aug 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
If you've rated this less than 5 stars you are a fool
Jan 16, 2014 rated it liked it
This book is too dense for its own good. The entirety of this book could be summed in a very few short ideas, such as having an instrument play in its most pronounced register if you wish for it to stand out, have instruments you wish to be in the middle or background play in a less pronounced register, have parts sounding at the same time have different rhythms in order for them to be clearly separated, if you wish for an instrument to stand out in an upcoming wall of sound, have that instrumen ...more
Mar 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: musicians, arrangers, copyists, composers
Shelves: reference, music
This is the definitive orchestration text. Details of all the instruments one would ever come across, including descriptions of their sounds in each register, history of the instruments, notation guidelines, orchestration rules, transpositions.

Everything a composer/arranger/orchestrator could ever want to know is contained in this book. CD set that is available with this text provides several audio examples of the instruments and their various sounds.

Also included are guides to extended techniq
Jun 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: music-useful
Already an oldie-but-goodie, but still the best out there for teaching orchestration. It was one of the first to include audio examples. The examples are generally the individual line, so finding and edit the audio excerpt in context takes time, but once done, makes an even better teaching aid.

The ultimate orchestration book would have multiple re-orchestrations so you could hear what changing the register, articulation, instrument, etc would sound like. Adler does this once in awhile to good ef
Dec 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
As a composer, there's only a few books I feel the need to keep within arm's reach of me. Ok, I lied...there's only one, and this is it. I have the classic outdated books by Berlioz and Piston, and they're certainly nice to look up more period practices or odd instruments no longer in use, but this is the book. To put it this way, my keyboard doesn't live on the keyboard shelf, this book does.
Trevor McCauley
Jun 22, 2010 rated it liked it
This book is so a foreign language to me now, it comes with a workbook and a accompanying 6cd set, of which, at least the cds would make the book easier to understand, because you hear what they are clumsily trying to explain in the text
Daniel V
Feb 23, 2008 rated it liked it
This book has been useful. I recommend it for anyone learning the art of orchestration
Son Melo
Sep 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Very good book about Orchestration. So clear and very recommended. This is one of the best!
Jan 02, 2008 rated it really liked it
This is a must read for any composer (at any experience level), but be sure and pick up the separate cd packet with all of the examples from the book. They are invaluable.
Dec 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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