Orchestral Technique
Orchestral Technique: A Manual for Students

The definitive book on its subject - recommended and used in top conservatoires

DATE WRITTEN  December 1930

REVIEW on Amazon.com by 'A reader from Australia'
Written by Gordon Jacob, a professor of composition and orchestration at the Royal College of Music, Orchestral Technique serves to be a manual/reference book to any composer or music student that is looking to expand and enforce their knowledge of composing for orchestra quickly without having to wade through a lot of waffle. This book covers the full range of instruments used in orchestras individually, it also addresses composing for whole sections (strings/brass woodwinds etc) and also spends some time on composing for small orchestras and full orchestras and the differences between them. At the end of each chapter there are helpful exercises, there are also further suggestions for exercises in orchestration in the appendix. I found this book to be very helpful in learning more about the details of orchestration; I keep it close and refer to it all the time. Although it is not as long as other books, it was very straight to the point, and very concise and above all, easy to understand.

Mr Jacob has written a remarkably good, practical little book; and it is worth saying that it is at once inexpensive and more comely in get-up than the student's manual is as a rule - a pretty production, in fact. For encyclopedic details he refers the reader to Forsyth or elsewhere. He treats the instruments as individuals and in combination pari passu, and on p.8 already there is an example of the way to score a fugue from 'The 48' for strings. Mr Jacob writes concisely but not drily. We note that he recommends his pupils to use key-signatures both for horns and trumpets, though he is too much of a traditionalist to do so himself. - Monthly News Record, December 1931

This comprehensive but concise guide for the student of orchestration is also an excellent book of reference for the practicing musician. Each instrument is considered within its respective group and helpful details are given on compass, technique, and timbre. The author takes many passages written for keyboard instruments and shows how they may be scored for a variety of combinations, thereby showing in the clearest possible manner the principles underlying effective orchestration. Exercises at the end of each chapter lead the student, by gradual stages, from simpler scoring for strings to the more complex art of writing for full orchestra. For this new edition Dr. Jacob has revised the text to reflect recent developments, particularly in wind and percussion instruments writing.

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Oxford University Press, email ISBN: 0193182041

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