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on 4 June 2012
Others have pointed out the limitations of this book: not much use if you're scoring for theatre band or want a list of extended instrumental techniques. But for a practical working guide to writing for a Symphony orchestra, there isn't a better introduction. Others have supplemented Piston's work since this was published, but if you can only afford one book on orchestration, this is the one I'd recommend.
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on 7 February 2013
IF IT IS GOOD ENOUGH FOR PETE TOWNSEND IT IS GOOD ENOUGH FOR ME. I WOULD RECOMEND IT TO ANYONE WORKING THROUGH THE STUDY OF MUSIC IT IS SIMPLE TO READ AND GIVES A GREAT DEAL OF INFORMATION ON MOST IF NOT ALL PRODUCTS FOUND IN A MODERN ORCHESTRA
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on 5 January 2006
Although Walter Pistons book gives a valuable basis on which to begin an understanding of the orchestral forces, it is now considered to be very out of date. Instrumental performance has moved on in leaps and bounds, and many of the ranges and practical possibilities are different to the ones stated. Also a lot has changed musically in the last 50 years, especially in contemporary classical music... if your looking for extended techniques such as multiphonics, quarter tones, microtones and other instrumental effects, then this is not the book for you. There are a lot of books on the market, but they usually deal with individual instruments.. e.g. the other flute. If you want a good starters guide to orchestration with more up to date info on ranges (althought not precisely correct) take a gander at Samuel Adlers 'The study of orchestration'
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on 11 October 2002
I requested this book from the library in hope it might help me with some of my general orchestral challenges. I found myself having to read long chapters with very detailed explanations. Walter Piston writes as an academic to a university scalar about orchestration as it would be found within a classical orchestra. Piston looks at the instruments of the orchestra in great detail, helping the reader come to terms with technical capabilities and so forth, although modern-day instruments, such as a variety of different percussion, aren't presented. Obviously, this is due largely to the age of the book. Walter Piston was an academic of his time; very experienced, very practical.
Section B describes awkward situations of orchestrations and the different ways to orchestrate, with possible solutions. However, these are only really suited for the large orchestral pieces. Modern day Musical Theatre music, for which I am in the field of, isn't shown at all. Perhaps a modern book would serve my purpose fuller, perhaps in a format which is easier to comprehend.
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on 23 January 2000
With this bible of instrumental writing you can put yourself in the shoes of flautists, trumpeters and violists without having to be multi-talented! Here you can find fingerings for all the instruments, realistic and unrealistic ranges, in-depth guides to tessitura, musical terms relating to instruments, overviews of common good practice and much much more. This should be your starting point, and if you ever get beyond it you won't know any more what's right and what's wrong - you will be like the late Mr. John Cage at the top of all musical knowledge. Needless to say you probably won't ever understand this book to that extent. We are not worthy.
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on 3 October 2011
Good informative book to be used for my advanced theory students. Prompt service. A real bargain. Great communication from
Amazon. Great sale
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