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Topic: Imitating classical/early romantic styles

  1. #1

    Imitating classical/early romantic styles

    I am a composer who often like to imitate the style of classical/early romantic composers, such as Mozart or Beethoven, sometimes with new twists. I read and reread the online Principles of Orchestration, and I'd like to know how best to go about orchestrating music in earlier styles. I've studied some of the music of Mozart and Beethoven and have the sense that the orchestration of composers of their time had some shortcomings because the art of orchestration was not fully developed. Any thoughts on how to write orchestral music in such styles? Perhaps there are some suggested reading materials, maybe on the history of orchestration?



  2. #2

    Re: Imitating classical/early romantic styles

    Hi David

    I'm sure you realize that Mozart and Beethoven were each cutting edge composers in their time.

    No doubt in a few hundred years people will be saying that todays "state of the art" orchestration techniques was not "fully developed"!

    Unless you're trying to imitate exactly what such composers might have done, I'd suggest avoiding too many academic books which might stifle your creativity, but simply listen to lots of good period music, possibly with following a score - see http://imslp.org/wiki/Main_Page for a plentiful supply of free public domain material.

    Watch/listen out for key features which strike you as characteristic ... chord sequences, typical uses of instruments etc.

    Think of these as features that you can use in your own music rather than the other way round.

    Boulifb (http://www.northernsounds.com/forum/.../24761-boulifb) has recently done a nice piece in an 18th Century style (see http://www.northernsounds.com/forum/...-and-orchestra) ... that's well worth a listen too and he might have more specific info for you.


  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2001

    Re: Imitating classical/early romantic styles

    Because of the instrumental limitations, there are certain very stylistic writing techniques in the early orchestration.
    The brasses of course only plays in their natural harmonic series with the range that can be achieved with the change of hands or embrasure.
    The winds are pre-Boehm, and early writers uses winds more chordal than melodic.
    Kentaro Sato (Ken-P)

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