Treatise on orchestration from a compositional standpoint written by Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov; the composer began work on the text in 1873 although it was not finished until after his death in 1912 with the final compilation being completed by Maximilian Steinberg, a musical aquaintance and family friend. The book was not actually published until 1922.

In explaining why he always taught his students how to use certain aspects of music theory but never how to apply anything artistically, he wrote in the first draft of the forward:
"...just as a handbook of harmony, counterpoint, or form presents the student with harmonic or polyphonic matter, principles of construction, formal arrangement, and sound technical methods, but will never endow him with the talent for composition, so a treatise on orchestration can demonstrate how to produce a well-sounding chord of certain tone quality, uniformly distributed, how to detach a melody from its harmonic setting, correct progression of parts, and solve all such problems, but will never be able to teach the art of poetic orchestration.

To orchestrate is to create, and this is something which cannot be taught.


Available in soft cover from Dover Books.

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