Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 2.djvu/581

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page needs to be proofread.


invention. In the following passage, from the Adagio of the Fourth Symphony (in Bb), this richness is secured by the perfect proportion established between the tone of the Stringed and Wind Instruments, which afford each other the exact amount of support needed for the comple- tion of the general effect



��� �� ��=*=

��f ~^4 4


����The fulness of the next example, from Men- delssohn's Hebrides Overture, is chiefly due to the sustained notes played by the Horns, on the cessation of which the weak point which would otherwise have marred the effect of the passage is guarded by the entrance of the Violins and Double-basses

��All' Mod".

2Clar. in A

���Contrabass! i

��Other composers have attained similar results in innumerable different ways : but it will generally be found that the most satisfactory passages are those which exhibit a judicious disposition of the harmony, a just balance be- tween the Stringed and Wind Instruments, and a perfect adaptation of the parts to the Instru- ments for which they are written.

III. Boldness of contrast is produced by so grouping together the various instruments em- ployed as to take the greatest possible advantage of their difference of timbre. We have already shown, in the preceding article, that the In- strumental Band, as now constituted, naturally divides itself into certain sections, as distinct from each other as the Manuals of an Organ. Concern- ing the first and most important of these the 'Stringed Band' enough has already been said. The second sometimes called the 'Wood Wind' is led by the Flutes, and completed by Reed Instruments, such as the Oboe, the Clarinet, and the Bassoon. The third the 'Brass Band' is subdivided into two distinct families ; one formed by the Horns and Trumpets, to which latter the drums supply the natural bass ; the other comprising the three Trombones, and, in the noisy Orchestras of the present day, the Ophi- cleide and Euphonium. The principle of sub- division is, indeed, frequently extended to all the great sections of the Orchestra. For instance, the Flutes and Oboes are constantly formed into a little independent Band, and contrasted with the Clarinets and Bassoons. Handel even divides the Stringed Band, and produces fine effects of contrast by so doing. In a large proportion of his best and most celebrated Songs, the Voice is accompanied by a ' Thoroughbass ' alone : that is to say, by a part for the Violoncello and Double Bass, with figures placed below the notes

�� �