Cecil Forsyth's Orchestration is excellent even if it is a little out of date.
The people who you think are radicals might really be conservatives,
The people who you think are conservative might really be radical.
I believe Samuel Adler's orchestration manual is considered by most to be the standard orchestration textbook these days. Once you've gone through that, you should look into Berlioz's orchestration treatise, preferably the version that includes notes by Richard Strauss (Should be available on IMSLP). I'd also point you towards this excellent YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/OrchestrationOnline
As for Harmony, again, I believe Harmony and Voice Leading by Aldwell and Schachter is the standard, but I'd recommend looking into Tchaikovsky's book (The most concise and easiest to follow, in my opinion), and Arnold Schoenberg's books.
Last edited by StevenOBrien; Aug-08-2012 at 20:38.
Walter Piston and Mark DeVoto, Harmony (Norton) is a safe recommendation
Gordon Jacob, Orchestral technique (OUP) is a good book for students
Samuel Adler's orchestration is a generally good 'standard' used by many. It's examples include early music as well as 'advanced' full orchestra pieces by later composers and 20th century composers.
After that, I believe any 'study' - even at master's level, would be from selected individual scores.
The Berlioz Treatise on orchestration, The Rimsky-Korsakov, and several others all have great value: of those, none are 'survey' textbooks, but each are one composer's view and very much about 'what they did,' - since each 'did it very well' - they are well worth looking into.
i recently finished notating Cecil Forsyth's [I]Orchestration[I] and it was very helpful. I'm thinking about turning my notes into an abridged version and selling it (for cheap) if you're interested. It has lots of important technical information.
Haydn Symphonies threads.
none of the ones mentioned are anywhere near the level of peter alexanders pro orchestration series, not even close. the best I can think of is the garritan online version of the rimsky book, and allan belkin has a small one. you should read those, cecil forsyth (including his book on choral orchestration), berlioz and all updates for it, and the third edition of adler.
even then, none of these come close to having even a tenth of the info in just the first 3 pro orch books alone (there will be 8-10 of the main series alone, let alone spin off books). the approach is methodical and absolutely unique, nothing is more efficient in memorizing every facet of orchestration. in addition to the main series, get 'how ravel orchestrated', it will show you how and what to look for when studying scores, making a several month long process take just a matter of weeks if not shorter, sometimes just a week or two.
The spectrotone chart will take about 2 months to completely memorize, but then you will have a second nature guide to orchestrating the helps tremendously, and you will eventually be able to apply it to any and all instruments, even ethnic ones and electronic synth patches. I have spent many hours adding to and revising the chart myself, things like altering the alto flute to represent the first octave and a half being used more, extending the gray area of the bass clarinet all the way to written E5 rather than the original's B4. Don't forget the writing for strings series.
There are still at least 5 books left in the main series alone, and already there are over 3000 pages. There is to be a book on choir in the main series, so that would replace cecil forsyth entirely.
Last edited by chee_zee; Aug-09-2012 at 14:02.