Orchestration and Orchestral Practice in Paris, 1789 to 1810

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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The period of the French Revolution and Empire witnessed sometimes fast-moving musical changes, but originating in a highly-developed culture of operatic and concert performance, linked to extensive publication activity. Consequently there are many sources for uncovering the development of orchestral sound and how it was linked to the unique range of operatic expression appropriate to that era. Studies of source materials are followed by studies of performance practice in specific ensembles. Individual instruments and their performance techniques are then examined, with special reference to the available written tutors and to unusual instruments (including those invented for the public festivals of the 1790s). The final three chapters analyse orchestration patterns, with some regard to contemporary approaches to both technical and poetic questions. A second volume contains six graphs and 310 music examples.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Cambridge
  • Macdonald, Hugh, Supervisor, External person
Award date6 Jun 1974
Publication statusUnpublished - 1973


  • Paris, 18th century, opera, orchestration, performance practiceopéra-comique, music, stage lighting

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