Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). © Oxford University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 25 May 2022

Abstract and Keywords

In this essay, originally published in 1985, Carl Dahlhaus addresses the problem of how to integrate timbre into our understanding of music while honoring its resistance to description and quantification. In particular, he explores the history of orchestration in terms of an opposition between “coloristic” and “structural instrumentation,” the latter defined as that which “actively intervenes in the compositional logic [Tonsatz] of the music, rather than being merely dependent on it.” Dahlhaus’ essay is grounded squarely in the common-practice era: his compositional points of reference span from Haydn to Richard Strauss, and he is particularly concerned with how instrumentation can reveal structural patterns that stand athwart the formal trajectories suggested by tonal analyses.

Keywords: orchestration, instrumentation, timbre, analysis, music theory, Carl Dahlhaus

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.