Article

Orchestral Music

D. Kern Holoman

in Music

ISBN: 9780199757824
Published online March 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780199757824-0059
Orchestral Music

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Music for the concert orchestra that coalesced in 18th-century Europe falls into two major genres: the symphony and the concerto, along with single-movement works (overtures, etc.) and a wide variety of music that arrived in the concert hall from the theater pit: opera overtures, suites of incidental music, and the like. Orchestral music as a concept is inextricably linked with the orchestras themselves—the players, the nature and manufacture of their instruments, the venues and publics for which their music was written, and how this was received at the time and transmitted forward to us. Put another way, Peter Williams writes that orchestra music “always now implies music for performance in public, in designated spaces, to listeners buying tickets or records of performances” (Peter Williams, “Band Practice.” Musical Times 145.1889, [2004]: 85–89). The symphonic genres, and the orchestras themselves, flourished throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, and continue to be a strong cultural presence, particularly in major metropolitan areas. Primary sources for the study of orchestral music are its scores and individual parts and, since roughly 1925, useful recordings of how it sounded in performance at a given point in its transmission. Secondary resources include historical and biographical books and articles on composers, genres, and individual works, and greatly useful compendiums and guides written for the committed concertgoer.

Article.  10832 words. 

Subjects: Music ; Applied Music ; Ethnomusicology ; Music Theory and Analysis ; Musicology and Music History ; Music Education and Pedagogy

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