Penn State

Velvet M. Brown-Brungo - professor of music, Penn State University Park

Book Title: The Study of Orchestration

Author: Samuel Adler

Book Description:

As a classical music textbook, the book serves as a fundamental text outlining the practical application of orchestration and instrumentation. Every type of instrument in the modern symphonic orchestra is introduced. Adler describes what the instruments look like, how they are played, their origin, the sound that they produce, the practical ranges for professionals and non-professionals, and gives a wealth of information on how to combine different instrument groupings.

I began using this book as a student and continuously refer to it as a professional musician and educator. It has taught me how to compose and arrange with confidence, gaining knowledge of how to get the best results. I had the distinct pleasure of working with Samuel Adler as an undergraduate composition student while he was a guest at my undergraduate institution. In my private composition lessons with Adler, I wrote my first major composition. His leading question to me was, "What do you feel inside?" Thus, he taught me how to connect with music. Under his baton, I played his first symphony, and sat in on discussions that made music alive and not just a course of study. From that time, my eyes, ears, and soul were opened and geared up to write, teach, play and live music with infinite possibilities.


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