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The Cambridge Companion to the Orchestra


  • 9 b/w illus. 30 music examples
  • Page extent: 312 pages
  • Size: 247 x 174 mm
  • Weight: 0.76 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 784.2
  • Dewey version: 22
  • LC Classification: ML1200 .C25 2003
  • LC Subject headings:
    • Orchestra

Library of Congress Record


 (ISBN-13: 9780521806589 | ISBN-10: 0521806585)

This guide to the orchestra and orchestral life is unique in the breadth of its coverage. It combines orchestral history and orchestral repertory with a practical bias offering critical thought about the past, present and future of the orchestra as a sociological and as an artistic phenomenon. This approach reflects many of the current global discussions about the orchestra's continued role in a changing society. Other topics discussed include the art of orchestration, scorereading, conductors and conducting, international orchestras, recording, as well as consideration of what it means to be an orchestral musician, an educator, or an informed listener. Written by experts in the field, the book will be of academic and practical interest to a wide-ranging readership of music historians and professional or amateur musicians as well as an invaluable resource for all those contemplating a career in the performing arts.

• Considers the contemporary orchestra from a sociological point of view • Surveys the history and the music written for orchestra • Covers all associated skills, such as conducting, score-reading, composing and recording


1. The history of the orchestra Tim Carter and Erik Levi; 2. The development of musical instruments Robert Barclay; 3. The orchestral repertory Peter Laki; 4. From notation to sound Richard Rastall; 5. The art of orchestration Julian Rushton; 6. The history of direction and conducting Jeremy Siepman; 7. International case studies Jon Tolanski; 8. The revival of historical instruments Colin Lawson; 9. Recording the orchestra John Rushby-Smith; 10. Training the orchestral musician Simon Channing; 11. The life of an orchestral musician Clive Gillinson and Jonathan Vaughan; 12. Historical recordings of orchestras Robert Philip; 13. The orchestral composer Robert Saxton; 14. Educational programmes Sue Knussen; 15. The future of the orchestra Stephen Cottrell. Appendix 1. The constitution of selected orchestras; Appendix 2. Orchestras founded in the nineteenth century; Appendix 3. Orchestras founded in the twentieth century.


'… interesting, thought provoking contributions … The book is a genuine testament to the immense variety of skills, knowledge and understanding that go into creating and maintaining an orchestra. I would hope that people other than those already involved in this musical vocation would pick it up - certainly it gives a wonderful impression of the world of orchestral music.' Classical Music

'Colin Lawson's book provides both a fascinating introduction to orchestra's many facets and a stimulating set of diverse essays … this book is a stimulating resource, and will provide an excellent addition to any bookshelf … I should be surprised if even those who live and breathe orchestras do not find thought-provoking material here, as well as anecdotes to delight in.' British Journal of Music Education


Tim Carter, Erik Levi, Robert Barclay, Peter Laki, Richard Rastall, Julian Rushton, Jeremy Siepman, Jon Tolanski, Colin Lawson, John Rushby-Smith, Simon Channing, Clive Gillinson, Jonathan Vaughan, Robert Philip, Robert Saxton, Sue Knussen, Stephen Cottrell

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