The possibilities of transcribing orchestral works subject to essentiality of their original orchestration

Title: The possibilities of transcribing orchestral works subject to essentiality of their original orchestration
Source document: Musicologica Brunensia. 2017, vol. 52, iss. 2, pp. 85-93
  • ISSN
    1212-0391 (print)
    2336-436X (online)
Type: Article
License: Not specified license

Notice: These citations are automatically created and might not follow citation rules properly.

The relationship of orchestration with other means of musical expression and its influence upon the possibilities of transcribing musical works are analysed in this article. The criteria of transcribing symphonic music for the wind band are considered. The demand for the quality of transcriptions induces to ground the criteria of transcribing. The role of the original orchestration in a particular piece of music is an especially important criterion. One of the main conditions determining the quality of transcriptions is the adequacy of original orchestration and the orchestration of the transcription. It was deduced that the relationship between orchestration and the rest of the musical material might be immanent, essential or auxiliary, inessential. According to the type of this relationship, a different approach to the transcribing should be applied in every particular case. The comprehensive cognition of original orchestration and pursuing the adequacy of timbres in transcriptions limit the quantity of the compositions suitable for transcribing and determine the possibilities of its interpretation.
[1] BUTTERWORTH, Arthur. Reverse Transcription - A Matter of Black and White? [online]. 2004. [cit. 2016-29-03]. URL:

[2] BUTTERWORTH, Arthur. Transcriptions – a Change of Colour? [online]. 2001. [cit. 2016-03-29]. URL:

[3] JOHNSON, Julian. Mahler's Voices. Expression and Irony in the Songs and Symphonies. Oxford University Press, 2009.

[4] HOUSER, Russel J. An Examination of Wind Band Transcriptions. Thesis for the Degree of Master of Music. The University of Texas at El Paso, 2008.

[5] STOCK, Jonathan P. J. Orchestration as Structural Determinant: Mozart's Deployment of Woodwind Timbre in the Slow Movement of the C Minor Piano Concerto K. 491. Music & Letters, 1997, vol. 78, no. 2 (May,), p. 210–219. | DOI 10.1093/ml/78.2.210

[6] URNIEŽIUS, Rytis. Transcriptions of the Symphonic Music for the Wind band: The Facets of Two Traditions [in Lithuanian and English]. Kūrybos erdvės / The Spaces of Creation, 2015, vol. 21, p. 8–23.

[7] РИМСКИЙ-КОРСАКОВ, Николай. Основы оркестровки. Государственное музыкальное издательство. Москва, Ленинград, 1946 [Rimsky-Korsakov Nikolai. Principles of Orchestration. State Musical Publishing Office. Moscow, Leningrad, 1946. In Russian]