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ChildrensPictureBook.info Review

The Story of the Incredible Orchestra
By Bruce Koscielniak
Publisher Houghton Mifflin

An Introduction to Musical Instruments and the Symphony Orchestra

Just as with the old riddle, which came first the chicken or the egg, you can ask which came first the instrument or the music. The answer is both. The piano forte was invented in 1709. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, born in 1756, composed some of the most beautiful pieces for piano. What great timing! Music for brass had been around for many years, but finally in the eighteenth century a big change was introduced when valves were added to the trumpet and French horn. The tuba, tenor horn, cornet, and piccolo trumpet were all with the new valves were invented at that time.

Koscielniak explains how the orchestra became what it is today by starting at the beginning and following the history of the orchestra. He explains what music was like before orchestras and how the first orchestras came into being. He then moves through history focusing on the various families of instruments describing how they were adopted into the orchestra and the changes the instruments went through over time. As he moves forward in time, the author also addresses the major musical periods: Baroque, the Classical Age, the Romantic Period, and the various changes in music in the twentieth century.

What will the sound of tomorrow be? No one really knows because new insights and new musical instruments are yet to discovered.


The Story of the Incredible Orchestra

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