orchestra and orchestration: Innovations of the Twentieth Century

Innovations of the Twentieth Century

Stravinsky's Rite of Spring (1913) illustrates the early 20th-century interest in diverse instrumental combinations and original exploitation of the instruments' capabilities. In general, composers of the 20th cent. continued exploring novel uses of instruments and preferred a moderate-sized orchestra. Seventy-five to ninety players suffice for most 20th-century scores; a reduced, or chamber, orchestra of classical or baroque dimensions was also much used. The percussion section was used more prominently; new instruments were devised and the playing of old ones varied.

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