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Art of choosing which instruments to use for a given piece of music. The sections of the orchestra historically were separate ensembles: the stringed instruments for indoors, the woodwind instruments for outdoors, the horns for hunting, and trumpets and drums for battle or royal ceremony. Once entirely dependent on what was available or customary, composers began to explore the musical potential of instrumental combinations with the advent of the modern orchestra in the mid- to late 18th century. The first great orchestration text was written by Hector Berlioz in 1844.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on orchestration, visit Britannica.com.