- The difference between decorative and symphonic instrumentation is admirably shown by Gluck.
To write an account of symphonic instrumentation in any detail would be like attempting a history of emotional expression; and all that we can do here is to point out that the problem which was, so to speak, shelved by the polyphonic device of the continuo, was for a long time solved only by methods which, in any hands but those of the greatest masters, were very inartistic conventions.
This brings us to the latest radical change effected in instrumentation, the change from symphonic to dramatic principles.
Bach's sonatas; then the medium itself began to suggest wider horizons and new possibilities of treatment; his position at Eisenstadt enabled him to experiment without reserve; his genius, essentially symphonic in character, found its true outlet in the opportunities of pure musical structure.
It is therefore not a criterion which can do justice to the principles of Wagner's non-symphonic art, for its.