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What instruments are used in Beethoven's Fifth Symphony?

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carachambers | Student, Undergraduate | Honors

Posted May 28, 2012 at 2:24 PM via web

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What instruments are used in Beethoven's Fifth Symphony?

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stolperia | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted May 28, 2012 at 2:58 PM (Answer #1)

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Beethoven's Fifth Symphony, officially entitled Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, Opus 67, uses a fairly standard combination of instruments in its original orchestration. The arrangement was composed and scored for performance by two bassoons,  two clarinets - one in B flat and one in C, contrabassoon, two flutes, two horns - one in E flat and one in C, timpani - using G through C, three trombones - alto, tenor, and bass, two trumpets, and a full range of strings (violin, viola, cello, bass viol).

The contrabassoon, piccolo, and trombones play only in the fourth movement. In particular, the need for horns playing in different keys arises from the fact that there were no horns with valves allowing for easy transitions from their natural key to another key. Beethoven's solution was to call for the availability of instruments in both of the needed ranges.

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clarinet500 | Student | eNoter

Posted June 5, 2012 at 4:57 AM (Answer #2)

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Two Flutes, a Piccolo, Two Oboes, Two Clarinets, Two Horns, Two Trumpets, Alto Trombone, Tenor Trombone, Bass Trombone, Timpani, Violin 1, Violin 2, Violas, Cellos, Basses


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