Louis Adolphe Coerne

Louis Adolphe Coerne (1870 – 1922) was an American composer and music educator. He was born in Newark, New Jersey, and was educated at Harvard University, where he studied under John Knowles Paine, and in Europe.

Coerne wrote a number of pedagogical pieces for piano, and also composed a number of orchestral works, one of which, thetone poem Excalibur (Op. 180), was recorded by Karl Krueger with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in the late 1960s, and reissued on CD in 2006 by Bridge Records. His cantata, Hiawatha (op. 18), was premiered in Munich in 1893 and performed by the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 1894.
Coerne’s opera, Zenobia (op. 66), premiered in Bremen, Germany, in 1905, and was the first opera by an American composer to be performed in Germany. Earlier that year, Harvard had conferred on Coerne the degree of Ph.D., with the score ofZenobia and his book, The Evolution of Modern Orchestration (published in 1908), serving as his thesis.

Other operas composed by Coerne:
• A Woman of Marblehead (op. 40)
• Sakuntala (op. 67)
• The Maiden Queen (op. 69)
Coerne taught at Smith College, Harvard, and Connecticut College. He died in Boston, Massachusetts, on September 11, 1922.

The Evolution of Modern Orchestration

The Evolution of Modern Orchestration

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It is not the purpose of this work to write a treatise on instrumentation or to prepare a pedagogical analysis of orchestration only, but rather to trace the evolution of the orchestra and of orchestration in connection with the history of music proper. Special emphasis will be laid upon what may be termed the IMPELLING FORCES to which the development of orchestration is due. This necessitates a considerable repetition of familiar facts that do not lend themselves to further original treatment. The restatement of such facts, however, would seem to form an indispensable background for the main theme, which is thereby exposed with all its attending phases of logical evolution.

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