Instrumenation orchestral works

Instrumentation Works for Orchestra

Stockhausen Complete Edition on CD

Since 1991, a complete edition of all recordings in which Karlheinz Stockhausen has personally participated is being released on compact discs. Each CD in this series is identified by Stockhausen's signature followed by an encircled number. The numbers indicate the general historical order of the works.
Stockhausen realised the electronic music and participated in these recordings as conductor, performer, sound projectionist, and musical director. He personally mixed down the recordings, mastered them for CDs, wrote the texts and drew the covers.

  • The compact discs may be obtained from the Stockhausen-Verlag: Kettenberg 15, 51515 Kuerten, Germany (www.stockhausenCDs.com).

Karlheinz Stockhausen
Instrumentation Works for Orchestra

for orchestra

No. ¼ (1952)


3 oboes  
3 clarinets in A  
3 bassoons  
1 double bassoon  
3 horns in F  
7 percussion players
   (see below for disposition
   of percussion instruments)

i. e. 9 percussion players in all; the parts of the 7 percussionists have been kept so simple that - as in the 1952 premiere - the string and wind players in the orchestra can also undertake some of the parts.
1 glockenspiel
1 vibraphone with variable
   vibrato and long
   resonance (ca. 8 sec.)
   for all pitches
1 celesta and 1 electronic organ
   (1 player);

organ with two foot stop which sounds on its own (i. e. not as a coupling), and as high in range as the piano.

1 piano  
Violins (6 parts) in rehearsing the revised version of
1973, Stockhausen used:
6 x 2 violins (6 desks)
3 x 2 violoncelli (3 desks)
3 x 2 double basses (3 desks)
Violoncelli (3 parts)
Double basses (3 parts)
all with C strings


Clarinets in A sound a minor third lower than written.
Double bassoon sounds an octave lower than written.
Horns in F sound a fifth lower than written.
Glockenspiel sounds two octaves higher than written.
Celesta sounds an octave higher than written.
Double basses sound an octave lower than written.

Indian bells


Percussion 1    
1st movement: 1) small INDIAN BELL with a lead clapper inside: FOTO 1 *
tied up tightly, struck with a metal rod (triangle beater); main pitch e. g.
long brilliant sound.
  2) TRIANGLE, fairly high  
2nd movement: 5 "CINELLI" (small thick cymbals, ca. 15-27 cm. in diameter) on a special stand with
a horizontal iron arc on which there are 5 metal spikes with thimble-shaped rubber
supports: FOTO 2
  Main pitches in the sound of the
"Cinelli" selected by Stockhausen
at the Paiste firm (thick
notes = dominant pitch):

For the quiet notes use a knitting needle,.
for the loud ones use a beater with a wooden head.

Paiste GmbH & Co. KG, Gorch-Fock-Str. 13, D-24790 Schacht Audorf, Germany
= slightly higher
= slightly lower
one should choose
similar "Cinelli"
(equal distance between the dominating
pitches would be better still).
Percussion 2  
1st movement: 1 higher
1 lower
on stands
pitches e. g. ca.

cf. percussion 3, 2nd
movement. Thick notes
dominate in a soft
attack mp at the edge,
bracketed ones in a
loud attack with soft
leather over thick
wooden beater.
hard felt beaters (for cymbals too)
2nd movement: the same 2 CYMBALS as in the 1st movement
4 beaters from soft to hard e. g.    1. soft felt
2. hard rubber
3. wood with leather
4. very hard plastic (glksp./xylophone beater).
Percussion 3    
1st movement: 1 WOODBLOCK   pitch    ; preferably a Japanese woodblock: FOTO 3
(diameter 23.5 cm, height 12.5 cm;
beater with wooden head)
  2 TEMPLE BLOCKS   pitches     
2nd movement: 1 higher
1 lower
on stands
      4 beaters soft to hard,
see percussion 2
Percussion 4  
1st movement: HIHAT
The two plates should be carefully arranged in such a way that after the attack they rattle
against each other for at least 5 seconds. Method of playing in the 1st movement:
= tread briefly, = allow to rattle, = tread and keep closed
2nd movement: HIHAT
4 beaters from soft to hard e. g.   1. soft felt
2. hard vibes beater with twine
3. beater with plastic head
4. metal rod
Percussion 5  
1st movement: 1 AFRICAN POD RATTLE
Dried seed pods in 4 rows of 10 each, attached to a cloth and suspended with twine,
struck with a drumstick against the cloth (sounds like loud maracas — but broader in
spectrum —, or like a plastic box with grains of shot): FOTO 4
  1 SIDE DRUM with snares, very high and bright; very thin sticks.
2nd movement: 1 LARGE SIZZLE CYMBAL
on a stand (resonating for as long as possible)
4 beaters from soft to hard (like percussion 2).
Percussion 6  
1st movement: 1 "RATCHET", but less sharp than the normal ones: a trellis of wooden rods, along which
one scrapes with a thin stick (pencil); e. g. along the back rest of a wooden chair with
a trellissed back:
  scraping to and fro. Pitches such as
mounted on 2 spikes in a small wooden board
with metal beater
2nd movement: 3 TOM-TOMS        pitches    
4 beaters from soft to hard
Percussion 7  
1st movement: 2 TAMTAMS, suspended
  1 PEDAL KETTLEDRUM       pitches
drum beaters (also for tamtams)
2nd movement: the same PEDAL KETTLEDRUM
  1 BASS DRUM      pitch or
  4 beaters from soft to hard

All beaters should be tried out and agreed upon with the conductor.




for the first performance of the new version, made in July 1973 with the Südwestfunk Baden-Baden Symphony Orchestra under the direction of the composer, the following rehearsals were made:

2nd July 10.00-12.00 Percussionists 1-7
  12.00-14.00 Piano
    Celesta (organ)
    Double bassoon
  16.00-18.00 Percussionists 1-7
  18.00-20.00 Strings and winds (without double bassoon)
3rd July 9.30-11.30 Percussionists 1-7
  12.00-14.00 All the other players
  16.00-18.00 Tutti
4th July 10.00-13.00 Tutti (with recording team already testing microphones)
  15.00-17.00 Tutti: rehearsal and recording of the 1st movement
5th July 9.00-13.00 Tutti: recording of both movements with improved microphone placings