There's a really strange sounding instrument, similar to the one you once heard at school aged about seven in your very first music lesson. The only noise one can compare it to is the sound of horse hooves galloping. After using the Googles I believe them to be Krakebs. You hear them in the below Pulcinella Ballet performance by Stravinsky at 11:41.

My question, however, is why was this not included in his original rehearsal for the piece? I mean in all fairness you would have to be a very brave man or woman to mess with a composers work of Igor's stature.

His original rehearsal is here, no horses though? :-) You can hear the same phrase below at 2:09.

Is it commonplace to add further instrumentation to an already published composers work?

  • 1
    The sound you hear is just pizzicato strings. They're not so audible in the second video, but that might be the mix. The rehearsal video is the suite from the ballet, and it's possible that Stravinsky changed the orchestration a bit.
    – PiedPiper
    Commented Aug 10, 2020 at 17:46
  • @PiedPiper Pizz is heard in both, yes, agreed. However, there is something more in the first example.
    – cmp
    Commented Aug 10, 2020 at 17:56
  • 2
    Most performances of 1812 Overture don't use actual cannon for reasons of cost & safety, for another example. Commented Aug 10, 2020 at 19:39
  • At least the part at 11:41, that definitely is just pizz. Commented Aug 10, 2020 at 19:39
  • @CarlWitthoft Can we try and be a little understanding Carl. Obviously.
    – cmp
    Commented Aug 10, 2020 at 19:44

2 Answers 2


It's not too commonplace, but it happens. Mahler added doublebasses to portions of Beethoven's symphonies where only the celli were playing. (I believe you can see the scores, with Mahler's insertions written it, at the New York Philharmonic.)

It's stretching the limits a bit, blurring the line between "personal interpretation" and "a new arrangement." But if it's just a single added instrument, in my experience a quite explanation in the program booklet is all that's really necessary.


Debussy has modified the orchestration of his compositions on the final rehearsal.

Ernest Ansermet had an immense influence on Stravinsky’s instrumentation and final settings and adaptations on his ballet music.

In Baroque era transcriptions or different instrumentation have been very common.

  • That's very interesting. Can you add references?
    – Aaron
    Commented Aug 10, 2020 at 20:56

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.