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in music: see orchestra and orchestrationorchestra and orchestration,
an orchestra is a musical ensemble of mixed instruments based on strings and winds, under the direction of a conductor, employing four classes of instruments: strings, woodwinds, brass, and percussion.
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the arrangement of a work of music for any instrumental group, ranging from a chamber ensemble to a symphony orchestra.

In the broad sense of the term, “instrumentation” can be used for a vocal ensemble or choir. Most commonly the term refers to the arrangement of music for an orchestra, and the term “orchestration” is often used synonymously. However, at times different meanings are attached to these terms, with instrumentation signifying the orchestral arrangement of a composition written especially for an orchestra, and orchestration the arrangement for an orchestra of a work intended originally for another group or a solo instrument (for example, the piano).

Instrumentation uses the most natural technical and expressive possibilities of each instrument to fuse sounds of similar and dissimilar instruments and set off contrasting tonal colors. Its evolution is closely linked to the development of musical art as a whole, with its shift in styles; it also reflects the artistic individuality of the composer and his work.

The practice of notating orchestral music on a score began around the 17th century; earlier, the composer usually did not specify the nature of the instrumental group, so that a composition might have been played by a variety of instrumental combinations. The art of instrumentation developed with the appearance of new instruments, perfection of technique by soloists, and expansion of the orchestral makeup. Opera played as prominent a role in the development of instrumentation as did strictly orchestral genres. One of the most important stages in the evolution of instrumentation was the work of the Viennese classical school—Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven.

Instrumentation developed particularly rapidly in the 19th and 20th centuries. New methods of instrumentation were attempted in orchestral program music. The color aspect of timbres and their combinations acquired particular importance. The compositions of Berlioz, Wagner, Liszt, R. Strauss, and Mahler often pair expansion of the orchestra with a fine differentiation of orchestral parts. Russian classical composers, including Glinka, Rimsky-Korsakov, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, and Scriabin, made major contributions to instrumentation, and their tradition of orchestral writing has been creatively developed by Soviet composers.


Carse, A. Istoriia orkestrovki. Moscow, 1932. (Translated from English.) Widor, C. M. Tekhnika sovremennogo orkestra. Moscow, 1938. (Translated from French, and appended by D. Rogal’-Levitskii.)
Rimsky-Korsakov, N. A. Osnovy orkestrovki.… 2nd ed., parts 1–2. Moscow-Leningrad, 1946.
Glinka, M. I. “Zametki ob instrumentovke.” In M. I. Glinka: Literaturnoe nasledie, vol. 1. Leningrad-Moscow, 1952.
Vasilenko, S. N. Instrumentovka dlia simfonicheskogo orkestra, vol. 1. Moscow, 1952.
Berlioz, H. Grand Traité d’instrumentation et d’orchestration modernes. Paris, 1843.



(also instrument-making). (1) A branch of machine building that produces devices to measure, analyze, process, and display information; it also produces regulation devices and automatic and automated control systems. (2) The development of devices for automation and for control systems.

In prerevolutionary Russia there were only a few small enterprises that manufactured thermometers, manometers, water flowmeters, scales, and other simple instruments. Industrial development of instrumentation in the USSR began in 1929–32, during the first five-year plan. The first steps included the formation of the All-Union Electrical Engineering Association, which organized series production of electric measuring instruments and means of automation, and the founding of the All-Union Precision-Industry Association, which concentrated on thermal measuring instruments. Other developments included the founding of the All-Union Association of the Opticomechanical Industry, the All-Union Association of the Weight-Measuring Industry, and enterprises producing instruments for use in aviation, navigation, and other specialized areas. The All-Union Ministry of Instrument-Making, Automation Equipment, and Control Systems was established in 1965. This ministry comprises a system of enterprises, scientific research institutes, design offices, and planning and construction organizations. These organizations develop, manufacture, install, and put into service not only single devices but also complete automated systems.

Main trends. In quantity and variety, measuring instruments are the chief products of the instrumentation industry. Methods and devices have been created to measure mechanical, electric, magnetic, thermal, optical, and radiation quantities.

Measuring instruments and regulating, computing, and servo devices form the technical base of automated control systems for technological processes.

Research on instruments that measure electric quantities—such as voltage, current, power, frequency, phase, resistance, capacitance and magnetic quantities—is conducted by the All-Union Scientific Research Institute for Electric Measuring Instruments in Leningrad, the Kishinev Scientific Research Institute for Electric Measuring Instruments, and a number of independent and factory-based design offices. The instruments are mass produced, often in large lots, by the Krasnodar Measuring Instrument Plant, the 50th Anniversary of the USSR Zhitomir Elektroizmeritel’ Plant, the Vibrator Plant in Leningrad, and other enterprises. In addition to pointer-type instruments, more and more digital and electron-beam indicators are being manufactured.

The All-Union Scientific Research Institute for Instruments for Thermal Energetics in Moscow develops instruments for measuring quantities pertaining to thermal power engineering, such as temperature, pressure, flow, and level. The instruments are produced in large lots by the Kazan Plant for Heat-measuring Instruments and Means of Automation and the Teplopribor Riazan’ Plant. The Moscow Plant for Thermal Automation manufactures electric regulators. The Tizpribor Moscow Plant for Precision Measuring Instruments produces standardized pneumatic units to control and regulate quantities pertaining to thermal power engineering. The instruments are used to automate technological processes in the petroleum, petrochemical, and gas industries, where operations take place in environments that present fire or explosion hazards.

A number of institutes and offices are developing testing instruments and instruments that convert mechanical quantities, such as weight, force, vibration, hardness, deformation, and strength, into electric signals. These institutes and offices include the Scientific Research and Design Institute for Testing Machines, Instruments, and Mass Measuring Devices in Moscow, the Design Office for Mass Measuring Equipment in Odessa, and the Vibropribor Design Office in Taganrog. A number of large instrumentation enterprises produce technical scales. The Gosmetr Leningrad Plant manufactures high-precision analytical balances. The P. Starostin Odessa Plant for Heavy Scale Building produces various scales, including bagging scales for the metallurgical, construction, and transport industries. The F. E. Dzerzhinskii Kiev Experimental Plant for Automatic Propor-tioners makes bagging scales used in various branches of industry and agriculture to measure bulk materials and various commodities. Electronic scales for commerce are being developed.

Development and manufacture of devices used in testing technology constitute an important part of instrumentation. Instruments and machines for testing the strength of materials and structures are used in a number of industries, such as metallurgy, machine building, the building-materials industry, the rubber industry, and light industry. Testing devices are manufactured by the Ivanovo Plant for Testing Instrumentation, the Armavir Plant for Testing Machines, and other enterprises. These devices are basic equipment in automated all-purpose testing installations, stations, and proving grounds.

An important and rapidly developing branch of instrumentation involves the manufacture of analytical instruments, which measure the composition and concentration of substances in various media, materials, and products. These devices include electrochemical, ultrasonic, optical, and nuclear analyzers and complex, multiparameter analytical systems. Modern devices for physical and chemical analysis utilize diverse phenomena arising from the action of electric current, electromagnetic waves, or penetrating radiation on a medium. Automation is being applied to the selection and preparation of samples; conversion, separation, and metering of substances; initiation of the activity of substances; selection of signals; and display of information.

The development of metallurgy, chemistry, biology, and other sciences necessitates a precise analysis of ores, metals and alloys, petroleum products, impurity doping in semiconductors, and various elements present in food products and live media in a wide range of compositions and concentrations. Such analytical work requires the use of multicomponent analyzers, such as X-ray quantometers, polarographs, mass spectrometers, and chromatographs, which can determine accurately the elements present in mineral and organic compounds. Instrumentation involves the design and manufacture of such instruments and also plans possible complex applications of analyzers in automatic control systems and systems that regulate technological processes. Among institutes and offices designing analytical instruments and systems are the All-Union Scientific Research Institute for Analytical Instruments in Kiev and an independent design office for analytical instruments in Tbilisi. Analytical instruments are manufactured by the Gomel’ Plant for Measuring Instruments, the Smolensk Plant for Means of Automation, and the Sumy Plant for Electron Microscopes.

Advances in computer technology make it possible for instrumentation to substantially increase the variety of methods and means used for automated control of technological equipment, power installations, industrial enterprises, transport systems, and scientific experimentation. Computers are components of measuring, analytical, experimental, and prospecting installations and systems; computers are used to store and mathematically process information in order to obtain synthesized results. Computers are also used to achieve programmed control of various machines, machine tools, manipulators, and production flow lines. Instrumentation enterprises devise diverse means to process data and manually or automatically organize alphabetic or digital text information for immediate use in offices or for transmission to an electronic computer. Electronic keyboard machines are being developed by the Leningrad Construction Technology Office for the Design of Calculating Machines and are being manufactured in large lots by the Kursk Schetmash Plant, the Orlov Control Computer Plant, and other plants. Control computer assemblies for large automated control systems are being developed by the Institute for Electronic Control Computers in Moscow and are being manufactured by the Industrial and Technological Association for Electronic Computers and Control Computers in Kiev. Standardized systems for control of technological processes are being developed and manufactured by the Impul’s Scientific and Industrial Association for Computer Technology in Severodonetsk. Specialized systems for control of power and industrial equipment are both designed and manufactured by the Elva Scientific and Industrial Association for Electronic Computer Apparatus in Tbilisi. Programmed controls for machine tools and other equipment are developed by the Central Design Office for Numerical Programmed Controls and manufactured by the Leningrad Electromechanical Works.

An important area of instrumentation involves equipment for long-distance transmission of information signals and control pulses. The instruments are manufactured by the 50th Anniversary of the USSR Telemechanic Apparatus Nal’chik Plant and other enterprises. Office machines are used to efficiently display, distribute, and utilize data in institutions, enterprises, traffic-control stations, and automated control systems. The machines are developed by the All-Union Scientific Research Institute for Office Equipment and Supplies in Moscow and by a special design bureau for office equipment and supplies in Vilnius; they are manufactured by the Elektropribor Groznyï Plant, the Kaunas Plant for Means of Automation, and other plants.

Automation of technological processes would be impossible without servomechanisms, which convert control signals into adjustments of regulating devices in industrial equipment. These mechanisms are developed by the Scientific Research and Design and Technology Institute for Power Engineering Instrumentation in Smolensk and the Teploavtomat Experimental and Design Bureau in Kharkov; they are manufactured by electrical servomechanism plants in Sevan and Cheboksary and also by enterprises that produce pneumatic and hydraulic automation devices.

Instrumentation is not limited to the basic means used to acquire, organize, store, transmit, display, and utilize data for general scientific and industrial purposes. A great many specialized instruments are being designed and built for use in geophysics, hydrometeorology, medicine, agriculture, and transportation. Instrumentation also includes the design and manufacture of laboratory equipment, complete special-purpose laboratories, watches, and jewelry.

New developments in microelectronics, optical electronics, nonlinear optics, and micromechanics are enriching instrumentation. They facilitate the design of compact, reliable and economical instruments used in measurement, analysis, and exploration. They also help in designing components with applications in control computer, remote control, and automation technologies. Instrumentation technology and devices are being qualitatively altered by monocrystals with special physical properties, semiconductor epitaxial and other films, liquid crystals, solid-state integrated circuits, and magnetostriction elements used as sensitive receiving, converting and indicating agents.

There is a major trend in modern instrumentation to standardize basic instrument components and their use in systems. In the USSR this trend is reflected in the State System of Industrial Instruments and Automation (GSP). The standardization established by this system is achieved by setting up norms for information signals, the parameters of sources of supplies, metrological indicators, design shapes and dimensions, engineering specifications and technology, and operating conditions. The GSP units are designed for coupling directly into systems and also into unit sets of automation components. Unitizing makes it possible to use factory-assembly methods for special-purpose components and to deliver the assemblies as finished industrial products. Unitizing substantially simplifies the design of systems, lowers costs and increases operational reliability. The GSP and unitizing makes it possible to design instruments and automation equipment from a sensibly limited range of standard modules and blocks. This permits the use of advanced technology and the utilization of techniques of specialization and cooperation. The GSP and unitizing also permit the industrial production of systems.

Technology. Mechanical and electrical measuring instruments with high-precision parts have become the most highly developed types of instruments. The manufacture of these parts involves both the classic machine-building processes and advanced types of treatment, including the ultrasonic, electron-beam, laser, electrochemical, and electroerosion types. An ever-increasing part of instrument manufacture is being assigned to electronic production processes that utilize automated flow lines. Among these processes are the galvanic, electrophysical, electrochemical, photochemical, and diffusion processes, which are used to treat semiconductor and insulator materials, and processes for the printed-circuit assembly of components and circuits on modular boards; specialized equipment is used to obtain functional electronic units. Some unique precision processes are used in the large-scale production of microconductors for resistors and windings. High-speed coil winders and automated production lines are used for the winding operations. Electrical insulation is provided in impregnating and drying vacuum units. Mass-production techniques are employed at large plants to manufacture permanent magnets for electrical measuring instruments and magnetic information carriers, such as cards, tapes, disks, and drums.

Various processes are used to assemble instruments. Fabrication of instrument parts, subassemblies, and modules is highly mechanized and automated. This allows production-line assembly of articles and the use of high-output specialized and general-purpose assembly machines, stands, and conveyors. Wide use is made of computerized devices that perform assembly, monitor, control, calibration, and diagnostic functions.

Instruments and means of automation are used under the most varied climatic, industrial, and operational conditions and are often subject to environments adversely affecting precision, reliability, and durability. These factors are taken into account in the design and manufacture of instruments, and environmental influences are simulated in tests on parts, modules, subassemblies, and finished articles.

Economics. Instrumentation, a determining factor in the development of science and technology in the national economy, is rapidly developing in the USSR. The total production of instruments increased by a factor of 3.7 between 1966 and 1973, and the range of articles has been significantly expanded and updated. The volume of instrument production in 1975 was twice that of 1970, with more than 3,500 new instruments and automation components. Full khozraschet (profit-and-loss accounting) has been the most important factor in the rapid growth of engineering and economic indexes. The All-Union Ministry of Instrument-making, Automation Equipment, and Control Systems includes all-Union state industrial economic accountability associations, which are authorized and equipped to develop and manufacture modern instruments and automation equipment by utilizing all industry resources. The associations have adopted a standard method of profit distribution and khozraschet in financing planned expenditures. These measures and the efficiency of automation in terms of the national economy assure high profitability of instrumentation.

Production and distribution of automatic control systems. A main objective of instrumentation in the USSR is the development of automated control systems that make use of the latest engineering knowledge; these systems can then be used in the management of the national economy. This goal is being achieved by developing standard project solutions; automating design systems; standardizing, unitizing, and combining technical components in sets; specializing installation and adjustment work; and utilizing master supervision of systems operations.

Among the institutes and organizations developing principles and methods for automation of controls are the Institute for Control Problems in Moscow, the Central Scientific Research Institute for Complex Automation in Moscow, the Institute for Automation in Kiev, the Central Scientific Research Institute for Control Engineering in Minsk, and a number of specialized research institutions working on the development of automatic control systems. Systems are designed by various institutes involved in instrumentation and other branches of the national economy. Central and area trusts and associations of the instrumentation industry work to install the systems.

Automatic control systems are divided into those that control technological processes, those that control enterprises, and those that control entire fields of endeavor. Systems of the first kind are predominantly automated means of organizing, processing, and utilizing data, usually with a comparatively low degree of computerization. Systems of the second kind basically utilize keyboard technology to organize data, but computerization is prevalent. Systems of the third kind consist predominantly of extensive computer complexes.

Future development of control automation is related to improvements in the gathering, transmission, processing, and display of data. These improvements result from a simultaneous analysis of technological and economic parameters. Such an analysis should yield, in time, a synthesized set of indicators that characterize production activity of the enterprise as a whole. This is the path along which integrated systems will develop. The development and introduction of integrated automatic control systems is related to the introduction of necessary standardized and economically efficient technical units, algorithms, programs, and standard planning of solutions for problems in control automation that pertain to various branches of the national economy.

Science of instrumentation. Contemporary instrumentation has been called upon to make use of the latest scientific advances in order to provide efficient control equipment and systems for the national economy. Specialists are studying the control process as applied to various industries, the delivery of resources, servicing, and administrative and economic activities. The optimum specifications for systems and components are being defined, and the economic and technical validity of various approaches is being determined. Standard solutions for practical control problems are being developed to minimize the types of instruments that must be produced.

It is very important to increase the information content of a system and at the same time reduce the quantity of data the system supplies. This is done by expanding the analytic functions of measuring and computing devices. It is essential to increase the degree of automation utilized in control systems. Study of the document-producing processes involved in the operation of automatic control systems makes it possible to simplify and standardize the turnover of documents, free personnel from nonproductive work, and assign data organization to appropriate devices. Study of technological processes and the way equipment and machinery perform facilitates adaptation of the control system to produce the best economic and engineering results.

Scientific advances have been made in the study of various states of solid bodies, the dynamics of motion of liquids and gases, plasmas, the physical and chemical properties of materials, energy conversion, nonstationary fields, oscillations, and radiation. These advances make it possible both to find new operating principles for instruments and to improve the precision, reliability, and efficiency of major instruments. They also allow the production list to be systematically updated.

Instrumentation is studied by various professional and academic organizations and is part of the curriculum in higher educational institutions and secondary specialized-educational institutions. It is a field of interest to numerous scientists, engineering councils, and societies and a topic treated in books and periodicals.

International cooperation. Socialistic economic integration has led to important cooperative activity by the member nations of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (COMECON). Specialization and cooperation allow the COMECON countries to develop and manufacture instruments and automation equipment in a way that makes use of the traditional resources of each country and efficiently utilizes the nations’ combined scientific and manufacturing resources. The joint efforts of Bulgaria, Hungary, the German Democratic Republic, Poland, Rumania, the USSR, and Czechoslovakia have led to the establishment of a universal international system of automatic controls, regulation, and management. The system, which is based on a division of labor among COMECON countries, produces parametric series of standardized instruments used to control and regulate temperature, pressure, level, flow, and quantity of liquids, gases, and other quantities encountered in thermal and power engineering. Cooperation makes it possible to use components manufactured by the COMECON countries—to generate, organize, process, display, and utilize data—in systems that control technological processes.

Instrumentation plays an important role in the industry of developed capitalist countries, such as Great Britain, Italy, Japan, the USA, the Federal Republic of Germany, and France. Many firms in these countries manufacture various measuring, analytical, and geophysical instruments. They also produce computers and testing machines, data transmission equipment equipment used for remote control, office equipment and supplies, and complex control and regulation systems.


Priborostroenie i sredstva avtomatiki, vol. 5. Moscow, 1965.
Referativnye sborniki TSNIITEI priborostroeniia. Moscow, 1968.
Napravleniia razvitiia tekhnologiipriborostroeniia. Edited by A. N. Gavrilov. Moscow, 1968.
Obzornaia informatsiia TSNIITEI priborostroeniia. Moscow, 1971–74.
Gosudarstvennaia sistema promyshlennykh priborov i sredstv avtomatizatsii: Katalog. Moscow, 1974.



Designing, manufacturing, and utilizing physical instruments or instrument systems for detection, observation, measurement, automatic control, automatic computation, communication, or data processing.


i. The installation and use of electronic, gyroscopic, and other instruments for the purpose of detecting, measuring, recording, telemetering, processing, or analyzing different values or quantities as encountered in the flight of an aerial vehicle.
ii. A field of engineering concerned with the design, composition, and arrangement of such instruments.


1. the instruments specified in a musical score or arrangement
2. another word for orchestration
3. the study of the characteristics of musical instruments
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