It utilises very unusual instrumentation:
The percussion section, requiring about 25-30 players, consists of:
The music on magnetic tape is used in four different places, most notably at the end when Lucifer appears. The total forces utilized for the taped sections are comprised of
Orff later made extensive revisions to De Temporum Fine Comoedia with many changes in orchestration. He increased the number of snare drums from two to three, required several more pitches from the water glasses, included grand church organ in the orchestra, and eliminated several instruments (triangle, 3 of the 4 timpanetti, the three small tam-tams and one of the two large tam-tams, two of the three church-ratchets, and the number of suspended cymbals is decreased to 3). The hyoshigi are used only on the inside of the piano. The modifications to the pre-recorded music comprise the omission of the trombones, flutes, church organ, all vocal forces except for the children's chorus and tenors, and all but two of the trumpets. A third piano and three contrabasses are, however, added.
In addition to loud percussive passages, there are also as periods of calm piano and straight dialogue. In this culminative piece of his he almost abandons his diatonicism to chromaticism, this done to enrich and thicken the musical texture.
As the play is about to finish, after the destruction of all worldly material, Satan asks for forgiveness and is restored to Angel Lucifer, thus forgiven. The unsettling chromaticism here ends and Bach's Before Thy Throne strikes up in a canon from the four violins. This canon is pandiatonic and upon its completion its mirror image is stated (that is the identical material played backwards).