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[English, from the Greek meaning dancing area]

A group of musicians who perform on a variety of instruments. Within Western art, the term is most commonly applied to the symphony orchestra

Modern Symphony Orchestra Instrumentation

18- 1st violins
14 - 2nd violins
12 - violas
12 - cellos
8 - double basses
4 - flutes
3 - oboes
1 - English horn
3 - clarinets
1 - bass clarinet
3 - bassoons
1 - contrabassoon
5 - horns
4 - trumpets
3 - trombones
1 - tuba
2 - timpani
3 - untuned percussion
1 - tuned percussion
2 - harp
The actual instrumentation of the symphony orchestra is dictated by the composer's indications in the score. In fact, on any given performance of a symphony orchestra, the instrumentation may change on every composition performed. The instrumentation shown above is the result of dramatic changes throughout the centuries. There has been a great expansion from the Baroque orchestra to the modern symphony orchestra.


Gustav Holst: The Planets, Op. 32, "Jupiter, The Bringer of Jollity"

Orchestra, modern size: Johannes Brahms: Symphony No. 1 in C minor, Op. 68, IV

Felix Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 4 in A major, Op. 90

Felix Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 4 in A major, Op. 90, IV

Orchestra, Baroque: George Frideric Handel: Concerto Grosso in G major, Op. 6, No. 1, I

Orchestra, Classical: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Symphony No. 40 an G minor, K. 550, I


Last Updated: 2016-06-06 00:48:56