History and Instruments Of Orchestra In English

Please Rate This Post ...


  • Orchestra is a specialized instrument of classical music, which combines instruments from different families. There are generally four main parts of the instruments.
  • A full-sized Western orchestra may sometimes be called a symphony orchestra or a philharmonic orchestra.
  • The orchestra is usually led by a conductor who directs the performance with hand and arm movements, often made easier for the musicians to watch by use of a small wooden stick known as a conductor’s baton .
  • The conductor unifies the orchestra, sets the tempo and shapes the sound of the ensemble.
  • The conductor also prepares the orchestra by conducting rehearsals before a public concert, in which the conductor instructs the musicians on the interpretation of the music being performed.


Baroque and Classical era

  • In the Baroque era, the size and composition of the orchestra was not standardized. There were large differences in size, instruments and playing styles between the different European regions – and therefore in orchestral sounds and palettes.
  • Baroque orchestras range from small orchestras (or ensembles) with one player per part, to large scale orchestras with several players per part.
  • Examples of a smaller variety were Bach’s orchestras, for example in Köthen, where they had access to groups of up to 18 players. Examples of large-scale baroque orchestras would include Corelli’s orchestra in Rome, which ranged from 35 to 80 players for day-to-day performances, being expanded to 150 players for special occasions.
  • In the classical era, the orchestra became more standardized with a small to medium-sized string section and core wind section consisting of pairs of oboes, flutes, bassoons and horns, sometimes supplemented by percussion and pairs of clarinets and trumpets .

Instrument Technology

  • The invention of the piston and rotary valve in 1815 by Heinrich Stolzel and Friedrich Blühmel, both Silesians, was the first in a series of innovations that influenced the orchestra, including the development of modern keywork for the flute and its innovations by Theobald Boehm.
  • Adolphe Sachs in woodwinds, especially the invention of the saxophone. These advances inspired Hector Berlioz to write a landmark book on instrumentation, the first systematic treatise on the use of instrumental sound as an expressive element of music.

Wagner’s influence

  • The next major expansion of symphonic practice came from Richard Wagner’s Bayreuth Orchestra, which was founded to accompany his concertos.
  • Wagner’s works for the stage were composed with unprecedented scope and complexity: indeed, his score for Das Rheingold calls for six harps.
  • Thus, Wagner envisioned an ever-more-demanding role for the conductor of the theater orchestra, as he detailed in his influential work On Conducting.
  • It sparked a revolution in orchestral composition, and set the style for orchestral performance for the next eighty years.
  • Wagner’s theories re-examined the importance of tempo, dynamics, pitch of string instruments and the role of principals in the orchestra.

20th Century Orchestra

  • At the beginning of the 20th century, symphony orchestras were larger, better funded and better trained than before; As a result, composers could compose larger and more ambitious works.
  • The works of Gustav Mahler were particularly innovative; In his later symphonies, such as the Mammoth Symphony No. 8, Mahler pushed the farthest limits of orchestral size, employing enormous forces.
  • With the beginning of the recording era, performance standards were pushed to a new level, as a recorded symphony could be heard closely and even minor errors in tone or orchestration that would go unnoticed in a live performance. May not be given, may be heard by critics.
  • As recording techniques improved in the 20th and 21st centuries, eventually minor errors in recordings could be “corrected” by audio editing or overdubbing.
  • Some older conductors and musicians can remember a time when it was the norm to “get as far along” as possible with the music.
  • With the wider audience made possible by the recording, it brought a renewed focus on special star conductors and a higher standard of orchestral performance.


  • A typical symphony orchestra consists of four groups of related musical instruments called woodwinds, brass, percussion and strings.
  • Other instruments such as the piano and celesta may sometimes be grouped in a fifth section such as the keyboard section or may stand alone, as may the concert harp and electric and electronic instruments. Orchestras, depending on size, include almost all standard instruments in each group.
  • Throughout the orchestra’s history, its instrumentation has expanded over time, often agreed to be standardized by Ludwig van Beethoven’s influence on the classical period and classical models.
  • In the 20th and 21st centuries, new repertory demands expanded the orchestra’s instrumentation, resulting in the flexible use of classical-model instruments and newly developed electric and electronic instruments in various combinations.
  • A chamber orchestra is usually a smaller ensemble; A major chamber orchestra may employ up to fifty musicians, but some are much smaller. Concert orchestra is an alternative term, as in BBC Concert Orchestra and RTÉ Concert Orchestra.