An orchestra is a musical group of people who play on various instruments together. The word “orchestra” means the curved space in front of an audience where the instruments and singers play the music. This can be played as a solo musical performance or it plays along with singers as well. The orchestra generally plays the classical form of music and delivers concerts and play for operas.
There are two types of orchestra, i.e. Symphony Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra. A symphony orchestra is a large group having about 100 musicians, while a chamber orchestra has around 30 – 40 musicians. However, when we speak of orchestras we generally refer to symphony orchestras as they are many instruments and players and play mostly the classical music. The orchestral music is inscribed in a score form, which consists of musical notes that are played by each vocal part or instrument.
A modern orchestra consists of four segments of instruments known as string, woodwind, brass and percussion. The string segment is the most significant part, the orchestra consists of cellos, violins, string basses, violas and dozen of the players. The woodwind segment contains bassoons, flutes, oboes and clarinets. The brass segment has many trombones, French horns trumpets, and a tuba and plays the loud music. The percussion segment has almost all kinds of instruments, but the most common are drums, cymbals, xylophones, cymbals and bells.
While playing orchestra every musician only sees the notes, while the conductor stands in front of the group and directs the players. The conductor is the only person who chooses the music and decides how it should be played – fast or slow and soft or loud. He directs the players with a stick, known as the baton.
It would be very hard to say about the invention of the orchestra, but the word was first used by the Greeks and the first orchestras were planned by kings of France in the 7th century. Today, this can be heard in opera houses, concert halls and chambers. Some of the famous orchestras today include: Cleveland, London Symphony, New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, and many more.