About Orchestras

An orchestra is a large instrumental ensemble that contains sections of string, brass, woodwind, and percussion instruments. The term orchestra derives from the Greek name for the area in front of an ancient Greek stage reserved for the Greek chorus. The orchestra grew by accretion throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, but changed very little in composition during the course of the 20th century. A smaller-sized orchestra for this time period (of about fifty musicians or fewer) is called a chamber orchestra.

Contributions by Schweiwikist, Camembert, and

New Questions for Orchestras

See All Questions