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A history of the orchestra and the development of the symphony - Essay Example

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For the music lovers, the orchestra has become one of the most noted sources of enjoyment. An orchestra is a musical ensemble used most often in classical music. Even if the orchestra is classical, this has transcends the passage of time for until now, people are still enjoying the orchestra…
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A history of the orchestra and the development of the symphony
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A history of the orchestra and the development of the symphony

For the music lovers, the orchestra has become one of the most noted sources of enjoyment. An orchestra is a musical ensemble used most often in classical music. Even if the orchestra is classical, this has transcends the passage of time for until now, people are still enjoying the orchestra.The word orchestra originally signified the section in ancient Greek theaters between the stage and the audience that was used by dancers and instrumentalists, between the stage and the audience that was used by dancers and instrumentalists. Orchestra can also refer to various specialized ensembles, such as a balalaika orchestra, a jazz orchestra, or a gamelan (Indonesian tuned-percussion orchestra). In a modern theater the part of the auditorium reserved for musicians is called the orchestra pit, and the term orchestra often also designates the part of the ground floor used for audience seating.Opera and ballet orchestras share with symphony orchestras on the size and structure but they differ in their ancestry and function. The symphony orchestra performs symphonies, concerti, and other concert music and is normally placed on a stage. Opera and ballet orchestras are part of theatrical performances and are seated in the orchestra pit of a theater. Orchestra can be classified into two, with which the basis of classification is the number of staff and/or musicians. A full size orchestra, also known as the "symphony orchestra" or "philharmonic orchestra usually have over eighty musicians on its staff, in some cases over a hundred, but the number of musicians used in a performance varies according to the work being played. A leading chamber orchestra, on the other hand, might have forty or fifty members; some are much smaller than that (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orchestra, 2006).

Meanwhile there are also different sections in an orchestra. The string section, which forms the backbone of orchestral sound, is divided into four parts, much like a vocal choir: first violins, second violins, violas, and cellos and double basses. The woodwind and brass sections, unlike the strings, normally have only one player per part. Until the late 19th century, the woodwind section consisted of two oboes, two flutes, two bassoons, and two clarinets; the two members of each pair played different musical parts. By the late 19th century three of each instrument was common, with the third player sometimes switching to a related instrument. The brass section typically consists of two trumpets, four horns, three trombones, and a tuba. These are sometimes augmented by other brass instruments, such as the bass trombone or the Wagner tuba designed by the German composer Richard Wagner and used in his scores. The percussion section employs one or. The basic percussion group consists of a pair of timpani, a side drum, a bass drum, cymbals, and a triangle (http://www.mti.dmu.ac.uk/ahugill/manual/intro.html, 2006).

History of Orchestra

Orchestral playing started in Italy and Germany on 15th and 16th centuries when the households of nobles had musicians to provide music for dancing and the court, however with the emergence of the theatre, particularly opera, in the early 17th century, music was increasingly written for groups of players in combination. Dresden, Munich and Hamburg successively built opera houses. When the 17th century came, opera flourished in England under Henry Purcell, and in France under Lully, who with the collaboration of Molire also greatly raised the status of the entertainments known as ballets, interspersed with instrumental and vocal music (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orchestra, 2006).

As nobility began to build retreats from towns, they began to hire standing bodies of musicians. Composers such as the young Joseph Haydn then fixed body of instrumentalists to work with. At the ... Read More
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