What is an Orchestra? • A large group of musicians that includes string, woodwind, brass, and percussion instruments. Also called a symphony orchestra or philharmonic orchestra. • Orchestra (means “a dancing place in Greek)comes from the area in front of the stage in ancient Greek drama reserved for the chorus.
Components of the Orchestra • An orchestra generally has 80 to 100 musicians. • A chamber orchestra is smaller, with about 40 or fewer musicians. • The conductor directs the musical performance with visible gestures, e.g. hands and facial expressions. The conductor is also called the musical director. - The concertmaster is the 1st principle violin player. This person is second in command to the conductor. • Each instrumental section has a leader known as the principle.
Instrument Families Strings: Produce sound (pitch) by plucking strings with fingers or using a bow Woodwinds: Produce sound when air is blown through a reed or across an opening; pitch is modified by finger holes or keys Brass: Produce sound when the lips are buzzed and air is forced into tubes or coils; pitch is modified by lengthening or shortening air flow with valves or a slide Percussion: Produce sound by shaking, hitting or scraping.
Instruments of the Orchestra - Strings Violin, viola, cello, double bass, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ueJcRmfweSM
Instruments of the Orchestra - Woodwinds piccolo, flute, oboe, clarinet, bass clarinet, bassoon, contrabassoon.
Instruments of the Orchestra - Brass Trumpet, Horn, Trombone, Euphonium, Tuba
Instruments of the Orchestra - Percussion Timpani, snare drum, bass drum, cymbals, triangle
What do they play? • The repertoire (collection of musical pieces) of a symphony orchestra is usually classical music or opera. • Orchestras sometimes play popular music • Symphony orchestras also commonly used to perform film scores • Score: the sheet music for a composition. It includes all parts written for each instrument
Musical Compositions Symphony: composition for orchestra in 4 movements 1. fast, dramatic 2. lyrical, slow 3. dance – minuet or scherzo 4. brilliant/heroic, fast Concerto: musical work for solo instrument or small group & orchestra
Musical Compositions Concerto grosso: composition that alternates between a soloist and the orchestra Theme & Variation: composition where one theme is stated then altered in successive statements Sonata: composition in several movements for soloist or small ensemble
Musical Compositions Rondo: musical form with a recurring theme Cantata: Vocal genre for solo singers, chorus and instrumentalists based on a lyric or dramatic poetic narrative Oratorio: Large-scale dramatic piece, based on a text of religious or serious character, performed by solo voices, chorus and orchestra; similar to opera but without scenery, costumes or action. Fugue: composition where the theme is imitated and overlaps