The symphony orchestra is a type of music ensemble that has lasted and evolved throughout centuries. Classical musicians have been studied for years, thanks to their many contributions to the symphony orchestra and music history as a whole. The instrument classes of the orchestra include brass, woodwind, string and percussion. The composition of the orchestra has been largely unchanged throughout the centuries, making it a staple in music education.
The stepping stones of the orchestra date all the way back to Ancient Egypt. By the 17th Century, the writing and composition of music became more organized, which gave way to instrument groups, with a variety of sounds, tones, and pitches. It was during the Baroque era that a number of pioneers began advancing the techniques and styles that shape the symphony orchestra. These pioneers throughout Europe created instrumentation technique that shape many of the sounds heard today. Some of the most famous symphony orchestras in the world include the Berlin Philharmonic orchestra, the London Symphony Orchestra, and the Cleveland Orchestra. The latter is also part of the “Big Five” orchestras of the United States; others included are the New York Philharmonic, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony, and the Philadelphia Orchestra.
Typical, symphony orchestra instruments include the violin, viola, bass, oboe, trumpet and percussion instruments. A number of orchestras are still widely recognized throughout the world, selling out large indoor and outdoor venues. Students in grade school are taught about the history of the symphony orchestra, and those who learn musical instruments often learn pieces from the most famous orchestral composers. An orchestra is an art form that is highly respected amongst music historians and students, and the legacy continues today. People who want to become more familiar with the symphony orchestra should look into composers and musicians who helped create and shape the culture. They should also learn about specific traits of the art form, and how it has changed throughout the course of a few centuries.
Readers will enjoy the following information on the symphony orchestra:
- A Short History of the Symphony Orchestra – This site gives a synopsis and timeline of the history of the orchestra, which spans centuries.
- Orchestra – Parts of a Symphonic Orchestra – History of Orchestral Music – This article features straightforward, detailed information on the formation and elements of the orchestra.
- Phoenix Symphony: The Sound Exchange: The Orchestra History – This page contains a wealth of information on the orchestra throughout the years.
- Instruments of the Orchestra: The Percussion Family – The Oregon Symphony explains the percussion instruments of the orchestra.
- The Symphony Orchestra: What is to be Done? – This state of the orchestra article explains the present and future needs of the art form.
- A Really Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra – This page contains information for kids on the orchestra.
- The Orchestra Forum: A Discussion of Symphony Orchestras in the US – This publication features historical information on the symphony orchestra.
- Etiquette – Concerts – The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra – This site contains information on the dress and etiquette of attending the orchestra.
- Orchestra Instruments – This classical music group explains the instruments and voice types of the orchestra.
- Instruments of the Orchestra – This children’s site features interactive orchestra seating maps and a breakdown of the instruments used.
- Instruments of the Symphony Orchestra – This interactive site allows visitors to listen to and sample the instruments of the orchestra.
- Ludwig Van Beethoven Biography – Bio provides factual information on Beethoven, one of the greatest composers of all time.
- Violin – This site provides information on the violin, its history, its sound and how it is made.
- Profile: The Cello – Internet Cello Society provides detailed information on the cello.
- Kennedy Center: History of the National Symphony Orchestra – This Kennedy Center site provides information on one of America’s most famous orchestras.
- History of the Los Angeles Philharmonic – LA Phil – The Los Angeles Philharmonic is one of America’s oldest symphonies.
- Why Join the Orchestra? – Pertinent information about the best opera houses throughout the world.
- Classics for Kids – The page details charts and information for children on the orchestra.
- Twelve Benefits of Music Education (PDF) – This report teaches how putting children into music programs helps them for life.
- Music Education Can Help Children Improve Reading Skills – An in-depth article about the development of opera as well as opera singers.
- The History of the Classical Music in a Timeline – This page provides a moveable timeline of symphony orchestra development.