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An introduction to the instruments of the modern Western orchestra.

Introduction

The modern Western orchestra first developed in Europe over a period of several centuries, but in modern times it has become widely adopted all over the world. Various types of bands and smaller ensembles composed mainly of orchestral instruments are also very popular. So many people are familiar with the "orchestra section" method of classifying musical instruments. Here are the sections of the orchestra and the instruments commonly found in them.

The sections of the orchestra

The typical orchestra is divided into four groups of instruments: strings, woodwinds, brass, and percussion. The typical Western marching band, school band, or wind ensemble (woodwinds and brass together are winds ) leaves out the strings, but otherwise uses most of the same instruments as the orchestra.

Strings

There are four stringed instruments commonly used in the modern orchestra: the violin, viola, cello, and bass. All are made of wood and have four strings. All are usually played by drawing a bow across the strings, but are also sometimes played by plucking the strings.

The violin is smallest, has the highest sound, and is most numerous; there are normally two violin sections (the first violins and second violins), but only one section of each of the other strings.

The viola is only a little bit bigger than a violin, with a slightly deeper and mellower tone. A nonmusician can have trouble telling a viola from a violin without a side-by-side comparison.

The cello is technically the "violoncello", but few people call it that anymore. There is no mistaking it for a violin or viola; it is much bigger, with a much lower, deeper sound. Whereas violins and violas are held up under the chin to be played, cellos and basses have to rest on the floor to be played.

The bass , also called the "double bass" (its official name), "standing bass" or "string bass", is so big that the player must sit on a high stool or stand up to play it. It has a very low sound.

Woodwinds

The woodwind members of the orchestra are the flute, oboe, clarinet, and bassoon. There can be two, three, or four, of any of these woodwinds in an orchestra, depending on the size of the orchestra and the piece being played. All of the modern orchestral woodwinds are played by blowing into them and fingering different notes using keys that cover various holes. Most, but not all, are made of wood and have at least one piece of reed in the mouthpiece.

You may be surprised that the saxophone is not here. This is the one instrument that is always found in bands and wind ensembles, but only very rarely plays in the orchestra.

Although flutes may be made of wood, the orchestral flute is usually made of metal. It also does not have a reed. It is grouped with the woodwinds partly because it is in fact more closely related to those instruments than to the brass (please see Wind Instruments: Some Basics ), but also because the color of its sound fits in the woodwind section. The sound is produced when the player blows across a hole in the side (not the end) of the instrument. It has a clear, high sound that can be either gentle or piercing. An even higher-sounding instrument is the piccolo , a very small flute that is much more common in bands than in orchestras.

Questions & Answers

where we get a research paper on Nano chemistry....?
Maira Reply
what are the products of Nano chemistry?
Maira Reply
There are lots of products of nano chemistry... Like nano coatings.....carbon fiber.. And lots of others..
learn
Even nanotechnology is pretty much all about chemistry... Its the chemistry on quantum or atomic level
learn
Google
da
no nanotechnology is also a part of physics and maths it requires angle formulas and some pressure regarding concepts
Bhagvanji
Preparation and Applications of Nanomaterial for Drug Delivery
Hafiz Reply
revolt
da
Application of nanotechnology in medicine
what is variations in raman spectra for nanomaterials
Jyoti Reply
I only see partial conversation and what's the question here!
Crow Reply
what about nanotechnology for water purification
RAW Reply
please someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think one can use nanoparticles, specially silver nanoparticles for water treatment.
Damian
yes that's correct
Professor
I think
Professor
Nasa has use it in the 60's, copper as water purification in the moon travel.
Alexandre
nanocopper obvius
Alexandre
what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
Rafiq
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
Damian
How we are making nano material?
LITNING Reply
what is a peer
LITNING Reply
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
LITNING Reply
What is STMs full form?
LITNING
scanning tunneling microscope
Sahil
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Santosh
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
Mahi
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
Rafiq
if virus is killing to make ARTIFICIAL DNA OF GRAPHENE FOR KILLED THE VIRUS .THIS IS OUR ASSUMPTION
Anam
analytical skills graphene is prepared to kill any type viruses .
Anam
Any one who tell me about Preparation and application of Nanomaterial for drug Delivery
Hafiz
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
Bob
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
brayan
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Damian
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
Renato
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
?
Kyle
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
Adin
why?
Adin
what school?
Kyle
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
Joe
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Understanding your french horn. OpenStax CNX. Apr 03, 2006 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10219/1.4
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