Basic Knowledge about the Symphony Orchestra

Classical music is one of the oldest genre of music since the birth of this entertaining industry. It has always been called “music for the professionals” because of the style, the complicated structures and also the performance. The audiences must have some basic knowledge about music and musical instruments so as to understand the pieces of the artist completely though sometimes this is very difficult even with fans of this music type. In classical music, live performances of the orchestra are one of the most important parts because it provides the favorable conditions for the audiences to deeply immerse into the world of music in both ways – listening to the melody and seeing the performance of their own eye. The live symphony orchestra is an interesting event that anyone should have a try at least once in a lifetime. In this post, the basic knowledge of the symphony orchestra will be introduced so that you can have a closer look at it as well as know more about classical music.

symphony orchestra

  1. Introduction

Many people say that there is no need to go to a concert because classical music doesn’t require a large space for a person to enjoy. They just need a good sound system in a quiet room (the music room or the hall in some fancy mansions for example) because they think that is the best way to listen to classical music. However, that is just the simplest way to listen to the classical music. Attending a monumental concert performed by a famous symphony orchestra is a different and exciting experience that anyone can have without having to cost a fortune.

So what is a symphony orchestra? It is a combination of a large number of musical instruments built on some certain rules so as to perform a classical piece in the best way. Founded from the 17 century, symphony orchestra developed alongside with orchestral music and performance art. Through the masterpieces of Haydn, Mozart, symphony orchestras completed themselves through times till now.

There are many types of orchestras based on the combination between the instruments, but the most common one has to have the appearance of at least 4 instrument family: brass, percussion, strings and woodwinds. Each one then has some specific musical instruments in different sizes and tones.

The sound of the symphony orchestra relies heavily on the arrangement of music players on the stage. Each of them are placed to sit in a certain place, according to the sound of their instrument. However, in each part, there would be all of them or only some of them playing according to the lead of the conductor. The instrument players have to strictly follow the sheet of the piece, especially the percussion.

The conductor is the leader of the orchestra. He stands in front of the audiences and turn to the stage so as the lead the whole orchestra with his stick. Everyone knows the importance of the conductor – the soul of the symphony orchestra. However, not many people truly understand the real work of a conductor apart from using his stick to instruct the instruments. He is one of the main producers of the concert throughout the year and also the man who has to choose the composes and instrument players for solo parts. With the art center director (the main stage of the symphony orchestra), the conductor has to be the one who leads the artistic way of the whole orchestra.

symphony orchestra

  1. Basic Knowledge for Beginners About the Symphony Orchestra

There are 4 main parts of a basic symphony orchestra according to the types of musical instruments. In an orchestra, musicians have to sit in groups so as to use the effect of the hall and the echoes thus achieve the best harmony between the instrument.

  • Brass family: They are instruments made from brass or other types of metal and require the player to blow air to form the sounds. For example, the brass family consists of trombone, tuba, trumpet…
  • Percussion family: They are considered one of the most important parts of the symphony orchestra because they keep the whole band going on the right track on tempo and rhythm. They make sounds when hit with hands or sticks, some of the must be shaken or scratched. There are some familiar percussion instruments that you can see in daily life like drums, tam – tam, bells and cymbals.
  • String family: They are musical instruments making sounds from their strings. The sounds of this instrument type are very unique because of their vibration. Some of them are violin, viola and harp. Sometimes the guitars are also used in this group, but not very often.
  • Woodwind family: They also produce sound when blown inside like the brass family. However, the sounds are quite different because they have a different tone and the way they control the vibration are quite unique. Common ones that we’ve known so far are clarinet, flute, oboe and piccolo.

The members of a symphony orchestra have to be carefully picked from auditions for certain positions. The performers have to play solo pieces so that the conductor as well as some of the testers can decide whether his or her play style could fit in the orchestra or not and the technique are enough for a professional concert or not. That is the reason why it is such an honor for a musician even though he just can attend in one single concert in a year.

As you can see, this is just a small part of the knowledge about the symphony orchestra. For further information, visit my page and I will show you more about this – from the arrangement of the concert stage to the basic preparation for beginners to go to an orchestra concert. Don’t be shy if you don’t know anything about this because nowadays, people don’t often know much about classical music and don’t dig deeper into like our ancestors before. However, when you know the basics, you will see that this is the best kind of music for anyone to have the lifetime experience.

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