Questions tagged [orchestra]

A sizable instrumental ensemble that contains sections of string, brass, woodwind, and percussion instruments.

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61
votes
6answers
12k views

What does a conductor actually do?

Looking for the roles of the conductor during a musical performance, I mainly came across answers as the following, taken from Wikipedia: "The primary duties of the conductor are to unify ...
49
votes
9answers
24k views

Why are orchestras tuned differently?

In 1936 American Standards Association (and the International Organization for Standardization in 1955) accepted that A would be tuned at 440 Hz (or cycles per second). Yet despite the fact that a ...
6
votes
3answers
8k views

Why is this conductor holding a toothpick?

I was watching a performance of Ravel's Bolero, conducted by Gergiev: And I noticed that instead of a baton he was holding a toothpick: Why is he holding it ...
12
votes
4answers
3k views

Why are some instruments listed 'in F' or 'in B'?

I am looking through scores of pieces that I particularly like. I can't understand (as this is the first time I have come across it) why here, in the manuscript, some instruments are named as ...
24
votes
5answers
44k views

Is there any specific reason to why are the instruments placed as they are in an orchestra?

What is the reason that instruments in an orchestra are placed the way they are placed?
17
votes
7answers
3k views

How to distinguish between different instruments in a classical orchestra?

I want to train myself into distinguishing the instruments being played simultaneously in orchestral music (primarily Wagner and Bruckner, maybe Mahler). Ideally I want to be able to say at each point ...
29
votes
5answers
9k views

Why does the orchestra tune to the oboe?

Most of the time, an orchestra will tune to the oboe. Why is that? What is the next instrument if, for some reason, there are no oboes?
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Why are time signatures not used in this score?

I was looking at this hand-written short score (to be completed by other arrangers): The only thing that strikes me about it (maybe there should be others) is there is no written time signature. Why? ...
6
votes
5answers
1k views

How do composers get their works performed?

How do composers (professional or not) get their works performed by orchestras and soloists? While we're at it, how and where do composers publish their music and where do orchestras/musicians/...
10
votes
8answers
3k views

How do you count many bars of silence (rests)?

Playing in a jazz band there are often 5,6 or 8 bars of silence. This is no problem as I can count them on my fingers. But how do I count larger rests, for example 52, 112 or even longer rests, as in ...
9
votes
5answers
2k views

Tuning hierarchy for orchestras

Several recent questions have been about tuning. Often an orchestra will tune to the oboe. One reason for this is that oboes are the only instruments that cannot be tuned. 1. What if the oboe was ...
6
votes
3answers
883 views

Has there ever been an orchestra without a conductor?

I don't think I have ever seen an orchestra where there wasn't someone conducting. Has there ever been such an example of an orchestra? Edit: By conductor, I mean the guy swinging the baton:
4
votes
4answers
1k views

How Common Are the Trumpet in C and Clarinet in A?

In the wind/marching/concert band world, trumpets and soprano clarinets are always in Bb. The orchestra, however, uses trumpets in Bb, C, and D, and clarinets in Bb and A. I understand that clarinets ...
0
votes
2answers
210 views

Parallel Fifth in a Symphony Orchestral [closed]

when writing for an orchestra can we use parallel fifth (Power Chord)? for example in game of thrones symphony for some part of string or another song for brass section because it is so powerful and ...