The Orchestra

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Oliver Rojas 11W                                                                                       25th September 2002

Music Homework

The Orchestra

The orchestra began to be used more from the time of Haydn and Mozart (the classical era), who wrote a total of 150 symphonies. It grew larger as composers added more parts for new instruments, and eventually it became the large symphony orchestra of the present day.

The orchestra is made up of four main families of instruments; strings, woodwind, brass, and percussion.

The string family is made up of violins, violas, cellos, and double basses. There are usually around fifteen first violins, fifteen second violins, twelve violas, ten cellos, and eight basses. In Mozart’s time, sometimes only one or two were used.

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The woodwind family is made up of the flute, and instruments with a reed which are blown: clarinets, oboes, and bassoons. Usually there are at least two of each in the orchestra. There are other woodwind instruments, such as the double bassoon, the bass clarinet, the cor anglais (like an oboe, but with a curved reed and a lower and mellower tone) and the piccolo.

In the classical orchestra of Mozart and Haydn, oboes, flutes, and bassoons were used a lot, but the other woodwind instruments were developed later. The clarinet appeared later still, at the beginning of the 18th century. ...

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I like the way that the writer has split this essay up into the four families of the orchestra. The writer could have referred to the roles of the different families of instruments. The information is accurate and well explained.