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Symphony Orchestras

An orchestra is a large ensemble of musicians who play together on various musical instruments. The typical orchestra groups four sets of similar musical instruments: (1) woodwinds (flutes, bassoons, oboes, and clarinets), (2) brass (trumpets, French horns, trombones, and tuba), (3) percussion (drums, bells, cymbal, gongs, tambourines, and xylophones), and (4) strings (violins, violas, cellos, and double basses). There is sometime a fifth ­section for keyboard instruments. A standard, ­full-sized orchestra may have 16 first violins, 14 second violins, 12 violas, 10 cellos, and 8 double basses. There is an established seating plan for orchestras, with the first and second ­violins to the left of the conductor, the cellos and double basses to the right of the conductor and in front, the brass instruments to ...

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