WHAT IS ORCHESTRA

An orchestra is a mostly large instrumental ensemble consisting of several instrument groups. However, there are considerable differences in the composition and tasks of an orchestra.

The orchestra and the concept of the orchestra have developed over many centuries, with many changes in the field of instrumentation closely linked to the development or invention of individual instruments.
In the course of time, a seating arrangement was coined for the classical orchestra, which can be varied for various reasons.

In order for the conductor of an orchestra to get an overview of the entire musical material of each instrument to be played, he uses a so-called score as a template.

Orchestra types

Orchestras can be separated in different ways. The most important are the distinctions between occupation and tasks.

From a line-up point of view, there is, the symphony, chamber, string, wind or brass orchestra. However, these are only the most common species. There are also plucked, balalaika or jazz orchestras – and you could give many more examples here, depending on the instrumentation.

In terms of function, one can distinguish in a way according to symphony, opera, ballet, musical, church, entertainment, radio and film music orchestras as well as, for example, dance, spa, circus and military bands.

  • A symphony orchestra is more likely to play concerts and symphonies, with a concert atmosphere on stage.
  • An opera orchestra, on the other hand, has an accompanying function and is thus part of a theatrical performance. This orchestra then sits in the orchestra pit of the Opera house or theatre house.

However, since concerts as well as operas or ballet performances take place in many venues, the orchestra also assumes both of the mentioned functions.

Development of the orchestra and its instrumentation

In the Middle Ages and the Renaissance there were hardly any instrumental compositions, but the vocal works prevailed, but some of them were accompanied. The entire ensemble of singers and instrumentalists was called chaplet that time. In terms of instrumentation, there were more wind instruments than others. Overall, however, an exact instrumentation was rarely required in the composition, so that the same piece could be instrumented differently in each formation. Even in larger chapels, the soloist game was often favored.

During the Baroque period, the string sound was increasingly preferred, which thus came to the fore. But even during this time there were still large differences in the composition between individual orchestras. Only constant was the division into foundation instruments such as cello, bassoon, lute, harpsichord, organ and melody instruments like violin, flute, oboe.

 

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Seating arrangement of the symphony orchestra

Apart from the fact that there is a standard arrangement of the individual instruments and instrument groups within a symphony orchestra, the seating arrangement may vary depending on the requirements of the performed musical work. The special wishes of the performing conductor can also bring about changes.

In the symphony orchestra’s usual seating arrangement today, the strings are first distributed semi-circularly in front of the conductor. The first and second violins sit to the left of the conductor; Violas, cellos and double basses are distributed on the right side.

In an older seating arrangement, also referred to as classic, the first violins are on the left outside, the second on the right outside. Violas, cellos and double basses are placed in the middle. Depending on the composition, this can result in a more rounded sound.

Behind the strings sit the woodwind instruments. The distribution is usually carried out in such a way that, from the conductor’s and the audience’s point of view, the highest playing instrument is located on the left. That is, from left to right the order flutes – clarinets – oboes – bassoons. Here, too, there are variants. For example, the clarinets can sit behind the flutes on the left, and the bassoon behind the oboes on the right.

Beyonce Tops List of Female Artists Who Dominated the 63rd Grammy Awards

Female music artists dominated the 63rd Annual Grammy Awards, as many of the major awards went to popular and rising female music icons, led by Beyonce. The former lead singer of the famous R&B group Destiny’s Child has now broken the record for having the most number of Grammy wins. After winning the Best R&B Performance for “Black Parade” Beyonce achieved her 28th Grammy award, besting Allison Krauss’ record for most Grammy wins.

Singer-songwriter Jhené Aiko was tasked to announce the winners during the premiere ceremony, while the main music event was emceed by Trevor Noah. Numerous artists led by Taylor Swift, Cardi B, Megan Thee Stallion, Doja Cat, Dua Lipa and Harry Styles, provided the music performances for their Grammy-recognized creations.

The following female artists received their respective award/s during the red carpet premiere night:

  • Taylor Swift once again won her third Album of the Year for Folklore, making her the first female artist to do so for the third time and the third artist to achieve the feat for Album of the Year award.
  • The Song of the Year award went to H.E.R for writing the song “I Can’t Breathe”;
  • Megan Thee Stallion’s Savage won both Best Rap Song and Best Rap Performance, making her the first woman rapper to receive an award this century;
  • Billie Eilish along with her brother Finneas Baird O’Connell won Best Song Written for Visual Media as well as Record of the Year for “No Time to Die.”
  • Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande won Best Pop duo/Group Performance with “Rain on Me”;
  • Dua Lipa won Best Pop Vocal Album with her second studio album Future Nostalgia;
  • Fiona Apple won Best Rock Performance with “Shameika” and Best Alternative Music Album with Fetch the Bolt Cutters;
  • The Highwomen won the Best Country Song with “Crowded Table”;
  • Brittany Howard’s Stay High earned her the Best Rock Song award
  • Sara Jarosz’ World on the Ground garnered the Best Americana Album
  • Mirana Lambert won Best Country Album award with Wildcard.

Partial List of Male Artists Who Won Major Grammy Awards

While the list of other Grammy winners is quite long, male artists who won major awards include:

  • John Legend for Best R&B Album with Bigger Love;
  • Harry Styles and his Watermelon Sugar got noticed as the Best Pop Solo Performance
  • Nas for Best Rap Album with King’s Disease;
  • Kaytranada for Best Dance/Electronic Album with Bubba and Best Dance Recording with “10%” ft. Kali Uchis;
  • Body Count for Best Metal Performance with “Bum-Rush”;
  • James Taylor for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album with American Standard and;
  • The Strokes took the Best Rock Album award with The New Abnormal.