ORCHESTRA  SCORES
Orchestra Scores may consist of many staves since each instrument has its own staff with instrument families grouped together.   This overview will show the traditional order of instruments as they appear on an Orchestra Score, their respective tuning, range and the different types of Orchestras.
TRANSPOSING   INSTRUMENTS

Most instruments are known as C pitched instruments since they are tuned to Concert Pitch and play notes as they are written and sound.
  • General - All Keyboards, Voice, Mallet Percussion and Strings.
  • Woodwinds - Piccolo, Flute, Bass Flute, Clarinet in C, Contrabass Flute, Oboe, Bassoon and Contrabassoon, Maxophone in C
  • Brass - Cornet, Trumpet in C and Tuba
Transposing Instruments produce a different pitch from that of the written notes in scores.   They are named after the Concert Pitch that sounds when they play a written C or middle C.   The 4 most common ones are:
  • Clarinet in Bb
  • Trumpet in Bb
  • French Horn in F
  • English Horn in F - (The English Horn only comes in F so the key may not be stated in the orchestra score.)
The concert pitch of a transposing instrument may be higher or lower than the written pitch.   The instruments listed above all sound lower than the written notes.   The Clarinet in Bb and the Trumpet in Bb each sound a Major 2nd lower than written.



The French Horn in F and the English Horn both sound a Perfect 5th lower than written.

Do not confuse the Key of an Instrument with the Key of the Music it plays.   The designation "in Bb" or "in F" tells you nothing about the Key Signature the melody is written in.
The Orchestra Score example below shows the typical order of instruments along with their Note Range and Tunings as applicable such as the Bowed Stringed instruments.   The size and compliment of instruments for Orchestras varies for a particular piece of music, however, we have included a list of 4 types of Orchestras from the Classical to Modern Day versions located after the following score.


The typical symphony orchestra consists of 4 groups of similar musical instruments called Woodwinds, Brass, Percusssion and Strings.   Other instruments such as the Piano and Celeste may sometimes be grouped into a 5th section such as a Keyboard section or or may stand alone, as may the Concert Harp and Electronic Instruments.

Depending on the size, the orchestra contains almost all of the standard instruments in each group. In the history of the orchestra, its instrumentation has been expanded over time, often agreed to have been standardized by the classical period.

Apart from the core orchestral complement, various other instruments are called for occasionally.

The  4  Types  Of  Orchestras

 
Classical Orchestra:

Woodwinds
    2 Flutes
    2 Oboes
    2 Clarinets
    2 Bassoons

Brass
    2 or 4 French Horns
    2 Trumpets

Percussion
    2 Timpani

Strings
    10 Violins 1
    10 Violins 2
    8 Violas
    6 Cellos
    8 Double Basses


 
Early Romantic Orchestra:

Woodwinds
    1 Piccolo
    2 Flutes
    2 Oboes
    2 Clarinets
    2 Bassoons

Brass
    4 French Horns (sometimes in different keys)
    2 Trumpets
      (2 Cornets in Bb)
    3 Trombones - 2 Tenors, 1 Bass
      (Tuba)

Percussion
    3 Timpani
    Snare Drum
    Bass Drum
    Cymbals
    Triangle
    Tambourine
    Glockenspieles

Strings
          Harp
    14 Violins 1
    12 Violins 2
    10 Violas
      8 Cellos
      6 Double Basses

       
 
Late Romantic Orchestra:

Woodwinds
    1 Piccolo
    3-4 Flutes
    3-4 Oboes
    (English Horn)
    3-4 Clarinets
    (Bass Clarinet)
    3-4 Bassoons
    (Contrabassoon)

Brass
    4-10 French Horns
    3-8 Trumpets in F, C, Bb
    3-5 Trombones  (2-3 Tenors, 1 Bass)
    1-2 Tubas
    (Wagner Tubas - 2 Tenors, 2 Bass)

Percussion
    4 or more Timpani
    Snare Drum
    Bass Drum
    Cymbals
    Tam Tam
    Triangle
    Tambourine
    Glockenspiel
    Xylophone
    Tubular Bells

Strings
    2 Harps
    16 Violins 1
    14 Violins 2
    12 Violas
    10 Cellos
    8 Double Basses

Keyboards
    Piano
    Celeste

 
Modern Orchestra:

Woodwinds
    2-4 Flutes (1 doubling Piccolo)
    2-4 Oboes (1 doubling English Horn)
    2-4 Clarinets (1 doubling Bass Clarinet)
    2-4 Bassoons (1 doubling Contrabassoon)
    (Saxophone)

Brass
    4-8 French Horns in F
    3-6 Trumpets in Bb
    3-6 Trombones   (1 or 2 Bass)
    1-2 Tubas
    (Baritone Horn/Euphonium)

Percussion
    4 or more Timpani
    Snare Drum
    Tenor Drum
    Bass Drum
    Cymbals
    Tam Tam
    Triangle
    Wood Block
    Tambourine
    Glockenspiel
    Vibraphone
    Xylophone
    Tubular Bells
    Marimba

Strings
    1-2 Harps
    16 Violins 1
    14 Violins 2
    12 Violas
    10 Cellos
    8 Double Basses

Keyboards
    Piano
    Celeste
    (Pipe Organ)
       

Typical   Philharmonic   Orchestra   Seating

 
 




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