Definition and background:
A group of musicians who perform on a variety of instruments. Within Western art, the term is most commonly applied to the symphony orchestra. The modern symphony orchestra instrumentation includes: Strings Woodwinds Brass Percussion 18- 1st Violins 14 - 2nd Violins 12 - Violas 12 - Cellos 8 - Double Basses 4 - Flutes 3 - Oboes 1 - English Horn 3 - Clarinets 1 - Bass Clarinet 3 - Bassoons 1 - Contrabassoon 5 - French Horns 4 - Trumpets 3 - Trombones 1 - Tuba 2 - Timpani 3 - Untuned Percussion 1 - Tuned Percussion 2 - Harps The actual instrumentation of the symphony orchestra is dictated by the composer's indications in the score. In fact, on any given performance of a symphony orchestra, the instrumentation may change on every composition performed. The instrumentation shown above is the result of dramatic changes throughout the centuries. There has been a great expansion from the Baroque orchestra to the modern symphony orchestra. a large ensemble of players of musical instruments, generally including the following sections. strings, made up of violins, violas and double basses; wind, subdivided into woodwind and brass; and percussion; plus, very often, a harp. a symphony orchestra is capable of playing symphonies; a chamber orchestra is much smaller
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Wikipedia - Glossary of Musical Terminology
Virginia Tech Multimedia Music Dictionary
ORB -- Medieval Music Glossary