The Orchestra’s Evolution
The Greek word for orchestra originally referred to the location where the Greek chorus performed its dances and songs. The phrase was reintroduced in the latter part of the 17th century and developed to refer to the actual performers. The origins of orchestras can be traced to the consorts used in noble households in the 16th century and to the groups of instrumentalists convened expressly for significant events. The birth and development of orchestras then follow the four historical periods.
Strings were the most significant instrument in baroque music. There were between 10 and 30 players in baroque orchestras, mostly strings. Strings and winds played music with similar melodies and rhythms in the Baroque orchestra. Brass and woodwind instruments were initially employed to play melodies, but later on they were primarily utilized to support the harmony. The size of the orchestra was not standardized during the baroque era. The size, instrumentation, and playing styles of the orchestras in the various European countries varied greatly, as did the orchestral soundscapes and color palettes. The term “Baroque orchestra” refers to a variety of ensembles and orchestras, ranging in size from small ensembles with one player per part to big orchestras …