What is an orchestra?
What are symphonic instruments?
How many instruments are there in a symphony orchestra?
What does a conductor do?
What's the oldest instrument in the orchestra?
You will find the answers to all these questions at our educational concerts, which Mimi and her friend Dore also attended...
The Bassoon is a Woodwind instrument. The Bassoon is 1.3 meters long and 2.5 meters wide with the pipe opened. Basically, the Bassoon is the improved version of a conically carved and doubled pipe. The Bassoon usually made from maple consists of 4 parts called bell, bass, tenor and boots. It’s hanged on the player’s neck with a sling. The Bassoon takes on the task of supporting the bass sounds of the string instruments in the orchestra by playing with the Violoncellos frequently besides tuning the bass party of the Harmonies played by the woodwind band accompanying the Bass Clarinet or by itself. The tessitura is 3.5 octaves. All the Diatonic and Chromatic sounds are obtained in this tessitura. F Clef is used for low-pitched voices, and the fourth line C Clef is for high-pitched voices.
The Piano having sound over 7 octaves has 52 white keys, whose first key is A and the last one is C; and it has 36 black keys. (The concert Pianos have 97 keys.) As the keys of the Piano are pressed, the hammers inside hit the strings and sound occurs in this way. The Piano is both stringed and keyboard; but it's actually a percussion instrument. It has various types; the Grand Piano, the Upright Piano and the Dygital Pianos are the most common ones. For the notes played by right hand, G clef is used; and for the notes played by left hand, F clef is used.
It’s the member of the wind instruments that has a bright timber. It has different versions including B flat , C trumpet, D, A, E and E flat. When the mouth piece and kalak are changed, the tone of the voice can be diversified. There are three pistons on the current version. The tessitura is 2,5 octaves. The notes for the Trumpet are written by using G clef.
It’s the fretless instrument of the Brass Wind family. The length of the tube and its sounds change thanks to the slide bar named Kulis. The longer the tube is, the higher-pitched the sounds become. The shorter the tube is, the lower-pitched the sounds become. It was first used in the 15th century. They can be with a slide bar and piston. From high to low; Soprano, Alto, Piston Valve, Tenor, Bass and the Double Bass are the types of the Trombone. It is used in the Symphony, Opera and Musicals. The Trombone went into the West Classic Music Orchestra for the first time when it was used in the Fifth Symphony of Beethoven (deaf). The octave of its sound depends on its type and it is written with G, C, F clef considering its type.
It’s a strong, peaceful and vibrating sound. The Violoncello is in the same family with the Violin, the Viola and the Double Bass. Although the forms of the Violin and the Violoncello resemble each other, their sizes are quite different. This instrument which was made as 5 stringed at first was used to support the bass sounds in the orchestra. It was in the 18th century when it became a distinctive instrument by itself. The strings of the Violoncello, which is a 4 stringed and fretless instrument, are lined as “A” “D” “G” “C”. The notes for the Cello/Violoncello are written with F clef. They can also use G and C Clefs.
The Harp is one of the oldest instruments in the history of humanity. It has 47 strings and 7 pedals. Each string can make 3 diverse sounds. Thanks to the pedals, the sounds coming out of the strings become distinct(change). It’s mostly used in the Classical Western Music. Used in orchestras and held in an upright position, the Harp is the only instrument among the contemporary orchestral instruments whose strings are played only by finger. It is estimated that it’s made by being inspired by the Lyre. The “C” strings in Harp are red and the “F” strings are black blue. The expression “the most majestic stringed” suits the Harp very well. The hoop that surrounds the strings is called the "Timbre Box". They can be diatonic and chromatic. The sound is 6.5 octaves and the notes of the Harp are written with F and C Clefs.
From high to low pitched, the strings of the Viola are “C” “G” “D” A ”. The longest fiddlestick in the bowed family doesn’t belong to the Double Bass but the Viola. It’s the 2nd member of the Violin family. It is often confused with the Violin. Finger technique, positions, the method of obtaining different tone colour are not different from the Violin. It has a dark, deep and crucial tone. The Viola's task in the orchestra is mostly to tone the middle parties of the harmony. Because the Viola is in the middle of the orchestra sound field. The Viola is 3,5 octaves and the notes for the Viola are written with C Clef.
The Horn is a Copper Wind instrument made of a copper pipe, curved like a snail shell. It’s been translated into Turkish from the word "corno" which means "horn" in Italian. The pipe, which is the main part of the Horn, expands by twisting from its blown head to its lower end. It ends in the bell-shaped "kalak" section. It has 9 different types, and the pipe from head to ridge can range from 3.5 meters to 4.5 meters. The sounds produced vary depending on the position of the lips during blowing. Bass sounds are obtained if the lips are left loose, and treble sounds are obtained if they are kept taut. The Horn is a very difficult and tiring instrument to play. The sound of the Horn is 3 octaves and the notes for the Horn are written with F and C Clefs.
It’s the lowest-pitched sound of the Brass instruments. It has fret, piston; and it’s conical. The Tuba can be called the Double Bass of the Wind. Like the Double Bass, the Tuba plays the bass sounds of the Orchestra. It’s considered to be the ancestor of the Brass used today. It is played by sitting, standing, holding upright or sideways considering the fret structure. The curved body of the Tuba, which expands and opens towards the edge, ends with a bell-shaped bell. The mouthpiece part is funnel shaped. There are additional pipes called coil which tunes from different frets; and there is a piston mechanism on its body for opening and closing these pipes like on the Trumpet. Today, the Tuba has quite different models used in various countries. It is a wide, conical tube and piston, usually made of brass and copper. It is both an orchestra and a band instrument. The Tuba has three octaves and the F Clef is used for TUBA.
It is a double reed member of the Woodwind. It is usually made from ebony or rose wood. The Oboe sounds more in-depth compared to other woodwind instruments. The Oboe has a conical shape that expands from top to bottom. It consists of three parts. It is played by blowing a mouthpiece with double reed attached to the thin and small metal (silver or nickel) pipe at the top. This mouthpiece is combined by being connected of two reed pieces with a thin waxed rope. Professional oboists prepare their own mouthpieces by themselves. There are types named as Baroque, Classical, Viennese and Conservatoire. There is a wide range of sounds from Mezzosoprano to Soprano. In the orchestra, it gives the sound “A” for tuning. The voice of Oboe is 2.5 octaves. G Clef is used for the Oboe.
The Double Bass is the lowest pitched sound instrument of the stringed instruments in the Violin family. They can be 4 or 5 stringed. They are generally 1,80 metres (while the peak below is closed). They can be both played by a bow and plucked with fingers. It's an indispensable instrument for symphony and jazz music. The Double Bass derived from a Reneissance instrument called Violine. The strings of the 4 stringed Double Bass are E, A, D and G. For the 5 stringed Double Bass, C is added. It is played by F clef.
The Xylophone is an instrument consisting of a row of wooden or alloy bars of different lengths; and it’s played with two small mallets. It is used in Classical Western music. It can be made of wood or metal. Its origin is South Asia. It can be Heptatonic and Pentatonic as Asia and Africa instruments; dictatonic for children's instruments as in Western culture; or it can also be Chromatic for orchestra use, if necessary. The word Xylophone can be used to cover all instruments that look like it, such as marimba, balafon or semantron. However, in the use of Orchestra, the Xylophone is a chromatic instrument with a higher and drier tone than marimba and should not be confused with each other.
The Organ consists of small and large sound pipes. The sound in the Organ is obtained by blowing the air from the bellows as it passes through wood or metal pipes, as it is in the wind instruments, vibrating the air columns inside. It is an instrument with keyboard and pedal. Different tones and notes are controlled with keys as being on the Piano. Most of the elements that make up the Organ are not visible from the outside. The decorative two buffets of Large and Positive Organs and the big pipes of the Contemporary Organs hide almost the whole mechanism and plenty of pipes. The Organ mechanism consists of console, keyboards, register buttons and systems that ensure the compatibility of the keyboard and pipe sets. There are hand keyboards on an Organ ranging from 1 to 5; and there’s also a pedal keyboard made with keys and used with feet. The Keyboards are named as Large Organ, Positive, Recitativo, Echo and Bombarda Keyboards. The best known type is the Church Organ.
It has a great value for music education. It’s a device that produces beating sounds to get a stable rhytm. It can be translated as “measure tuning” in Turkish. It’s used to make an instrument play in a certain speed and same beat. It was invented in 1814 by Dietrich Nikolaus Winkel living in Amsterdam. It was patented in 1815 and started to manufacture in the following year. Ludwig van Beethoven was the first person using the Metronome in music.