- an elaborate instrumental composition in three or more movements, similar in form to a sonata but written for an orchestra and usually of far grander proportions and more varied elements.
- an instrumental passage occurring in a vocal composition, or between vocal movements in a composition.
- an instrumental piece, often in several movements, forming the overture to an opera or the like.
- symphony orchestra.
- a concert performed by a symphony orchestra.
- anything characterized by a harmonious combination of elements, especially an effective combination of colors.
- harmony of sounds.
- Archaic. agreement; concord.
Origin of symphony
Examples from the Web for symphony
If Japanese whisky is like a symphony, then I am a contented listener.Watch Out, Scotland! Japanese Whisky Is on the Rise
November 16, 2014
Are you depressed, like me, that symphony orchestras are declaring bankruptcy, but Justin Bieber earned $58 million last year?The Smartest Book About Our Digital Age Was Published in 1929
January 5, 2014
Amid the symphony of symbols, President Barack Obama succeeded.Obama In Israel: He Came, He Spoke, They Swooned
March 22, 2013
The son of a French horn player in a symphony orchestra, he began playing the piano “against my will,” he laughs, at age 3.Shooting the Stars With Fashion Photographers Markus and Indrani
November 25, 2012
The Project exhibition commenced on July 4th coupled with a symphony performance in Austin, Texas where Trieb lives.War Photographer Trains Her Lens on Military Suicide at Home
September 4, 2012
When you write a symphony, you do it out of yourself, but not by yourself.
"I wonder if you realize what an event for your friends this symphony was," Sally broke in.
Without my friends, my symphony would have been left unwritten.
Necessarily the opera must be more romantic than the symphony.War Letters of a Public-School Boy
There was nothing in the world she loved so much as a symphony orchestra.Highacres
- an extended large-scale orchestral composition, usually with several movements, at least one of which is in sonata form. The classical form of the symphony was fixed by Haydn and Mozart, but the innovations of subsequent composers have freed it entirely from classical constraints. It continues to be a vehicle for serious, large-scale orchestral music
- a piece of instrumental music in up to three very short movements, used as an overture to or interlude in a baroque opera
- any purely orchestral movement in a vocal work, such as a cantata or oratorio
- short for symphony orchestra
- (in musical theory, esp of classical Greece)
- anything distinguished by a harmonious compositionthe picture was a symphony of green
- archaic harmony in general; concord
Word Origin and History for symphony
late 13c., the name of various musical instruments, from Old French symphonie "harmony" (12c.), from Latin symphonia "a unison of sounds, harmony," from Greek symphonia "harmony, concert," from symphonos "harmonious," from syn- "together" (see syn-) + phone "voice, sound" (see fame (n.)).
Meaning "harmony of sounds" is attested from mid-15c.; sense of "music in parts" is from 1590s. "It was only after the advent of Haydn that this word began to mean a sonata for full orchestra. Before that time it meant a prelude, postlude, or interlude, or any short instrumental work." ["Elson's Music Dictionary"] Meaning "elaborate orchestral composition" first attested 1789 (symphonic in this sense is from 1864). Elliptical for "symphony orchestra" from 1926.