- the space reserved for the musicians, usually the front part of the main floor (orchestra pit ).
- the entire main-floor space for spectators.
- the parquet.
Origin of orchestra
Words nearby orchestra
ORCHESTRA VS. SYMPHONY VS. PHILHARMONIC
What’s the difference between an orchestra, a symphony, and a philharmonic?
The most common (and general) term is orchestra. Most large orchestras include many different instruments and classes of instruments, including strings, woodwinds, brass, and percussion.
The word symphony primarily refers to a complex, multipart musical composition (like Beethoven’s fifth symphony), but it’s also a short way of referring to a symphony orchestra—a large orchestra, the kind that performs symphonies. (Smaller orchestras—those with about 25 people—are often called chamber orchestras). As a noun, the word philharmonic can refer to a symphony orchestra or to the organization that sponsors it (sometimes called a philharmonic society, in which philharmonic is used as an adjective). The word orchestra most commonly refers to the group of musicians, but it can also refer to the space reserved for them, usually the front part of the main floor (sometimes called the orchestra pit).
Both symphony and philharmonic are sometimes used in the names of orchestras, as in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, and the London Philharmonic Orchestra.
Here’s an example of orchestra, symphony, and philharmonic used correctly in a sentence.
Example: I’ve attended performances of this symphony by the Berlin Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Orchestra, and the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
Want to learn more? Read the full breakdown of the difference between orchestra, symphony, and philharmonic.
Quiz yourself on symphony vs. orchestra vs. philharmonic!
Should orchestra, symphony, or philharmonic be used in the following sentence?
Mozart composed this _____ in 1786.
How to use orchestra in a sentence
As a director, you’re essentially a conductor of an orchestra.How Making a Film Led Isabel Sandoval to Come Out as Trans|Eugene Robinson|October 20, 2020|Ozy
In school, I was involved in the orchestra as the band, the marching band.Lenny Kravitz on Life, Love and the Pursuit of Music|Sean Braswell|October 17, 2020|Ozy
Though the pandemic has put all orchestras, the Philharmonic included, in a perilous position, it has also highlighted how such institutions might rethink the conventions of classical music.
New York Philharmonic horn player Leelanee Sterrett says that every orchestra member brings “a different interpretation to their parts each time.”
It doesn’t donate to the city’s vaunted orchestra, and isn’t a member of the region’s chamber of commerce.The Big Corporate Rescue and the America That’s Too Small to Save|by Lydia DePillis, Justin Elliott and Paul Kiel|September 12, 2020|ProPublica
People scream, the orchestra stops playing, and the stage manager whisks the diva into the wings.Alfred Hitchcock’s Fade to Black: The Great Director’s Final Days|David Freeman|December 13, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Since the arrival of Chorus Master Donald Palumbo, the Met chorus now commands that same level of excellence as the orchestra.
She could no longer go to the orchestra; she was confined to a wheelchair.The Nurse Coaching People Through Death by Starvation|Nick Tabor|November 17, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Orchestra seats cost $100; mezzanine is $75; and balcony, $50.
The organ itself is part of the show, as it can rise or drop independent of the orchestra pit.How to Save Silent Movies: Inside New Jersey’s Cinema Paradiso|Rich Goldstein|October 2, 2014|DAILY BEAST
I asked of Kellermann, who sat next, "and how is it one finds such an orchestra in such a place?"
Why should not Aristide, past master in drumming, find an honourable position in the orchestra of the Tournée Gulland?The Joyous Adventures of Aristide Pujol|William J. Locke
Mrs. S. said she was familiar with it from having heard Thomas's orchestra play it in New York.
But the quiet old town, with its musical name and its great orchestra, will long remain in my memory.
So he took my copy and played the orchestra part which is indicated above the piano part, and I played without notes.
British Dictionary definitions for orchestra
Derived forms of orchestraorchestral (ɔːˈkɛstrəl), adjectiveorchestrally, adverb
Word Origin for orchestra
Cultural definitions for orchestra
A group of musicians who play together on a variety of instruments, which usually come from all four instrument families — brass, percussion, strings, and woodwinds. A typical symphony orchestra is made up of more than ninety musicians. Most orchestras, unlike chamber music groups, have more than one musician playing each musical part.