1 [treated as singular or plural] A group of instrumentalists, especially one combining string, woodwind, brass, and percussion sections and playing classical music.
- Numbering more than 15,000, Boosey publications are a staple for serious musicians of all instruments, and for concert bands, orchestras and choirs.
- The brass section of an orchestra typically consists of trumpets, horns, trombones, and tubas.
- Calfe also is active in her high school marching, concert and jazz bands, orchestra and percussion ensemble.
2 (also orchestra pit) The part of a theatre where the orchestra plays, typically in front of the stage and on a lower level.
- This could be lowered for an orchestra pit; raised to match the floor level just in front of the stage, where it could support three rows of seating; or raised further to the stage's level, increasing its frontal floor area.
- During an orchestra rehearsal for New York City Ballet, Christopher Wheeldon rushes onto the stage from the audience, nimbly maneuvering over a narrow strip between the proscenium and the orchestra pit.
- He's been keeping her in the orchestra pit under the stage all this time.
3The semicircular space in front of an ancient Greek theatre stage where the chorus danced and sang.
- An exceptional feature of the theatre is the fact that a small stream was channelled through the space between the orchestra and the back of the proscenium.
Early 17th century: via Latin from Greek orkhēstra, from orkheisthai 'to dance'.
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