What Instruments Are Used in an Orchestra?

What Instruments Are Used in an Orchestra?

Some of the most common orchestral instruments include the violin, the flute and the trumpet. Depending on the type of orchestra and the music being performed, audiences are likely to encounter a large variety of instruments.

Each orchestra is comprised of different instruments, and with the extensive range of music performed at concerts, it is possible to find practically any musical instrument in an orchestra. Orchestras are typically arranged into sections, comprising instruments of the same musical families.

The most commonly encountered stringed instruments are the violin, viola, cello and bass violin. In the woodwind family, the flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon and saxophone are common.

In the brass section of an orchestra rests the trumpet, French horn, trombone and tuba. Instruments common to the percussion section include kettledrums, snare drums, cymbals, the tambourine and the triangle.

Notable keyboard instruments include the piano, celesta, harpsichord and organ. If the orchestra features vocal performances, there may also be singers of different voice types ranging from soprano (high female voice) to bass (low male voice).

Though less common, on occasion audiences may also encounter electric instruments in an orchestra, such as the electric guitar, when a particular concert performance or individual musical piece requires it.