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Understanding the Orchestra

General Knowledge Workshops

Degas: The Orchestra at the Opera So much wonderful music has been written for the orchestra! For developing musicians, learning about other instruments is essential to understanding the breadth and richness of classical music. This workshop examines the instruments of the orchestra, how they work, and how composers use them, and explores the variety of sounds they can achieve. Help with identifying instruments by sound is included.

For high school students, aged 12 to 18

This workshop will help with:

• Theory, 4th grade and upward
• Musicianship, 5th grade and upward
• Music Craft, Preliminary and upward

"This session was very engaging and interesting. Topics covered were very relevant and useful in understanding components of the orchestra other than our own instruments"

"This was a great course for those who want to learn the basics of instruments and conducting"

General information about the workshops

Course Outline

Session 1

• Discussion: The Colour of Sound
• Families of Instruments
• The String Family

Morning Tea

• The Woodwind Family
• A Brief History of the Orchestra

Session 2

• The Brass Family
• Orchestration: Arranging for Orchestra

Afternoon Tea

• The Percussion Family
• Conductors and Conducting
• Summing up

Other Workshops

Baroque and Classical Styles
Romantic and Modern Styles
Form and Structure
Key, Tonality, Modes and Modulations
Understanding the Orchestra (you are here)