5 Types of Orchestra Instruments

Orchestra instruments are the components of the massive symphonic sound that has created some of the most beautiful music ever written. Some of the world’s most famous composers have used the various members that make up an orchestra to make sounds that have won the world over and used to recreate these pieces as well as create new modern pieces. Famous musicians like Yo-Yo Ma have made a name for themselves using instruments, like the cello, to create beautiful solo compositions as well. Whether alone or as part of a larger musical group, these instruments are some of the most diverse and enjoyable to play.

Cello. As mentioned above, many musicians have stood out as masters of this instrument. This very large instrument is similar to a violin, but have a very deep sound that is extremely powerful and loud. However, this instrument can also be very soft and sweet. Its great range of sound is extremely popular for this reason, and this instrument has a huge role in orchestras.

Violin. Probably the best-known orchestra instrument is also the most dominant in orchestras, a section is often composed of dozens of players. These instruments have a much higher tone than cellos, but the same expansive range. They are used for not only symphonic music, but also country, jazz, and nearly every other genre of music.

Trumpets. This brass instrument is the dominant sound in the brass section. Very loud and bright, these instruments often back up or contrast with the main theme played by the violins. Their music can be slow and melodic or rapid and jittery. Trumpets are used in a huge range of musical genres as well.

Clarinet. Another large section of the orchestra, this instrument is the dominant wind instrument. With a vibrating reed, this instrument has a mid-range sound that provides a warm bright sound, but not as dominate as the trumpet in tone. Also used in Jazz regularly, this instrument is popular for younger players and is much cheaper than violins and cellos.

Percussion. Not a single instrument necessarily, this section includes the standard percussions items – snares, bass drums, cymbals – as well as tympani drums and bells. This is the more difficult instruments to play and each one is used differently, or not at all, in a specific composition.

These are just some of the instruments that make up an orchestra. There are a many more instruments like tubas, bassoons, flutes, and loads more depending upon the needs of the musical piece.

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