When you hear the word orchestra and band, you stand confused, fumbling for words. You hear the words and think, how are they different? They are a group of people playing musical instruments. You question, is there any noticeable difference?
You’ve come to the right place. Let’s find out how the two apparently similar concepts are diverse in their approach.
Bands and orchestras differ in the use of instruments and in the musical composition, style and the type of music that is created.
You must have seen in dated English or foreign films how people perform on stage. They play for a large audience in an opera house. In an orchestra you have a large variety of instruments being played by musicians on a stage in a synchronized manner.
Bands are smaller in size and use fewer instruments.
Things you will find in a band
Bands discard the use of string instruments. They march on the stage. There is a professional leader who plays instruments himself and guides all of the people who are playing the instruments.
The instruments that are generally used in a band are flute, oboe, clarinet, trumpet and bells that play the same line.
Alto sax and French horn are used to play the same line.
Tenor sax, Bassoon, Trombone and Baritone play the same line.
Bass clarinet, Bari saxophone and tuba play the same line.
Also the band has snare drum, bass drum and cymbals.
What to expect in orchestras
In an orchestra, there is a wider range of instruments that are used. Violin, viola, cello and double string bass are the string instruments used by the musicians.
These instruments are plucked, stroked, strummed and played using a bow. The strings vibrate to produce sounds of varying pitch and tunes.
The woodwinds are instruments which are played by blowing wind into them. They have a mouthpiece. The kinds of instruments are flute, piccolo, oboe, English horn, clarinet, bass clarinet, bassoon, contrabassoon and saxophone.
Next, we have the brass instruments. They are the trumpets, trombone, bass trombone, French horn and tuba.
Finally, we have the Percussion family. Music is made by striking, shaking and scraping the instruments.
The key instruments under this category are Timpani, Snare drum, Bass drum, Triangle, Gong, Cymbals, Vibraphone and lastly the piano.
Another major key feature of is that there is a conductor who leads the musicians of all the groups of instruments.
They generally stay seated in a particular order with the instrumentalists and perform in harmony with each other.
Some of the most famous composers like Beethoven, Mozart, Bach and others have experimented with the different kinds of instruments to produce unique and heavenly music to sooth our intellectual needs.
Bands have also celebrated our special events with great pomp and show and have been an integral part of the history of western music.
Indeed, music is discovered in various forms. We find that music undergoes a series of changes and it is an artist’s expression of transcendental bliss. The audience is privileged to gain access to such unparalleled creations of the greatest composers of all times.