Orchestra | An Orchestra Of One?


An orchestra is a large instrumental ensemble typical of classical music, which combines instruments from different families. There are two basic orchestras - the chamber orchestras which employ about 50 or fewer musicians, and symphony orchestras which can employ more than 100 musicians. Both orchestras can be divided up into sections called strings, woodwinds, brass, and percussion.

In my household I use the word orchestra to describe the collaborating sounds that are produced by family members. Here’s an example! If I heard a family member snoring (this typically happens at night), the next morning I might make a comment to them like “your horn (brass) was out of tune last night.” There are the occasions where someone will pass some gas. On those occasions my comment to them will be “you were banging on your drum (percussion) a little too loud.” And there is the occasional grinding of teeth. My comment, “I think you need to restring your violin (strings).” On rare occasions, I can hear all three of these instruments being played by one person. This is when I will comment “the entire orchestra performed poorly!” This is very rare!

I love using instruments to describe bodily sounds because they are objects almost everyone can identify with - the sound the instruments produce when they are played well and when they are played poorly, and the instrument nicknames tend to induce chuckles instead of embarrassment. Oh, one last thing, if you are reading this and saying to yourself - that’s not me, I’m here to tell you – yes it is you! From little babies to beauty queens, we all play some of these instruments from time to time.

Share your thoughts on playing instruments.

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