|1.||symphony orchestra string orchestra See also chamber orchestra a large group of musicians, esp one whose members play a variety of different instruments|
|2.||a group of musicians, each playing the same type of instrument: a balalaika orchestra|
|3.||Also called: orchestra pit the space reserved for musicians in a theatre, immediately in front of or under the stage|
|4.||chiefly (US), (Canadian) the stalls in a theatre|
|5.||(in the ancient Greek theatre) the semicircular space in front of the stage|
|[C17: via Latin from Greek: the space in the theatre reserved for the chorus, from orkheisthai to dance]|
A group of musicians who play together on a variety of instruments, which usually come from all four instrument families — brass, percussion, strings, and woodwinds. A typical symphony orchestra is made up of more than ninety musicians. Most orchestras, unlike chamber music groups, have more than one musician playing each musical part.