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What's an Orchestra?



What's an Orchestra?
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   5.33

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    funnel, baton, clarinet, large, lower, stringed, piccolo, trombone, mouthpiece, group, section, bass, woodwind, holds, often, orchestra


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What's an Orchestra?
By Cindy Grigg
  

1     An orchestra is a large group of musicians playing together. There are many different instruments. Brass, woodwinds, strings, and percussion are the four groups or sections in an orchestra.
 
2     Stringed instruments make sounds when their strings are plucked with the fingers or stroked with a bow. The violin, viola, cello, and bass (say base) look alike. The violin is the smallest. The viola is a little bigger. Violins and violas are played with the end of the instrument tucked under the musician's chin. The larger cello and even larger bass rest on the floor. The bass may be taller than the musician! The larger the instrument, the lower the sound it makes. Stringed instruments make up more than half of most orchestras. The string section is usually located in the front. The stringed instruments are quieter than other instruments. Placing them in the front lets them be heard well by the audience.
 
3     Brass and percussion instruments are found in the back. Brass instruments are hollow inside. They make sounds when air is blown into a mouthpiece. Parts of these instruments are shaped like a cup or a funnel. The tuba, trumpet, trombone, and French horn are brass instruments. The tuba is the largest. It makes a very low sound.

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