How Many Instruments Are There in an Orchestra?

Orchestras vary in size, according to the piece of music they’re playing. But in general, a modern orchestra has about 100 instruments, divided into four sections.

The string section includes 34 violins, 12 violas, ten cellos, eight double basses, and two harps, for a total of 66 instruments.

The woodwind section includes three flutes, three clarinets, three oboes, three bassoons, one double bassoon, one piccolo, one English horn, and one bass clarinet, for a total of 16 instruments.

The brass section includes four trumpets, six French horns, three trombones, and one tuba, for a total of 14 instruments.

The percussion section contains a variety of instruments, including four kettledrums, and such instruments as the chimes, xylophone, triangle, and cymbals.

The largest orchestra ever to play together was assembled in Oslo, Norway, in 1964, 20,000 pieces!

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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