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What Do String Instruments Add to an Orchestra? November 28, 2018

Brighton, Monroe
What Do String Instruments Add to an Orchestra?, Brighton, New York

Orchestras have created countless musical pieces that can be heard anywhere from theater stages to television shows. Each musical instrument player included in the group plays specific roles to produce a beautiful unified sound. Perhaps the most necessary aspect of an orchestra is its string section. Here’s why string instruments are so important and how they come together within the orchestra. 

Why Are String Instruments an Important Part of musical instrumentsan Orchestra?

Brass, woodwind, strings, and percussion are the four main sections of an orchestra. The string section is usually the largest group; more than half of the performers are in this section. It is comprised of several musical instruments, including violins, basses, cellos, and violas. They are the orchestra’s foundation because they provide the melody of the music. These instruments also offer the largest range of intensity and nuance.

What Does the String Section Add to an Orchestra?

Each of the four musical instruments within the string section provides different sounds for the orchestra. Here are some of the prominent roles they play to help the entire orchestra achieve the desired sound and tone:

  • Violins: As the defining members of the section, and perhaps the orchestra itself, the violins are separated into two groups. The first violins carry the melody, and the second violins play in a lower pitch to support the melody or frame it by playing a countermelody.
  • Violas: This instrument has a slightly deeper tone and pitch than the violin. They can produce harmonies or rhythm to accompany the violins.
  • Cello: Full orchestras can have up to 12 cellos in their string section. The cello is capable of producing a warm, rich tone that closely resembles a human voice. Because of its versatility, it can be a harmonic accompaniment to violins or produce counterpoint melodies. 
  • Bases: This instrument follows the cello line, but at a lower octave throughout the performance. It adds depth to the music. 


Every orchestra performer needs a quality musical instrument to produce beautiful sounds. For almost 50 years, The String House in Rochester, NY, has been the go-to store for string instruments. Their helpful staff provides exceptional customer services, whether you wish to purchase or rent an instrument. They also offer instrument repairs and a 100%-trade-in policy, which will allow you to exchange your instrument for one of equal or lesser value. For more information about their products and services, call (585) 442-9272 or visit them online today.

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