[MUSIC] I'd like to turn now to a very brief overview of the development of the western symphony orchestra. Here's a seating plan for modern symphony orchestra and its instruments. It's just one of several commonly used arrangements. As we look at it, let's think about how our modern symphony orchestra began to take shape. The nucleus was provided by the strings during the 17th century, when the violin came into prominence. It and other members of the violin family, a cousin, came to form the core of the ensemble, the string core. Violins, violas, cellos, double basses, and occasionally harps. Soon, some woodwind instruments were added. Usually oboes and bassoons. Often doubling, playing the same pitches as doubling the string parts. By the end of the 17th century, French horns could be added to give greater body or substance to the sound. Around 1700, should a composer want to create a particularly splendid sound, he might add trumpets and tympani. Flutes and clarinets didn't join the orchestra until the 18th century, and the trombone and tuba not until the 19th. Other percussive instruments, not until the 20th century. Notice that the brass and the percussion here, are all the way at the back of the orchestra. That's where they almost always go. Because they can be very loud. That's a quick thumbnail sketch of how the orchestra developed for classical music in the west. It grew from a group of about 15 in the 17th century, to more than a hundred by the end of the 19th century. Today the New York Philharmonic, a typical well established orchestra has by contract with the musicians union, exactly 106 members, not including the conductor. But what does a conductor do? Obviously, he or she is something of a musical traffic cop. Leading the orchestra, setting the tempo, assuring the proper dynamic level, waving in a soloist now and then, balancing the various sections, making sure that all the pitches are in tune. All of this so that the essential message of the music is heard in a convincing fashion. Here's a picture of my friend Toshi Shimada, whose conducted many first line orchestras in the United States, Europe, and the Far East. The orchestra is a medium, it's a medium between the creator and the perceiver of a work of art, between the composer and the listener. It's the job of the conductor to facilitate the communication between these two, between creator and receiver. Notice the arrow pointing to the conductor's score. It's kind of a musical road map. The conductor will glance at this from time to time to remember when to throw a cue to a player, or perhaps to beat an especially clear beat pattern to set an unambiguous tempo. Let's zero in on what a conductor's score looks like. We could also call it the full score. Conductor's score, full score, same thing. Let's see what it looks like. Here, the woodwinds are on top. The first four lines at the top there, the woodwind parts, running down from flute to a bassoon. Then we have in the middle the brasses, followed by the percussion. And the bottom four parts are the string parts. First and second violins and violas and in this case cellos and basses together. The players in the orchestra, they have only their individual parts. Just one line on their stands, but the conductor has a composite of all of them. Now I choose here an image from Beethoven's Symphony Number 3. Because that's what we're about to hear next. But notice in passing how many different lines are playing at once. Does the conductor hear all of this? Well a good one will. But even so, he or she is still responsible for, still gotta concentrate on the essential part of the musical message, and that's usually the melody. Having discussed the tone color of the various orchestral instruments and briefly how the orchestra came to be formed, let's see how they can work together to create a glorious effect. We turn now to a performance part of the end of Beethoven's Symphony Number 3, the Eroica symphony. We'll talk more about the history of this work when we get to Beethoven. But for the moment, let's just concentrate on the music. Toward the end of this four movement, and by that, we simply mean four section symphony. Movement is simply an independent section. The end of this four movement symphony. Toward the end of it, we hear these sorts of sounds. We'll be following along here with the conductor's score. [MUSIC] This is a good example of a half-cadence. We could call it a pause cadence because that's what it does, creates a sense of delay, an expectation. The music stops here, but we really want it to go on, we want to hear more. And what we hear then is a beautiful soft, melodious passage played by the woodwinds and you'll never believe what you're hearing. These are students playing, undergraduates. This is the Undergraduate Yale Symphony Orchestra, let's listen. [MUSIC] Then, across the page. [MUSIC] Then I ask the players to take this apart, this same passage, to show the tone colors of the various instruments, and how the instruments blend their sounds. We'll start with the oboe as it plays the melody. [MUSIC] Next, the bassoon, as it plays the bass line. [MUSIC] Then oboe and bassoon as they play base and melody together. [MUSIC] Notice here, that they're often going in opposite directions. This is called counterpoint. Points moving against each other or pitches moving against each other. This is the kind of thing they teach you to do in basic music composition courses. Make good counter points. [MUSIC] There are also two clarinets playing in this passage. They help fill out the harmony in the middle of the texture. [MUSIC] Notice that they generally move together. They're not creating the essential counterpoint of the melody and bass. Internal filler would be closer to the mark here. [MUSIC] All right. Now let's put this all back together again. Another bassoon is added, and toward the end a French horn sneaks in to give even more weight to the sound, let's see if we can pick it up with the woodwinds all together. [MUSIC] Here comes the french horn. [MUSIC] Now, at this point Beethoven extends the music to the string section with solos being inserted for clarinet and then one for the oboe. So, let's back up here, and hear this entire section again. Strings lead up to a pause, the half cadence that we heard then the beautiful soft passage for wood winds then the strings take the lead take the music back again, and out of it grows the solo first for clarinet and then for oboe. And again let's follow the full score here just as the conductor would see it. Almost no one can read all this music at once, but I thought you might enjoy a peek at what the conductor actually sees. [MUSIC] Cadence. [MUSIC] Clarinet solo. [MUSIC] Oboe Solo [MUSIC] A beautiful passage by Beethoven, in which we get to hear many of the tone colors of the instruments of the orchestra. All beautifully played by young people, 18, 19, 20, 21 years old. Just students. A soccer or a football team, in an American football team each has eleven players on it. A baseball team, nine, and a basketball team only five. But a symphony orchestra has upward of a hundred players participating, all at once. Playing as many as 25 different instruments. It's intricate. It's complex. But as we have just heard it can also be very powerful and very beautiful.