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Symphonies are extended compositions written for orchestra. Pictured here is a performance of the 8th Symphony of Gustav Mahler in the Kölner Philharmonie. The orchestra is the Wuppertaler Sinfonieorchester, conducted by Heinz-Walter Florin.
A symphony is an extended musical composition in Western classical music, most often written by composers for orchestra. Although the term has had many meanings from its origins in the ancient Greek era, by the late 18th century the word had taken on the meaning common today: a work usually consisting of multiple distinct sections or movements, often four, with the first movement in sonata form. Symphonies are scored for string (violin, viola, cello and double bass), brass, woodwind, and percussion instruments which altogether number about 30–100 musicians. Symphonies are notated in a musical score, which contains all the instrument parts. Orchestral musicians play from parts which contain just the notated music for their instrument. A small number of symphonies also contain vocal parts (e.g., Beethoven's Ninth Symphony).
Symphony sections
Intro  Origins  18th century  19th century  20th century  Other modern usages of \"symphony\"  See also  References  Sources  Further reading  External links  

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