Whether in a school, amateur or professional context, orchestras and concert bands are complex ensembles spanning multiple instruments across strings, woodwinds, brass and percussion that a single conductor keeps together.
Yet, while the sound is expansive and the score equally intense, some instruments may speak to you: perhaps after watching a performance, you're considering picking up a trumpet or violin. Or, already participating, you're thinking about upgrading your rental or beginner instrument to a more advanced model. In all cases, Alamo Music Center provides a wide and comprehensive array of band and orchestra instruments.
The woodwind family includes instruments from the flute and piccolo all the way down to the bassoon and contrabassoon. In between, the oboe, English horn, clarinet and saxophone expand the tonality and timbre.
Although the woodwind family of instruments spans multiple genres - from classical to jazz and ska - and ensemble formats, they all have specific characteristics. Generally, woodwinds have a solid metal or metal and wood body, with various keys over holes the player presses. With the exception of the flute and piccolo, all woodwinds use a reed and mouthpiece to produce a sound.
Due to concert and marching band ensembles, woodwinds and brass are frequently grouped together. While they look similar, however, brass instruments involve a mouthpiece the player vibrates their lips into. All instrument further utilize a long tube formation with multiple valves or a slide for reaching a full range of pitches. Within orchestra and band setups, the brass family typically includes the trumpet, French horn, trombone and tuba.
Excluding the harp, string instruments all feature a hollow body and four metal-wound strings. Using a bow strung with horse hair, the player goes over the strings to produce a pitch, which then emerges from the body. It's rare you'll spot a stringed instrument in band - although sometimes a bass will be there for rhythm - but in an orchestra, the string section encompasses the violin, viola, cello and double bass.
If you can hit it, shake it or ring it, the instrument belongs in the percussion section. Considered the vastest section of orchestra and band ensembles, percussion instruments start with various drums, including timpani and snare drums, and progress through the xylophone, marimba, maracas, the triangle, bells and other instruments shaken or hit with a mallet.
Find a Full Spectrum of Band and Orchestra Instruments at Alamo Music Center
Get started or upgrade your sound with new and used band and orchestra instruments from leading brands, including Yamaha, Conn-Selmer, Buffet, Jupiter and Eastman. Browse Alamo Music Center's selection today, and then sign up for trial lessons to get to know your instrument. In addition to an extended warranty on your purchase, we offer a choice of financing and layaway options, including no interest for 12 to 48 months at times.