Definition of orchestra:
- A band composed, for the largest part, of players of the various viol instruments, many of each kind, together with a proper complement of wind instruments of wood and brass; -- as distinguished from a military or street band of players on wind instruments, and from an assemblage of solo players for the rendering of concerted pieces, such as septets, octets, and the like.
- Loosely: A band of instrumental musicians performing in a theater, concert hall, or other place of public amusement.
- Strictly: A band suitable for the performance of symphonies, overtures, etc., as well as for the accompaniment of operas, oratorios, cantatas, masses, and the like, or of vocal and instrumental solos.
- The instruments employed by a full band, collectively; as, an orchestra of forty stringed instruments, with proper complement of wind instruments.
- The place in any public hall appropriated to a band of instrumental musicians.
- The space in a theater between the stage and the audience; - originally appropriated by the Greeks to the chorus and its evolutions, afterward by the Romans to persons of distinction, and by the moderns to a band of instrumental musicians.
- "Melomaniacs", James Huneker.
- "The Intriguers", William Le Queux.
We liked this fairly well, especially the last movement, but we found all the movements too long and, speaking for myself, if I had a tame orchestra for which I might write programmes, I should probably put it down once or twice again, not from any spontaneous wish to hear more of it but as a matter of duty that I might judge it with fuller comprehension- still, if each movement had been half as long I should probably have felt cordially enough towards it, except of course in so far as that the spirit of the music is alien to that of the early Italian school with which alone I am in genuine sympathy and of which Handel is the climax.- "The Note-Books of Samuel Butler", Samuel Butler.