Symphony and Philharmonic Orchestra

Difference between Symphony and Philharmonic Orchestra
Difference between Symphony and Philharmonic Orchestra

The Difference between Symphony and Philharmonic Orchestra is given here. The term orchestra comes from the Greek ορχήστρα or orchestra, which means a place to dance. This definition dates back to the 5th century BC when artistic performances were held in open-air theaters called amphitheaters. In these old orchestras, there was a space for singers, dancers, and instruments.

Today, an orchestra is a set of musical instruments and those who play them. Symphony and philharmonic orchestras are often confused, however, they present certain differences.

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It is a group or large musical group in which there are various families of musical instruments (wind, wood, metal, string, and percussion)

This type of orchestras have more than 80 musicians, in some cases, it exceeds 100. The number of musicians will depend on the performance to be performed.

In a symphony orchestra it consists of four groups of similar musical instruments:

  • Woodwind.
  • Metal wind.
  • Percussion.
  • Strings
  • Optional: Harp and piano.

An orchestra has a director, whose role is to direct and even provide musical training. He is responsible for keeping the time of the piece and giving the respective inputs to the instruments, he usually stays faithful to the scores but gives them a personal touch.


A philharmonic is a group of music lovers, as its name implies. An orchestra may be a philharmonic but a philharmonic may not be an orchestra as it is composed of non-professional musicians being a group of people who love to play together.

They come from ancient times when orchestras were formed based on existing instruments, leaving the option of interpreting a piece to the performers.

suggested video: Symphony vs Philharmonic Orchestra

Difference between Symphony and Philharmonic Orchestra

  • Philharmonic is more of a decorative term that is added to the term “orchestra” It is the grouping of people who love music who may or may not be professional musicians.
  • A philharmonic orchestra can be called like that due to its origin, as they are subsidized by a music lover.

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