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Use the tabs below to find out about each section of the orchestra, watch video clips, and read interviews with musicians.

There are more strings in the orchestra than all the other instruments put together, and they are very often at the heart of the music.

The double bass is the biggest string instrument in the orchestra, and a great instrument to learn if you want to play jazz.

It got its name from the job it used to do. It used to 'double the bass' played by the harpsichord in 17th-century orchestras. Now it has its own music and even the occasional solo!

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Meet the orchestra

Bill Graham White, Double Bass
BBC National Orchestra of Wales

  • How old were you when you first started playing?
    I was fourteen years old.

  • Why did you choose this instrument?
    I loved the look of it!

  • Do you play any other instruments?
    I play the bass guitar and the piano, badly.

  • What do you like most about playing in an orchestra? Is it fun?
    Being just a small cog then playing my favourite music.

  • Do you play any other kind of music?
    I like to play jazz and pop.

  • What is your favourite music?
    My favourite music to play is jazz. My favourite to listen to is classical.

  • Do you have any other hobbies?
    Cars and gardening.

  • What would you have been if you weren't a musician?
    I would have been a teacher or a mechanic.

Have you been listening to an orchestra without realising it?

Spot the orchestra

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