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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 harp has existed for hundreds of years and was played in Ancient Egypt and in Roman times.

It has a big, triangle shaped wooden frame, which about 45 strings stretch across, from top to bottom. These are all different lengths and thicknesses, so they play different notes. They are plucked by the harpist, so that they make a sound.

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Meet the orchestra

Clifford Lantaff, Harp
BBC Philharmonic

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

  • Why did you choose this instrument specially?
    It was the only instrument taught at my school apart from the recorder.

  • Do you play any other instruments?
    I also play the piano.

  • What do you like most about playing in an orchestra? Is it fun?
    Playing in concerts when the adrenalin is going and everyone is doing their best. A great feeling of doing something special together.

  • Do you play any other kind of music?
    Yes - folk music.

  • What's your favourite music?
    Janáček String Quartets.

  • Do you have any hobies? What are they?
    Yes - cycling and mathematics. I'm studying for a degree in Maths in my spare time at the moment.

  • What would you have done if you hadn't been a musician?
    Possibly a teacher - but not in Music. Perhaps Maths!?

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