The origins of the orchestra lie in the consorts of instruments attached to Renaissance courts, which could be augmented for special occasions. The exact size and make-up of such ensembles could vary widely. The so-called 24 Violons du Roi was established at the court of Louis XIII in 1626: its line-up of 6 violins, 12 violas and 6 cellos was imitated elsewhere.
Guide to Classical Music
on radio 3
Essential Guide to Classical Music
What's On Classical TV and Radio
Guide to the Orchestra
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