Keyboard section

The keyboard section of an orchestra or concert band includes keyboard instruments. Keyboard instruments are not usually a standard member of a 2010-era orchestra or concert band, but they are included occasionally. In orchestras from the 1600s to the mid-1750s, a keyboard instrument such as the pipe organ or harpsichord normally played with an orchestra, with the performer improvising chords from a figured bass part. This practice, called basso continuo, was phased out after 1750 (although some Masses for choir and orchestra would occasionally still have a keyboard part in the late 1700s).


Common members of this section are:

Less common members

Although technically not a keyboard instrument, the cimbalom, a concert hammered dulcimer, is usually placed in the keyboard section, as in Franz Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsody No. 6 and Béla Bartók's First Rhapsody for violin and orchestra. In some cases, one or more concert harps may be placed in the keyboard section.

See also

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