What are the Instruments of the Orchestra?

Scroll down to see video examples of each instrument.

Upper Strings


1. Violin
The smallest of the string instruments, the violin has the highest, brightest sound.  The violin often plays the melody.

2. Viola
Only slightly bigger than the violin, the viola has a smoother, more mellow tone.  The viola sometimes shares the melody but more often provides much needed rich harmonies.  

Lower Strings


3. Cello
The cello is the third-largest string instrument with the unique ability to play both low and higher sounds.  After the violin, the cello is next in line when it comes to playing the melody,  however, cellos also often get to enjoy playing the foundation.

4. Double Bass
The largest of the string instruments, the bass has the lowest sounds of the orchestra.  But, did you know that the bass can also play as high as a violin?  It’s true!  The bass is capable of playing the entire range of any of the above-listed instruments.  While basses mainly provide the foundation for music, a bass also has the ability to play any melody.  An added bonus with bass is playing jazz, rock, pop, etc. It is truly the most versatile of all the string instruments.