Classical » Orchestral
Orchestral music originated in the late 16th century stage spectacles and 17th century opera orchestras. The word "orchestra" came into common use in the 18th century, when music of the Baroque and Classical eras often was composed for specific occasions. Incidental music to accompany plays was also important in the Classical and early Romantic eras. The Romantics threw off the constraints of pre-established forms and luxuriated in the possibilities offered by the expansion of instruments available. Liszt pioneered the tone poem or symphonic poem. Orchestral dances like "On the Beautiful Blue Danube" have lost none of their popularity. For much of the 20th century, the orchestra stood at the center of community life in classical music, and new works appeared accordingly. The success of pieces like John Adams' "A Short Ride in a Fast Machine," shows that the orchestra remains a vital medium, even in an age of high technology.