String section

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The string section is the largest body of the standard orchestra and consists of bowed string instruments of the violin family.It normally comprises five sections: the first violins, the second violins, the violas, the cellos, and the double basses (or basses). The abbreviation "and strings" is understood thus in descriptions of instrumentation.

In music of the classical period, the cellos and double basses often play from the same music, their parts being usually notated on a single staff, with the bassist's written notes sounding one octave lower than written.Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, online edition, article "Orchestra", section 6.

An orchestra consisting solely of a string section is called a string orchestra.

The term is also used to describe a group of bowed string instruments used in rock, pop, jazz and commercial music

Seating arrangement

The most common seating arrangement is with first violins, second violins, violas and cellos clockwise around the conductor, with basses behind the cellos on the right.Stanley Sadie's Music Guide, p. 56 (Prentice-Hall 1986). Nicolas Slonimsky described the cellos-on-the-right arrangement as part of a 20th century "sea...
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