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Orchestra layout - London Philharmonic Orchestra
Last post Tue, Jun 01 2010 by jammusique, 5 replies.
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Posted on Fri, May 28 2010 21:33
by knievel
Joined on Thu, May 28 2009, Newcastle, England, Posts 80

Just thought I'd share this just for interest...

But I saw the London Philharmonic Orchestra last weekend at the Royal Festival Hall in London (playing Ravel, Lalo, Strauss, Debussy) and they used the following set up:

                        Percussion             Drums

Double Basses       Horns                                 Brass

                   Cellos              Winds      

                                    Violas   Violas

                 1st Violins                            2nd Violins 


Some of the cello players were actually sat next to the 1st Violins.

It sounded very fresh to my ears; hearing the basses on the left and cellos and 2nd violins almost 'swapped' from the 'normal' set up you would come to expect, gave the music new life to me!

Well I'm off now, to alter my power panning!  Big Smile

Best regards,


Posted on Sat, May 29 2010 02:16
by ericsandmeyer
Joined on Tue, Jan 22 2008, Posts 16

I've sat in pit orchestras that are similar config., except IIRC the celli were where you have the vlas.   BTW, nice job on that diagram just using text!

Posted on Sat, May 29 2010 17:13
by JJP
Joined on Mon, Apr 28 2003, Burbank, CA USA, Posts 69

I've seen (and used) this layout in a number of recording sessions as well.

Posted on Mon, May 31 2010 16:23
by jasensmith
Joined on Tue, Jan 15 2008, Arizona, Posts 1582

I could be wrong but It looks like the typical German seating with maybe some slight variations.  This seating works well for music with a lot of counterpoint.     

"If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Then quit. There's no point in being a damn fool about it."
- W.C. Fields
Posted on Tue, Jun 01 2010 08:59
by jammusique
Joined on Wed, Aug 04 2004, Paris, France, Posts 262

Apparently, at some periods in history, this setup was used. And of course the "pit" orchestras in opera have various layouts.

I prefer the "normal" setup though, as the main melody (often in the Vl. I) is opposite the supporting bass lines (cellos + Db)

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