The Orchestra is a mysterious beast. Developed over hundreds of years from instruments with diverse origins; assembling massive numbers of musicians playing instruments that require many years of practise to master; capable of changes in sound and colour that range from a whisper to a jet engine...

When it all comes together, the results can be startling, but how does it all work?  And where did it all come from?

In this four-part series Karl Steven explores the longitude and latitude of the four families of orchestral instruments: brass, percussion, woodwind, and strings. Along the way Karl finds out about how they work, their unusual past, and meets some of the players who devote their lives to them.

The Secret Life of the Orchestra: Brass
Emma Richards plays French Horn and fellow Blackbird Ensemble member Elizabeth Stokes on Trumpet courtesy of Laura Forest
Emma Richards plays French Horn and fellow Blackbird Ensemble member Elizabeth Stokes on Trumpet. Photo  courtesy of Laura Forest

Music played in this show

The Secret Life of the Orchestra: Brass

Artist: Ray Anthony
Song: Dragnet
Composer: W. Schumann/M. Rozsa
Album: Music Hits Of The Past
Label: Ling Music Group

Artist: Kristian Digeridoo's Ensemble
Song: Numbakulla
Composer: Kristian Digeridoo
Album: Australia - Traditional Digeridoo Australian Aboriginal Music
Label: Ark

Artist: Evan Parker and Richard Nunns
Song: Putatara
Composer: E. Parker/ R. Nunns
Album: Rangirua
Label: Leo Records

Artist: John Barry Orchestra
Song: James Bond Theme (From "Dr. No")
Composer: Monty Norman
Album: Best of Band…James Bond 50 Years - 50 Tracks
Label: Capitol Records

Artist: Link Wray
Song: Batman Theme
Composer: N. Hefti
Album: Original Rumble
Label: Ace Records

Artist: Billy Jones and Ernest Hare
Song: Old King Tut
Composer:
Album: The Happiness Boys: Don't Bring Lulu
Label: Ideal Music

Artist: Bernard Herrmann
Song: Terror
Composer: B. Herrmann
Album: The Day The Earth Stood Still
Label: Varese Sarabande

Artist: Bernard Herrmann
Song: Space Control
Composer: B. Herrmann
Album: The Day The Earth Stood Still
Label: Varese Sarabande

Artist: Mahalia Jackson
Song: Joshua Fit The Battle Of Jericho
Composer: traditional
Album: Joshua Fit The Battle Of Jericho
Label: Crates Digger Music

Artist: Mitch Miller and his Orchestra
Song: The River Kwai March Colonel Bogey
Composer: Arnold
Album: Bridge On The River Kwai (Soundtrack From The Motion Picture)
Label: Copyright Group

Artist: Richard Strauss
Song: 2001: a Space Odyssey - Also Sprach Zarathustra
Composer: R. Strauss
Album: 2001: Music From The Films Of Stanley Kubrick
Label: Silva Screen Records

Artist: Matthew Farquhar
Song: Reveille
Composer: trad.
Label: Documentary Recordings

Artist: American Military Band
Song: Swimming Call
Composer: trad.
Album: Bugle Calls
Label: Innovative Multimedia

Artist: American Military Band
Song: Pay Call
Composer: trad.
Album: Bugle Calls
Label: Innovative Multimedia

Artist: American Military Band
Song: Movie Call
Composer: trad.
Album: Bugle Calls
Label: Innovative Multimedia

Artist The Andrews Sisters
Song: Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy
Composer: D. Raye/H. Prince
Album: The Andrews Sisters: My Greatest Songs
Label: Geffen Records

Artist: ACE Brass
Song: ACE Brass Education Sampler
Composer: H. Dan/J. Gluyas/E. Richards
Album: N/A
Label: N/A

Artist: London Symphony Orchestra & Harold Faberman
Song: Symphony No. 5 in C-Sharp Minor: 1. Trauermarcsh
Composer: G. Mahler
Album: Gustav Mahler: Symphony No. 5 in C-Sharp Minor
Label: Suite 102
Artist: Oompah Brass

Song: Toxic
Composer: C. Karlsson/P. Winnberg/C. Dennis/H. Jonback
Album: The Oompire Strikes Back
Label: Oompah Brass
Artist: Danny Kaye

Song: Tubby The Tuba (Remastered)
Composer: P. Tripp/G. Kelinsinger
Album: Tubby The Tuba (Remastered) - Single
Label: Bacci Bros Records
Artist: The J.B.'s

Song: The Grunt (Part 1)
Composer: J.Brown
Album: Funky Good Time - The Anthology
Label: Universal Records
Artist: Academy of St. Martin In the Fields, Barry Tuckwell, and Sir Neville Marriner

Song: Horn Concerto No. 4 in E-Flat K. 495 Rondo III. (Allegro Vivace)
Composer: W. Mozart
Album: Mozart Best 100
Label: EMI Records
Artist: Leonard Bernstein & New York Philharmonic

Song: Peter and the Wolf. Op. 67
Composer: Prokofiev
Album: Bernstein Century - Children's Classics: Prokofiev: Peter and the Wolf, Saint-Saëns: Carnival of the Animals, Britten: Young Person's Guide
Label: Sony BMG Music Entertainment
Artist: Dizzy Gillespie

Song: Oo-Pop-A-Da
Composer: D. Gillespie
Album: The Ultimate Collection
Label: Stardust Records
Artist: Jurgen Schuster, Helmut Muller-Bruhl & Cologne Chamber Orchestra

Song: Trumpet Concerto in E-Flat Major, Hob. Vlle: 1: II. Andante Cantabile
Composer: F. Haydn
Album: Haydn: Tumpet Concerto, Horn Concerto No. 1 etc
Label: Naxos
Artist: Rebirth Brass Band

Song: I'm Walkin'
Composer: A. Domino/D. Bartholemew
Album: Feel Like Funkin' It Up
Label: Rounder