Difference Between Symphony and Philharmonic

Orchestra is derived from a Greek word which implies a huge gathering of instrumentalists and also includes separate division for every type of instrument such as strings, brass, drumming, and woodwinds.

In the past there were two types of orchestras: the chamber orchestra and the philharmonic orchestra. The chamber orchestra consisted of about 50 participants. The other orchestra was either called symphony or philharmonic orchestra which comprised of 100 participants, meaning they were used interchangeably.

Although symphony and philharmonic are two types of orchestras but today there is no special difference between the two. The Philharmonic Orchestra means appreciation of music and the Symphony Orchestra means full group of orchestra, however talking about the philharmonic and symphony orchestras of the earlier times, there was some difference.

One difference between them was that both of these orchestras had  different ways of making payments to their musicians. It is obvious that the payments were made from the money coming from the ticketing system. However, in symphony orchestra the method of ticketing was a formal one meaning that the audience had to pay a fixed price in order to sit in the audience. This eventually led to a fixed method of making payment to the musical group.

On the other hand, in the philharmonic orchestra, the method of making payment was different and was not fixed at all. The audience used to pay as they wished. This very amount of money, whether lesser in amount or just enough was then distributed among the musicians. Today however, this method of ticketing is no more followed and everyone has to pay a fixed rate. Even this difference does not exist anymore.


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    Symphony Orchestra:

    Classical music is the main theme of this orchestra with a large group of musicians. The instruments in this orchestra are strings, woodwinds, brass and beating instruments.

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  • 2

    Philharmonic Orchestra:

    The Philharmonic Orchestra follows the classical theme and has the woodwinds, brass, strings and beating instruments with a large group of musicians playing these instruments.

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