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The famous 1812 Overture was written in 1880 by Pyotr Ilich Tchaikovsky for orchestra. The big ending was written to include cannon shots! Today, many orchestras use fireworks instead of cannons for this song.

An orchestra pit is a low section in front of a stage. In theater, musicals or plays might use an orchestra for live music. The orchestra sits in the pit. The conductor stands on a raised platform to see what is happening onstage. If the room is dark, the musicians might have small lights on their music stands. Audience members can’t see the band, but they can see the acting!

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Making Connections


Would you want to join an orchestra? If so, which instrument would you play? If not, why not?


What other books have you read about musical groups? How do those compare with this book?


Have you heard an orchestra perform before? If so, what kinds of instruments were there? If not, what type of orchestra would you like to hear?

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