Orchestra' is the rendition of various instruments in chorus. An orchestra generally consists of four kinds of instruments: string, woodwind, brass and percussion. In a large orchestra, about two-thirds are usually string instrumentalists, one-fourth wind instrumentalists, four to five brass instrumentalists and three to five percussionists. An orchestra is led by a conductor who puts the ideas and emotions of the composer into reality. In western countries, the symphony or instrumental music played by large orchestras is part of high culture.
Originating in the west, the orchestra became more organised and developed after 1600 AD. The second phase of the orchestra began in 1700 AD; modern orchestra evolved after 1800 AD, but underwent various experiments in form and style in the first half of the twentieth century. It is at this time that the orchestra was introduced to South Asia and started incorporating indigenous instruments as well. Prior to the arrival of the orchestra, musical instruments accompanied songs, rendering the song melodious and filling the gaps between different parts of a song to give respite to the singer.
In 1935 Ustad alauddin khan toured different countries as a member of uday shankar's dance troupe. After his return in 1935 he formed the Maihar String Band. Following his footsteps, Ustad ayet ali khan, while working as court singer of the Rampur king, formed the Rampur String Band. Others who contributed to the growth of orchestral music in Bengal include Ustad khadem hossain khan and Ustad bahadur hossain khan. [Mobarak Hossain Khan]