As an experienced baritone singer I can assure you that bass parts only come in two flavours:well, I'm no expert, but .... a piece may be written with a number of parts all played by the same instruments - eg alto saxes. Each part is then given a number 1, 2, 3 etc. to identify it so they become alto 1, alto 2, alto 3.
Now as I understand it, in an orchestra, this could be a sort of pecking order.
I believe the violin 1 is the leader of the orchestra. I guess violinists aspire to be violin 1??
In my experience, those with the "1" parts possibly have something a little more fiddly / significant in the piece to play and the other numbers form more of "the backing group" but often the melody can be passed around the whole band, so you all get a chance to shine.
Ultimately, for the piece to sound whole, all parts are equally important, so I tend not to fuss about which part I get, just that I get something to play.
Having just started playing Bari, "they" assure me that 22 bars of repeated minims are important, me...I just tend to forget which bar I'm in :shocked: ))
Agreed.Good stuff above. Just to pick up on MandyH's comments, she's correct. Boss of the First violins is the orchestra leader/concert master and in the days before conductors he'd conduct as well as play. Still happens sometimes today, especially with smaller ensembles. ---polite snip----
I saw the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields last Saturday in Shrewsbury (5 1st Violins, 4 2nd violins, 3 violas, 2 cellos, 1 doublebass, 2 horns, 2 oboes) and the leader conducted, generally just indicating the beat at the start of a piece.
Is that how the Herd's Four Brothers were ranked and voiced?
BTW St Martins in the Fields crypt now hosts regular jazz nights. I am going later this month and will report back. Just hope the soup and rolls are good.