The word “orchestra” is really a pat term used to describe a wide variety of large ensembles. For example, in the 1930s swing orchestras (also called big bands) became popular. And in the East, the word has been used to describe numerous large ensembles from different countries. This includes the Japanese gagaku orchestra, the Indonesian gamelan orchestra, and the Chinese drum and gong orchestra. This section focuses on the Western European orchestral tradition. As such, you will learn about its history and its uses from its inception to the modern day.