Orchestra pit

Orchestra pit
The orchestra pit sandwiched between the stage and the seating of the New York State Theater.

An orchestra pit is the area in a theater (usually located in a lowered area in front of the stage) in which musicians perform. Orchestral pits are utilized in forms of theatre that require music (such as Opera and Ballet) or in cases when incidental music is required. The conductor is typically positioned at the front of the orchestral pit facing the stage.

In marching ensembles such as drum and bugle corps, the pit refers to the front ensemble, a section of stationary percussion instruments located at the front of the performance area.


Typically, orchestral pits are located in the auditorium directly in front of the stage. They are sometimes capable of being lowered in order to keep the musicians out of the sightlines of the audience. In some cases, part or all of the pit sits on a mechanical lift which can raise the floor to the level of the stage deck. Often an orchestra pit will be equipped with a removable pit cover which provides safety by eliminating the steep drop off from the stage and also increases the available acting area above. In most cases, some sort of lattice or sound port is built into the front of the orchestra pit, to allow audience members in the front rows to hear the music while retaining a wall which separates them from the orchestra.

The size and design of an orchestral pit can vary greatly. In performances of Operas, especially those of Richard Wagner, the pit may need to be increased in size to accommodate the large orchestra required. In performances of musical theater, orchestral pits are typically small as there is no need for a larger one. Some theatres have flexible pit configurations, allowing extra audience seats to be added in place of all or part of the pit according to the size of the orchestra being used for a particular production.

See also

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См. также в других словарях:

  • orchestra pit — Orchestra Or ches*tra, n. [L. orchestra, Gr. ?, orig., the place for the chorus of dancers, from ? to dance: cf. F. orchestre.] 1. The space in a theater between the stage and the audience; originally appropriated by the Greeks to the chorus and… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • orchestra pit — orchestra ,pit noun count the area in front of and below a theater stage where an orchestra sits and plays the music for an opera, BALLET, or MUSICAL …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • orchestra pit — n the space below the stage in a theatre where the musicians sit …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • orchestra pit — noun lowered area in front of a stage where an orchestra accompanies the performers • Syn: ↑pit • Hypernyms: ↑area • Part Holonyms: ↑theater, ↑theatre, ↑house * * * noun …   Useful english dictionary

  • orchestra pit — UK / US noun [countable] Word forms orchestra pit : singular orchestra pit plural orchestra pits theatre British the area in front of and below a theatre stage where an orchestra sits and plays the music for an opera, ballet, or musical …   English dictionary

  • orchestra pit — N SING In a theatre, the orchestra pit is the space reserved for the musicians playing the music for an opera, musical, or ballet, immediately in front of or below the stage …   English dictionary

  • orchestra pit — /ˈɔkəstrə pɪt/ (say awkuhstruh pit) noun Theatre the area in front of and below the stage, where the orchestra plays …   Australian English dictionary

  • orchestra pit — low area below the stage where an orchestra sits and plays during a performance …   English contemporary dictionary

  • orchestra pit — noun (C) the space below the stage in a theatre where the musicians sit …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

  • orchestra — or orchestra pit [ôr′kis trə, ôr′kes΄trə] n. [L < Gr orchēstra < orcheisthai, to dance < IE base * ergh , extension of base * er , swift movement, a raising > Sans * ṛghāyati, (he) rages, Ger arg, bad] 1. in ancient Greek theaters,… …   English World dictionary

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