General Question

Aesthetic_Mess's avatar

What is the difference between a philharmonic and symphony orchestra?

Asked by Aesthetic_Mess (7887points) November 22nd, 2010

Question speaks for itself.
Boston has a Symphony orchestra while NY has a Philharmonic. What’s the difference exactly?

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6 Answers

cubozoa's avatar

They are the same thing.

submariner's avatar

A musical ensemble that labels itself a “symphony orchestra” is presumably asserting that it has the instrumentation and competence required to play symphonies, and by extension, the other forms of music that fall within the Western classical music tradition that culminated in the symphonic form. “Philharmonic”, on the other hand, does not refer to any specific musical form, but is simply a word derived from Greek that means “love of harmony”. Still, it affirms the same musical tradition that includes symphonies, so one would expect that these orchestras would have similar repertoires.

So, yeah, they’re pretty much the same thing.

mattbrowne's avatar

There is none really.

RareDenver's avatar

No real difference but it helps when you have more than one orchestra in a given location, just like with sport, eg Manchester United Football Club, Manchester City Football Club and the newcomers Football Club United of Manchester.

Aesthetic_Mess's avatar

You know, I don’t understand how this is my Greatest Question….

submariner's avatar

And my response above is my Greatest Answer! I don’t know what to make of that.

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