Have a look at this fantastic website that has examples of the sounds instruments make in an orchestra. Vital listening.
Now if you skip through to 2 mins into this video, you will see a violin (Nigel Kennedy playing) and a cello on their own. They are playing some Bach inventions, but it is a great way to hear the difference in sound and see what the instruments look like and how they are played. They are both string instruments.
So, here are the main string instruments. Violin, Viola and ‘Cello. There is also the double bass, but not in this extract.
This film features pizzicato (plucking), tremolo (that suspense effect) and arco (with the bow). Oh, and homophonic music, imitation and much more.
These are brass instruments. Trumpets, French Horn, Trombone, Tuba (in the middle). Tuba has the lowest pitch. Get used to the sound. Oh, and this is a brass quintet (5 brass instruments).
Brass instruments might use a mute to change the sound. Watch this to see how they work, and how the sound (or timbre) is different.
Listen to this podcast on Indian Music.(right click to download) It links into the keywords that you have already covered and an understanding of this type of music will help in the listening exam. Whilst more than is required is covered, it is still a great way to understand what you do need to know. It is from a number of years ago…..
Listen to this podcast on African Music.(right click to download) The keywords have mainly been covered, but an understanding of this type of music is essential.
Please watch this video to gain an idea about percussion instruments in the orchestra.