A symphony is an extended musical composition in Western classical music, most often written for orchestra, and more recently, con
The word symphony is derived from Greek συμφωνία (symphonia), meaning "agreement or concord of sound", "concert of vocal or instrumental music", from σύμφωνος (symphōnos), "harmonious" (Oxford English Dictionary). The word referred to an astonishing variety of different things, before ultimately settling on its current meaning designating a musical form.
In late Greek and medieval theory, the word was used for consonance, as opposed to διαφωνία (diaphōnia), which was the word for dissonance (Brown 2001). In the Middle Ages and later, the Latin form symphonia was used to describe various instruments, especially those capable of producing more than one sound simultaneously (Brown 2001). Isidore of Seville was the first to use the word symphonia as the name of a two-headed drum, and from c. 1155 to 1377 the French form symphonie was the name of the organistrum or hurdy-gurdy. In late medieval England, symphony was used in both of these senses, whereas by the 16th century it was equated with the dulcimer. In German, Symphonie was a generic term for spinets and virginalsfrom the late 16th century to the 18th century (Marcuse 1975, 501).