Discover Prompts, Day 10: Orchestrate

Always a word nerd, I immediately began to wonder where the word orchestrate came from. Not surprisingly, it comes from Greek: orkheisthai, to dance. Dancing, of course, is best done to music or at least a drumbeat; and if there is a group of musicians, they need a place to sit while they play their instruments and the performers dance, orate, and so on. Thus, the orchestra pit, which gradually mutated to just orchestra.

Orchestrate? Huh. I wonder if that word is related to choreograph. Back to etymology, and no surprise that there is a similarity. Greek, again, khoreia means dancing in unison.

So, both words indicate a planned, systematic way of playing music and/or dancing. Order. No one gets to just get up there and do his own thing, or he would be summarily removed.

The beauty, of course, is in the planning and execution so that all the instruments/dancers/singer/performers are cooperating together to present a pleasing experience for both the performers and the observers.

While I appreciate the beauty, grace and athleticism of ballet, it’s not my favorite thing to watch. I’m much more likely to enjoy something from an old-fashioned musical like this one: (Be patient. The good stuff starts around 2:17)


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