Symphony/Philharmonic/Orchestra – This is most confusing of them all. Very loosely, a “symphony” is a large group of string, brass, wind, and percussion players. A work written for this ensemble is usually called a Symphony. A symphony orchestra implies a really big group of players. (Sometimes you’ll hear of a “back-up orchestra” behind a jazz singer – they’re usually much smaller than a classical orchestra). “Philharmonic” is often used if there is more than one large group within one city, and it’s a way to tell them apart. “Orchestra” is always used to refer to the actual players. So you may read of “the orchestra members took several busses for the provincial tour” regardless of them being a “Symphony” or “Philharmonic” as part of the company title.