The Instigator
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The Contender
Con (against)
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The strings section of the orchestra is the core of the orchestra.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/19/2014 Category: Music
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 673 times Debate No: 63526
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
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Pro (myself) will be arguing that the strings section of the orchestra (Definition: violin, viola, cello, acoustic bass) is the core and the mother of the orchestra.
My opponent (con) will argue that another section is superior to strings. (Conductor does not count)

Round 1: Acceptance
Round 2: Main points
Round 3: Rebuttals

Best luck!


I am to stand against this motion and that the Brass section is superior compared to the strings.

To put this in context, all instruments in the Brass section are included. E.g: trumpets, trombones, french horns etc.
Debate Round No. 1


I would like to thank my opponent, con, for accepting this challenge, and choosing to argue that the brass section of the orchestra is superior to the strings section.

The main point, divided into smaller points, that I will be making, is that the strings section of the orchestra is most powerful, and keeps the orchestra together.

1. The strings are used most often in an orchestra, either to back up leading instruments, to lead the orchestra on, or both.
Strings can be used in many different ways, as the playful 'children' or the 'mother' in the background keeping everything in line.
2. Almost no orchestral songs don't have strings. From classical pieces to movie scores. The brass section, however, is not as needed and usually when used, are used for a short time as a leading section WITH strings backing it up.
3. Strings are more moving and exciting. Strings can be extremely sad sounding and can sway the music with beauty,and can also become very excited and quick, both of these harder to pull off with the brass section.


The Brass section is used to play the most memorable parts of the music. Take Dvorak's New World Symphony, clearly a masterpiece considering the ending where the Brass section concludes the piece. Not only that, the string section takes far more effort to tune and to keep in tune. With the brass, you can confirm what you are going to get by pressing the valve or moving the slide.

In terms of volume, the brass section can clearly outdo in loudness and also compete in playing very quietly. It has a huge range that rivals the string. The Brass section has the piccolo trumpet and plays very high while the tuba can play very low.

Take movie music, all the epic moments are played by the brass section with strings behind along with percussion. Marches are often played by brass sections and can also use techniques that no string instrument could.

Brass instruments are clearly more versatile as they can be used in many ways, not just in music. In fact, many sound effects can be created by the brass section. Take for example a door hissing open in a sci-fi film, by turning the mouth piece upside down and blowing through the instrument can create that effect.

To summon up, the brass section clearly outdoes the string section in both innovation, improvisation and ability. Clearly is shown that the brass section is by far, the most important section of the orchestra.
Debate Round No. 2


You are in every way correct in that the brass section is a spectacular section. Looking at Dvorak's piece, though, you have only strengthened my argument that strings are always the core and backing instruments up. On the piece, you can year the quick bows jumping across the strings enhancing the brass section. I also beg to differ that brass section instruments are always in tune. Every instrument in the orchestra needs tuning, from the timpani to the bassoon. The strings section has the violin that can play very high and the cello and basses that can play a deep rolling sound. Stringed instruments also can create sound effects. Possibly not as significant as the brass, but nevertheless, they can slide their fingers up the fingerboard causing an eerie haunt sound, and other small things of that sort. The stings can sway, or the strings can be sharp with a spicy aftertaste. (Other stings echoing) . Brass instruments are more confined to certain sounds. Save the trombone, which still does not have as many options as the strings. So as a conclusion to my rebuttal, I once again state that the strings are more important than the brass because of beauty, strength, most played in an orchestra, and the fact that they always are backing up an instrument.


You point out that strings are the keeping the orchestra together, that already is false as its the main job of the percussion. You also point out that 'Strings can be extremely sad sounding and can sway the music with beauty, and can also become very excited and quick, both of these harder to pull off with the brass section.' This is indeed false as you can easily control the brass section to do this as well. Take for example the Gustav Holst's piece 'Jupiter'. The brass section plays right through the whole piece and listening to it, you can hear how quickly the brass section changed from a majestic tone to a lighter more jolly tone. Playing the brass instruments softly produces a mellow sound and a mute over the bell gives the composer the ability to convey mystery or menace. If that does not prove the wide range of emotions that can be produced by the Brass section, I do not know what does.
You clearly destroy your own point about versatility stating that taking sound effects as an example you claim that strings sound effects are 'not as significant as the brass.' I point out yet again that in a time of new music and new uses for orchestras, innovation must be included.

I disagree strongly on the point that the trombone does not have as many options as the strings. Take a mute, creates a shallow or mellow effect. Something that cannot be done on the stringed instruments. The trombone along with string instruments can glissando and can stand toe to toe in both volume and overall quality.
If there was a piece that required an instrument to cut through the orchestra, the trumpet is a perfect instrument. Want a fanfare? Welcome to the brass section. If you go to any major concert or even an event, you would almost always find a brass section only there.

Just listen to the earlier piece of music I suggested, 'Jupiter,' it speaks for itself on the power of the brass section.

To conclude, I have clearly shown that by far is the Brass section. Innovative, majestic and full of beauty. So lets not go for a set of instruments that have been going out of fashion. In fact the ABRSM has shown that the violin is no longer the most popular instrument for children in the UK. Therefore let me remind you again, Brass instruments are the best.
Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by TheodoretheMan 2 years ago
I do not agree with you whatsoever that strings are 'going out of fashion". Just because it's no longer children's favorite does not mean it is not most important in an orchestra. That is irrelevant. An orchestra CANNOT and it not considered to be an orchestra without strings. However, an orchestra could easily be an orchestra without brass.
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