I've been reading through the Principles of Orchestration both Online and by the Book but I am little bit confused - I know a fair bit about Stringed instruments so the first section wasn't a problem for me but I bought the book to increase my knowledge of woodwind and brass.
Now when I had a look at the table here I get confused:
The first column implies that there are two Flutes, two Oboes, Two Clarinets (one of which might play bass clarinet?) and two bassoons. That's fine, aslong as I'm correct that the Clarinet played plays the Bass Clarinet then I get that.
The middle column and the third to me just loose me.
For sake of discussion I'll just talk about the middle column:
The middle column implies that there are 3 flutes, 2 oboes (the third player in the group is present but just plays just an English Horn), 3 Clarinets, 2 Bassoons (and the third player there just plays a Double Bassoon).
That I think I understand, please correct me if I'm wrong. What I do not understand however, is the parts in brackets:
Judging by the fact there is nothing above the top line which states (III - Piccolo) I can assume that the third flautist also has the skills to switch to the Piccolo as a secondary instrument meaning that I can notate for the Piccolo.
But then, if I follow that logic that the secondary instruments are placed in brackets above the players, the part which states (II - Bass Flute) would relate to the 2 Oboes telling me that the secondary Oboe player also plays a Bass Flute, which I reckon is probably incorrect because it would make more sense for a flautist to play another type of flute instead of an Oboeist(?) playing a Bass Flute?
Basically, what I'm asking is which set of players do the bits in brackets relate to?
Also, when the book discusses Violinist it labels that the players are divided in desks. Having done some searching on the forums I understand that there are 2 players to each music stand? Is that the same for Violas and Double Bass? And Woodwind? And Brass?
I hope all this makes sense and I'm really forward to hearing a reply! Thanks!