c. 1300, a name given to various types of musical instruments, from Old French simphonie, sifonie, simfone "musical harmony; stringed instrument" (12c., Modern French symphonie) and directly from Latin symphonia "a unison of sounds, harmony," from Greek symphonia "harmony, concord of sounds," from symphonos "harmonious, agreeing in sound," from assimilated form of syn- "together" (see syn-) + phōnē "voice, sound," from PIE root *bha- (2) "to speak, tell, say."
Meaning "harmony of sounds" in English is attested from late 14c.; sense of "music in parts" is from 1590s. "It was only after the advent of Haydn that this word began to mean a sonata for full orchestra. Before that time it meant a prelude, postlude, or interlude, or any short instrumental work." ["Elson's Music Dictionary"] Meaning "elaborate orchestral composition" first attested 1789. Elliptical for "symphony orchestra" from 1926. Diminutive symphonette is recorded from 1947.
*bhā-; Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to speak, tell, say."
It forms all or part of: abandon; affable; anthem; antiphon; aphasia; aphonia; aphonic; apophasis; apophatic; ban (n.1) "proclamation or edict;" ban (v.); banal; bandit; banish; banlieue; banns (n.); bifarious; blame; blaspheme; blasphemy; boon (n.); cacophony; confess; contraband; defame; dysphemism; euphemism; euphony; fable; fabulous; fado; fairy; fame; famous; fandango; fatal; fate; fateful; fatuous; fay; gramophone; heterophemy; homophone; ineffable; infamous; infamy; infant; infantile; infantry; mauvais; megaphone; microphone; monophonic; nefandous; nefarious; phatic; -phone; phone (n.2) "elementary sound of a spoken language;" phoneme; phonetic; phonic; phonics; phono-; pheme; -phemia; Polyphemus; polyphony; preface; profess; profession; professional; professor; prophecy; prophet; prophetic; quadraphonic; symphony; telephone; xylophone.
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Greek pheme "speech, voice, utterance, a speaking, talk," phōnē "voice, sound," phanai "to speak;" Sanskrit bhanati "speaks;" Latin fari "to say," fabula "narrative, account, tale, story," fama "talk, rumor, report; reputation, public opinion; renown, reputation;" Armenian ban, bay "word, term;" Old Church Slavonic bajati "to talk, tell;" Old English boian "to boast," ben "prayer, request;" Old Irish bann "law."
"loving harmony or music," 1813 (in the name of a society founded in London for the promotion of instrumental music), from French philharmonique (1739), from Italian filarmonico, literally "loving harmony," from Greek philos "loving" (see philo-) + ta harmonika "theory of harmony, music," from neuter plural of harmonikos (see harmonic). The Society name was taken up in the names of many symphony orchestras.
1948, abbreviation of long-playing phonograph record.
The most revolutionary development to hit the recording industry since the invention of the automatic changer is the Long Playing record, which can hold an entire 45-minute symphony or musical-comedy score on a single 12-inch disk. ... The disks, released a few weeks ago by Columbia Records and made of Vinylite, have phenomenally narrow grooves (.003 of an inch). They are played at less than half the speed of the standard old-style records. [Life magazine, July 26, 1948]
city in Colorado, U.S., founded 1858 as Auraria ("golden"), renamed 1859 for Gen. James W. Denver (1817-1892), governor of the territory. The family name is from the place of that name in Norfolk, literally "ford or passage used by the Danes," from Old English Dena (genitive plural) + fær"journey, road, passage, expedition," from strong neuter of faran "to journey" (see fare (v.)).
The Denver boot or shoe (1967), a wheel clamp for illegally parked vehicles, supposedly was invented 1953 by Frank Marugg, pattern-maker and violinist with the Denver Symphony Orchestra. He was a friend of politicians and police department officials, and the city sheriff's department came to him for help in making a device to immobilize vehicles whose owners didn't pay parking tickets.