Gk, L, It. sinfonia, sound together, harmony. Musical genre, instrumental music. The term sinfonia has been used in conjunction with music since the antiquity and originally had diverse, mostly general meanings without being connected to a particular genre. It was only from the mid 18th century onwards, that the symphony evolved into a genre. From this time onwards it refers to a representative composition for orchestra usually with four movements. Beethoven composed nine symphonies and set standards for subsequent composers. For the first time in the history of the symphony, Beethoven incorporated a choir (in the final movement of the Ninth).