Quote Originally Posted by Barry View Post
Yes of course, though some orchestras employ a different arrangement.
It's not just a matter of convention though. When held in the left hand as most are, sitting violins on the left is the most logical place for best sound dispersion and indeed this was a consistent practice certainly from baroque times.

Other placements were adapted round this positioning and are varied to a degree (some string quartets sit the cellist in the middle but most on the right. Some orchestras organise first and second violins either side - I believe Elgar was a supporter of this practice - which makes sense in orchestral music with a strong contrapuntal element. But it remains a minority approach.

But placement matters hugely in rock and jazz too - moments of anticipation ruined waiting on a grand solo to charge in from one side only to have the massive metal dissonance of it coming from the wrong place. In my imagination I see everyone playing instruments with the wrong hand, strings upside down, keyboards swapped over so that the bass is played with the right hand - horrific!