Musicians in the Orchestra, 1872

Degas studied and borrowed ideas from Japanese prints to enrich his art. 

He used large areas of plain color and had a lot of open spaces in the composition to guide the viewer deep into the painting.  Asymmetrical balance and high-and-low views were often used to create daring compositional effects.  He also like to place figures at odd visual angles and used unusual visual viewpoints to create drama and excitement in his works.The perspective was tilted to emphasize an unexpected or informal movement. The figures were carefully placed so they are not blocking one another.  Sometimes he even cut off parts of the figure or subjects at the edge of the picture plane, to illustrate an effect and to capture the motion.  Some of these pictorial techniques were used in Musicians in the Orchestra.

Woman Drying Herself c1896/98
Degas found the bathhouse ladies on Japanese woodblock prints fascinating.  He used this theme in a lot of his paintings. One of his female nudes, Woman Drying Herself, is an example.