There are orchestral pieces that are over an hour long, with literally, ONE NOTE for the percussionist. You have to count measures of rest for maybe an hour, play your note, then wait til the piece is over and go home. I’m not sure what’s worse, having to play continuously for almost 2 hours like violins do, or having to count thousands of measures of rest and play just a few notes. LOLI think it was Stewart Copeland, but there’s this great quote where he explains the difference between the orchestral guys and kit drummers as they read every note, and we juts play. He was writing one of his film scores I think and noticed taht even if the part was to play the triangle on the 1 of every bar the guy would read every note from the sheet music and always know “okay I’m in bar 56 and 1’— instead of just playing it.
So to relate that to your comment, that’s why orchestral players know EXACTLY where they are in the music. Because some pieces are repetitive enough that you may never be able to get your place back in the music if you lose count. Unless you’ve got the whole piece memorized.