The Blog


STRING INSTRUMENT-all chordophones, two types: plucked and bowed.
Violin- 1600 to 1750 in Italy; bowed; brilliant and dramatic effect; nuances of f and p.
Viola-bowed ;larger in size than violin; has lower range b/c strings are longer, thicker, heavier; husky lower register; can be double another instrument (octave higher or lower)
Violoncello- bowed; known as cello; lower in range than viola; is for singing quality; resonance of low register.
Double bass- bowed; known as contrabass or bass viol; lowest range in orchestra; supports cello in 8va lower.
Harp – plucked; old instrument in Europe.
Guitar- plucked; old instrument originated in East Europe; lock like is banjo and mandolin.
WOODWOND INSTRUMENT– all aerophones, air vibrates within pipe that has finger holes along its length; embouchure- oral mechanism: lips lower jaw and facial muscles.
Flute- blowing across a mouth hole; is soprano voice, cool, expressive and brilliant in upper range; now made of silver alloy rather than wood; is cylindrical tube closed n one end; melody instrument, notes, scales, trills.
Piccolo- little flute; highest pitched instrument in orchestra; well heard even in orchestra ff.
Oboe- blowing into a mouthpiece fitted with double reed; made of wood; pastoral effect and nostalgic moods;
English horn- is an alto of oboe; wooden tube is wider and longer, ends are pear-shaped opening calls bells-soft and expressive sound.
Clarinet- blowing into a single reed mouth piece; chisel-shaped mouth piece; smooth, liquid tone, rapid scales, trills, repeated notes.
Bass clarinet- blowing into single reed mouth piece; octave lower range than clarinet; rich dark tone, wide dynamics range.
Bassoon- double reed instrument; low register tone, reedy;
Contrabassoon- lowest tone of woodwinds; double reed instrument.
Saxophone- blow single red instrument; conical bore and metal body of the brass instrument; common soprano, alto, tenor, baritone; popular music and jazz.
BRASS INSTRUMENT-aerophones; cap shaped mouth piece attached to a metal tubing that flares at the end into a bell;embouchure-oral mechanism lips and lower facial muscle jaw;
Trumpet- highest pitch;brilliant;clear sound;ceremonial display;
French horn- sft passage;RH insert in the bell(hand stops by plugging);blends with wood winds,brasses and strings.
Trombone – larger trumpet;ich tenor rane;U shaped slide that alters teh legth of vibrating air column.
Tuba- is bass instrument;adds depthto orchestra tone; dark resonance ranging from softness to rumbling.
Cornet- marching band.
Bugle- military trumpet,no valves.
Fluegelhorn- valved bugle with wide bell;jazz and brass bands;
Euohonium- tenor range instruments,resemble tuba.
Sousaphone- adaptation of tuba designed by John Philipsousa
PERCUSSION INSTRUMENT-accentuate rthythm;more excitement;two catagories:definite pitch,indefinite pitch.
Timpani(kettledrums)-played insets of 2 or 4;has hemispheric copper shell head stretched of plastic or calfskin place by a metal ring;pedal changes tension of head;played by 2 padded sticks;arrived in western Europe from middle east.
Xylophone- used in Africa,southeast asia, Americas;consists tuned blocks of wod or metal shaped like a keyboard;struck with mallets with hard head
Marimba- mellow xylohpne in Africa origin.
Vibraphone- in jazz;xylophones with resonators containing disks operated by electric motors that exaggerate vibrato.
Glockenspiel(set of bells)- horizontal steel bars of various sizes struck produce bright,metallic sound.
Celesta – kinda glockenspiel operated by means of a keyboard;resemble miniature upright piano;sreels plates struck by small hammers.
Chimes or tubular bells- sets of tuned metal tubes of various lengths suspended from frame;struck with hammer;simulate church bell.

Snare drum(side drum)- small cylindrical drum with 2 heads(top and bottom);played with 2 drumsicks;vibrates lower heard agaist taut snares(strings)
Tenor drum- larger in size,has wooden shell,no snares.
Bass drum- played larger soft headed sticks;produce low , heavy sound.
Tom-tom- native American or African drum.
Tambourine- round,hand-held drum with “jingles”(little metals plates insirted in rim);can be stroke by fingers or elbow,shke it, pass hand over the jingles.
Castanets- originated in spain; little wooden clappers moved by player’s thums and forefinger
Triangle- slender rod of steel bent into 3 cornered shape;struck by steel beater.
Cymbals- originated from central asia in middle ages;arrived to west;2 large circular brass plates of equal sizes, struck against each other.
Gong(tam-tam)- circular disk of metal suspended in frame to hang freely;struck with heavy drumstick, deep roar; southeast Asia and far east known gamelan instrument.
Organ- a keyboard back to the middle ages often associates with church music; sound is generated by air passing through pipes or reeds.
Harpsichord- a keyboard popular from the late 16th through 18th centuries; sound is generated by small quills inside the instrument that pluck the strings.
Clavichord- a small keyboard popular from late 16th through 18th centuries; sound is generated by small metal tangents that strike the strings inside the instruments.
Piano- keyboard instrument invented early 18th century; sound is generated by hammers inside the instrument that strike the string.
Synthesizer- a device (usually played with a keyboard) that generates and modifies sounds electronically. Robert Moog popularized the synthesizer in the 1960.
(Idiophones- sound produced from substance of instrument itself eg.bells, rattles, cymbals, xylophones)
(Membranophones- drum-types, sound produced from tightly stretched membranes eg. Drum)
(Aerophones- produced sound by using air eg. flutes, whistles, accordions, bagpipes, horns)
(chordophones- produced sound from vibrating string stretched btw 2 points eg. violin, guitar, harp, Japanese’s koto)