Skip to main content
20 votes
Accepted

How does pitch bending work on keyboard percussion

For those who are really curious and not afraid of math, there is a full research article about the subject. The short summary is that pitch bending by pressing a flexible mallet against the bar works ...
ojs's user avatar
  • 3,269
19 votes
Accepted

How loud are tubular bells?

Tubular bells can be very loud. They can cut through a full orchestra, so what you are proposing should work. For an example of this kind of writing you might want to listen to a recording of Leonard ...
PiedPiper's user avatar
  • 21.4k
18 votes

Should I treat the piano like a percussion instrument?

As with most things musical, there's nothing to stop you approaching piano in this way. Let's talk about percussion. There are many percussion instruments that are not drums. Glockenspiels, ...
endorph's user avatar
  • 9,619
15 votes

Is it reasonable to expect a non-percussionist to play a simple triangle part?

How much does it take to learn how to play the triangle? 10 seconds. How much does it take to know how to play the triangle? Hundreds of hours of practice, years of experience. Just like many "...
musicamante's user avatar
  • 6,851
14 votes
Accepted

How quickly can a [skilled, professional] percussionist switch between tam-tam and bass drum?

Just a measley college freshman, but I think in this very specific instance that this would be perfectly OK. I've played parts doing this in much worst circumstances. My only concern would be what is/(...
percussioncelery's user avatar
13 votes

Drums in Apartment

Sites like this always get lots of questions about how to soundproof thin walls, and the answer is always that you can't do much. Soundproofing is achieved by having a lot of mass in the walls (and ...
MattPutnam's user avatar
  • 22.4k
13 votes
Accepted

What is this sound, instrument? (Rheingold, Wagner)

Wagner actually specified in the score for 18 anvils to perform this section. Since the scene is moving down to Nibelheim (and later back up from Nibelheim) where the Nibelungs are hard at work ...
Richard's user avatar
  • 84.7k
11 votes
Accepted

Is it reasonable to expect a non-percussionist to play a simple triangle part?

This is common in high school, non-conservatory college, and community orchestras and bands. In a professional group, or in a conservatory where the students are working towards being professionals, ...
MattPutnam's user avatar
  • 22.4k
10 votes
Accepted

What is the effect/role of Syahi on the Tabla skins?

The syahi lowers the resonance frequencies in the sound spectrum and brings them into a nearly harmonic relationship. There is a description of the acoustics of Indian drums in the book "Science ...
PiedPiper's user avatar
  • 21.4k
9 votes

Why does unpitched percussion play a less prominent role in classical music than many other genres?

Simply put, the answer is because of the influence of West African music on "Western" musical traditions. If western Europe is the mother of harmony, west Africa is the mother of rhythm. Is that a ...
Some_Guy's user avatar
  • 5,089
9 votes

What is this sound, instrument? (Rheingold, Wagner)

It sounds like a small hammer hammering on metal. Good ear; while Wagner originally called for anvils, modern productions use metal hammers on heavy pieces of scrap metal to create this effect. ...
Michael Seifert's user avatar
9 votes
Accepted

Timing variations of percussive instrument performance

Your latency is a fixed value [I hope]. Anything else will be a good player compensating for that latency, or a bad player flailing & failing. A good player can move within the groove to push or ...
Tetsujin's user avatar
  • 27.9k
9 votes

Can one performer manage striking tubular bells and timpani simultaneously?

It depends a lot on the setup. What else is the percussionist supposed to play? How much space is there at the performance? How many Timpani do you have? Keep in mind that a set of timpani takes a lot ...
Lazy's user avatar
  • 20.9k
9 votes

Why is there a debate over whether or not percussion instruments are pitched?

There's no debate, there's a whole spectrum from almost unpitched to clearly pitched (e.g. timpani, marimba). There are a lot of weakly pitched instruments in the the middle (e.g. tomtoms: there are ...
PiedPiper's user avatar
  • 21.4k
8 votes

Mnemonic or memory aid for Xylophone, Glockenspiel, Marimba, and Vibraphone

This answer is pretty lame, and I don't like mnemonics, but... Drop the "phone" then... xylo glock... (too long) marim... vibra The first two have an "O" in their name, but not the other two. ...
Michael Curtis's user avatar
8 votes

Is it best to use a tie when using 8th notes off the beat?

The basic rule is not to write a note which "crosses" the mid point of a bar in 4/4. Either of your bars 3 and 4 are OK, and 3 is usually easier to read. One exception to the "don't cross the mid ...
guest's user avatar
  • 119
8 votes

Why did baroque music use percussion abundantly, but classical stopped?

As noted in comments, some of this is dependent on genre. As Albrecht notes in another answer, military music made use of drums and sometimes other percussion in all periods. Same thing with ...
Athanasius's user avatar
  • 12.6k
8 votes
Accepted

Guitarist and Bassist as only Bandmembers - Rhythmsection?

Bass players can be quite percussive in their playing, taking over some of a drummer's role. However, keeping just as a duo, why not re-hash the numbers you want to play? You certainly won't make a ...
Tim's user avatar
  • 194k
8 votes

Is there a term for the combination of melody and harmony, excluding percussion?

The use of the terms pitched and unpitched is perfectly adequate to distinguish between these types of material.
Bob Broadley's user avatar
  • 21.4k
8 votes
Accepted

Why do temple blocks come in sets of 5?

Temple Blocks originate from East Asia, where traditional music is often based around pentatonic scales/tunings. Modern-day instruments have inherited this, and so are frequently tuned accordingly.
Aaron's user avatar
  • 89.5k
7 votes
Accepted

How is such an instrument called?

It falls into the large family of 'shakers'. 'A rainstick is a long, hollow tube partially filled with small pebbles or beans that has small pins or thorns arranged helically on its inside surface. ...
Laurence's user avatar
  • 93.4k
7 votes

how do you get the pitch of a triangle to get higher or lower?

You can Tune a triangles pitch by shortening the space on the bottom part that you strike, with electric tape. (See photo) This will raise the pitch, my triangle has an unaltered pitch of B, using ...
Ian Carroll's user avatar
7 votes

Percussion Rhythm Help

Supposing the time signature is 4/4 (common time), the rhythm you have underlined sounds like this (where a beat in bold means a note you hit). 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 & | 1 & 2 & 3 &...
Andrew Lau's user avatar
7 votes

Should I treat the piano like a percussion instrument?

Your basic premise is skewed. You've heard that the piano is a percussion instrument. It can be classed as such, because the sound is produced by hitting. Hitting strings with hammers that are ...
Tim's user avatar
  • 194k
7 votes
Accepted

In a rhythm, what word best describes the duration of an on/off beat cycle?

If I understand you right, mathematicians and scientists call that the period. If some thing (such as a drum line) consists of a pattern which repeats in a cycle, then the length of that pattern is ...
Tanner Swett's user avatar
7 votes

Mnemonic or memory aid for Xylophone, Glockenspiel, Marimba, and Vibraphone

Maybe this is just me, but I find it easier to remember stuff like this if I can connect the original meanings of the words with what they're naming. In this case: it helps to know that xyl- is a ...
Scott Wallace's user avatar
7 votes

Is it best to use a tie when using 8th notes off the beat?

The 'rule' about not crossing the centre of 4/4 time is an old one, but a good one nevertheless. It makes reading easier - which after all is what writing music out should be about. Personally, i'm ...
Tim's user avatar
  • 194k
7 votes

Have I been teaching rolls wrong?

I wonder if you're both teaching only part of rolls. I don't see anything in your question about grip or technique, and the thing that unlocked rolls for me was using a technique where I change my ...
Todd Wilcox's user avatar
7 votes
Accepted

Strange cymbals notation in The Free Lance March

Note: this answer uses the ABC notation to show some examples, but there may be some browser issues (like this); try to force refresh the page (if you're on Chrome, use CtrlF5 or ⌘⇧R on macOS) to see ...
musicamante's user avatar
  • 6,851
6 votes

Drums in Apartment

One of the best policies is to set a cut-off time for your practice. Each situation is different. When I was starting up one of my country dance bands, we practiced (in a garage no less) for several ...
ttw's user avatar
  • 25.5k

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible