Eventually the use of resonators became common, and early ones were made of gourds which can be seen on the instrument on the left. Todays Instruments The common instruments today in the keyboard area are the glockenspiel sounds 15ma up , the vibraphone, the marimba, the xylophone 8va up , and the chimes.
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All are pitched in C, and ranges vary considerably. The glockenspiel or orchestra bells have octaves; vibraphones have The range on a 5-octave instrument is C to c4. There are bass marimbas which go even lower than the standard C note, but they are not common.
The marimba and xylophone are made from [rose]wood bars, where as the other keyboards are made from aluminum or steel bars generally. The marimba, xylophone, vibraphone, and sometimes bells have resonators underneath them. These are basically one-ended, stopped tubes which are capped at a certain length related to the frequency of the bar. They act to enhance volume and resonance. Some resonators are adjustable, which is a plus for wood instruments which go out of tune frequently in adverse climates.
Notice the resonators on the vibraphone here - although arc-shaped, the higher notes' resonators are still capped much higher than the lower notes - one cannot tell where the tubes are capped without looking down them, and the various shapes in resonators are simply aesthetic. The xylophone This instrument is the highest pitched of the woden keyboards. It is probably the most used of the instruments in ensembles, but outnumbered by the marimba as a solo instrument.
Danse Macabre by Saint-Saens is generally credited as the first piece in orchestral music to use the xylophone. This lick in Porgy and Bess is probably the most famous excerpt or the piece. The xylophone is usually played with hard plastic, phenolic, or rubber mallets. The vibraphone The vibraphone, invented in , is the only true keyboard instrument with a pedal and a motor. The aluminum alloy bars are suspended on a frame like the other instruments but there is a long strip of felt on a dampener which is always in contact with the bars until the pedal is depressed.
This instrumentutilize has the purest timbre of the family, being very close to the sound of an overtone-devoid sine wave.
The motor on is adjustable for different speeds and gives the instrument its inherent vibrato sound that interestingly is not used that much today. Cord-wrapped mallets with rattan shafts are probably the most common choice for most players and many players utilize the "Burton cross-grip" on this instrument.
Conversely, more dampening techniques are used for this instrument such as mallet-dampening in which the player can mute 1 note of a chord by sliding a mallet over it after it has been struck. Orchestra bells The better bells are made from steel, and ring for a long time. After all, how much time do you REALLY have in your classroom or private lesson studio to cover all of the percussion instruments fully? Generally, we fix the problems with gaps in knowledge as they occur instead of proactively covering all of our basics!
The information for all of the instruments is presented in a series of videos which cover all the fundamentals, so student can watch on their own. Here are some recommendations for implementing this in your curriculum:. This study guide will keep them on-task by asking simple questions on information that was included in the video in sequential order. Simply assign an instrument to the student giving him or her the appropriate link on our website , hand them a printed study guide, then collect the study guide as proof that they watched the videos!
The study guide questions are shuffled, and multiple choice answers are provided. At the end of the test, the student will be given a number grade with a copy of his or her completed test explaining all the correct answers. Vic Firth does NOT collect or share any information name, email address, scores, etc for any of the test participants. Students are allowed to use any info in that text field nickname, random numbers, student ID, etc.
Percussion Keyboard Technic: Marimba, Xylophone, Vibraphone, Bells
Percussion Keyboard Percussion. Keyboard Percussion This series of video lessons will provide students and instructors alike with a comprehensive introduction to the fundamental techniques for the most common percussion instruments. Video 1: Characteristics and Maintenance Covering the characteristics for all the keyboard instruments, including a discussion of proper beating areas and general maintenance tips for replacing cord, fixing posts and stopping rattle sounds.
Video 2: Setup and Playing Position A discussion of general set up tips for all keyboard instruments, including moving around the instrument and feet positioning. Video 3: Grip and Basic Stroke Instructions for gripping mallets and performing relaxed strokes on all the keyboard instruments. Video 4: Sticking Considerations General suggestions making sticking choices on all the keyboard instruments. Video 5: Rolls A guide for developing consistent sounding sustained rolls for all the keyboard instruments, as well as how to connect rolls from note to note.
Video 6: Xylophone Specific instrument characteristics and mallet selection choices for the xylophone. Video 8: Vibraphone Specific instrument characteristics and mallet selection choices for the vibraphone. Video 9: Marimba Specific instrument characteristics and mallet selection choices for the marimba.
Video Chimes Specific instrument characteristics, setup and playing techniques for the chimes. Chime Hammer Two-sided hammer produces both brilliant and warm chime sounds. Learn More. M Orchestral Series Soft plastic for a warm sound on xylophone. Also great on marimba.
M Orchestral Series Medium poly. Light and clear for xylophone and bells. M Orchestral Series Medium nylon makes this a full sounding, general mallet on xylophone and bells. M Orchestral Series Very hard phenolic. Small head for brilliant and pointed sounds on bells. M Orchestral Series Round brass head creates a bright sound on bells. Head: Metallic Shaft: Rattan. M Multi-Application Series Medium cord vibe mallet provides full tone without a lot of attack.
Head: Synthetic Cord Shaft: Rattan. M Multi-Application Series Hard cord vibe mallet provides maximum projection and clarity. M Virtuoso Series Soft. Creates a beautiful singing sound in the low register. Head: Yarn Shaft: Wood. M Virtuoso Series Medium.
Related Percussion Keyboard Technic: For Marimba, Xylophone, Vibraphone or Bells
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