Results in Orchestral Percussion Instruments

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Orchestral Percussion Instruments

Percussion instruments are traditionally used in orchestras or for some marching bands.

Types of Orchestral Instruments

  • Bells and chimes - bells can be made of either plastic or metal, such as a cowbell, which create different sounds. Available in a variation of size according to the player’s needs, bells can be singular and rung by hand, or they can be found in pairs and knocked together. Metal chimes are either set out in a box and played with a beater, such as a xylophone, or laid out vertically and mounted on a stand.
  • Timpani - kettledrums which are played with either a stick or mallet and can be found either singularly or as a pair. Most commonly, timpani are made of an animal skin which is stretched over a large copper bowl.
  • Gongs - originating from China, a gong consists of a large circular metal material with a raised, dome-shaped middle. It can be made of copper, bronze and played with a fabric-covered beater.

Types of Sounds

  • Different types of gongs provide different sounds. Those with a raised centre produce shorter, specific notes, while those with flat surfaces creating more of a ‘crashing’, echoing sound.
  • Kettledrums are authentic and produce a somewhat authentic and naturalistic sound to them.
  • Different bells can be played at different notes, depending on where the bell is played as well as the thickness and shape of the metal.

Looking After Your Orchestral Instruments

  • Cases made from hard plastic or fabric can be bought to place your chimes or bells into. A case will also protect your instruments from any potential moisture, which can cause wood damage, such as splits in the wood.
  • It is important to clean and polish your bells or chimes regularly to maintain their maximum shine.
  • Playing your instruments appropriately also helps to prevent the exterior from getting scratched or indented.