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Percussion instruments: Eleven demonstrations

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Spend 17 minutes with 11 instruments found in the percussion section of an orchestra. This thoughtful percussion instruments video from London’s Philharmonia Orchestra is chock-full of short, fascinating demonstrations.

Conductor, pianist, and percussionist David Corkhill introduces the vibraphone, xylophone, marimba, glockenspiel, bass drum, tam-tam (the European name for gong), snare drum, cymbals, triangle, crotales (small tuned bells), and tambourine. From

The percussion section first carved out its place in the orchestra as a result of the vogue for Turkish marching music in Mozart´s time, bringing bass drums, snare drums, triangles and cymbals into play. But it is since the start of the 20th century that the variety of other percussion instruments has really taken off. Untuned instruments such as gongs from east Asia or tuned instruments like the marimbas of Africa have been adopted and adapted for use in the modern orchestra. Today composers take a truly global approach to using percussion instruments. This process is further encouraged by the percussionists themselves, many of whom are enthusiastic adopters of new instruments and pride themselves on perfecting their skills with an enormous range of instruments.

Follow this with Jazz Fundamentals from Jazz at Lincoln Center, Rests: Sometimes Music is Silence from Classical MPR, and how playing an instrument benefits your brain from TED-Ed.

Plus: How cymbals are made, a cymbal at 1,000 frames per second, Tito Puente performs A Maria Cervantes on the vibraphone (1945), Beethoven’s Ninth on a Toolbox Glockenspiel, how to make a homemade metal and pvc pipe xylophone, more drum videos, and more marimba performances.

Bonus: Ice Drumming on Lake Baikal.

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