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Exploring the Instruments of the Orchestra!!!!

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Lauren Hicks

on 11 February 2015

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Transcript of Exploring the Instruments of the Orchestra!!!!

Exploring the Instruments of the Orchestra
The Orchestra is made up of 4 families.
The String Family
The smallest String Family
Instrument is
the Violin.
The String Family
The Woodwind Family
The Brass Family
The Percussion Family
Has anyone ever told you
that you look just like
your mother, or father, or even
your brother or sister?
That is probably because you all belong to the same family...
Family members often look alike, act alike, and sometimes even sound alike.
Instruments are also
grouped into families!
They are grouped into families by the way that they are similar.
1.What they are made of...
2. How you make a sound on them...
3. What they sound like...
Let's start with...
There are 3 ways to make a sound
(or vibration) on a String Family Instrument.
1.You can use a bow to make the strings vibrate,
2. You can pluck the strings with your fingers,
(this is called Pizzicatto)
3. You can strum it.
Every Instrument must have vibration to make a sound.
In the String Family you must make the strings vibrate to produce a sound.
Lets start with the smallest instrument in the String Family.
Remember... the smaller an Instument is, the higher it will sound... and
the bigger an Instrument is, the lower it will sound.
Did you notice how she mostly used the bow, but she also used pizzicato? (plucking the strings)
Of course you did!!! Smartie!
But, you know that I still had to point it out...
This next String Family Instrument is only 1/8 larger than the violin.
The Viola
I know what you are thinking...
It looks exactly like the Violin, right?
Well, here is a picture of them side by side.
Its just a little bit bigger...
so it should sound just a little bit lower...
Did you notice she played her viola the same way as the girl who played the violin, resting it between her shoulder and her chin?
The Cello
Can't play that one under your chin like the violin or the viola can you?
No you can't.
It has a special pin at the bottom that helps hold up the Instrument.
It is called an endpin.
The endpin is found at the bottom of the cello. Endpins are adjustable; older ones were removed when not in use. The sharp tip of the cello's endpin is sometimes has rubber tip that protects the tip from dulling and prevents the cello from slipping on the floor.
Can you hear how the Instruments keep sounding lower and lower as they get bigger and bigger?
Lets go lower...
The Double Bass
WOW Look How BIG!
It must sound really low!
It also has an endpin
to help hold it up.
The Double Bass is so big that you have to stand or sit on a high stool to play it.
Here they are all together...
But wait! There are still some more...
The Harp
So far all of the String Family Instruments that we have seen had 4 strings. A Harp that would be played in an Orchestra will have anywhere from 44 to 47 strings. WOW. That's a lot of strings!
Pretty, aren't they? They sound pretty too. Listen.
You can't use a bow on the harp.
You have to pluck the strings.
Did you see the strings vibrating as she was playing them?
The Double Bass is
the largest Instrument in the
String family...
so, it should sound the lowest.
Want more?
You won't find these Instruments in an Orchestra, but they do belong in the String Family.
The Guitar
There are 2 basic types of Guitars...
The Electric Guitar
The Acoustic Guitar
They are all made pretty much the same way, however, they come in different sizes.
The Electric Guitar and
the Acoustic Guitar both
have 6 strings.
There is also a Banjo.
It has 5 strings.
A Mandolin
has 8 strings.
A Fiddle; which is just like a violin only played in a different style. It has 4 strings.
Here you will hear the Fiddle, Mandolin, Acoustic Guitar and the Double Bass. They play together in a style of music called Bluegrass. Which is kind like Country Music.
And a Ukulele. It has 4 strings.
The word Ukulele is a Hawaiian word so most people think it came from Hawaii.
It actually was brought to Hawaii by Portuguese immigrants.
Does your brain hurt?
Well, that wraps up the String Family... let's move on to another family.
The Woodwind Family
Remember how I told you that
every Instrument must have vibration to make a sound?
The Woodwind Family is no exception to that rule. They have to have vibration also...
Your wind, or air, causes these Instruments to vibrate.
Lets start with the oldest Instrument known to man.
This Instrument has even been seen in ancient drawings dating 40,000 to 35,000 years ago.
The Flute
Sounds like a little bird doesn't it?
To make vibration on the flute there is an opening at one end of the flute called an embouchure hole. You blow air, or wind over the hole like you would a pop bottle to get a sound.
Half the air goes over the hole and half of the air goes into the Instrument and vibrates through the tube or body.
The Flute also has a little sister.
It is called a Piccolo.
Here is a picture of the Flute and Piccolo together.
The Piccolo is a lot smaller than the Flute. Did you notice that it sounded alot higher?
Violin Viola Cello Double Bass
oooh... that was pretty!
It is solid so you have to plug it up to an amplifier if you want to hear it play.
It is hollow (empty) inside so you don't need an amplifier for this guitar... it has its own built in... Cool, huh?
He sure does play well!! That was fun... it makes me want to dance.
The rest of the Woodwind Family Instruments have something called a reed. When you blow air through the Instrument the reed will vibrate to make a sound.
There are 2 different types of reeds...
A double reed,
and a single reed.
A double reed is made of 2 reeds placed back to back and tied together with string. When you blow through the double reed the two pieces vibrate against each other. That vibration produces your sound.
Both types of reeds are made of cane.
Cane is a species of Bamboo.
Bamboo is a very strong type of grass and it can bend in the wind. They use this material for reeds because it is softer than wood and can vibrate easily.
Yep, I said bamboo... the panda snack.
Let's start with the
double reed.
A single reed can not vibrate on its own like the double reed.
It must have a mouthpiece to vibrate against.
Here are the double reed Instruments...
The Oboe
The English Horn
I know, you are thinking it again... it looks Just like the Oboe.
English Horn
They are just a little bit different.
Now lets get bigger.
Another double reed Instrument in the Woodwind Family is the Bassoon.
The Contrabassoon
Here are the 2 together.
Now let's talk about the single reed Instruments in the Woodwind Family.
The Clarinet
Who else do you know that plays the Clarinet?
Remember, you need a mouth piece with a single reed Instruments so that the reed can vibrate against it...
Do you see it?
The Bass Clarinet
Our last Woodwind Family Instrument comes in many sizes.
The Saxophone
The saxophone is made of brass, but it does not belong to the Brass Family... see if you can figure out why?
Did you figure it out?
Yep, you are right... it has a mouth piece and a single reed! Great Job!
The one we see the most is the Alto Saxophone.
Their sizes range from the Soprano Saxophone...
To the Contrabass Saxophone.
Let's listen to the Alto Saxophone.
Here are the most commonly used Saxophones.
Soprano Sax
Alto Sax
Tenor Sax
Baritone Sax
Now here they all are togehter.
That wraps up the Woodwind Family!
That family had alot of brothers and sisters!
Now onto
The Brass Family

The Brass Family gets its name from the material that they are made of.
Brass is a yellow, or gold, colored metal. It is made of a mixture of...
This material is used to make the Brass Family Instruments because it is a softer metal which helps it to vibrate and create a nice sound. Also because it is resistant to bacteria and other types of growths.
Let's start again with the smallest Instrument in the Brass Family.
The Trumpet
is the smallest instrument in the Brass Family
That means...
It should sound the highest, Right?
Here are the mouth pieces for your Brass Family Instruments.

If these Instruments in the Brass Family are made of a metal material, how are we going to get them to vibrate?
Hit it?
Shake it?
Hum in it?
Sing in it?
Just blow in it?
OK!!! I give up!!!
Tell me...
You have to make the vibration by buzzing your lips into the mouthpiece...
The more you tighten the vibration of your lips, the higher the sound will be; and the more you loosen the vibration of your lips, the lower the sound will be.
The French Horn
The Trombone
Again... can you hear how the sound is getting lower and lower as the size of the Instruments get bigger and bigger?
Here is the Biggest!!!
Here they are all together...
French Horn
Now for the test... did you really pay attention? One of these Brass Family Instruments is different than all of the others... Can you tell me which one it is and why?
If you guessed the trombone, then you are right!!!
Now, how is it different?

Instead of using valves to chance pitch like the Trumpet, French Horn and Tuba...
French Horn
Now, listen to them all together
That it for the Brass Family! Now that your brain is really tired... on to another Family
: )
The Percussion Family
There are 4 ways to make a sound, or
vibration, on a Percussion Family Instrument.
You can shake it...
You can scrape it...
You can hit (tap) it with your hand...
or you can strike it with a mallet...
This last Family is the largest in the Orchestra
Her are some of your Shakers...
African Shaker
Egg Shakers
Here are some of your Scrapers...
Frog Scraper

These Percussion Instruments you hit with your hand or hit together to make vibration.
Jingle Bells
Hand Bells
Hand Drum
Rhythm Sticks

Here are some Percussion Instruments that you strike with a mallet...

Tone Block
Wood Block
Tic Toc Block
Musical Washboard
Cow Bells
Agogo Bells
and then you have...
Drum Set
Snare Drum


Bass Drum
Have a listen to the Percussion Family!
Now here are all the Families playing together...
It uses a slide that changes the pitch by sliding it out and in
Here is your slide...
Don't forget about the Piano!!!
The Piano has 88 keys... so that means
that it has 88 strings... Right?

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