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Instruments of the Orchestra

This is a brief description of the different families and instruments of the Orchestra.
by

Jason Chen

on 9 June 2011

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Transcript of Instruments of the Orchestra

Instruments of the Orchestra Strings Cello By Jason C and Derek H The cello is a bass instrument. It is played by plucking with your finger or playing it with a bow. There are 4 strings which are:
C String
G String
D String
A String Violin The violin is the smallest and most high-pitched of the strings family. Like all the other instruments in the strings family, you either pluck or play with a bow. The different Strings G String
D String
A String
E String Woodwinds Clarinet The clarinet is a musical instrument of woodwind type. The name came from adding the suffix -et (meaning little) to the Italian word clarino (meaning a type of trumpet). The instrument has an approximately cylindrical bore, and uses a single reed. In jazz contexts, it has sometimes been informally referred to as the "licorice stick." Written range (though it is possible to play higher): Flute The flute is a musical instrument of the woodwind family. Unlike woodwind instruments with reeds, a flute is an aerophone or reedless wind instrument that produces its sound from the flow of air across an opening. A musician who plays the flute can be referred to as a flute player, a flautist, a flutist, or less commonly a fluter. Flute pitch: The Cello was first made in Italy In the 16th Century. It was origninally made because composers wanted a lower toned instrument in their music, one an octave lower than violas and an octave and a fifth lower than violins. The Cellos real name is Violincello which is little violone in Italian. It was named this because of it being made from the relatively unknown bass violin. The Violin originated in the times of renaissance, in the medieval ages in the 15th century around the same time as the Viola and the Cello. String instruments weren’t made exclusively back then and it took years for violins to become more popular. By about halfway through the 16th Century a man called Andrea Amati became the founder of the most famous violin making school in the world. This had proved that violins had become popular. The Clarinet was originally invented around 1960 by Johann Christoph Denner of Nuremburg. It was the evolution from an earlier instrument called the chalumeau which was the first true single reed instrument. The clarinet was made when he and his son Jacob improved the chalumeau by adding to keys and increasing the range of the instrument by over two octaves. He also made a better mouthpiece and improved the bell of the instrument. The flute is the oldest known wind instrument and it goes back all the way to the 9th Century B.C. Back in the Renaissance the flute was just a cylindrical wooden tuve with embouchure hole and finger holes which stopped at the end of the embouchure hole. To improve it, they achieved a greater range by modifying the bore of the baroque flute to a slightly tapered conical shape with the larger radius at the embouchure hole and smaller radius at the bell end. Throughout the history of the flute the size of the tube along its length evolved in respect of its bore shape. Nowadays, the flute is an integral part of almost every type of music. Brass Percussion Piano The pianoforte is one of the most popular instruments in the world and is Widely used in classical music for solo performances, ensemble use, chamber music and accompaniment. Although not portable and often quite expensive, the piano's versatility and ubiquity have made it one of the world's most familiar musical instruments. When a key is struck, a chain reaction occurs to produce the sound. First, the key raises the wippen, which forces the jack against the hammer roller (or "knuckle"). The hammer roller then lifts the lever carrying the hammer. The key also raises the damper; and immediately after the hammer strikes the wire it falls back, allowing the wire to resonate. When the key is released the damper falls back onto the strings, stopping the wire from vibrating. The vibrating piano strings themselves are not very loud, but their vibrations are transmitted to a large soundboard that moves air and thus converts the energy to sound. The irregular shape and off-center placement of the bridge ensures that the soundboard vibrates strongly at all frequencies. There are usually 3 pedals. From left to right:
Una Corda
Sostenuto
Sustained Pedal The first string instruments with struck strings are hammered dulcimers. Later on the Clavichord and harpsichord were made, the instruments that are most similar to the piano but vary. The clavichord strings are struck by tangents where as the harpsichord strings were plucked by quills. These instruments were used exclusively in the Baroque period and the first modern piano wasn’t invented until a man called Bartolomeo Cristofori of Pauda Italy made it but it is unknown when he made it. Drums The drum is a member of the percussion group of musical instruments. Drums consist of at least one membrane, called a drumhead or drum skin, that is stretched over a shell and struck, either directly with the player's hands, or with a drumstick, to produce sound. Techniques have been used to cause drums to made sounds, such as the drum roll.They are the worlds oldest instrument, and is left virtually unchanged over the last thousands of years

A few types of drums such as timpani are always tuned to a certain pitch. Often, several drums, other than timpani drums, can be arranged together to create a drum kit. The concept of a drum is probably as old as an intelligent man. The idea of banging on something to make noise is second nature to us. But the drum wasn’t always an instrument. Drums first appeared in excavation from the Neolithic Era with 6000BC being the oldest recorded drum. Drums were not always instruments like in Africa where drums are not musical but an interpretation of everyday life in sound and used for speech. Drums became instruments long after they were created. Almost every modern piano has 36 black keys and 52 white keys for a total of 88 keys (seven octaves plus a minor third, from A to C). Trombone The trombone is part of the brass family. It is characterised by a telescopic slide which the player changes the length of the tube to get different pitches although the valve trombone uses three valves like on a trumpet. Sound is made by the player vibrating their lips which causes the air column inside the trombone to vibrate. The word trombone itself comes from the Italian word tromba (trumpet) and-one ( a suffix that means large ) meaning that the name means large trumpet. pitch of the trombone The trombone has been around for over 600 years. Its original design came from an Old English instrument called the sackbut. The word sackbut probably came from from saquer and bouter which mean pull and push in French. At the start of trombones, there were four different kinds used, a soprano, an alto, a tenor and a bass. The Trombone is the modern orchestral brass instrument that could play all the notes of the chromatic scale from the beginning. Even so the trombone wasn’t in early orchestras. history of the trombone trumpet The trumpet has been around for over 600 years. Its original design came from an Old English instrument called the sackbut. The word sackbut probably came from from saquer and bouter which mean pull and push in French. At the start of trombones, there were four different kinds used, a soprano, an alto, a tenor and a bass. The Trombone is the modern orchestral brass instrument that could play all the notes of the chromatic scale from the beginning. Even so the trombone wasn’t in early orchestras. History of the Trumpet
The trumpet has a rich and long history. It is believed widely that in Ancient Egypt they used the trumpet as a signalling device instead of an instrument. It was originally made in the 14th century when it acquired its folded form. It produced harmonic tones and was referred to as natural trumpet. Over the Centuries the purpose of the trumpet altered. In the 16th Century it was used for courtly and militaru purposes but in the 17th and 18th Century it was at its height and was being used by many famous composers. Pitch of the trumpet
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