There are 4 families of instruments in the orchestra: Strings Brass Woodwind Percussion
Strings – MAIN INSTRUMENTS Violin Viola Cello Double Bass Harp
Strings – MAIN CONCEPTS Arco Pizzicato Col Legno Vibrato Double Stopping Tremolo/Tremolando
Arco – to play using the bow Pizzicato – to pluck the strings with the fingers Col legno – to play using the back (wooden side) of the bow Double stopping – a bowing method where two strings are bowed at the same time producing two different notes Tremolo/Tremolando – the rapid up and down movement of a bow on a stringed instrument creating a restless effect Vibrato – rock the hand back and forth on the string to create a warmer sound
Trumpet French Horn Trombone Tuba Brass – MAIN INSTRUMENTS
Blowing – to blow into the mouthpiece of an instrument to create the sound Mute – a cone shaped device which alters the sound of the instrument, making it quieter Flutter Tonguing – the player rolls the letter ‘r’ Glissando – where as many notes as possible are played by sliding between the notes Vibrato – a slight wavering in pitch to bring warmth to the tone
Keyboard Instruments Organ – found in churches, usually have foot pedals & pipes Harpsicord – used in Baroque period performing ornaments and bass lines (continuo). Strings are plucked rather than hammered. Piano (pianoforte) – used from the Classical period onwards. Can perform/accompany sonatas. Synthesizer – an electronic keyboard found in modern music.
Types of Guitar Acoustic – non-electric with 6 strings which can be strummed or plucked (fingers/plectrum) Electric – as acoustic but uses an amplifier to produce sound Slide – a method of guitar playing using a metal tube or bottle neck to slide across the frets. Found in country and western music. Bass – and electric 4 stringed guitar which produces low pitched notes. Performs riffs/bass lines.
Distortion – an electronic effect used to alter the sound of an electric guitar, making it sound harsh Delay – an electronic effect used to repeat the sound over and over like an echo Reverb – an electronic effect which gives the impression of different hall atmospheres Slapping – a method of playing the bass guitar where the thumb is used to hit the side of the strings Electronic Concepts
ORNAMENTS – a decoration of the melody to add melodic and rhythmic interest: Trill – the rapid alteration of two adjacent notes Grace note -a short note played before the main note of the melody Drum fill – a rhythmic decoration played on the drum kit
Bands & Groups String Quartet – 2 x violins, viola & cello Chamber Music – music composed for a small group of instruments & performed in a small venue Pipe Band – Bagpipes, bass drum & snare drum, performs Scottish music to march to Scottish Dance Band – fiddle, accordion, keyboard, bass & drums, performs Scottish dances at Ceilidhs
Bands & Groups Orchestra – all 4 sections of the orchestra performing orchestral music Wind/Military Band – woodwind, brass & percussion, often performs marching music Brass Band – brass & percussion only Steel Band – steel drums & drum kit, from the Caribbean Folk Group – singers & instrumentalists performing traditional music
Bands & Groups Pop Group – guitars, vocals, keyboards & drum kit, performs popular ‘chart’ music Rock Band – as above but with a heavy, driving beat Jazz Group – instruments include: saxophone, drums, piano, brass (trumpet), improvisation is a feature Big Band – instruments include: trumpets, trombones, saxophones & a rhythm section of guitars, bass & piano, performs jazz/ swing
Jazz Styles Blues – African/American folk music, slow in tempo, 4 beats in a bar & strophic. Used blues scale – C Eb F Gb G Bb C - & 12 bar blues chord progression: I I I I IV IV I I V IV I I Ragtime – used vamped left hand (oom-cha) & syncopated melody, e.g. The Entertainer.
Jazz Styles Dixieland – written for a small ensemble consisting of rhythm section – piano, banjo, drums, tuba/bass (pizzicato walking bass) - & front line – trumpet, clarinet, trumpet & saxophone – performing improvises passages Scat singing – nonsense words, syllables and sounds improvised by a singer, e.g. do-wap-a-doobie-doobie
Jazz Styles Boogie-Woogie – a jazz style for the piano with the left hand playing an ostinato in broken octaves while the right hand improvises: Swing – big band style using the following rhythm:
Jazz Styles Walking bass – a bass line where each note has the same value, usually crotchets, & moves mainly in step, performed by piano, tuba or double bass (pizzicato)
Orchestral Styles Symphony – a large work for orchestra, usually in 4 movements – fast, slow, minuet & trio, & fast (classical period) Concerto – work for solo instrument + orchestra (piano concerto, violin concerto, etc), normally 3 movements. The soloist can ‘show off’ their technical ability in a cadenza, performing scales, fast running passages and ornaments, often ending in a trill.
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