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1 of 26 Musical Instruments of the Orchestra in the Western Tradition

Author: jansonke

Post on 03-Sep-2014



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  • Musical Instruments of the Orchestra in the Western Tradition
  • What is an Orchestra ?
    • Orchestra is an old Greek word which means a dancing place.
    • In Greece, during the 5th century B.C., orchestra was the name given to the space in front of the main acting area which was used by the chorus, who danced as well as sang, and by the instrumentalists of open air theatres.
    • Today we use the word orchestra to mean a reasonably large clooection of instruments playing together as a group.
    Greek Theatre
  • The orchestra has grown up gradually from early 17th century and is now a very wonderful and varied combination of instruments, which falls into four group. The Orchestra
  • Woodwind Instruments
    • As the name woodwind suggests, the instruments of this section of the orchestra are mostly made of wood, though flutes are now often made of metal istead.
    • In each woodwind instruments there is a series of holes bored along the length of the tube. When alll the holes are covered, the instrument sounds its lowest note. But if the player uncovers the bottom hole, a higer note is sounded.
    Flute Oboe Clarinet Bassoon
  • Woodwind Instrument
    • Nowadays, it is made of metal.
    • It is easy to recognize the flute among the intruments of the woodwind section, as it is held sideways rather than straight in front of the player.
    • The low notes are soft and mellow, but higher notes become brighter and more brillant.
  • Woodwind Instrument
    • It is a double-reed instrument.
    • It has reedy sound and can express pastoral feeling.
  • Woodwind Instrument
    • Of the four main woodwind instruments, the clarinet was last to join the orchestra.
    • The clarinet has a single reed -- a flat piece of cane.
    • The lastest part of its range has a hollow but rich sound. The middle part of the range is smooth. High up, the clarinet sounds rather sharp.
  • Woodwind Instrument
    • It is a double-reed instrument with a conical tube 9 feet long.
    • The low notes are very reddy. The higher notes are more flute-like and sound lovely.
  • Brass Instruments
    • The sounds of the brass section, like those of the woodwind, are made by blowing.
    • Brass instruments are long, hollow brass tubes blown from one end. They are curred or bent into various shapes.
    Trumpet French Horn Trombone Tuba
  • Brass Instrument
    • Of the instruments in the brass section, the trumpet is the most ancient.
    • It is one of the most powerful and colorful musical instruments in the orchestra.
    • The tone quality is really brilliant.
  • Brass Instrument
    • It is a long conical tube coiled into a circular shape and ends in a large bell shape.
    • It has a beautiful mellow tone of pure and lofty character.
    French Horn
  • Brass Instrument
    • The Italian name means big trumpet, and the trombone is in fact a long, folded trumpet with a more deeply cupped mouth-piece.
    • It has a rich, noble tone.
  • Brass Instrument
    • The Italian name means big trumpet, and the trombone is in fact a long, folded trumpet with a more deeply cupped mouth-piece.
    • It has a rich, noble tone.
  • String Instruments
    • The strings are the backbone of the orchestra. More than half the members of an orchestra play string instruments.
    • The sound is produced by bowing, plucking or striking the string.
    • Violin, viola, cello and double bass are similar in shape and each has four strings, but in different sizes; all tuned in fifth except the double bass that is fourth.
    Violin Viola Cello Double Bass
  • String Instrument
    • It is about 23.5 inches long.
    • The violins of the orchestra are divided into two groups: first vioins and second violins. The difference is not in the music they play -- the first vilins usually playing higher notes than the seconds.
  • String Instrument
    • It is about 25 inches long and is pitched a fifth lower than violin.
  • String Instrument
    • The correct name for this instrument is really, as in Italian, violoncello -- but it is always called cello for short.
    • It is around 5 feet in height and is pitched one octave lower than the viola.
  • String Instrument
    • The double bass, sometimes just called bass for short.
    • It is the largest in size (around 6.5 feet in height) and has the deepest tone (one octave below the cello) in the string family.
    Double Bass
  • Percussion Instruments
    • Percussion instruments are those which are struck or shaken.
    • Percussion instruments can be divided into two groups. They are tuned and non-tuned.
    Tuned: Non-tuned: Timpani Xylophone Tambourine Castanets
  • Percussion Instrument
    • It can also be called kettle drum.
    • These are often used in sets of two, three, or four each tuned to a different note.
    • The instrument is played with two sticks.
    • The player can tighten or loosen the parchment with pedals for tuning.
  • Percussion Instrument
    • It consists of blocks of hard wood, each tuned to a note.
    • The player strikes the wooden blocks with wooden beaters to produce a bright, dry, hard sound.
  • Percussion Instrument
    • Small metal plates are loosely inserted around the shell.
    • When the player hits or shakes it with his hand, the mental plates give a jingling effect.
  • Percussion Instrument
    • These consist of little wooden clappers moved by the thumb and forefinger of the player.
    • In the orchestra, they are placed on a stick.
  • Seating Plan Because of their family likenesses, the instruments of each section are grouped together. The platform is usually terraced, and the sections are positioned in such instrumental sounds and tone-colors.
  • Woodwind Flute Oboe Clarinet Bassoon Brass Trumpet French Horn Trombone Tuba Strings Violin Viola Cello Double Bass Percussion With pitch Without pitch Timpani Xylophone Tambourine Castanets Instruments Orchestra
  • The Chinese University of Hong Kong Faculty of Education EDD5161S Educational Communication & Technology Lecturer: Dr. Lee Fong Lok Lee Chui Ling (97029520) Cheung Kwan Fu (96077630) Students: