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(Sets of hanging bells without internal strikers)
A bell tree, also known as tree bellsor Chinese bell tree (often confused with the mark tree ), is a percussion instrument, consisting of vertically nested inverted metal bowls. The bowls, placed on a vertical rod, are arranged roughly in order of pitch. The number of bowls can vary between approximately 14 and 28. An effective glissando is produced by sliding a triangle beater, a glockenspiel mallet, or a xylophone mallet down the length of the tree. The bells are usually pitched to microtonal intervals and do not represent any formal scale. When a glissando is played, the inexactness of the order of the bowls' pitch is unnoticeable, merely creating a fuller sound.
The bell tree is often used to accentuate the start or end of passages of music with a "bright", "shimmer" effect, adding complexity.
Chick Corea and his group Return To Forever occasionally used the bell tree (i.e. album Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy), as has the group Santana. Isaac Howie has sometimes used the bell tree in his compositions. The rock band America utilized one in "Bell Tree," a song named for the instrument, found on their 1975 album Hearts . Neil Peart from Rush used this instrument for the song "The Trees" from the album Hemispheres (1978), as can be seen on the official music video of the song, and the live album Exit... Stage Left.
A cymbal is a common percussion instrument. Often used in pairs, cymbals consist of thin, normally round plates of various alloys. The majority of cymbals are of indefinite pitch, although small disc-shaped cymbals based on ancient designs sound a definite note. Cymbals are used in many ensembles ranging from the orchestra, percussion ensembles, jazz bands, heavy metal bands, and marching groups. Drum kits usually incorporate at least a crash, ride, or crash/ride, and a pair of hi-hat cymbals. A player of cymbals is known as a cymbalist.
In music, a glissando is a glide from one pitch to another. It is an Italianized musical term derived from the French glisser, "to glide". In some contexts, it is distinguished from the continuous portamento. Some colloquial equivalents are slide, sweep, bend, smear, rip, lip, plop, or falling hail.
A percussion instrument is a musical instrument that is sounded by being struck or scraped by a beater including attached or enclosed beaters or rattles struck, scraped or rubbed by hand or struck against another similar instrument. Excluding zoomusicological instruments and the human voice, the percussion family is believed to include the oldest musical instruments.
The bass drum, or kick drum, is a large drum that produces a note of low definite or indefinite pitch. The instrument is typically cylindrical, with the drum's diameter much greater than the drum's depth, with a struck head at both ends of the cylinder. The heads may be made of calfskin or plastic and there is normally a means of adjusting the tension either by threaded taps or by strings. Bass drums are built in a variety of sizes, but size does not dictate the volume produced by the drum. The pitch and the sound can vary much with different sizes, but the size is also chosen based on convenience and aesthetics. Bass drums are percussion instruments and vary in size and are used in several musical genres. Three major types of bass drums can be distinguished.
The marimba is a percussion instrument consisting of a set of wooden bars struck with yarn or rubber mallets to produce musical tones. Resonators or pipes are suspended underneath the bars to amplify their sound. The bars of a chromatic marimba are arranged like the keys of a piano, with the groups of two and three accidentals raised vertically, overlapping the natural bars to aid the performer both visually and physically. This instrument is a type of idiophone, but with a more resonant and lower-pitched tessitura than the xylophone. A person who plays the marimba is called a marimbist or a marimba player.
The vibraphone is a musical instrument in the struck idiophone subfamily of the percussion family. It consists of tuned metal bars and is usually played by holding two or four soft mallets and striking the bars. A person who plays the vibraphone is called a vibraphonist,vibraharpist, or vibist.
The glockenspiel is a percussion instrument composed of a set of tuned keys arranged in the fashion of the keyboard of a piano. In this way, it is similar to the xylophone, although the xylophone's bars are made of wood, while the glockenspiel's are metal plates or tubes, thus making it a metallophone. The glockenspiel, additionally, is usually smaller and, because of both its material and smaller size, higher in pitch.
A slide whistle is a wind instrument consisting of a fipple like a recorder's and a tube with a piston in it. Thus it has an air reed like some woodwinds, but varies the pitch with a slide. The construction is rather like a bicycle pump. Because the air column is cylindrical and open at one end and closed at the other, it overblows the third harmonic. "A whistle made out of a long tube with a slide at one end. An ascending and descending glissando is produced by moving the slide back and forth while blowing into the mouthpiece." "Tubular whistle with a plunger unit in its column, approximately 12 inches long. The pitch is changed by moving the slide plunger in and out, producing ascending and descending glisses."
Timpani or kettledrums are musical instruments in the percussion family. A type of drum categorised as a hemispherical drum, they consist of a membrane called a head stretched over a large bowl traditionally made of copper. Most modern timpani are pedal timpani and can be tuned quickly and accurately to specific pitches by skilled players through the use of a movable foot-pedal. They are played by striking the head with a specialized drum stick called a timpani stick or timpani mallet. Timpani evolved from military drums to become a staple of the classical orchestra by the last third of the 18th century. Today, they are used in many types of ensembles, including concert bands, marching bands, orchestras, and even in some rock bands.
In music, extended technique is unconventional, unorthodox, or non-traditional methods of singing or of playing musical instruments employed to obtain unusual sounds or timbres.
The Rototom is a drum developed by Al Payson, Robert Grass, and Michael Colgrass that has no shell and is tuned by rotating. A rototom consists of a single head in a die-cast zinc or aluminum frame. Unlike most other drums, this type has a variable definite pitch. Composers are known to write for them as tuned instruments, demanding specific pitches. Rototoms are often used to extend the tom range of a standard drum kit. They were commercialized by the drumhead company Remo Inc., of North Hollywood, California.
The flexatone or fleximetal is a modern percussion instrument consisting of a small flexible metal sheet suspended in a wire frame ending in a handle. Used in classic cartoons for its glissando effect, its sound is comparable to the musical saw.
A handbell is a bell designed to be rung by hand. To ring a handbell, a ringer grasps the bell by its slightly flexible handle – traditionally made of leather, but often now made of plastic – and moves the arm to make the hinged clapper inside the bell strike. An individual handbell can be used simply as a signal to catch people's attention or summon them together, but handbells are also often heard in tuned sets.
A Mark tree is a percussion instrument used primarily for musical colour. It consists of many small chimes – typically cylinders of solid aluminium or hollow brass tubing 3/8" in diameter – of varying lengths mounted hanging from a bar. The chimes are played by sweeping a finger or stick through the length of the hanging chimes, or the strings that suspend the chimes. They are mounted in pitch order to produce rising or falling glissandos.
A standing bell or resting bell is an inverted bell, supported from below with the rim uppermost. Such bells are normally bowl-shaped, and exist in a wide range of sizes, from a few centimetres to a metre in diameter. They are often played by striking, but some—known as singing bowls—may also be played by rotating a mallet around the outside rim to produce a sustained musical note.
A bell plate is a percussion instrument consisting of a flat and fairly thick sheet of metal, producing a sound similar to a bell. They are most often used in orchestral and theater music.
A chime bar or resonator bell is a percussion instrument consisting of a tuned metal bar similar to a glockenspiel bar, with each bar mounted on its own wooden resonator. Chime bars are played with mallets again similar to a glockenspiel.
This is a partitioned list of percussion instruments showing their usage as tuned or untuned. See pitched percussion instrument for discussion of the differences between tuned and untuned percussion. The term pitched percussion is now preferred to the traditional term tuned percussion:
There are several overlapping schemes for the classification of percussion instruments.