Spoons can be played as a makeshift percussion instrument, or more specifically, an idiophone related to the castanets. They are played by hitting one spoon against the other.
In the United States spoons as instrument are associated with American folk music, minstrelsy, and jug and spasm bands. These musical genres make use of other everyday objects as instruments, such as the washboard and the jug. In addition to common tableware, spoons that are joined at the handle are available from musical instrument suppliers.
As percussion, spoons accompany fiddle playing and other folk sets. An example is seen in Midsomer Murders Series 6, episode 2, where Detective Sergeant Gavin Troy plays the spoons at a house party joining a fiddle player who is entertaining the guests. He uses the first technique. The guests also contribute percussion by hand clapping in time with the music.
The song "This Old Man" refers to a related concept, except with sheep bones (hence paddywhack) instead of spoons.
In Canada, the spoons accompany fiddle playing in Québecois and Acadian music. Also, Newfoundland and the Atlantic Provinces popularly play the spoons at family gatherings. Playing the spoons in Western Canada is closely related to the Métis culture.
In Greece, spoons as a percussion instrument are known as koutalakia (Greek : κουταλάκια 'little spoons'). Dancers accompany their dancing with rhythms tapped out on the spoons. Many of them are sculpted or painted. The specific tradition is not common in the music of mainland Greece, but used to be popular among Anatolian Greeks
Spoons are often used in ethnic Russian music and are known as lozhki (Russian : Ло́жки[plural]; Pronunciation: Ложка (help·info)[singular]). The use of spoons for music dating at least from the 18th century (and probably older). Typically, three or more wooden spoons are used. The convex surfaces of the bowls are struck together in different ways. For example, two spoons are held by their handles in the left hand, and the third, held in the right hand, is used to hit the two spoons in the left hand. The hit, in a sliding motion, produces a typical sound. One can also hold three spoons in the left hand and put a fourth into the bot or the pocket. A fifth spoon is then held in the right hand and used to hit the other four. Finally, one can hold the bowl of a single spoon in the left hand and hit it with another spoon. In this style, different sounds can be emitted by holding the bowl more or less tightly.
These wooden spoons are commonly used in performances of Russian folk music and sometimes even in Russian orchestras.A video of a choir performing a Russian folk song with spoon and balalaika accompaniment can be found below.
Turkish spoons Turkish : kaşıklar are a Turkish and Uzbek percussion instrument. Kaşıklar made from boxwood are particularly favoured. There are also different holding styles.
The tambourine is a musical instrument in the percussion family consisting of a frame, often of wood or plastic, with pairs of small metal jingles, called "zills". Classically the term tambourine denotes an instrument with a drumhead, though some variants may not have a head. Tambourines are often used with regular percussion sets. They can be mounted, for example on a stand as part of a drum kit, or they can be held in the hand and played by tapping or hitting the instrument.
The violin, sometimes known as a fiddle, is a wooden chordophone in the violin family. Most violins have a hollow wooden body. It is the smallest and thus highest-pitched instrument (soprano) in the family in regular use. The violin typically has four strings,, usually tuned in perfect fifths with notes G3, D4, A4, E5, and is most commonly played by drawing a bow across its strings. It can also be played by plucking the strings with the fingers (pizzicato) and, in specialized cases, by striking the strings with the wooden side of the bow.
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 washboard and frottoir are used as a percussion instrument, employing the ribbed metal surface of the cleaning device as a rhythm instrument. As traditionally used in jazz, zydeco, skiffle, jug band, and old-time music, the washboard remained in its wooden frame and is played primarily by tapping, but also scraping the washboard with thimbles. Often the washboard has additional traps, such as a wood block, a cowbell, and even small cymbals. Conversely, the frottoir dispenses with the frame and consists simply of the metal ribbing hung around the neck. It is played primarily with spoon handles or bottle openers in a combination of strumming, scratching, tapping and rolling. The frottoir or vest frottoir is played as a stroked percussion instrument, often in a band with a drummer, while the washboard generally is a replacement for drums. In Zydeco bands, the frottoir is usually played with bottle openers, to make a louder sound. It tends to play counter-rhythms to the drummer. In a jug band, the washboard can also be stroked with a single whisk broom and functions as the drums for the band, playing only on the back-beat for most songs, a substitute for a snare drum. In a four-beat measure, the washboard will stroke on the 2-beat and the 4-beat. Its best sound is achieved using a single steel-wire snare-brush or whisk broom. However, in a jazz setting, the washboard can also be played with thimbles on all fingers, tapping out much more complex rhythms, as in The Washboard Rhythm Kings, a full-sized band, and Newman Taylor Baker.
The bones, also known as rhythm bones, are a folk instrument that, in their original form, consists of a pair of animal bones, but may also be played on pieces of wood or similar material. Sections of large rib bones and lower leg bones are the most commonly used bones, although wooden sticks shaped like true bones are now more often used. Metal spoons may be used instead, as is common in the United States, known as "playing the spoons". The technique probably arrived in the U.S. via Irish and other European immigrants, and has a history stretching back to ancient China, Egypt, Greece, and Rome. They have contributed to many music genres, including 19th century minstrel shows, traditional Irish and Scottish music, the blues, bluegrass, zydeco, French-Canadian music, and music from Cape Breton in Nova Scotia. The clacking of the loose rib bones produces a much sharper sound than the zydeco washboard or frottoir, which mimics rattling a bone up and down a fixed ribcage.
Clawhammer, sometimes called frailing, is a distinctive banjo playing style and a common component of American old-time music.
The morin khuur, also known as the horsehead fiddle, is a traditional Mongolian bowed stringed instrument. It is one of the most important musical instruments of the Mongol people, and is considered a symbol of the nation of Mongolia. The morin khuur is one of the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity identified by UNESCO.
The ghaṭam is a percussion instrument used in various repertoires across India. It's a variant played in Punjab and known as gharha as it is a part of Punjabi folk traditions. Its analogue in Rajasthan is known as the madga and pani mataqa.
Zills or zils, also called finger cymbals, are small metallic cymbals used in belly dancing and similar performances. They are called sāgāt in Egypt. They are similar to Tibetan tingsha bells. In Western music, several pairs can be set in a frame to make a tambourine.
A thavil (Tamil:தவில்) or tavil is a barrel-shaped percussion instrument from Tamil Nadu. It is also widely used in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamilnadu and Telangana States of South India. It is used in temple, folk and Carnatic music, often accompanying the nadaswaram. The thavil and the nadaswaram are essential components of traditional festivals and ceremonies in South India.
Fingerstyle guitar is the technique of playing the guitar or bass guitar by plucking the strings directly with the fingertips, fingernails, or picks attached to fingers, as opposed to flatpicking. The term "fingerstyle" is something of a misnomer, since it is present in several different genres and styles of music—but mostly, because it involves a completely different technique, not just a "style" of playing, especially for the guitarist's picking/plucking hand. The term is often used synonymously with fingerpicking except in classical guitar circles, although fingerpicking can also refer to a specific tradition of folk, blues and country guitar playing in the US. The terms "fingerstyle" and "fingerpicking" also applied to similar string instruments such as the banjo.
A morsing is an instrument similar to the Jew's harp, mainly used in Rajasthan, in the Carnatic music of South India, and in Sindh, Pakistan. It can be categorized under lamellophones, which is in the category of plucked idiophones. It consists of a metal ring in the shape of a horseshoe with two parallel forks which form the frame, and a metal tongue in the middle, between the forks, fixed to the ring at one end and free to vibrate at the other. The metal tongue is bent at the free end in a plane perpendicular to the circular ring so that it can be struck and is made to vibrate. This bent part is called the trigger.
The Stevens technique is a personalized method of playing keyboard percussion instruments with four percussion mallets. While marimba performance with two, four, and even 6 mallets has been done for more than a century, Stevens developed techniques based on the Musser grip that expanded musical possibilities. Leigh Howard Stevens codified his grip and his approach to performance techniques during his studies at the Eastman School of Music in the 1970s and his 1979 book, Method of Movement for Marimba. In this book, Stevens explains that his grip is an evolution of the Musser grip and is sometimes called the Musser-Stevens grip.
Playing the violin entails holding the instrument between the jaw and the collar bone. The strings are sounded either by drawing the bow across them (arco), or by plucking them (pizzicato). The left hand regulates the sounding length of the strings by stopping them against the fingerboard with the fingers, producing different pitches.
A flamenco guitar is a guitar similar to a classical guitar but with thinner tops and less internal bracing. It usually has nylon strings, like the classical guitar, but it generally possesses a livelier, more gritty sound compared to the classical guitar. It is used in toque, the guitar-playing part of the art of flamenco.
Castanets, also known as clackers or palillos, are a percussion instrument (idiophone), used in Spanish, Kalo, Moorish, Ottoman, Italian, Sephardic, Swiss, and Portuguese music. In ancient Greece and ancient Rome there was a similar instrument called crotalum. The instrument consists of a pair of concave shells joined on one edge by a string. They are held in the hand and used to produce clicks for rhythmic accents or a ripping or rattling sound consisting of a rapid series of clicks. They are traditionally made of hardwood, although fibreglass is becoming increasingly popular.
The khong wong yai is a circle with gongs used in the music of Thailand. It has 16 tuned bossed gongs in a rattan frame and is played with two beaters. The player sits in the center of the circle. It is used in the piphat ensemble to provide the skeletal melody the other instruments of the elaborate ensemble. The gongs are individually tuned with beeswax under the gongs. The khong wong yai can either be played with soft beaters or hard beaters.
Guitar picking is a group of hand and finger techniques a guitarist uses to set guitar strings in motion to produce audible notes. These techniques involve plucking, strumming, brushing, etc. Picking can be done with:
In percussion, grip refers to the manner in which the player holds the percussion mallet or mallets, whether drum sticks or other mallets.
Playing the cello is done while seated with the instrument supported on the floor. The fingertips of the left hand stop the strings on the fingerboard to determine the pitch of the fingered note. The right hand plucks or bows the strings to sound the notes.