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The Percussion Family


The Percussion Family. For the Concert Setting. By: Nicole ... Percussion Manual for Music Educators by: Joel Leach. The Piano Makers by: David Anderson ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Percussion Family

The Percussion Family
  • For the Concert Setting
  • By Nicole Morrissey

Pitched vs.. Unpitched
  • Pitched Skin, Metal, and Wood
  • When hit, these instruments produce a pitched
  • Unpitched Skin, Metal, and Wood
  • When hit, these instruments produce an unpitched

Pitched Skin
  • Timpani
  • Construction
  • Head - There is one head for each timpano made
    out of calf skin or plastic. The head produces
    the sound of the drum.
  • Pull Rod - These metal rods connect to the pedal
    and the t screws to adjust tuning
  • Bowl - Serves as a frame to support the other
    parts. It functions as a resonator for the sound
    produced from the head.
  • Tension Screws - used for tuning. Head tension
    increases when turned clockwise.
  • Counter-Hoop - This pulls the head over the edge
    of the bowl and hold the t screws.
  • Struts - Suspends the bowl so it can resonate
    more freely.
  • Pedal - Makes changes in the pitch of the drum
  • Collar - The distance between the edge of the
    bowl and the counter-hoop.
  • Compression Spring Control Knob - This compresses
    a spring that counteracts the tension of the
    head. It allows to pedal to remain in any desired

Timpani cont.
  • Timpani Range read in the bass clef
  • 32 D2 - A2
  • 29 F2 - C3
  • 26 A2 - E3
  • 23 D3 - A3
  • 20 F3 - C4

Sound Production
  • When playing the timpani, one should lean
    slightly over the drum. The arms should hang
    relaxed, and the angle between the mallets should
    form a triangle. The striking spot should happen
    2 - 5 inches away from the edge of the head.

Pitched Metal
  • Chimes
  • Construction
  • Tubes - These metal tubes are suspended to
    produce sound when struck.
  • Striking Cap - This refers to the top of the tube
    where it is struck from the side.
  • Damper Pedal - This pedal sustains the ringing of
    the tubes when pushed down.
  • Felt Damper Bar - this absorbs the vibrations of
    the tubes when touching them.

Pitched Metal
  • Chimes
  • Range
  • Chimes sound where written from C4 - F5
  • And are read in the treble clef.
  • Sound Production
  • Chimes are played with
  • wooden mallets, or hammers.

Pitched Metal
  • Vibraphone
  • Construction
  • Keyboard Bars - Made from aluminum and are
    suspended by a rod for maximum vibration.
  • Resonators - These amplify the tone of the bars.
    A disk is located at the top of each that turns
    by a motor, opening and closing the resonator
    creating a vibrato effect.
  • Motor - This turns the disks and can be adjusted
    to various speeds.
  • Damper Pedal - When this is pressed down, the
    felt bar removes from the bars to allow them to
    vibrate freely.

Pitched Metal
  • Vibraphone
  • Range/Clef
  • The vibraphone is notated in the treble clef and
    ranges from F3 - F6. It sounds as written
  • Sound Production
  • Varying degrees of hard wood or plastic mallets
    are used for the vibraphone. The bars should be
    struck in the center to allow for maximum
  • Vibraphone Sound Production

Pitched Wood
  • Marimba
  • Construction
  • Keyboard Bars - These bars vary in size and are
    made from Honduras Rosewood.
  • Suspension String - This string threads through
    the bars, suspending them to allow for vibration.
  • Resonators - These aluminum pipes are found under
    the bars to amplify the sound.

Pitched Wood
  • Marimba
  • Range/Clef
  • The marimba sounds where written and can range
    from C3 - C7, with some extending from A2 - C7.
    It can be notated in bass, treble, or grand
  • Sound Production
  • The marimba can be played with soft to medium
    hard, usually rubber, mallets. Its mallets are
    usually wrapped with yarn to produce a soft tone.

Pitched Wood
  • Xylophone
  • Construction
  • The xylophone has the same parts as the marimba,
    except the length of the resonators are different
    compared to the marimba.
  • Range/Clef
  • The xylophone sounds an octave higher written and
    its written range is from F3 - F6. It is notated
    in the treble clef.

Pitched Wood
  • Xylophone
  • Sound Production
  • The xylophones tone is a lot harsher compared to
    the marimbas. Its bars are made from the same
    wood but from different parts of the tree, which
    changes the quality of sound. It is played with
    hard mallets made from wood or plastic.

Mallet Technique
Unpitched Skin
  • Snare Drum
  • Construction
  • Head - The top head, which you hit, is called the
    batter head and is thicker than the bottom head
    also called the snare head. The snare head is
    thinner so that is can vibrate and in turn cause
    the snares to also vibrate.
  • Shell - The drums skeleton that supports all
    other parts. These can be made from chrome plated
    steel, wood, copper, fiberglass, or plastic.
  • T Rods and Lugs - The eight T rods can be
    turned clockwise to increase the tension of the
    drum heads and vice versa. The rods screw into
    the lugs that are located on the side of the
  • Air Vent - A hole in the side of the shell allows
    the compressed air to escape after the batter
    head is hit. The compressed air could split the
    head if there was no way for it to escape.
  • Snares - These stretch the diameter of the snare
    head and are made from coiled steel. They give
    the drum its sound by vibrating against the snare

Unpitched Skin
  • Snare Drum
  • Construction
  • Snare Extension String - This connects the ends
    of the snares with the throw-off switch.
  • Throw-Off Switch - This adjusts the amount of
    tension of the snares against the head.
  • Flesh Hoop - This wood, aluminum, or steel hoop
    goes over the shell and under the counter-hoop.
    The drum head tucks around it.
  • Counter-Hoop - This metal hoop pulls the flesh
    hoop down over the shell of the drum.
  • Ton Control - This felt pad inside the drum
    absorbs the vibrations made from striking the
    head and can be adjusted by a knob on the shell.

Unpitched Skin
  • Snare Drum
  • Sticks
  • Drum sticks come in various sizes. For beginners,
    the sticks should not be to large for the
    students hands. Teachers should look for even
    weight and straightness in drum sticks.
  • Sound Production
  • The snare drum is played on a stand that should
    come to about hip level. The arms should hang
    relaxed. The sticks should immediately rebound
    off the head after being struck in order for the
    vibrations to last.

Unpitched Skin
  • Bass Drum
  • Construction
  • The bass drum has the same parts as a snare drum
    except both of its heads are the same thickness.
    Also, the bass drum does not have snares, or any
    of the parts relating to the snares.
  • Mallets
  • The bass drum mallet has a ball of wool on each
    end with one ball being slightly larger than the
    other. It is held between the thumb and index
    finger with the other fingers curled around the

Unpitched Skin
  • Bass Drum
  • Sound Production
  • The bass drum should be struck at a glance
    half-way between the center and the upper edge of
    the drum head.
  • Damping
  • To stop the vibrations, the player must dampen
    the other drum head by placing his/her fingertips
    on the head. For a stronger damp, the entire palm
    of the hand should rest against the head of the

Unpitched Metal
  • Crash Cymbal
  • Construction
  • Edge - Three inches around the circumference of
    the cymbal.
  • Bow - The part, including the edge that extends
    up toward the cup.
  • Cup - The center of the cymbal that is raised.
  • Cymbals are maid in several different weights.
    Lighter weight cymbals produce a sharper, crisper
    sound, and heavier cymbals produce a slower,
    heavier sound.
  • Sound Production
  • The crash cymbals should be gripped by the
    straps. The left cymbal should be held stationary
    while the right cymbal swipes the left one at a
    glance moving from the bottom to the top

Unpitched Metal
  • Triangle
  • Construction
  • Triangles are made from aluminum or steel and are
    usually played with a steel beater. They range in
    size from 6 - 10.
  • Sound Production
  • The triangle should be suspended freely in the
    air. It can be struck from the bottom or the
    side. A roll is played by alternately striking
    the sides at a corner.

Unpitched Wood
  • Temple Blocks
  • Construction
  • These wooden or hard plastic blocks come in sets
    of five. They are hallow in the middle and are
    played using mallets.
  • Sound Production
  • They can be tuned to a pentatonic scale. Even
    though they are considered and unpitched
    instrument, they can discern certain pitches. The
    smaller blocks produce higher pitches than the
    larger blocks.

Concert Grand Piano
  • Piano
  • Construction The concert grand, by definition,
    is 9 feet long.
  • Case - This is the outer shell of the piano that
    is made first from maple, spruce, or pine. It is
    made from thin sheets of wood that have to be
    glued together and them put into a press to shape
    it. The piano top, lid, legs, and braces are also
    made from wood.
  • Sound Board - This is located under the strings
    as it amplifies the sound produced by the
  • Bridge - This strip of wood is fits on top of the
    sound board to fasten the strings. Once this step
    is finished, the sound board is placed in the
    case on top of the braces.
  • Plate - This is made of cast iron and supports
    the 240 metal strings. It weighs around 325 lbs.
    because it has to support the tension of the
    strings. This part is suspended on top of the
    sound board.

Concert Grand Piano
  • Construction
  • Strings - The thinner strings vibrate at faster
    speeds producing the higher notes. Conversely,
    the thicker strings produce the lower notes.
  • Pedal - The sustain pedal lifts the dampers on
    the strings and allows them to vibrate freely.

Concert Grand Piano Action
Piano Action
  • The key (1) is pressed down.
  • The key lifts the underlever (2) which lifts the
    damper (3) off of the string (4).
  • While all this happens, the capstan screw (5)
    pushes up the support (6) that flips the hammer
    (7) to strike the string.
  • There are 88 keys on the piano and this process
    has to happen for each key. The way you strike
    the key determines the quality of sound. It is
    notated on the grand staff and ranges from A0 -

  • http//
  • Stomp DVDs (for info click here)
  • Percussion Manual for Music Educators by Joel
  • The Piano Makers by David Anderson

Works Cited
  • Leach, Joel. Percussion Manual for Music
    Educators. New York Henry Alder INC, 1964.
  • Anderson, David. The Piano Makers. New York
    Pantheon Books, 1984.
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