- Slides: 45
Instruments of the Orchestra
There are FOUR families of instruments • Just like human families, instrumental families come in all shapes and sizes • The four families of instruments are the strings, woodwinds, brass and percussion
The String Family • The instruments in this family are the Violin, Viola, Cello, and String Bass • All of the instruments in this family look alike; they are all made from wood anda all have strings but come in different sizes • The Harp is also used in the orchestra and the strings are plucked, not played with a bow like the others
The Woodwind family • The instruments in this family are the Flute, Clarinet, Oboe, Bassoon & Saxophone • This is a very diverse family; the instruments look different and are made of different materials • The Clarinet, Oboe , Bassoon & Saxophone all use a reed to make sound
The Brass family • The instruments in this family are the Trumpet, Trombone, French Horn and Tuba • This is a very loud instrument family! • These instruments look alike and are all made of « coiled » brass. They use a mouth piece which needs to be « buzzed » into for sound to be created.
The Percussion family • This is a very large family with many different instruments • Some percussion instruments can play pitches or melodies, such as the xylophone or timpani • Other percussion instruments make their own unique sound such as the snare drum, gong, whip, tambourine, or triangle
• Composers can create many special sounds by using these families of instruments in certain combinations • In the piece we will be listening to today, the composer sometimes has the instruments play as a family or as a solo. • The composer also mixes things up with different families playing together
The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra by Benjamin Britten • Today we will listen to the main Theme of this composition • This theme was written over 350 years ago by an english composer named Henry Purcell • Benjamin Britten who wrote this composition used this theme for his set of variations Henry Purcell Benjamin Britten
Theme and Variation • What is a THEME? • What is a VARIATION? The main idea the composition is based on. • Mixing up or changing (Varying) theme. Henry Purcell Benjamin Britten
The Theme • First we hear the entire orchestra play theme • Then theme is heard by each individual family • Followed by the full orchestra again • Can you name each family as it enters?
Theme by Entire Orchestra
Theme by the Woodwinds
Theme by the Brass
Theme by the Strings
Theme by the Percussion
Theme by Entire Orchestra
Melody and Accompaniment Look at the two pictures below. 1. Which picture could be called the MELODY (the main tune of the song)? A melody can stand alone. 2. Which describes the ACCOMPANIMENT (the background)? An accompaniment makes the melody more interesting.
Let’s Meet the Woodwinds • Remember, each soloist is playing the main tune, the melody. You will hear others in the background playing the accompaniment.
Variation A • 2 FLUTES are playing bird-like sounds • Now the PICCOLO joins in.
Variation B • The flutes and piccolo take a rest and let 2 OBOES play.
Variation C • Now we will hear from 2 CLARINETS.
Variation D • Finally, we hear from the largest of the woodwinds – the BASSOONS.
Meet the Strings and their cousin, the Harp • Remember, each soloist is playing the main tune, the melody. You will hear others in the background playing the accompaniment.
Variation E • Let’s listen to the 1 st and 2 nd VIOLINS.
Variation F • Now we will hear the VIOLAS.
Variation G • Now the CELLOS.
Variation H • Now the low sounding STRING BASSES. (Double Bass) (Stand-up Bass)
Variation I • Finally, the HARP, which has 47 strings and 7 foot pedals to change the pitch of the strings.
DYNAMICS “The loudness of Music” Do you remember these dynamic marks? Fortissimo Forte Mezzopiano Pianissimo Crescendo Decrescendo
Tempo is… “The Speed of Beat” Some “Speed” words: Fast Slow Very Fast Very Slow Medium Getting Faster Getting Slower Glissando “Sweeping” the fingertips across the harp strings
Meet the Brass Instruments • Remember, each soloist is playing the main tune, the melody. You will hear others in the background playing the accompaniment.
Variation J • The FRENCH HORNS introduce the brass family. • They play long, sustained sounds.
Variation K • Now come the TRUMPETS.
Variation L • Now come the TROMBONES.
Variation L • The TUBA enters then all the brass play.
Legato “Smooth and connected sounds” Staccato “Short, dettached sounds”
Meet the Percussion Instruments
Specific pitches like the TIMPANI Complex melodies like the XYLOPHONE Unusual sound effects like the BASS DRUM, CYMBALS, TAMBOURINE, TRIANGLE, WOOD BLOCK, SNARE DRUM, CASTANETS and the WHIP
Variation M • Listen to the TIMPANI, introducing the other percussion instruments. • Now the BASS DRUM & CYMBALS • Now the TAMBOURINE & TRIANGLE • Now the SNARE DRUM & WOOD BLOCK • Here is the XYLOPHONE • The CASTANETS & GONG • And finally, the WHIP! • All percussion play
ROLL CALL! Here come the instruments one by one: A Fugue Finale • Benjamin Britten introduced us to the 4 families of the orchestral instruments, having them play Henry Purcell’s THEME. • Then, through several sets of VARIATIONS, we took the orchestra apart, examining each member of the various families. • Now, Britten puts the orchestra back together, using a FUGUE.
What is a FUGUE? • Think of it as a “musical roll call” where each of the instruments makes a short appearance. • Another way to think of it: It is like a complex round where each instrument starts at different times and continues to play as the next makes it’s entrance.
CODA • When all instruments are back in, Britten brings back the main THEME (by Purcell) and ends the piece with a lively CODA (by Britten). • CODA – “a tail ending”
Listen to the FUGUE as each instrument makes it’s entrance
THEME (Purcell) CODA (Britten) THE END