The 30 Days Project: Day 23

I got to hear a lot of extraordinary percussion playing on Saturday, so I thought I’d write a percussion piece today. A few other pieces within the Project have had percussion in them, but this is the first one that uses unpitched instruments exclusively — no marimbas, vibraphones or glockenspiels this time. Actually, although “pitched” vs. “unpitched” are official categories that percussion instruments are placed into, it would be more accurate to use the terms “instruments of definite pitch” and “instruments of indefinite pitch.” Drums and cymbals and woodblocks and the like aren’t notated at specific pitches, but if you listen closely you can hear whether they sound high or low, or in between. Drums have to be tuned occasionally too, as the metal frame that holds the skin taut will loosen up gradually with repeated pounding. Here’s the little tool percussionists use to tune their drums, called a drum key:

normal_drum_key.jpg

Percussionists get all the best toys.

Here are the instruments I used, in all their MIDI-fied glory: (links will show a picture or video and you’ll hear the instrument’s name pronounced — you might want to lower your volume)

…and last but not least,

It’s like composing in a giant toybox! 😀

Click play to listen:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Thanks for listening!


Comments

The 30 Days Project: Day 23 — 1 Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *