PercussionNotes.rtf - Music Lit/Appreciation Module 2 The...

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Music Lit/AppreciationModule 2The Percussion:-The percussion family of the symphony orchestra is also known as the kitchen department because of its extensive variety of rhythmical instruments and accessories.-The percussion section brings a tremendous amount of excitement to the music.Cool Facts-To qualify as a member of the percussion family, an instrument must produce its sound when it is either hit or stricken.-Percussion instruments are some of the oldest of all musical instruments.-The percussion family’s approaching the importance achieved by the strings or wind family, because today, composers are exploring more complex rhythms and unusual sounds.-The main function of the percussion instruments is to provide a beat and keep the rhythm.-Nevertheless, there are some percussion instruments that are capable of playing melodies in the orchestra. They are used often and create a wide variety of sound colors.Historic Background & Role of Percussion-The origin of the percussion instrument dates all the way back to prehistoric men beating out rhythms on hollow tree trunks or by working with their hunting tools.-Rhythm dates back further than recorded civilization.
-Musical reference to rhythm and percussion-like instruments can be found in prehistoric art, such as painting and ceramics, or in caves.-The role of the percussion family has changed over the centuries.-Their main musical function has been to provide rhythm stability. However, percussion instruments now play melodic passages within the symphony orchestra.-The instruments in the percussion family do not play all the time because the constant beating sound could create an overpowering effect within the orchestra.-Composers are particularly careful when they use percussion instruments because of their high volume levels.-The use of percussion instruments must contribute to the balanceand articulation of the composition.

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