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Musical Instruments and Ensembles High Middle Low • Soprano (female) • Tenor (male) • Mezzo Soprano (female) • Baritone (male) • Alto (female) • Bass (male) Soprano Soprano, Alto Alto SA Choir Tenor, Bass SATB Choir Strings Electronic Woodwinds Instrument Types Keyboards Brass Percussion Stringed Instruments Players pluck (pizzicato) or bow strings. Strings can be made of gut, metal, plastic, nylon, or silk. Violin – highest range Viola – lower range Players sit and hold the cello between their knees. The violin and the viola are held under the player’s chin. than violin Cello – deeper and lower than viola Double Bass – lowest range Bass players sit on a stool or stand. Instruments require air Players use finger holes to control pitch Instruments were originally made of wood or use reeds Single reeds. Made of metal now, these instruments were originally made of wood. Piccolo – small flute; highest pitched woodwind Flute – a side blown woodwind The reed is on the mouthpiece and players blow into the end of instruments. Clarinet – held in front of the player Saxophone – used in bands and jazz music Double reeds are two pieces of thin cane that vibrate against the player’s lips. Oboe – provides orchestra’s tuning note Bassoon – larger and lower than oboe Instruments require air; players buzz lips against metal mouthpiece Some early instruments were made of wood and covered in leather, but modern instruments are metal Brass mouthpiece Trumpet – highest range French horn– lower range than trumpet Trombone – uses Listen to the trombone and tuba slide to change pitch Tuba– lowest range; uses valves The trumpet and the French horn use valves to change pitch. Instruments are struck, shaken, or scraped Xylophone Triangle Snare drum Timpani Definite pitch instruments produce sounds that provide specific pitches like brass, woodwind, and strings instruments Indefinite pitch instruments produce sounds that provide specific rhythm but not specific pitches Listen to the xylophone Listen to the castanets and gong Played with both hands Potential as solo and accompaniment Produces many notes simultaneously (can produce melody and harmony) Harpsichord Organ Piano Strings plucked Pipe organs use air Strings struck hammers Some organs are electronic Dynamic contrast possible Popular in baroque music Modify acoustic sounds or produce sounds electronically Electric guitars and keyboards are examples Chordophones – stringed instruments Aerophones – wind instruments Idiophones – instruments that are hit struck or shaken Membranophones – drums with a membrane that is struck String Percussion Orchestra Brass Began in 17th century Woodwind Comprised of instruments from multiple families Keyboard instruments common in early orchestras Listen to the full orchestra.