Pair pool

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Pair pool

Clash cymbals , and cymbals, Handzimbeln, are two mutually to beat pool belonging to the counter-attack idiophones belong. They usually consist of brass or bronze and are classical music and the world of folk music frequently used instruments . The pair of cymbals came to Western Europe from janissary music in the 18th century and became established in military music and in the symphony orchestra .

According to the way they are made, they are called scalloped vascular rattles. The usual large pair pools are hit against each other with both hands, very small pair pools can be played with one hand with loops attached to two fingers. They are called finger cymbals . For the term cymbal see there.


Played vertically: Chinese pair cymbals with curved edges
Played horizontally in Tibetan ritual music : two heavily hunched rol-mo
  • German: Paarbecken / Beckenpaar / Tschinellen / Teller / Handzimbel
  • English: Pair of Cymbals / Handcymbals / Clash-Cymbals
  • Italian: Piatti / Piatti a due / Cinelli
  • French: Cymbales à 2 / Cymbales frappées

The term "Chi Nelle" (from ital . Cinello , plural cinelli , "small pool") is particularly common in Austria and Switzerland, but in the writing and technical language rarely use. Occasionally the imprecise term basin is also used.

Playing techniques

For single hits, the cymbals (one in each hand) are hit against each other. It should be noted that the basins only touch each other briefly. There should be no compression of the air between the pelvis, which is why they are usually kept slightly offset from one another. If compression does take place, the sound is muffled and without reverberation. Depending on the volume, you hit with one cymbal and keep the other hand steady or hit with both (only for really loud hits). The blow tank is usually with a B in the other with a A .

There are various options for soft hits: On the one hand, you can simply hit the softest possible hit as described above. Another possibility is to slowly bring the basins together and hold them loosely against each other. This creates a “sizzling”. This way of playing can also be used in forte to achieve the broadest possible stroke. However, this way you can only perform single strokes, no quick repetitions. Probably the easiest way to play a piano is to just hit the top edges together. Since only part of the pool is vibrated, the sound is very different. Good musicians avoid this style of playing.

After the hit you can let the cymbals fade away. Depending on the school, some musicians turn the cymbals with the inside, others with the edge towards the audience. To steam, you press the pelvis against your chest.


Elathalam in the temple music of the southern Indian state of Kerala .

In marches, the cymbals usually run synchronously with the bass drum as a pulse or as a marking of the key points. In opera and symphonic music, however, the pair of cymbals is seldom used (such as in Haydn's military symphony ) to emphasize basic rhythms, but is mainly used in the form of individual beats for glamorous climaxes. With their sonic power, the cymbals can drown out the whole orchestra. Because a pair of cymbals is often used together with the bass drum , Giuseppe Verdi stipulates cassa sola (only bass drum) or piatti soli (only cymbal pair) if both are not to sound at the same time, otherwise it simply says gran cassa or, more precisely, gran cassa e piatti .

In order to save a musician, a pair of cymbals was mounted on top of some large drums, making it possible to operate both instruments at the same time. The rigid position of the lower cymbal makes it easier to play, but reduces the sound quality. According to Hector Berlioz , this is good enough to make monkeys dance. In his symphonies, Gustav Mahler expressly requested a pair of cymbals mounted on the big drum in order to achieve a grotesque, circus-like sound.

In works since the 20th century, other playing styles are also required, such as B. to rub the basins together.


Today there are three main types of different weights and sizes:

  • French cymbals (medium-thin) light, bright, quickly fading away
  • Viennese cymbals (Viennese cymbals, medium) bright, longer lasting sound
  • German cymbals (Germanic Cymbals, Heavy), powerful, dark and long-lasting sound

In terms of size, they are mostly used from 18 "to 22", but marching bands and marching bands use much smaller ones (14 "to 22").


Leather loops are common today. While you slip your whole hand through it on the march music, you usually hold the cymbals in the orchestra with your thumb and forefinger. The loop that clamps the thumb rests on the latter. Sometimes you can also see wooden handles that have to be screwed on tightly. However, these damage the cymbal and the sound, because most of the overtones arise in the crest and are dampened by a wooden or plastic handle screwed on there.

See also

  • Bartal , the largest pair basin in India with diameters between 35 and 60 centimeters, which occurs in the northeast Indian state of Assam .


  • Karl Peinkofer, Fritz Tannigel: Handbuch des Schlagzeugs, Mainz: Schott 1969, p. 112f.
  • Ermanno Briner: Reclams musical instrument guide , Stuttgart: Philipp Reclam 1988, p. 517f.

Individual evidence

  1. Cymbales frappes (à main). Retrieved February 24, 2020 .
  2. Editions Larousse: Encyclopédie Larousse en ligne - Cymbales frappées. Retrieved February 24, 2020 (French).
  3. Hector Berlioz: Instrumentation Theory , add. Richard Strauss, Part II, Leipzig: Peters 1955, p. 418

Web links

Commons : Pair of pools  - collection of images, videos and audio files