Percussion (music)

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As a percussion group is percussion instruments in the symphony orchestra called. Basically everything that cannot be assigned to one of the other large instrument groups ( woodwinds , brass instruments , strings ) belongs to percussion . It is played by the percussionist .

The timpani , the bass drum , the concert drum , the cymbals and the triangle are part of the basis of the percussion . They appear prominently for the first time in pieces like Mozart's The Abduction from the Seraglio , later in Beethoven's 9th Symphony . Both times they support the - by the standards of the time - peculiar sounds in the opera house or concert hall. With Mozart it is the supposed adaptation of “Turkish” music , with Beethoven a reference to military sounds. In Italian opera, especially with Verdi , this combination was already standard and contributes significantly to the penetration of the tutti sound.

In letters to his father dated August 1 and September 26, 1781 and July 20, 1782, Mozart referred to the group of percussion instruments (triangle, cymbals, Turkish drum) as “Turkish music” (Turkish music). He did not yet use the term percussion as a term for percussion instruments. An early reference can be found in 1838 in the Encyclopedia of the Entire Musical Sciences by Gustav Schilling : "Percussion instruments, also under the common name percussion".

To this day, the range of the striking mechanism has steadily expanded. Instruments such as glockenspiel and other mallet instruments ( xylophone , vibraphone , marimba ), tubular bells , celesta , fanfare , Gong and a still growing number of effect instruments ( ratchet , horn , Flexaton , thunder sheet , slide whistle , guiro , rain wood , wind machine include etc.) meanwhile a permanent instrument inventory of a percussionist.

In compositions of new music , unusual sound generators such as vacuum cleaners , typewriters or sirens are usually entrusted to the percussion register, although they no longer have anything to do with “beating” in the narrower sense.

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Individual evidence

  1. Gustav Schilling (Ed.): Encyclopedia of the Entire Musical Sciences, or Universal Lexicon of Tonkunst . Volume 6, Stuttgart 1838, p. 205, "Percussion instruments, also under the common name Schlagwerk"; Text archive - Internet Archive .