The Xylophone – Orchestral Mallets

The term xylophone derives from two ancient Greek words which mean wood and tone. Its name has been in use for decades. A series of wooden bars of different lengths arranged according to pitch and struck with mallets essentially comprise this instrument. Nowadays, the...

The Vibraphone – Orchestral Percussions

The most recent addition to the repertoire of orchestral percussion instruments is the vibraphone (also known as the vibraharp or vibes), with its early origins dating back to the vaudeville era of the 1920s. The onomatopoeic name vibraphone refers to the vibrating...

Bass Drum – Orchestral Percussions

The bass drum plays an important role in a variety of western music genres. It often establishes the foundation pulse of large and small ensembles because of its timbre. These ensembles include military music, where it plays along with the cymbal, in pop, rock, and...

The Snare Drum – Orchestral Percussions

The side drum, or snare drum, is the smallest of the cylindrical drums and is used in nearly every form of western music – from military music, where its origins lie, to jazz and rock and roll. At the same time, this instrument is a central part of the...

The Tuba and Bass Tuba – Brass Instruments

The tuba is the lowest-pitched instrument of the brass family. Its name derives from the Latin word ‘tube’. Greek and Romans also used it to name an ancient bronze instrument. The bass tuba, the historic predecessor to the contemporary tuba, emerged on...

The Timpani – Orchestral Percussions

The timpani, also known as kettledrum, is an established member of the symphony orchestra and probably one of the percussion instruments with the longest tradition. In the 13th century, the Crusaders and Saracens brought the first timpani to southern and western...