The Harpsichord – Keyboard Instruments

The harpsichord falls into the family of so-called “quilled keyboards” such as virginals, spinets, and similar. The instrument’s earliest references date back to the 15th century.  In Italy, harpsichord makers were producing lightweight designs...

The Tubular Bells – Orchestral Mallets

The tubular bells in modern opera and orchestras are arranged chromatically as symphonic chimes. They were built for the orchestra as an easy-to-carry instrument for daily use, and their original design strived to be as similar to church bells as possible. However,...

The Celesta – Keyboard Instruments

The name “celesta” derives from the French term céleste, meaning “heavenly”. After multiple experiments, the celesta appeared by the end of the 19th century and quickly found its place in the orchestra. It’s an interesting instrument with a dual...

The Tam-Tam – Orchestral Percussions

In addition to the bass drum and timpani, the tam-tam adds an additional member to the orchestra bass percussion section. Even though it boasts similarities to the gong, one should not confuse both instruments since there is a range of important variations in their...

The Glockenspiel – Orchestral Mallets

The name glockenspiel means “bell play” in German. It refers to the sound of small bells. Indeed, the very first instruments to bear this name consisted of a set of exactly that. They were either played by a group of musicians, a style which is called...