Cymbals

Cymbals

The most commonly used types of cymbals used in an orchestra are Crash, and suspended, but in a modern orchestra, there are many additional forms, including Finger Cymbals, Chinese Cymbal, and the Gong. Crash Cymbals come in pairs, and are played held vertically by the performer, with one cymbal in each hand. The player then ‘crashes’ the cymbals into each other in various ways to produce a desired sound. A professional percussionist has good control over the amount of effort needed to balance a cymbal crash with the rest of the orchestra dynamically, and the Crash Cymbals can also be played as a roll or tremolo, with the performer making the initial crash, then ‘rolling’ the edges of the cymbals over each other, finishing with a flourish of ‘throwing’ the cymbals outwards, giving each cymbal the maximum possible chance of any cymbal ring lasting as long as possible. Crash Cymbals are usually somewhere between  15 and 30 inches in diameter, and an orchestral percussionist may have a collection in varying sizes, according to the tone he wishes to produce, or as specifically marked by the composer on the percussion part. Conversely, Finger Cymbals are tiny in comparison, being 1 1/2 inches in diameter, and producing a delicate tinkling tone. A Chinese Cymbal has more deeply rolled edges, and the crown of the cymbal is more of a plateau than a defined shape. The Gong is usually suspended vertically in a frame, or suspended by a cord, held in the one of the performer’s hands as he strikes the cymbal with a beater held in the other. There is one other commonly found Cymbal in the orchestra, being the Suspended Cymbal, which is fixed horizontally mounted on a stand. The performer plays this cymbal with a mallet, or pair of mallets for a roll, in various places on the cymbal, producing a variety of sounds.

Cymbals funny

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