Agogo Bells

A pair of cone-shaped bells attached to a u-shaped handle
Beater: Any fairly hard beater
Can be damped (with the thumb) to produce a drier sound.
Agogo bells:
Single note
Pattern

Bell Tree

Small bells suspended concentrically around a pole.
Beater: Hard beaters
Individual notes can be sounded, though these are unpredictable in pitch, but the standard technique is a two-handed glissando.
Bell tree:
Long stroke
Short stroke
Single hit

Cowbell

Cowbells come in various sizes and can be rack mounted
Beater: Medium hard beaters or snare sticks.
Cowbell:
Pattern
Single hit
Single hit

Cymbals (clash)

Orchestral clash cymbals have leather straps through the middle for the hands and measure between 14 and 30 inches in diameter
Beater: Hands
Clash cymbals have a variety of techniques, including quiet clashes and swishes, produced by rubbing the faces together.
Clash cymbals:
Long
Short



Cymbals (suspended)

Suspended cymbals come in a large range of sizes and types
Beater: Soft or medium beaters.
Improvisation:
Sizes:
Types:
Sizzle cymbals:
Long notes:
Roll<>
Roll, damped
Scraped
Undamped
Damped
Sizzle
Chinese
An improvisation on cymbals

Hand Cymbals (Chinese)

Small Chinese handheld clash cymbals of varying sizes
Beater: Hands
Not to be confused with the Chinese cymbal of the suspended type
Chinese hand cymbals:
Low pattern
High pattern
High hit
Low hit

 

 

 

Jingles or Sleigh Bells

A collection of pellet bells attached to a leather handle and shaken
Beater: Hands
Very difficult to pick up and put down quietly!
Jingles:

Mahler: 'Symphony No. 4' (opening)

Pattern
Shake
Single hit

 

 

Spring Coil

A large spring
Beater: Hard or metal beaters.
Single strokes or glissando.
Spring coil:
Two hits
One stroke
Glissando

 

 

 

 

 

Tam-tam (Tamtam)

Tam-tams (which are unpitched gongs) come in a range of sizes, from 15cm to 1m in diameter.

Beaters:

The central beater depicted is usual. Tam-tams may also be bowed and scraped carefully with metal objects. Never use xylophone or wooden bass drum beaters on a tam-tam.
Tam tam:
Note duration:
Quiet strike
Loud strike
Very loud strike
Scrape
Tapped pattern

Thai Gong

A gong with a plateau head, which bends the pitch when struck.
Beater: Soft to medium beaters.
Thai gong:
Loud strike
Very loud strike

Triangle

A single rod bent into a triangular shape.

Beaters:

Can be damped (with the thumb) to produce a drier sound.
Triangle:
Triangle sizes:
Single hit
Tremolo, damped
Undamping and damping
'March' pattern
'Gallop' pattern

The Orchestra: A User's Manual is a free resource and will remain so. It still receives between 8,000 and 16,000 unique visits per month from all over the world. See the testimonials. Thanks to all the donations, I have been able to create this responsive re-design. But the movies and sound clips recorded in 2004 do show their age. I would really like to re-record everything and add many more techniques, especially for solo and ensemble writing. I estimate this will cost around £30,000. If you know a source of such funds, please contact me: a.hugill [at] bathspa.ac.uk