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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Kaleea Odd percussion instruments (74* d) RE: Odd percussion instruments 14 Jun 08

Years ago when I was teaching Music, I had some special ed students who had limited use of their limbs, & required very lightweight & easy to hold & play items which could be shaken, tapped, etc. I also used some long seed pods as shakers, which I picked right up off the ground in front of a school building in addition to various sticks, which have long been some of my favorite percussion instruments.
I like to use an oriental fan--not the type which unfolds, but one which might be shaped as an oval (or whatever) in which silk is stretched over a wire frame & is held by a handle. This is terrific for kids to tap gently & they sound quietly drumlike, each having a different pitch.
I suspended from a string a very long bolt (@ 11") used in making jet planes, then held it for the child to tap with any metal implement (spoon, triangle beater, etc., or if nothing else, a stick). This makes a wonderful long ringing tone! If you wiggle it as it rings it creates a vibratolike tone. I once rang it & held it near the ear of one child from behind & found out that he was not deaf as his parents & Dr.'s had believed! I showed the aircraft bolts (& other stuff) to the the head of percussion at my alma mater, & he was intringued. Since the aircraft industry was the main industry in that small city, he wrote a musical work for orchestra & suspended aircraft bolts of various lengths.
I also have fun playing percussively on my little Celtic Harp. There are a great many sounds you can coax out of a Harp, & other instruments for that matter, & you don't need to be Tommy Emmanuel to do it. The famous 20th century composer John Cage wrote & performed piano works playing the insides of a grand piano.

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