Here is a rhythm piece to play with a partner. Choose two different sounding instruments. In the empty bars, remember to count carefully. If you aren't sure about the dynamics (loud and quiet parts) look at the last lesson.
Look at the very last bar of the music you played in activity 1. Those strange symbols are rests. You don't do anything on rests. Count them silently. Here are some examples and how to count them. Click on the button to hear each example.
Now make up your own 2 bar rhythms, using rests. Remember that each bar must add up to 4 beats. Try playing your rhythm. Click on the button to hear a beat at 90 BPM
Activity 3 - Listening tests
For each of the five tests, write down the rhythm you hear. Click here to see the answers. You can play each one THREE times. Each test is 2 bars long.
1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
Here is a 4 part palindrome which uses dynamics and rests. Play it with a partner. Take the speed at about 90 BPM
Click here for a 90 BPM beat
To listen to the piece, click on the button
Percussion instruments are instruments that are hit by a hand or a beater. Drums, triangles etc. are all percussion instruments.
There are many different percussion instruments around the world. Many drums have one thing in common - a skin that can be tightened to make the pitch higher.
This is found in West Africa. It is carved out of a large slab of wood. The strings can be tightened to make the skin higher pitched.
These are drums which are made out of oil drums. The bottom of the drum contains ridges which produce different pitches. Once the pitch has been set, it cannot be changed. They are found in some Carribbean islands, mainly Trinidad.
This instrument is found in India, where the player sits crossed legged on the floor. The sound of the tabla is very distinctive, producing a sharp 'ringing' sound.
Sometimes called the 'talking drum', this drum can produced different pitches. The tension strings can be altered by the player pressing his armpit against them, like in this picture. If the strigs are tightened, this makes the skin tighter, producing a higher pitch. It is found in West Africa.
Sometimes called 'Kettle drums', these are played in orchestras. The pitch of the drums can be changed by pressing foot pedals, which control the tension of the skin.
Congas are from Latin America. They usually come in three different sizes. The conga player will skilfully use all parts of his hand and fingers to produce many different sounds on the conga.