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Composing Secrets: 3. Mallet instruments and Organs Composing Secrets: 3. Mallet instruments and Organs

Topic started by rjay (@ on Thu Aug 24 17:45:32 EDT 2000.
All times in EST +10:30 for IST.

Composing secrets 3. Mallets and Organs

The tuned percussive group has the following instruments.
Along with their general midi number:

8. Celesta
9. Glockenspiel
10. Music Box
11. Vibraphone
12. Marimba
13. Xylophone
14. Tubular Bells
15. Dulcimer

All these use a mallet to hit on a metal or string.

Most of these are heard definitely in thalattu songs.
As early as in Malarnthum malaratha.
Celesta is a synth sound. Glockenspiel is a german word,
I think. Tchikovsky's nutcracker suit - chinese dance is a neat
use of this sound. I will upload this MIDI piece.

Vibraphone and Xylophone are very much
used in TFM starting with Viswanathan ramamoorthy's time.

Marimba is a wonderful African instrument. Raaja's
kadaloram kadaloram alaigal odi vilaiyadum has an
excellent use of this instrument and he first used
it in Raman aandalum. The sound inspired me to
create 'Flowing with the River'. I will upload the
marimba loops alone for your listening.

Dulcimer is a close cousin of our Santoor. In fact,
Mountain Dulcimer which is very popular in Ireland
and US nowadays, I suspect is Santur itself. Raaja
and Rahman have used this sound a lot. Lalgudi Jayaraman's
Thillana CD has a desh piece with a very excellent
use of this. Shiv kumar Sharma is of course the synonym.

These mallets can be used either to play a melody
or because of the percussive nature, they can
play a harmonic percussion (refer to Kadaloram intro

16. Drawbar Organ
17. Percussive Organ
18. Rock Organ
19. Church Organ
20. Reed Organ
21. Accordion
22. Harmonica
23. Tango Accordion

Of these, accordian and harmonica are the most popular.
Nilavu thoongum neram harmonica intro is soul stirring.
Harmonica came in to HFM very much through RDBurmans
songs - he played them himself. Accordian came into
Tamil during Viswanathan ramamoorthy's time. Rahman's
expert use of Harmonica is in 'Ooo lalala'.

Reed organ is the father of harmonium. Pandiyanin
rajjiyathil uses this very much. In my 'moonlight'
composition I tried to derive harmonium sound from
a reed organ sound by chorus-sing the reed organ solo.

The first three (16, 17, 18) are very much used
in early American pop. Of these 16, hammond organ
has a sound that is worshipped till now. I will upload
some characteristic phrases on this sound.

19, church organ is the most majestic instrument
ever conceived. Pipe organs (which are stacks of
pipes of all sizes) can mix wavelengths in various
proportions, so the player can create violin, flute
and other sounds on them. These were the first
analog synthesizers. I dont know if church organs
are pipe organs, some of them use reed organs.

Tango accordian is an accordian variation, latest
heard in Enna seyya pogirai and uyirae song (ennuyirae)


Now, to a novice all the sounds seem interchangeable, but
that is because we are looking from a keyboard perspective.
Each instrument has its own physical characteristics and
playing styles and so composer should listen in his mind
what that instrument should tell! MIDI gives us an illusion
that we can create all sounds on the synth, but to bring
the real feel of an instrument, you need to use quite a lot
of controller information and make sure you do what is
natural to the instrument. I will take a harmonica loop from
my River composition and show the stages through which
it is worked to bring the realism.

Hm... all this, because we cannot have real harmonica players
or play it ourself!

Incidentally, in these threads, those who can play the
real instruments can also join in.

And what I am creating is just an outline, I
invite everyone to add their expertise...

EX. 4A continue.



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