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  • Mirror Maze - Cymbals

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Cymbals:


Sound characteristics

Turkish cymbal

Bright, metallic, glistening, piercing, harsh, shrill, lustrous, soughing, metallic, undulating, sizzling, buzzing, full, resonant.

The Turkish cymbal has no difficulty rising above the sound of an entire orchestra. It is for this reason that it is used mostly for musical high points or build-ups. On the other hand it can also appear in very quiet passages to create a particular mood (e.g. the soft roll in Wagner’s Rheingold, to symbolize the shimmer of gold).

The sound characteristics vary enormously depending on the stick, but the sounds of the Turkish and Chinese cymbals are so distinct that one can never be mistaken for the other.

Chinese cymbal

Dark, dry, metallic, exotic, dull, Chinese (-;

In the orchestra and in chamber music the Chinese cymbal has the task of adding color, because it cannot assert itself so easily against a whole orchestra.

The strike is distinctly audible but the sustain is only short. For this reason the instrument is used mainly in chamber music and in jazz, rock and pop to provide accents. In addition, the dynamic possibilities are very limited, so the range of uses is correspondingly narrow.

The sound characteristics vary enormously depending on the stick, but the sounds of the Turkish and Chinese cymbals are so distinct that one can never be mistaken for the other.

A comparison between the Turkish suspended cymbal and a pair of cymbals

The suspended cymbal is an extremely versatile instrument, and it is this versatility and its much wider range of possible sounds that distinguishes it from a pair of cymbals. On the other hand, a suspended cymbal cannot attain the power and fullness of sound of a fortissimo crash on a pair.

A comparison between the Turkish and the Chinese suspended cymbals

The Turkish suspended cymbal can perform a wider palette of tasks than its Chinese counterpart:

This is due on the one hand to its enormous dynamic range and on the other to the almost unlimited scope of possible sounds produced by the variety of different sticks and mallets that can be used and the various striking points on the plate. It is for this reason that the Turkish cymbal is used considerably more often than the Chinese one.