Timbre Tone Color Analysis
Timbre: otherwise known as “tone color”, is the quality of music that identifies a specific instruments sound. Different instruments differentiate by variety/contrast of “color. These tones can be described as mellow, bright, rustic, dark, and in a plethora of other manners. Not only do instruments differ in their own family, but they can also have different colors in each separate instrument. For example, one violin can be quiet and muted while another can be bright and project better.
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There are certain qualifications for an instruments to be in each family. The first, brass, are as they are named, literal brass instruments. Members of the brass family produce sound when the player blows a “raspberry” through the mouth piece. The brass family includes instruments such as the trumpet, French horn, and tuba. Next, the family of strings includes: the violin, viola, cello, bass, guitar(s), and harp. These instruments produce sounds when the string is plucked or bowed. The third group, woodwinds, produce sound by air (like the brass). Air can be blown across an edge or between a reed(s). This group contains clarinets, flutes, oboes, bassoons, and etc. Lastly, is the percussion family; most percussion instruments make sound when hit (like a drum). Others can produce noise by being shaken, scratched, rubbed, etc. Percussion instruments fall into two categories: ones with definite pitch and indefinite pitch. The instrument families all provide very different sounds, thusly adding to the variety of tone colors you can