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Liner Notes

Percussion Instruments


What would an exotica/space age pop site be without percussions?

In music, any instrument whose sound is produced by a blow from another instrument or from a stick is a percussion instrument. Scientifically percussion instruments are classified as idiophones and membranophones. The idiophones are those which are made of a substance such as wood or metal, which vibrates when struck. Membranophones are those whose sound-producing agent is a stretched skin. Idiophones are tuned to definite pitches and include the Bell, the Xylophone, the Celesta, and the Glockenspiel. Those of indeterminate pitch include the Castanets, the Cymbals, the Gong, the Tambourine, and the Triangle.

--from "Around the World in Percussion," Billy Mure, Strand SLS 1021

Before the final selections were made, more than a hundred different drums were listened to analytically. Each had a different tonality and produced a different sound. Forty sizes of gongs were auditioned. Innumerable cymbals were tested. Each one was appraised for the musical seasoning that it might add to the finished product.

--from "Far Away Places," Enoch Light and his orchestra, Command RS822SD

Among the many percussion instruments used on exotica recordings are:

  • Tom-toms
  • Chimes
  • Hand cymbals
  • Keyboard glockenspiel
  • Snare drums
  • Arabian cymbals
  • Temple blocks
  • Egyptian cymbals
  • Turkish cymbals
  • Israeli clay frum
  • Guiro
  • Finger cymbals
  • Claves
  • Bongos
  • Kettle Drums
  • Congas
  • Tambourines
  • Xylophones
  • Vibraphones
  • Loo Jun drum
  • Chinese Bell Tree
  • Tahitian log
  • Marimba
  • Gong
  • Indian Ankle bells
  • Chromatic bongos
  • Shaker bells
  • Gourd
  • Bamboo rods
  • Timpani
  • Triangle
  • Tumbao
  • Pandero
  • Boobam
  • Quinto
  • Jawbone
  • Claves
  • Castanets


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