Instruments – Tutorial part 2
Here is a concise tutorial, consisting of seven parts and therefore divided over seven individual posts, about the instruments, composing, orchestrating, and recording/production process of music. It is intended for beginner composers, orchestrators, sound-engineers, home-studio owners. And it is not intended merely for making electronic music. It is intended as a good place to start with music and to learn a few tricks that will save time and help them along the learning music composition.
Overview individual posts of this tutorial
- Introduction making Music
- Musical Synthesis
- Learning about Instruments
- Home Studio
- Mixing and Editing
- Really useful Links
Music harmony and music rhythm are carried through to the audience by musical instruments. A musical instrument can be anything from 2 stick being banged together to a piano or a voice. For the purpose of making music, a musical instrument can be anything that makes a sound. However, the most well-known and universally accepted instruments are divided into the following categories:
- Bass Guitars
- Brass (Trumpets, Trombones, Tubas)
- Drum Kits
- Electric Guitars
- French Horns
- Piano/Keyboards (Grand Piano, Honkey Tonk, Electric Piano, Organs, Harpsichords, Clavinets)
- Pitched Percussion (Timpani [kettle drums], Xylophone, Vibraphone)
- Saxophones (Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Baritone)
- Strings (Violins, Violas, Cellos, Double Basses)
- Synthesizers (Pads, Leads, FX, Soundscapes)
- Unpitched Percussion (Bongos, Congas, Triangle, Snares, Bass Drum, Cymbals, Tambourines, Shakers)
- Woodwinds (Piccolos, Flutes, Oboes, Clarinets, Bassoons)
Each musical instrument has to fulfill some role in the ‘musical soup’.
Roles of Musical Instruments
Each musical instrument will play a certain role in your creations. There may be multiple instruments playing the same role, however sometimes, they might clash. There are several roles that need to be filled:
- Controller of rhythmic drive (usually filled by the drum kit or the rhythm guitar).
- Provider of harmonic foundation (usually filled by the bass guitar, or any bass instrument).
- Provider of harmony (Filled by any tuned instrument(s) – often more than 1 instrument).
- Provider of melody (Filled by any tuned instrument; often vocals).
Enough theory; let’s move on to the practical aspect of making music. Let us explore how these elements can be joined together to make ‘soup’.
Ross Unger, www.rossunger.com
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