Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Acquisition in the SABC Music Library - Paiste crotales

The SABC Music Librarian, Suzette Lombard, of the SABC Music Library, wrote this short piece on the acquisition of Paiste Crotales in the music library:

The Music Library recently acquired a new set of 30 Paiste crotales, ranging from C6 (8va above middle C) to F8. These swiss-made music instruments are small, chromatically-tuned brass disks which have a clear and sustained, bell-like sound.

Crotales are also known as antique cymbals, as they have been used in some form or other since ancient times, often as smaller finger cymbals struck together by dancers. At present they are usually struck with hard mallets, or played with a bow, which produces an eerie sound similar to a glass-harmonica.

Composers such as Claude Debussy, Joseph Schwantner and Igor Stravinsky have used it to great effect in their compositions. In 1970, Karlheinz Stockhausen used it extensively in his composition Mantra, written for two ring-modulated pianos, wood blocks and two sets of specific crotales. In popular music, Mike Oldfield also uses crotales in Clear Light on his album Tubular Bells ll.

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