“What’s a xylophone?”
“How does a violin work?”
“This instrument is weird, what is it?”
“What’s the secret to a perfect drumroll?”
If you’ve ever heard any of these questions (or wondered yourself!) and did not know the answer, you’ve come to the right place!
We asked the wonderful Albert’s Band to introduce families to the orchestra from their homes, which will answer some of the above questions.
In the following video series, members of Albert’s Band will present their instruments, show you how they make their sound, and play you some short pieces. We’ll be adding lots more videos over the following weeks, so come back to learn about the next section of the orchestra!
Also, make sure to have a look at our My Great Orchestral Adventure booklet for a brief introduction to each instrument before you watch the videos!
Claire introduces us to the wonderful world of percussion, showing us the xylophone, snare drum and the marimba. We’re even given the secret to the perfect drumroll!
Once you’ve watched, why not check out some pieces with great percussion sections:
► Mars (from The Planets) by Holst
► West Side Story Symphonic Dances (Mambo section) by Bernstein
► The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra – Variations (Percussion) by Britten
► Bolero by Ravel
► Rodeo by Copland
In the following video, Albert’s Band member Sophie shows us her violin and gives us a taster of the different sounds it can make. We love the sound of the bees!
Now go and have a listen to some of these pieces and their beautiful violin parts:
In this video, Seb explains why trumpets have been used to carry messages for hundreds of years and shows us the many sounds it can make!
Seb has also made a list of some great trumpet pieces which you can check out below:
► Gloria in excelsis deo by Andre
► Trumpet Concerto by Hummel
► Do You Know What it Means to Miss New Orleans? by Al Hirt
► The Asteroid Field by John Williams
► When You’re Smiling by Louis Armstrong
In this video, Richard introduces us to the French horn and even summons up a dragon with his playing!
Once you’ve watched the video, have a listen to these great French horn pieces selected by Richard:
► Horn Concerto No.1 by Strauss
► Bohemian Rhapsody by The London Horn Sound
► For No One by The Beatles
► A Midsummer Night’s Dream Nocturne by Mendelssohn
► Princess Leia’s Theme from Star Wars by John Williams
In this video, Jon shows us how the trombone can make silly noises, heroic sounds and soft melodies. The song Mardi Gras in New Orleans will get you up and dancing!
Having had so much fun listening to Jon’s playing, why not listen to some other great trombone pieces:
In this video, Lawrence takes us on a journey and summons up a whole host of characters with his bassoon!
► Peter and the Wolf: The Grandfather by Prokofiev
► Bassoon Sonata by Saint-Saëns
► Trio for Piano, Oboe and Bassoon by Poulenc
► Bassoon Concerto in E Minor by Vivaldi
► The Rite of Spring (opening) by Stravinsky
In this video, Alice introduces us to the MASSIVE double bass that she keeps in her living room and shows us all the different ways it can make sounds.
In this session, Hannah shows us what the flute sounds like, how it works and the very important job that it has in the orchestra…
Here are some songs Hannah suggests to listen to if you like the flute:
► Andante in C Major, K.315 by Mozart
► Flight of the Bumblebee by Rimsky-Korsakov
► Flute Solo Improvisation by Jethro Tull
► L’apres Midi D’un Faune by Debussy
► Peter and the Wolf by Prokofiev
In this session, Harry introduces us to the clarinet and its role in the orchestra.
Here’s what to listen to if you enjoyed the many sounds the clarinet can make:
► Artie Shaw’s Clarinet Concerto by Artie Shaw
► Gerald Finzi’s Clarinet Concerto played by John Denman
► Sing Sing Sing by Eddie Daniels
► Peacock Tales by Anders Hillborg performed by Martin Frost
► Brahm’s Clarinet Quintey performed by Sharon Kam
► Stranger on the Shore by Acker Bilk
Support us through Coronavirus
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Some of you will be in a position to support organisations like us to help us make sure we are here for everyone once this situation is over. Please consider joining the others who are supporting the Royal Albert Hall right now.