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Temple block: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The temple block is a percussion instrument originating in China, Japan and Korea where it is used in religious ceremonies.

It is a carved hollow wooden instrument with a large slit. In its traditional form, the wooden fish, the shape is somewhat bulbous; modern instruments are also used which are rectangular in shape. Several blocks of varying sizes are often used together to give a variety of pitches. In Western music, their use can be traced back to early jazz drummers, and they are not uncommon in modern orchestral music, where they are also called dragons' mouths.

Its sound is similar to that of the wood block, although temple blocks have a darker, more "hollow" timbre.

It can be clearly heard in Leroy Anderson's The Syncopated Clock and is also used in Olivier Messiaen's only symphony, Turangalîla, and his only opera, Saint-François d'Assise. Harrison Birtwistle calls for 4 temple blocks in his 2008 opera The Minotaur, Magnus Lindberg calls for 5 in Seht die Sonne and Pierre Boulez for one in Notations I-IV. Leonard Bernstein, George Benjamin and David Horne also used it in their compositions. Rush's song The Trees also uses temple blocks.



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