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Thread: L'Arlesienne Suite #2

  1. #1
    Member Kezza's Avatar
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    Default L'Arlesienne Suite #2

    Ok in my orchestra we are playing L'Arlesienne Suite #2 and of course in the percussion part is written 'Tambourin'

    Now here's the thing, my conductor, he used to play in 1st Violin in LSO so he is quite the accomplished musician but he insists I play the Tambourine for this piece. But 'Tambourin' in French is TENOR DRUM!! 'Tambour de basque' is french for tambourine.

    Now I have a recording of Orchestre des Concerts Lamoureux (Igor Markevitch) playing this piece and they use a tenor drum and I'd reckon that they'd know.
    I have proved that my conductor is wrong and I also reckon it sounds terrible with a tambourine.

    How do I convince my conductor to let me play the correct instrument?!
    He is being quite stubborn about it.
    "The next few years of your life are going to be hard and miserable if you want to be good" - My percussion teacher..
    Damn

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    Member Kezza's Avatar
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    http://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tambourin

    Wiki speaks the truth. I've checked some French-English Dictionaries and they're wrong. I also checked the piece on youtube and there are proffessional orchestras playing Tambourine and I don't like the sound of it lol
    "The next few years of your life are going to be hard and miserable if you want to be good" - My percussion teacher..
    Damn

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    This may be too late for you, but hopefully this will help anyone else wanting to explain what tambourins are.

    I think you should cite this link since they are all about historical instruments, including tabors:
    http://www.harmsperc.com/ttabors.htm

    The tambourin is the instrument which is probably of most interest to the professional percussionist because it is the instrument specified by Bizet in the "Farandole" of his L’Arlesienne Suite. The melody - of folk origin - appears on p. 246 of F. Vidal’s book Lou tambourin, (Arles, 1862) with the title "Danso dei Chivau-Frus".
    I also saw some of the youtube videos with tambourines (karajan/berlin phil.), and it really does sound strange. Look up also "pipe and tabor", and you will see that they are not tambourines. In fact, Bizet's piece seems to have similarities with that genre where flute=pipe and snare/tenor=tabor.

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    Member Kezza's Avatar
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    Thanks mate Appreciate it.
    "The next few years of your life are going to be hard and miserable if you want to be good" - My percussion teacher..
    Damn

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    Member kiwipolish's Avatar
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    This page written by Thibaut Plantevin, a music teacher from Aix en Provence, discusses this matter in French (bottom of page; translation is mine; italics indicate French word not translated into English; green words are my remarks / questions):

    In this work, in the percussionist's score, Georges Bizet indicates "tambourin-provençal". However one can notice that versions where a tambourin-provençal is actually used are very rare; various replacement instruments are rather used. The question is: "When no tambourin-provençal is available, what should be used (...)?

    What does not work:

    - A real tambourin-provençal facing an orchestra is not loud enough; at least five would be needed in front of the orchestra. If it is hit too hard, the very thin skin may be broken.

    - A big tom grave (tenor drum?) has no tone (timbre)!

    - A tambourine (tambour de basque): totally different!

    Our suggestion: a snare drum (caisse claire) with snares thrown off, and loosened membrane (...) seems to be the most practical solution, and also the closest to the original sound...
    So, the confusion is total between:

    1) Tambourin provençal (as per Bizet's score):

    N.B. normally played with a single stick!



    2) A de-snared and loosened snare-drum (French: caisse claire):



    3) A tenor drum (French: tom grave?), as suggested by the OP (Kezza), and as used by Mariss Jansons in this video:



    4) A tambourine (French: tambour de basque), as used by Karajan in this video

    Last edited by kiwipolish; Oct-13-2008 at 19:57.

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    Member Kezza's Avatar
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    Well that's very cool. Thank you very much for that kiwi.
    "The next few years of your life are going to be hard and miserable if you want to be good" - My percussion teacher..
    Damn

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