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Thread: What type of instrument makes this sound?

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    Default What type of instrument makes this sound?

    So I'm not entirely sure what family this instrument belongs to but I assume it's percussion because it's used in a percussive way. It almost sounds like multiple sticks snapping and clacking at once. Generally used in tense or suspenseful scenes in movies and TV shows. It was used in Hans Werner Henze's "Fantasia For Strings" and Krzysztof Penderecki's "Polymorphia", which were both used in the movie "The Exorcist". I also believe it was used in the X Files but can't remember a specific scene. Here are some examples of where it can be heard:

    right in the beginning: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xLm0DIS4fVo

    at 0:24: https://youtu.be/_mkkFLy-12U?t=23

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    Senior Member Art Rock's Avatar
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    According to Wiki, Penderecki's "Polymorphia" is for string instruments only. no percussion. "Techniques in this section include strings struck with the palm of the hand, taps on the sound board with fingertips, and strikes on the stand with the bow or the chair with the nut (stands and chairs at the time were made of wood)." That may be what you're hearing.
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    Senior Member NoCoPilot's Avatar
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    The sound at the beginning of the "Gotham" clip is simply violins (& cellos) with the bows being bounced on the strings. That sort of thing occurs frequently in Penderecki and his contemporaries.

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    Senior Member adriesba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NoCoPilot View Post
    The sound at the beginning of the "Gotham" clip is simply violins (& cellos) with the bows being bounced on the strings. That sort of thing occurs frequently in Penderecki and his contemporaries.
    Yes, I believe it's specifically the wooden part of the bow (col legno). It can also be heard at the beginning of Mars from Holst's The Planets. Isn't there also a certain playing style that bounces the hair of the bow on the strings?
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    Senior Member elgars ghost's Avatar
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    ^
    ^
    Ricochet, maybe?
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    Quote Originally Posted by elgars ghost View Post
    ^
    ^
    Ricochet, maybe?
    Could be.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Violin_technique

    Under "Bowing techniques" there is "Jeté" (aka ricochet). That seems to fit.
    "Pop music is for the body, but opera is for the soul." — Angela Gheorghiu

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