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Temple blocks

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

It is a carved hollow wooden instrument with a large slit. In its traditional form, 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.

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 Sleigh Ride and is also used in Oliver Messiaen's only opera Saint-François d'Assise.

This article was started using a Wikipedia blocks article
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