Etymology and Alternative Spellings
Fr: triangle; Ger: Triangel; It: triangolo; Sp: triangulo
The triangle is made of hardened steel. It is a rod bent in the shape of a triangle which is how its name was derived. The modern orchestral triangle ranges from 4 to 10 inches on one side. The triangle is generally suspended by a thin string or wire which is typically attached to a traingle holder or clamp. the trianlge is then able to be struck with a triangle beater in order to get the desired sound.
The origins of the triangle is believed to have descended from Egyptian sistrum. The earliest form of the instrument had three rings attached to the metal body in order to produce sound when it was shaken. This is very different from the modern use of the instruent which is struck with a metal beater in order to obtain one pitch or note. The early form of the trianlge was used, like the sistrum, mostly in religous ceremonies. The Turkish musicians of the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries played an influencial role in its promotion. It was through the influence of the Janissary bands, or Turkish military bands, that the triangle had one of its first uses. These types of bands would assist the sultans elite troops during war and be used as sounds to distract or frighten the enemy. It was not typically used in an orchestral setting until Mozart and Beethoven were able to bring the sound of war to the concert hall.
Sticks, Mallets, Beaters
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