upside down (and muted) crotales

On the opposite side of a crotale’s bright resonant surface lies several very cool sound possibilites. While upside down, the crotale will mostly be a flat disc, with the exception of the raised center. Once muted, the flat portion will still sound at the normal pitch. The center, however, will sound a perfect 5th higher above the fundamental.

This still applies when the crotale is laid on a drum. Note that, as seen in the video below, the crotale moves around and causes extra vibration on the drum head. This is probably not ideal, and can be remedied by placing the crotale on top of a towel or a similar material. This will do to little to affect the sound, as both the crotale and drum set were already creating a muted sound.


The question on how to notate this gives me some pause. I don’t think any special notation should be taken to play the fundamental, as the crotale is probably not being allowed to resonate. So, perhaps something like this.

That being said, maybe you do want to lift the crotale and lower it back into the head. I would suggest simply adding a staccato marking over the muted flat area, while using a standard note head for the resonate note:

I’m not going to die on the hill of this notation, but this is my best idea. I’ve seen this sound usually used in an improvisatory context, so there aren’t many examples that I know of. Let me know if you have one!


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