Issue 26: Partner Percussion

This is a video of a Memphis City Orff Music concert;

from the Kodaly and Orff Music Teacher’s Blog;

In the front right hand corner of the stage, during a song near the end of the clip, there are group of children, working in pairs, playing a percussion ostinato rhythm using claves. The children sit cross-legged, facing each other, and play this rhythm over four beats;

On the first beat, they tap the ends of their claves on the floor either side of where they are sitting.

On the second beat, they click their own claves together twice.

On the third beat, they prepare for the fourth beat.

On the fourth beat, they reach across and carefully click their right-hand-claves together.

I have just tested this pattern using long-handled wooded spoons (holding  them by the spoon end). It works very well; for extra effect you can alternate right-hand and left-hand partner-clicks on the fourth beat.

I notice that the children start and stop the ostinato at various points in the song which makes a very effective change to the texture of the whole piece.

I have about fifteen pairs of claves which were made for me; I bought some lengths of reasonably thick, round wooden dowelling from a timber shop, and paid a carpenter friend a small amount of money to cut them to size and round off the sharp cut edges. Cheap as chips, and make a nice, clean, click.


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