Foley Fridays, Cymbals.


With the late, great Levon Helm’s passing yesterday I thought I’d post something drum related this week. Drums? That falls squarely under the heading of music rather than foley! Still, here we are.

While a cymbal (not a symbol) is undeniably an instrument and in a film context often used as a percussion element of a score or in a song used on the sound track, perhaps a song by The Band, it can also be used by itself to help create a “sound effect” all its own. If I had to guess I’d say that being a percussive noisemaker has a lot to do with its ability to b used outside of music in a film. It’s used in many ways across many genres. In comedy, to add punch to a joke – being the chh in the famous “ba-dum-dum chh”(and yes this is still used in film today though pretty subtly or as joke itself). In adventure, to announce the arrival of an exotic leader of a hidden city or his/her concubine. In thriller, to add an accent to a revelation that a character or the audience in no way saw coming. I could continue but it really does run the proverbial gamut – it could even be used as foley for a cymbal being hit in a scene featuring a drummer of some kind.

Using idea of using instruments of any kind to create sound effects isn’t relegated to the cymbal only but it might possibly be the most fun. Tell me you don’t A) want to be a rock star and B) like hitting things with sticks and maybe I’ll consider myself wrong.

That’s all for now – so take a load off, take a load for free and next week we’ll put the load right on me.

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