Welcome‎ > ‎

Temple Blocks?

posted Oct 13, 2015, 2:35 PM by Steven Vaughan   [ updated Oct 13, 2015, 2:36 PM ]
Temple blocks are hollow wood blocks from eastern Asia, where they’re played in religious ceremonies. Traditional hand-carved ones have bulbous shapes like wooden fish; but modern manufactured ones are rectangular. They’re usually grouped in a set of five varying sizes to give a variety of pitches.

They’re frequently used in jazz and modern orchestral music. They’re heard “ticking” in Leroy Anderson's The Syncopated Clock and “clomping” as horse’s hooves in his Sleigh Ride. Or do you remember hearing them “percolate” in the old Maxwell House coffee commercials?

Their distinct pitches and ease of use makes them an ideal introduction in teaching the concept of keeping steady rhythm, so they’re frequently found in music classrooms. If we had a set, it would be a great way to get some students involved “ticking” on the Advent hymn Stay Awake, or “clomping” the camel’s hooves on the Christmas carol We Three Kings. They’d also sound great on our percussive Exultet at the Easter Vigil.

A professional deluxe set runs $300 or more, but we can get a high-quality student set for $178 including the stand and mallets. I know it’s in your heart to give toward this, but if you have anything in your wallet to donate, please contact myself or Sylvia. As soon as we've collected enough, I’ll order them, and hopefully you’ll hear them soon!