In music, a whip or slapstick is a clapper (percussion instrument) consisting of two wooden boards joined by a hinge at one end. When the boards are brought together rapidly, the sound is reminiscent of the crack of a whip. It is often used in modern orchestras, bands, and percussion ensembles.
There are two types of whips. The first has two planks of wood connected by a hinge, with a handle on each. The percussionist holds the instrument by the handles and hits the two pieces of wood together, creating a loud whip noise. The other type also has two planks of wood, one longer than the other, with one handle, connected with a spring hinge so it can be played with just one hand, though it cannot produce sounds as loud as a whip requiring both hands. This second type of whip is technically a separate instrument called a slapstick.
Usage in classical music
This list is alphabetical, but is by no means exhaustive.
- John Adams: Nixon in China
- Thomas Adès: Living Toys (the whip is played by the lead French horn player), The Tempest and "Totentanz"
- Leroy Anderson: Christmas standard "Sleigh Ride", where the instrument is meant to imitate an actual whip on a horse.
- Samuel Barber: Piano Concerto
- Benjamin Britten: The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra, Noye's Fludde, Sinfonia da Requiem, Saint Nicolas, Spring Symphony, and War Requiem
- John Barnes Chance: Incantation and Dance
- Aaron Copland: Rodeo (Buckaroo Holiday), Symphony No.3
- George Gershwin: Piano Concerto in F
- Adam Guettel: The Light in the Piazza
- Daron Hagen: Shining Brow
- Alun Hoddinott: Fioriture
- James MacMillan: The Sacrifice
- Frederik Magle: Symphonic suite Cantabile
- Gustav Mahler: Symphonies No. 5 and 6
- William Mathias: Vistas, Laudi, and In Arcadia
- Olivier Messiaen: Des Canyons aux étoiles, Saint François d'Assise, and Éclairs sur l'au-delà…
- Modest Mussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition (the whip is used by the orchestrations of Maurice Ravel, Vladimir Jurowski and Henk de Vlieger's version for percussion essemble)
- Krzysztof Penderecki: Symphony No. 1 (which begins with nine whip cracks punctuated by pauses)
- Maurice Ravel: Piano Concerto in G and L'heure espagnole (The Spanish Hour)
- Dmitri Shostakovich: Cello Concerto No. 2 in G (last movement), Symphony No. 13, Symphony No. 14 and Symphony No. 15
- Juan María Solare: Un ángel de hielo y fuego
- Frank Ticheli: Fortress
- Michael Tippett: New Year (opera and suite version), The Knot Garden, The Ice Break, The Vision of Saint Augustine, Songs for Dov, and The Shires Suite
- Edgard Varèse: Ionisation
- Alexander Vustin: The Devil in Love
- William Walton: Belshazzar's feast
- Huw Watkins: Piano Concerto
- Bernd Alois Zimmermann: Die Soldaten
- "Cantabile - A Symphonic Suite by Frederik Magle". magle.dk. Retrieved 2012-01-19.
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