Tp-770 Temple Blocks, Mahogany & Russian Birch, and Temple Block Sound Origins:
Today, when musicians think of temple blocks and temple block sound, it’s often far from the origins and authentic sound of genuine temple blocks, played originally in temples so long ago, and still today in some parts of the world.
Genuine sounding temple blocks posses a deep, rich, dark, mellow sound. Genuine temple blocks are not a terrifically loud instrument naturally. They benefit from amplification when needed, rather than players striking them harder than they are designed to be played, leading to damage and unnecessarily shorter instrument life.
All this said, today plastics and polymers have become common place in the manufacture of percussion instruments of all kinds. Plastic instruments that go under the moniker of some kind of temple block don’t sound anything like genuine temple blocks.
Plastic ‘temple blocks’ tend to be very tough, nearly indestructible, and can sustain a lot of abuse. This can be a very good thing in non-professional venues, youth class rooms, etc. The sacrifice that you make is a performance sound not resembling anything remotely like a genuine temple block.
Again, this loss of authentic sound might be OK if you need to teach a class or group of young players who will be a little, or a lot, hard on instruments.
If, on the other hand, you’re performing an important piece, teaching a serious student, or recording a track that is intended to sound like temple blocks, you’re performance will greatly and dramatically improve with genuine temple blocks.
With genuine, tuned temple blocks, the sound gains a tremendous ‘presence’, which in live performance and the recording arts is a very good thing.
Ron’s Tp-770 Temple Blocks, Mahogany & Russian Birch, are the blocks most often found in major orchestras throughout the world, on countless recordings, in many universities, conservatories, studios, and schools where music performance is highly valued.
Tp-990 Bass Temple Blocks, North American Western Cedar & Russian Birch, are a two-pitch, (B & A natural), bass extension for the Tp-770 pentatonic set pictured above.
Tp-990 bass blocks not yet pictured.
Tp-V2 Vertical Temple Blocks, Mahogany & Russian Birch, are a two-pitch set, tuned to a perfect fourth, D & G natural, for the many performance pieces that call for only two pitches. Their small footprint makes them pit-friendly and popular performance setup space-savers.
BTp-5H Russian Birch Temple Blocks: these Ron Vaughn, tried and true temple blocks are consistently well tuned, quite rugged, and deliver a very good temple block sound. They continue to populate so many music programs across the US and in other countries.
And the Russian Birch 6-pitch sets, BTp-6H temple blocks.
Also, the Russian Birch BTp-5V vertically aligned temple block sets for pit work of all kinds, Broadway and other touring show venues.
And, the Russian Birch BTp-5K Korean Folk Melody temple block sets for performances of the famous Korean melody, Arrirange.