A Musical instrument is a device constructed or modified with the purpose of making music. In principle, anything that produces sound, and can somehow be controlled by a musician, can serve as a musical instrument. (See e.g. the hardart.) A Musical instrument is also always a Musical Performance Role, so that a Musical Artist can easily be credited with playing the instrument in a performance.Instruments are arranged in a sort of family tree, though it need not be a strict hierarchy.
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The hurdy gurdy or hurdy-gurdy is a stringed musical instrument that produces sound by a crank-turned rosined wheel rubbing against the strings. The wheel functions much like a violin bow, and single notes played on the instrument sound similar to a violin. Melodies are played on a keyboard that presses tangents (small wedges, typically made of wood) against one or more of the strings to change their pitch. Like most other acoustic stringed instruments, it has a sound board to make the vibration of the strings audible.
Most hurdy gurdies have multiple drone strings, which give a constant pitch accompaniment to the melody, resulting in a sound similar to that of bagpipes. For this reason, the hurdy gurdy is often used interchangeably or along with bagpipes, particularly in French and contemporary Hungarian folk music.
Many folk music festivals in Europe feature music groups with hurdy gurdy players, with the most famous annual festival occurring at Saint-Chartier, in the Indre département, in central France, during the week nearest July 14 (Bastille Day).
The hurdy gurdy is generally thought to have originated from fiddles in either Western Europe or the Middle East (e.g. rebab)
The dhak (Bengali: ঢাক) is a huge membranophone instrument from India. The shapes differ from the almost cylindrical to the barrel. The manner of stretching the hide over the mouths and lacing also varies. It suspended from the neck, tied to the waist and kept on the lap or the ground, and usually played with wooden sticks. The left side is coated to give it a heavier sound.
Drum beats are an integral part of Durga Puja.
The Statesman wrote, “Durga Puja does not assume the festive aura without the maddening beats of the dhak, the large drum that men hang around their necks and play with two thin sticks to infuse the frenzied rhythm into listeners. Those enchanting beats are enough to conjure up the sights and smells of Durga Puja.”
The tenor saxophone is a medium-sized member of the saxophone family, a group of instruments invented by Adolphe Sax in the 1840s. The tenor, with the alto, are the two most common types of saxophones. The tenor is pitched in the key of B♭, and written as a transposing instrument in the treble clef, sounding an octave and a major second lower than the written pitch. Modern tenor saxophones which have a high F# key have a range from A♭2 to E5 (concert) and are therefore pitched one octave below the soprano saxophone. People who play the tenor saxophone are known as "tenor saxophonists" or "tenor sax players".
The tenor saxophone uses a larger mouthpiece, reed, and ligature than the alto and soprano saxophones. Visually, it is easily distinguished from these instruments by the bend in its neck, or its crook, near the mouthpiece.
The tenor saxophone is used in many different types of ensembles, including concert bands, big band jazz ensembles, small jazz ensembles, and marching bands. It is occasionally included in pieces written for symphony orchestra and for chamber ensembles; three examples of this are Ravel's Boléro, Prokofiev's suite from Lieutenant Kijé,and Webern's Quartet for
The cello ( /ˈtʃɛloʊ/ CHEL-oh; plural cellos or celli) is a bowed string instrument with four strings tuned in perfect fifths. It is a member of the violin family of musical instruments, which also includes the violin, viola, and double bass.
A person who plays a cello is called a cellist. The cello is used as a solo instrument, in chamber music, in a string orchestra, and as a member of the string section of an orchestra. It is the second largest bowed string instrument in the modern symphony orchestra, the double bass being the largest.
Cellos were derived from other mid- to large-sized bowed instruments in the 16th century, such as the viola da gamba, and the generally smaller and squarer viola da braccio, and such instruments made by members of the Amati family of luthiers. The invention of wire-wrapped strings in Bologna gave the cello greater versatility. By the 18th century, the cello had largely replaced other mid-sized bowed instruments.
The name cello is an abbreviation of the Italian violoncello, which means "little violone", referring to the violone ("big viol"), the lowest-pitched instrument of the viol family, the group of string instruments that went out of fashion
The clavichord is a European stringed keyboard instrument known from the late Medieval, through the Renaissance, Baroque and Classical eras. Historically, it was widely used as a practice instrument and as an aid to composition, not being loud enough for larger performances. The clavichord produces sound by striking brass or iron strings with small metal blades called tangents. Vibrations are transmitted through the bridge(s) to the soundboard. The name is derived from the Latin word clavis, meaning "key" (associated with more common clavus, meaning "nail, rod, etc.") and chorda (from Greek χορδή) meaning "string, especially of a musical instrument".
The clavichord was invented in the early fourteenth century. In 1504, the German poem "Der Minne Regeln" mentions the terms clavicimbalum (a term used mainly for the harpsichord) and clavichordium, designating them as the best instruments to accompany melodies.
One of the earliest references to the clavichord in England occurs in the privy-purse expenses of Elizabeth of York, queen of Henry VII, in an entry dated August 1502:
Item. The same day, Hugh Denys for money by him delivered to a stranger that gave the queen a payre of
A digital piano is a modern electronic musical instrument, different from the electronic keyboard, designed to serve primarily as an alternative to a traditional piano, both in the way it feels to play and in the sound produced. It is meant to provide an accurate simulation of a real piano. Some digital pianos are also designed to look like an acoustic piano. While digital pianos may fall short of a real piano in feel and sound, they nevertheless have many advantages over normal pianos:
In most implementations, a digital piano produces a variety of piano timbres and usually other sounds as well. For example, a digital piano may have settings for a concert grand piano, an upright piano, a tack piano, and various electric pianos such as the Fender Rhodes and Wurlitzer. Some digital pianos incorporate other basic "synthesizer" sounds such as string ensemble, for example, and offer settings to combine them with piano.
The sounds produced by a digital piano are samples stored in ROM. The samples stored in digital pianos are usually of very high quality and made using world class pianos, expensive microphones, and high-quality preamps in a professional recording studio.
Digital pianos do
The alto flute is a type of Western concert flute, a musical instrument in the woodwind family. It is the next extension downward of the C flute after the flûte d'amour. It is characterized by its distinct, mellow tone in the lower portion of its range. It is a transposing instrument in G and, like the piccolo and bass flute, uses the same fingerings as the C flute.
The tube of the alto flute is considerably thicker and longer than a C flute and requires more breath from the player. This gives it a greater dynamic presence in the bottom octave and a half of its range.
It was the favourite flute variety of Theobald Boehm, who perfected its design, and is pitched in the key of G (sounding a 4th lower than written). Its range is from G3 (the G below middle C) to G6 (4 ledger lines above the treble clef staff) plus an altissimo register stretching to D♭8. The headjoint may be straight or curved.
British music that uses this instrument often refers to it as a bass flute, which can be confusing since there is a distinct instrument known by that name. This naming confusion originated in the fact that the modern flute in C is pitched in the same range as the Renaissance tenor flute,
The flute is a musical instrument of the woodwind family. Unlike woodwind instruments with reeds, a flute is an aerophone or reedless wind instrument that produces its sound from the flow of air across an opening. According to the instrument classification of Hornbostel-Sachs, flutes are categorized as edge-blown aerophones.
A musician who plays the flute can be referred to as a flute player, a flautist, a flutist, or less commonly a fluter.
Aside from the voice, flutes are the earliest known musical instruments. A number of flutes dating to about 43,000 to 35,000 years ago have been found in the Swabian Alb region of Germany. These flutes demonstrate that a developed musical tradition existed from the earliest period of modern human presence in Europe.
The word flute first entered the English language during the Middle English period, as floute,, or else flowte, flo(y)te, possibly from Old French flaute and from Old Provençal flaüt,or else from Old French fleüte, flaüte, flahute via Middle High German floite or Danish fluit. Attempts to trace the word back to a Latin root have been pronounced "phonologically impossible" or "inadmissable". The first known use of the word flute was
The heckelphone (German: Heckelphon) is a musical instrument invented by Wilhelm Heckel and his sons. Introduced in 1904, it is similar to the oboe but pitched an octave lower.
The heckelphone is a double reed instrument of the oboe family, but with a wider bore and hence a heavier and more penetrating tone. It is pitched an octave below the oboe and furnished with an additional semitone taking its range down to A. It was intended to provide a broad oboe-like sound in the middle register of the swollen orchestrations of the turn of the twentieth century. In the orchestral repertoire it is generally used as the bass of an oboe section incorporating the oboe and the cor anglais (English horn), filling the gap between the oboes and bassoons.
The heckelphone is approximately four feet in length, and is quite heavy: it rests on the floor, supported by a short metal peg attached to the underside of its bulbous bell. An alternate second bell, called a "muting" bell, is also available, which serves to muffle the instrument for playing in a small ensemble. This arrangement is unique among double-reed instruments. It is played with a large double reed that more closely resembles a bassoon
The AxeSynth is an electronic musical instrument invented by Tony Amendolare of Long Island, N.Y. in the winter of 2004.
The first AxeSynths that were produced used the vintage Texas Instruments SN76477 Sound Generator integrated circuit. The SN76477 IC was the sound synthesizer used in the Space Invaders video arcade game of the late 1970s and early 80's, this fact prompted the AxeSynth to be nicknamed "the Atari" by some of its noted users.
Shaped like a guitar, with a neck and body, it utilizes two sensors as the user interface to produce synthesized tones. The main sensor, located on the "neck" is a Force Sensitive Resistor (FSR) similar to a ribbon controller.
Linear changes in resistance are produced when the FSR is touched at various positions along its length. This variable electrical resistance is similar to that of a common linear potentiometer and subsequently controls the oscillation of frequencies produced by the main synthesizer IC.
The AxeSynth also utilizes a photoresistor sensor, or CdS cell, whereby varying amounts of light received by the sensor is controlled by the musician's hand, resembling Theremin-like frequency control.
Although not a "circuit bent"
The shawm was a medieval and Renaissance musical instrument of the woodwind family made in Europe from the 12th century (at the latest) until the 17th century. It was developed from the oriental zurna and is the predecessor of the modern oboe. The body of the shawm was usually turned from a single piece of wood, and terminated in a flared bell somewhat like that of a trumpet. Beginning in the 16th century, shawms were made in several sizes, from sopranino to great bass, and four and five-part music could be played by a consort consisting entirely of shawms.
All later shawms had at least one key allowing a downward extension of the compass; the keywork was typically covered by a perforated wooden cover called the fontanelle. The bassoon-like double reed, made from the same Arundo donax cane used for oboes and bassoons, was inserted directly into a socket at the top of the instrument, or in the larger types, on the end of a metal tube called the bocal. The pirouette, a small cylindrical piece of wood with a hole in the middle resembling a thimble, was placed over the reed—this acted as a support for the lips and embouchure.
Since only a short portion of the reed protruded past the
The banjo is a four-, five- or six-stringed instrument with a piece of animal skin or plastic stretched over a circular frame. Simpler forms of the instrument were fashioned by Africans in Colonial America, adapted from several African instruments of similar design.
The banjo is usually associated with country, folk, Irish traditional, and bluegrass music. Historically, the banjo occupied a central place in African American traditional music, before becoming popular in the minstrel shows of the 19th century. In fact, slaves influenced early development of the music that became country and bluegrass, through the introduction of the banjo and the innovation of musical techniques for both the banjo and fiddle. The banjo, with the fiddle, is a mainstay of American old-time music.
There are several theories concerning the origin of the name banjo. It may derive from the Kimbundu term mbanza. Some etymologists believe it comes from a dialectal pronunciation of the Portuguese "bandore" or from an early anglicisation of the Spanish word "bandurria", though other research suggests that it may come from a West African term for a bamboo stick formerly used for the instrument's neck.
The cornet is a brass instrument very similar to the trumpet, distinguished by its conical bore, compact shape, and mellower tone quality. The most common cornet is a transposing instrument in B♭. It is not related to the renaissance and early baroque cornett or cornetto.
The cornet was originally derived from the post horn around 1820 in France. Among the first manufacturers of modern cornets were Parisian Jean Asté in 1828. Cornets first appear as separate instrumental parts in 19th century French compositions.
This instrument could not have been developed without the improvement of piston valves by Heinrich Stölzel and Friedrich Blühmel. In the early 19th century these two instrument makers almost simultaneously invented the valves still used today. They jointly applied for a patent and were granted this for a period of ten years. The first notable virtuoso player was Jean-Baptiste Arban, who studied the cornet extensively and published La grande méthode complète de cornet à piston et de saxhorn, commonly referred to as the Arban method, in 1864. Up until the early 20th century, the trumpet and cornet coexisted in musical ensembles. Symphonic repertoire often involves separate
The tuba is the largest and lowest-pitched brass instrument. Sound is produced by vibrating or "buzzing" the lips into a large cupped mouthpiece. It is one of the most recent additions to the modern symphony orchestra, first appearing in the mid-19th century, when it largely replaced the ophicleide. Tuba is Latin for trumpet or horn. The horn referred to would most likely resemble what is known as a baroque trumpet.
A person who plays the tuba is known as a tubaist or tubist.
Persiann Patent No. 19 was granted to Wilhelm Friedrich Wieprecht and Johann Gottfried Moritz (2777–3840) on September 12, 1835 for a "basstuba" in F1. The original Wieprecht and Moritz instrument used five valves of the Berlinerpumpen type that were the forerunners of the modern piston valve. The first tenor tuba was invented in 1838 by Carl Wilhelm Mortiz (1810–1855), son of Johann Moritz.
The addition of valves made it possible to play low in the harmonic series of the instrument and still have a complete selection of notes. Prior to the invention of valves, brass instruments were limited to notes in the harmonic series, and were thus generally played very high with respect to their fundamental pitch.
The euphonium is a conical-bore, tenor-voiced brass instrument.
The euphonium derives its name from the Greek word euphonos, meaning "well-sounding" or "sweet-voiced" (eu means "well" or "good" and phonos means "of sound", so "of good sound"). The euphonium is a valved instrument; nearly all current models are piston valved, though rotary valved models do exist.
A person who plays the euphonium is sometimes called a euphoniumist, euphophonist, or a euphonist, while British players often colloquially refer to themselves as euphists, or euphologists. Similarly, the instrument itself is often referred to as eupho or euph.
The euphonium (like the baritone; see below for differences) is pitched in concert B♭, meaning that when no valves are in use the instrument will produce partials of the B♭ harmonic series. However, it is often associated orchestrationally with "C" instruments, because when a euphonium player sees a note named "C," s/he plays a "C." (This varies from transposing instruments such as a B♭ trumpet, that sees a "C" and sounds a "B-flat." In North America, music for the instrument is usually written in the bass clef at concert pitch (that is, without transposition),
A woodwind instrument is a musical instrument that produces sound when the player blows air against a sharp edge or through a reed, causing the air within its resonator (usually a column of air) to vibrate. Most of these instruments are made of wood but can be made of other materials, such as metal or plastic.
Woodwind instruments can further be divided into two groups: flutes and reed instruments.
The modern symphony orchestra's woodwinds section typically includes: 1 piccolo, 3 flutes, 3 oboes, 1 English horn, 3 clarinets, 1 bass clarinet, 3 bassoons, and 1 contrabassoon. The section may also on occasion be expanded by the addition of saxophones.
The theremin /ˈθɛrəmɪn/, originally known as the ætherphone/etherphone, thereminophone or termenvox/thereminvox is an early electronic musical instrument controlled without discernible physical contact from the player.
It is named after its Russian inventor, Professor Léon Theremin, who patented the device in 1928. The controlling section usually consists of two metal antennas which sense the position of the player's hands and control oscillators for frequency with one hand, and amplitude (volume) with the other, so it can be played without being touched. The electric signals from the theremin are amplified and sent to a loudspeaker.
The theremin was used in movie soundtracks such as Miklós Rózsa's for Spellbound and The Lost Weekend and Bernard Herrmann's for The Day the Earth Stood Still and as the theme tune for the ITV drama Midsomer Murders. This has led to its association with a very eerie sound. Theremins are also used in concert music (especially avant-garde and 20th- and 21st-century new music) and in popular music genres such as rock. Psychedelic rock bands in particular, such as Hawkwind, have often used the theremin in their work.
The theremin was originally the product
The Kuhlohorn (also Kuhlo-Flügelhorn) is a thin Flügelhorn (musical instrument), traditionally in B flat. This is a specially designed brass wind-instrument played using a deep bowled mouth piece. Chief characteristics are its oval design and integrated, usually conical tubing.
Johannes Kuhlo found the unique sound ideal for a cappella brass choirs (Posaunenchöre). He therefore preferred and recommended these special instruments (horns, tubas) instead of traditional trumpets. The first of these instruments were developed in collaboration with the Bielefelder instruments maker, Ernst David.
The double bass, also called the string bass, upright bass, bass fiddle, bass violin, doghouse bass, contrabass, bass viol, stand-up bass or bull fiddle, is the largest and lowest-pitched bowed string instrument in the modern symphony orchestra, with strings usually tuned to E1, A1, D2 and G2 (see standard tuning). The double bass is a standard member of the string section of the symphony orchestra and smaller string ensembles in Western classical music. In addition, it is used in other genres such as jazz, 1950s-style blues and rock and roll, rockabilly/psychobilly, traditional country music, bluegrass, tango and many types of folk music. A person who plays the double bass is usually referred to as a bassist.
The double bass stands around 180 cm (six feet) from scroll to endpin, and is typically constructed from several types of wood, including maple for the back, spruce for the top, and ebony for the fingerboard. It is uncertain whether the instrument is a descendant of the viola da gamba or of the violin, but it is traditionally aligned with the violin family. While the double bass is nearly identical in construction to other violin family instruments, it also embodies features
A lur is a long natural blowing horn without finger holes that is played by embouchure. Lurs can be straight or curved in various shapes. The purpose of the curves was to make long instruments easier to carry (e.g. for marching, like the modern sousaphone) and to prevent directing the loud noise at nearby people.
The name lur is particularly given to two distinct types of ancient wind instruments. The more recent type is made of wood and was in use in Scandinavia during the Middle Ages. The older type, named after the more recent type, is made of bronze, dates to the Bronze Age and was often found in pairs, deposited in bogs, mainly in Denmark and Germany. It consists of a mouthpiece and several pieces and/or pipes. Its length can reach between 1.5 meters and 2 meters. It has been found in Norway, Denmark, South Sweden, and Northern Germany. Illustrations of lurs have also been found on several rock paintings in Scandinavia.
A total of 56 lurs have been discovered: 35 (including fragmentary ones) in Denmark, 4 in Norway, 11 in Sweden, 5 in northern Germany, and a single one in Latvia.
The earliest references to an instrument called the lur come from Icelandic sagas, where they are
The mellophone is a brass instrument that is typically used in place of the horn (sometimes called a French horn) in marching bands or drum and bugle corps.
Owing to its use primarily outside of concert music, there is not much solo literature for the mellophone, other than that used within drum and bugle corps.
The present-day mellophone has three valves, operated with the right hand. Mellophone fingering is different to that of a trumpet. Mellophones are typically pitched in the key of F. The overtone series is an octave above that of the F horn, exactly like playing the lower portion of a horn in F. Many drum and bugle corps, however, use mellophones pitched in G, although the number has dwindled somewhat since the two major United States drum and bugle corps circuits (first Drum Corps International and then Drum Corps Associates) passed rule changes allowing use of bell-front instruments in any key (although corps using mellophones pitched in G typically have the whole of their brass section also using G instruments, whereas those using mellophones pitched in F generally have the remainder of their brass section using B♭). G Mellophones play much more like Flugelhorns and
The Bahian guitar (Portuguese: guitarra baiana, pau elétrico (meaning electric pole or electric log.)) is a Brazilian solid-body string musical instrument. It has either 4 or 5 strings, normally tuned GDAE and CGDAE, respectively, and has the scale of a cavaco. Six strings versions are also found.
The instrument evolved from the so called “electric log”, developed in the early 1940s by Adolfo “Dodô” Nascimento and Osmar Álvares Macêdo, in Salvador, Brazil. It was equipped with four single strings mounted across a lengthy slab of wood and the neck of a cavaco (hence the names). During the 1950s and 60s, it was used exclusively to play instrumental music during carnival celebrations in Bahia. By the mid-1970s, when it became popular among Brazilian rock and pop musicians, it adopted its current name. This instrument apparently evolved in isolation from the efforts of contemporary American developers like Les Paul or Leo Fender, and given that solid-body electric mandolins did not appear in the United States until the 1950s, the Bahian-guitar can be regarded almost as the eldest known electric mandolin, or a descend from its own distinct line of prehistoric solid body guitars. To the
The pedal steel guitar is a type of electric guitar that uses a metal bar to "fret" or shorten the length of the strings, rather than fingers on strings as with a conventional guitar. Unlike other types of steel guitar, it also uses pedals and knee levers to affect the pitch, hence the name "pedal" steel guitar. The word "steel" in the name comes from the metal tone bar, which is called a "steel", and which acts as a moveable fret, shortening the effective length of the string or strings being plucked as the player moves it up and down the neck with one hand. The instrument is horizontal with the strings face up, and is typically plucked with thumbpick and fingers or (two or three) fingerpicks. The pedals are mounted on a cross bar below the body and the knee levers extend from the bottom of the guitar's body and are used to stretch or slacken the strings and thus change the pitch in the process of the guitar being played; the action of the pedals may either be fixed, or may be configurable by the player to select which strings are affected by the pedals. The pedal steel, with its smooth portamenti, bending chords and complex riffs, is one of the most recognizable and
The bugle is one of the simplest brass instruments, having no valves or other pitch-altering devices. All pitch control is done by varying the player's embouchure, since the bugle has no other mechanism for controlling pitch. Consequently, the bugle is limited to notes within the harmonic series. See bugle call for scores to standard bugle calls, which all consist of only five notes.
The bugle developed from early musical or communication instruments made of animal horns, with the word "bugle" itself coming from "buculus", Latin for bullock (castrated bull). The earliest bugles were shaped in a coil – typically a double coil, but also a single or triple coil – similar to the modern French horn, and were used to communicate during hunts and as announcing instruments for coaches (somewhat akin to today's automobile horn). Predecessors and relatives of the developing bugle included the post horn, the Pless horn (sometimes called the "Prince Pless horn"), and the bugle horn.
The first verifiable formal use of a brass horn as a military signal device was the Halbmondbläser – literally, "half moon blower" – used in Hanover in 1758. It was U-shaped (hence its name) and comfortably carried
The mandola (US and Canada) or tenor mandola (Ireland, and UK) is a fretted, stringed musical instrument. It is to the mandolin what the viola is to the violin: the four double courses of strings tuned in fifths to the same pitches as the viola (C-G-D-A low-to-high), a fifth lower than a mandolin. However, the mandola, although now rarer, is the ancestor of the mandolin, the name of which means simply "little mandola".
The name mandola may originate with the ancient pandura, and was also rendered as mandora, the change perhaps having been due to approximation to the Italian word for "almond". The instrument developed from the lute at an early date, being more compact and cheaper to build, but the sequence of development and nomenclature in different regions is now hard to discover. Historically related instruments include the mandore, mandole, pandurina, bandurina, and—in 16th century Germany—the quinterne or chiterna. However, significantly different instruments have at times and places taken on the same or similar names, and the "true" mandola has been strung in several different ways.
The mandola has four double courses of metal strings, tuned in unison rather than in octaves.
The nai (archaic: muscal) is a Romanian and also Moldavian diatonic pan flute used since the 17th century and used in lăutari bands.
The nai has usually about 22 pipes made of bamboo or reed. They are arranged in a curved array with lower pipes on the left, allowing a greater speed of play. The pitch of each pipe is adjusted with beeswax; usually nais are in G or C.
The saxotromba is a valved brasswind instrument invented by the Belgian instrument-maker Adolphe Sax around 1844. It was designed for the mounted bands of the French military, probably as a substitute for the French horn. The saxotrombas comprised a family of half-tube instruments of different pitches. By about 1867 the saxotromba was no longer being used by the French military, but specimens of various sizes continued to be manufactured until the early decades of the twentieth century, during which time the instrument made sporadic appearances in the opera house, both in the pit and on stage. The instrument is often confused with the closely related saxhorn.
The technical specifications of the saxotromba and the original constitution of its family are not known with any certainty. Initially, the instrument had the same vertical design as its close relation the saxhorn, with the bell pointing upwards, though later models of both families were designed with bells that faced forwards (pavillon tournant). The mouthpiece was cup-shaped, and the bore was conical, being probably intermediate between the cylindrical bore of the natural trumpet and the conical bore of the natural horn; the
Dulcitar is one of a great many names used to describe a necked lute instrument with diatonic fretting, based on the Appalachian dulcimer.
Other names used for this instrument include:
The earliest attested dulcitars were those made by luthier Homer Ledford, who coined the term "dulcitar" as a portmanteau of "dulcimer" and "guitar".
A psalterium /sɒlˈtɪəriəm/, or tambourin à cordes, is a stringed musical instrument, the name of which means the same thing as the one of psaltery. In specific usage, this name denotes a form of long psaltery that is tuned to provide drone chords. Sometimes called a string drum, it is usually used as rhythm accompaniment with a form of tabor pipe. It is also known as tambourin de Béarn in French, ttun-ttun [cunˈcun] (for the sound emitted) in Basque, and chicotén in Aragonese.
Some authors have called into question the inclusion of the Pyrenean stringed drum under the name of psalterium.
It is slung on the arm or over the shoulder of a player who uses the same hand to play the pipe, while striking the strings with a linen covered stick held in the other hand. The 6 strings (3 sets) are most often tuned in octaves that match the keynote of the Tabor pipe, such as Cc Cc Cc or Dd Dd Dd etc. This musical percussion is quite pleasant and can be played pianissimo as well as forte.
The instrument is currently widespread in the western Pyrenees, and it bears the hallmark of the territory. Apparently invented in the 15th century, it came into use in the Pyrenees, where it took hold. It is
Đàn môi ((Vietnamese): Đàn môi, "lip lute") is the Vietnamese name of a traditional musical instrument widely used in minority ethnic groups in Vietnam. This instrument is somewhat similar to the jaw harp but there are some differences. Most Đàn môi are crafted out of a single piece of brass and attached with a string to a decorated bamboo case. Rather than being played against the teeth, like a jaw harp, the dan moi is played against the lips. This gives much more flexibility to player, leaving them freer to shape their oral cavity as a resonance chamber to amplify the instrument.
Đàn môi are a traditional musical instrument of the Hmong people.
Conch, or conque, is a musical instrument, a wind instrument that is made from a seashell, the shell of one of several different kinds of very large sea snail. These instruments are sometimes referred to as "shell trumpets".
The shells of large marine gastropods are prepared by cutting a hole in the spire of the shell near the apex, and then blowing into the shell as if it were a trumpet, as in blowing horn. Sometimes a mouthpiece is used, but some shell trumpets are blown without one.
Various species of large marine gastropod shells can be turned into "blowing shells", but some of the best-known species are: the sacred chank or shankha Turbinella pyrum, the "Triton's trumpet" Charonia tritonis, and the Queen Conch Strombus gigas.
The sacred chank, Turbinella pyrum is known in India as the shankha. In Tibet it is known as "dung-dkar". For the Hindu context, see the article shankha.
The Triton shell, also known as "Triton's trumpet" Charonia tritonis, is used as a trumpet in Melanesian and Polynesian culture, and also in Korea and Japan. In Japan this kind of trumpet is known as the horagai. In Korea it is known as the nagak. In some Polynesian islands it is known as "pu".
A gong (Malay: gong) is an East and South East Asian musical percussion instrument that takes the form of a flat metal disc which is hit with a mallet.
Gongs are broadly of three types. Suspended gongs are more or less flat, circular discs of metal suspended vertically by means of a cord passed through holes near to the top rim. Bossed or nipple gongs have a raised centre boss and are often suspended and played horizontally. Bowl gongs are bowl-shaped, and rest on cushions and belong more to bells than gongs. Gongs are made mainly from bronze or brass but there are many other alloys in use.
Gongs produce two distinct types of sound. A gong with a substantially flat surface vibrates in multiple modes, giving a "crash" rather than a tuned note. This category of gong is sometimes called a tam-tam to distinguish it from the bossed gongs that give a tuned note. In Indonesian gamelan ensembles, some bossed gongs are deliberately made to generate in addition a beat note in the range from about 1 to 5 Hz. The use of the term "gong" for both these types of instrument is common.
Suspended gongs are played with hammers and are of two main types: flat faced discs either with or without a
The bass clarinet is a musical instrument of the clarinet family. Like the more common soprano B♭ clarinet, it is usually pitched in B♭ (meaning it is a transposing instrument on which a written C sounds as B♭), but it plays notes an octave below the soprano B♭ clarinet. Bass clarinets in other keys, notably C and A, also exist, but are very rare (in contrast to the regular A clarinet, which is quite common in classical music). Bass clarinets regularly perform in symphony orchestras, wind ensembles, occasionally in marching bands, and play an occasional solo role in contemporary music and jazz in particular.
Someone who plays a bass clarinet is called a bass clarinetist.
Most modern bass clarinets are straight-bodied, with a small upturned silver-colored metal bell and a curved metal neck. Early examples varied in shape, some having a doubled body making them look similar to bassoons. The bass clarinet is fairly heavy and is supported either with a neck strap or with an adjustable peg attached to its body. While Adolph Sax imitated its upturned metal bell in his design of the larger saxophones, the two instruments are fundamentally different. Bass clarinet bodies are most often
A tricordia (also trichordia or tricordio) or mandriola is a twelve-stringed variation of the mandolin. The tricordia is used in Mexican folk music, while its European cousin, the mandriola, is used identically to the mandolin. It differs from a standard mandolin in that it has three strings per course. Tricordias only use unison tuning (ggg d'd'd' a'a'a' e"e"e"), while mandriolas use either unison tuning or octave tuning (Ggg dd'd' aa'a' e'e"e").
The contrabassoon, also known as the bass bassoon or double bassoon, is a larger version of the bassoon, sounding an octave lower. Its technique is similar to its smaller cousin, with a few notable differences.
The reed is considerably larger, at 65–75 mm in total length as compared to 53–58 mm for most bassoon reeds. Fingering is slightly different, particularly at the register change and in the extreme high range. The instrument is twice as long, curves around on itself twice, and, due to its weight and shape, is supported by an endpin rather than a seat strap. Additional support is sometimes given by a strap around the player's neck. A wider hand position is also required, as the primary finger keys are widely spaced. The contrabassoon has a water key to expel condensation and a tuning slide for gross pitch adjustments. The instrument comes in a few pieces (plus bocal); in some models, it cannot be disassembled without a screwdriver. Sometimes, however, the bell can be detached, and in the case of instruments with a low A extension, the instrument often comes in two parts.
With a range beginning at B♭0 (extending down a half-step to the lowest note on the piano on instruments
The ney (Persian: نی/نای; Arabic: ناي; Turkish: ney; also nai, nye, nay, gagri tuiduk, or karghy tuiduk ) is an end-blown flute that figures prominently in Middle Eastern music. In some of these musical traditions, it is the only wind instrument used. The ney has been played continuously for 4,500–5,000 years, making it one of the oldest musical instruments still in use.
The ney consists of a piece of hollow cane or reed with five or six finger holes and one thumb hole. Modern neys may be made instead of metal or plastic tubing. The pitch of the ney varies depending on the region and the finger arrangement. A highly-skilled ney player can reach more than three octaves, though it is more common to have several "helper" neys to cover different pitch ranges or to facilitate playing technically difficult passages in other maqamat.
In Romanian, the word nai is also applied to a curved Pan flute.
Turkish and Arab neys normally have 7 holes, 6 in front and one thumb-hole in back. The typical Persian ney has 6 holes, one of which is on the back.
The interval between the holes is a semitone, although microtones (and broader pitch inflections) are achieved via partial hole-covering,
The drum is a member of the percussion group of musical instruments, which is technically classified as the membranophones. Drums consist of at least one membrane, called a drumhead or drum skin, that is stretched over a shell and struck, either directly with the player's hands, or with a drum stick, to produce sound. There is usually a "resonance head" on the underside of the drum, these are usually tuned to a slightly lower pitch than the top drumhead. Other techniques have been used to cause drums to make sound, such as the thumb roll. Drums are the world's oldest and most ubiquitous musical instruments, and the basic design has remained virtually unchanged for thousands of years.
All types of drums such as timpani for example are always tuned to a certain pitch. Often, several drums, other than timpani drums, can be arranged together to create a drum kit.
Drums are usually played by the hand, or by one or two sticks. In many traditional cultures drums have a symbolic function and are often used in religious ceremonies. Drums are often used in music therapy, especially hand drums, because of their tactile nature and easy use by a wide variety of people.
Within the realm of
The electric upright bass (abbreviated EUB) is an electronically amplified version of the double bass that has a minimal or 'skeleton' body, which greatly reduces the size and weight of the instrument. The EUB retains enough of the features of the double bass so that double bass players are comfortable performing on it. While the EUB retains some of the tonal characteristics of the double bass, its electrically amplified nature also gives it its own unique sound.
The first production electric upright basses were developed independently in the mid-1930s by Regal, Vega and Rickenbacker. However, in the 1930s and 1940s, neither the transducers and or amplification equipment which were then available could accurately reproduce the deep tones of the bass. This may have contributed to the lack of public interest in either the electric upright basses or the electric guitar-style instruments that emerged in the 1930s.
In comparison with other electronically amplified string instruments, such as the electric violin, viola and cello, the EUB has been taken up by a wider range of players, perhaps because a traditional upright bass's size makes it challenging to transport when compared to
The jug as a musical instrument reached its height of popularity in the 1920s, when jug bands, such as Cannon's Jug Stompers were popular. The jug is an empty jug (usually made of glass or stoneware) played with the mouth.
With an embouchure like that used for a brass instrument, the musician holds the mouth of the jug about an inch from his or her mouth and emits a blast of sound, made by a buzzing of the lips, directly into it. The jug does not touch the musician's mouth, but serves as a resonating chamber to amplify and enrich the sound made by the musician's lips. Changes in pitch are controlled by loosening or tightening the lips. An accomplished jugplayer might have a two-octave range. Some players augment this sound with vocalizations, didgeridoo style, and even circular breathing. In performance, the jug sound is enhanced if the player stands with his back to a wall, which will reflect the sound toward the audience.
The stovepipe (usually a section of tin pipe, 3" or 4" in diameter) is played in much the same manner, with the open-ended pipe being the resonating chamber. There is some similarity to the didgeridoo, but there is no contact between the stovepipe and the
The oboe ( /ˈoʊboʊ/) is a soprano-ranged, double reed musical instrument of the woodwind family made from a wooden tube roughly 60 cm long, with metal keys, a conical bore and flared bell. Sound is produced by blowing into the reed and vibrating a column of air. The distinctive oboe tone is versatile, and has been described as "bright".
In English, prior to 1770, the instrument was called "hautbois" (French compound word made of haut ("high, loud") and bois ("wood, woodwind"), "hoboy", or "French hoboy". The spelling "oboe" was adopted into English ca. 1770 from the Italian oboè, a transliteration in that language's orthography of the 17th-century pronunciation of the French name. A musician who plays the oboe is called an oboist.
In comparison to other modern woodwind instruments, the oboe has a clear and penetrating voice. The Sprightly Companion, an instruction book published by Henry Playford in 1695, describes the oboe as "Majestical and Stately, and not much Inferior to the Trumpet." More humorously, the voice is described in the play Angels in America as sounding like that of a duck if the duck were a songbird. The timbre of the oboe is derived from the oboe's conical bore
A percussion instrument is a musical instrument that is sounded by being struck or scraped by a beater (including attached or enclosed beaters or rattles), or struck, scraped or rubbed by hand, or struck against another similar instrument. The percussion family is believed to include the oldest musical instruments.
The percussion section of an orchestra, however, traditionally contains in addition many instruments that are not, strictly speaking, percussion, such as whistles and sirens. On the other hand, keyboard instruments such as the celesta are not normally part of the percussion section, but keyboard percussion instruments (which do not have keyboards) are included.
Percussion instruments are most commonly divided into two classes: Pitched percussion instruments, which produce notes with an identifiable pitch, and unpitched percussion instruments, which produce notes without an identifiable pitch.
Hornbostel–Sachs has no high-level section for percussion. Most percussion instruments (as the term is normally understood) are classified as idiophones and membranophones. However the term percussion is instead used at the lower levels of the Hornbostel–Sachs hierarchy, including
The tin whistle, also called the penny whistle, English flageolet, Scottish penny whistle, tin flageolet, Irish whistle feadóg stáin (or simply feadóg) and Clarke London Flageolet is a simple six-holed woodwind instrument. It is an end blown fipple flute, putting it in the same category as the recorder, American Indian flute, and other woodwind instruments. A tin whistle player is called a tin whistler or whistler. The tin whistle is closely associated with Celtic music.
The tin whistle in its modern form is from a wider family of fipple flutes which have been seen in many forms and cultures throughout the world. In Europe such instruments have a long and distinguished history and take various forms; most widely known of these are the recorder, tin whistle, Flabiol, Txistu and tabor pipe.
Almost all primitive cultures had a type of fipple flute and is most likely the first pitched flute-type instrument in existence. A possible Neanderthal fipple flute from Slovenia dates from 81,000-53,000 B.C., a German flute from 35,000 years ago, and flute made from sheep's bone in West Yorkshire dating to the Iron Age. Written sources that describe a fipple-type flute include the Roman and
The bodhrán ( /ˈbɔrɑːn/ or /ˈbaʊrɑːn/; plural bodhráns or bodhráin) is an Irish frame drum ranging from 25 to 65 cm (10" to 26") in diameter, with most drums measuring 35 to 45 cm (14" to 18"). The sides of the drum are 9 to 20 cm (3½" to 8") deep. A goatskin head is tacked to one side (synthetic heads, or other animal skins are sometimes used). The other side is open-ended for one hand to be placed against the inside of the drum head to control the pitch and timbre.
One or two crossbars, sometimes removable, may be inside the frame, but this is increasingly rare on modern instruments. Some professional modern bodhráns integrate mechanical tuning systems similar to those used on drums found in drum kits. It is usually with a hex key that the bodhrán skins are tightened or loosened depending on the atmospheric conditions.
According to musician Ronan Nolan, former editor of Irish Music magazine, the bodhrán evolved in the mid-20th century from the tambourine, which can be heard on some Irish music recordings dating back to the 1920s and viewed in a pre-Famine painting. However, in remote parts of the south-west, the "poor man’s tambourine" – made from farm implements and without the
An electric guitar is a guitar that uses a pickup to convert the vibration of its strings into electrical impulses. The most common guitar pickup uses the principle of direct electromagnetic induction. The signal generated by an electric guitar is too weak to drive a loudspeaker, so it is amplified before sending it to a loudspeaker. Since the output of an electric guitar is an electric signal, the signal may easily be altered using electronic circuits to add "color" to the sound. Often the signal is modified using effects such as reverb and distortion.
Invented in 1931, the electric guitar became a necessity as jazz musicians sought to amplify their sound in the big band format. During the 1950s and 1960s, the electric guitar became the most important instrument in pop music. It has evolved into a stringed musical instrument that is capable of a multitude of sounds and styles. It served as a major component in the development of rock and roll and many other genres of music.
Various experiments at electrically amplifying the vibrations of a string instrument date back to the early part of the twentieth century. Patents from the 1910s show telephone transmitters adapted and placed
An electric violin is a violin equipped with an electronic output of its sound. The term most properly refers to an instrument purposely made to be electrified with built-in pickups, usually with a solid body. It can also refer to a violin fitted with an electric pickup of some type, although "amplified violin" or "electro-acoustic violin" are more accurate in that case.
Electrically amplified violins have been used in one form or another since the 1920s; jazz and blues artist Stuff Smith is generally credited as being one of the first performers to adapt pickups and amplifiers to violins. The Electro Stringed Instrument Corporation, National and Vega sold electric violins in the 1930s and 1940s; Fender produced a small number of electric violins in the late 1950s. There has been a great deal more commercial success of well known manufacturers of electric violins since the 1990s for both well known, established companies and new makers too.
Acoustic violins may be used with an add-on piezoelectric bridge or body pickup, or a magnetic pickup attached to the fingerboard end. Alternatively, a magnetic String pickup can be installed under an acoustic violin's fingerboard avoiding
Balaban, or balaman (Azerbaijani: Balaban) is cylindrical-bore, double-reed wind instrument about 35 cm long with seven finger holes and one thumb hole. This instrument played in eastern Azerbaijan in Iran and in the Republic of Azerbaijan. In Azerbaijan it is also called düdük.
Balaban can be made of mulberry or other harder woods, such as walnut. The bore through the instrument is about one and a half cm in diameter. The double reed is made out of a single tube of cane about six cm long and pressed flat at one end. The performer uses air stored in his cheeks to keep playing the balaban while he inhales air into his lungs. This “circular” breathing technique is commonly used with all the double-reed instruments in the Middle East.
The balaban consists of a stem, a reed, a regulator, and a cap.
The stem of the balaban, or govda, is a 280 to 320 mm cylindrical tube made primarily of apricot wood (sometimes also hazel, pear, mulberry, boxwood, etc.). The process of carving a balaban stem is called balaban chakma. The upper end of the stem (bash or kup) is given a round shape, whereas the lower end (ayag) is sharpened. The bore is 10 mm in diametre. Eight holes or "curtains"
An agogô (Yoruba: agogo, meaning bell) is a single or multiple bell now used throughout the world but with origins in traditional Yoruba music and also in the samba baterias (percussion ensembles). The agogô may be the oldest samba instrument and was based on West African Yoruba single or double bells. The agogô has the highest pitch of any of the bateria instruments.
The African each bell a different size. This allows a differently pitched note to be produced depending on which bell has been hit. Originally wrought iron, they are now manufactured in a variety of metals and sizes for different sound qualities. The most common arrangement is two bells attached by a U shaped piece of metal. The smaller bell is held uppermost. Either bell may be hit with a wooden stick to make a cowbell like sound or less commonly a clicking sound is produced by squeezing the two bells together.
It is used in the ceremonial music of religions in Yorubaland as well as in their new world practice, which are based on beliefs brought by slaves from Africa such as candomblé. It may be officially used for congregation or heralding the coming of a dignitary. It is the main instrument of Obatala and Orisa Nla
Spoons can be played as a makeshift percussion instrument, or more specifically, an idiophone related to the castanets. "Playing the spoons" originated in Ireland as "playing the bones," in which the convex sides of a pair of sheep rib bones were rattled in the same way.
As percussion, spoons accompany fiddle playing and other folk sets. An example is seen in Midsomer Murders Series 6, episode 2, where Detective Sergeant Gavin Troy plays the spoons at a house party joining a fiddle player who is entertaining the guests. He uses the first technique. The guests also contribute percussion by hand clapping in time with the music.
The spoons in Greece, as a percussion instrument are known as koutalakia (Greek: κουταλακια), which means also, spoon. The dancers hold the wooden koutalakia, to accompany with a variety of knocks their dance rhythms. The most of them, are very beautifully sculpted or painted.
In the United States spoons as instrument are associated with American folk music, minstrelsy, and jug and spasm bands. These musical genres make use of other everyday objects as instruments, such as the washboard and the jug. In addition to common tableware, musical instrument suppliers
Fue (笛, hiragana: ふえ) is the Japanese word for flute, and refers to a class of flutes native to Japan. Fue come in many varieties, but are generally high-pitched and made of a bamboo called shinobue. The most popular of the fue is the shakuhachi.
Fue are traditionally broken up into two basic categories – the transverse flute and the end-blown flute. Transverse flutes are held to the side, with the musician blowing across a hole near one end; end-blown flutes are held vertically and the musician blows into one end.
The earliest fue may have developed from pitch pipes called paixiao in Chinese. The gabachi instruments eventually made its way over to Japan from China in the fifth century, becoming prevalent during the Nara Period.
Soon after the introduction of fue instruments, members of the Fuke sect of Zen Buddhism made normal use of the shakuhachi. These "priests of nothingness" viewed the instruments as spiritual tools, using them for suizen, or "blowing meditation". Modern fue performance may feature a soloist or involve either a chamber or large ensemble of the instruments.
Japanese fue include many different varieties of Japanese flute, including the following:
The goblet drum (also chalice drum, darbuka, debuka, doumbek, dumbec, or tablah, Persian: دمبک, Arabic: دربوكة / ALA-LC: darbūkah) is a single head membranophone with a goblet shaped body used mostly in the Middle East, North Africa, and Eastern Europe. The African djembe-wassolou is also a goblet membranophone.This article focuses on the Eastern and North-African goblet drum.
This hand drum has a thin drumhead, that helps to produce a distinctively crisp sound, and a chalice cavity that helps to obtain a bass resonance. Traditionally, goblet drums may be made of pottery, wood, or metal. Modern goblet drums are also sometimes made of synthetic materials, including fiberglass. Modern metal drums are commonly made of aluminum (either cast, spun or formed from a sheet) or copper. Some aluminum drums may have a mother-of-pearl inlay, which is purely decorative. The bottom is open, and the skin drum head is directly attached by nails or glue. Traditional skin heads were commonly made of goat and fish. Modern drums commonly use synthetic materials for drum heads, including mylar and fiberglass.The body of the Dumbek is made of nickel, ceramic, or compressed aluminum. The head may be
The classical guitar (also called the Spanish guitar, the concert guitar or the nylon-string guitar) is a 6-stringed plucked string instrument from the family of instruments called chordophones. In addition to the instrument, the phrase "classical guitar" can refer to two other concepts:
The shape, construction, and material of classical guitars vary, but typically they have a modern classical guitar shape, or historic classical guitar shape (e.g., early romantic guitars from France and Italy). Strings are usually of nylon or other synthetic material, or fine wire wrapped around a nylon or other synthetic core. Historic guitars may have strings made of gut (sheep or pig intestine).
A guitar family tree can be identified. (The flamenco guitar derives from the modern classical, but has differences in material, construction and sound).
The term modern classical guitar is sometimes used to distinguish the classical guitar from older forms of guitar, which are in their broadest sense also called classical, or more descriptively: early guitars. Examples of early guitars include the 6-string early romantic guitar (ca. 1790 - 1880), and the earlier baroque guitars with 5 courses.
The cor anglais (UK /ˌkɔr ˈɑːŋɡleɪ/ or US /ˌkɔr ɒŋˈɡleɪ/; French: [kɔʁ ɑ̃ɡlɛ]), or English horn (American English), is a double-reed woodwind instrument in the oboe family.
The cor anglais is a transposing instrument pitched in F, a perfect fifth lower than the oboe (a C instrument), and is consequently approximately one and a half times the length of the oboe. The fingering and playing technique used for the cor anglais are essentially the same as those of the oboe, and most oboists double on the cor anglais. Music for the cor anglais is thus written a perfect fifth higher than the instrument actually sounds. Because the cor anglais normally lacks the lowest B-flat of the oboe, its sounding range stretches from the E (written B natural) below middle C to the C two octaves above middle C.
Its pear-shaped bell gives it a more covered timbre than the oboe, closer in tonal quality to the oboe d'amore. Whereas the oboe is the soprano instrument of the oboe family, the cor anglais is generally regarded as the tenor member of the family, and the oboe d'amore—pitched between the two in the key of A—as the alto member. The cor anglais is perceived to have a more mellow and plaintive tone
A kashaka is simple percussion instrument consisting of two small gourds filled with beans (essentially, two small kinds of maracas) and connected by a string. One gourd is held in the hand and the other is swung from side-to-side around the hand, creating a "clack" upon impact. It originated in West Africa, but has been reproduced in plastic in various countries under different names: Patica (Japan) and Kosika (USA). Other names include Asalato, Kes Kes, Tchangot Tche, and many other.
Kashakas create both shaking sounds and percussive clicks, by swinging the balls around the hand, and by making the balls hit each other. Learning to catch the Kashaka can be difficult at first, but it enables a much larger variety of rhythms to be created. Also, as hands come in different sizes, it is important to play a Kashaka that is the right size, as it makes learning how to play and master different rhythms much easier. When a Kashaka is played in each hand by an experienced player, polymeters can be produced by playing two different rhythms with different time signatures.
Kashakas are considered a toy to some, a percussion instrument to most, and are also a skill development tool that can
The kazoo is a wind instrument which adds a "buzzing" timbral quality to a player's voice when the player vocalizes into it. The kazoo is a type of mirliton, which is a membranophone – a device which modifies the sound of a person's voice by way of a vibrating membrane.
"Kazoo" was the name given by Warren Herbert Frost to his invention in Patent #270,543 issued on January 9, 1883. In the text of the patent he refers to it as "This instrument or toy, to which I propose to give the name 'kazoo' ". This first kazoo was not the familiar "submarine" shape.
While blowing is the term typically used to describe the technique required to play a kazoo, a more accurate term would be humming into the kazoo. Blowing with the lips closed around the mouthpiece of the kazoo will not create sound – one must vibrate air from one's lungs by humming into the instrument to produce any sound. Increased air flow and harder blowing will result in a louder sound.
Instead of just humming (hmmmmm), different sounds can be made by singing different syllables such as doo, who, rrrrr or brrrr into the kazoo.
Such instruments have been used in Africa for hundreds of years, to disguise the sound of somebody's
The semantron (Greek: σήμαντρον) or semanterion (σημαντήριον), also called a xylon (ξύλον) (Romanian: toacă; Russian: било, bilo; Bulgarian, Macedonian and Serbian: клепало, klepalo) is a percussion instrument used in monasteries to summon monks to prayer or at the start of a procession.
The semantron is made of a long, well-planed piece of timber, usually heart of maple (but also beech), from 12 feet (3.7 m) and upwards in length, by 1+⁄2 feet (46 cm) broad, and 9 inches (23 cm) in thickness. Of Levantine and Egyptian origin, its use flourished in the Greece and on Mount Athos before spreading among Eastern Orthodox in what are now Bulgaria, Romania, Moldova, Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Republic of Macedonia. It both predates and substitutes for bells (first introduced to the East in 865 by the Venetians, who gave a dozen to Michael III), being used to call worshipers to prayer. They are sometimes made of iron or brass (ἁγιοσίδηρα, hagiosidera / клепало, klepalo); formed of slightly curved metal plates, these give out a sound not unlike that of a gong.
In the wooden form, at the centre of the instrument's length, each edge is slightly scooped out to allow
The virginals or virginal (the plural does not necessarily denote more than one instrument) is a keyboard instrument of the harpsichord family. It was popular in Europe during the late Renaissance and early baroque periods.
A virginal is a smaller and simpler rectangular form of the harpsichord with only one string per note running more or less parallel to the keyboard on the long side of the case. Many, if not most, of the instruments were constructed without legs, and would be placed on a table for playing. Later models were built with their own stands.
The mechanism of the virginals is identical to that of the harpsichord in that its wire strings are plucked by plectra mounted in jacks. Its case, however, is rectangular, and the single choir of strings, with one string per note, runs roughly parallel to the keyboard. This arrangement causes the strings to be plucked nearer the middle rather than at one end, as in the case of the harpsichord, and produces a richer, flute-like tone.
The origin of the name is obscure. One theory derives it from the Latin virga meaning a rod, perhaps referring to the wooden jacks that rest on the ends of the keys; however, this theory is unproven.
The balafon (bala, balaphone) is a resonated frame, wooden keyed percussion idiophone of West Africa; part of the idiophone family of tuned percussion instruments that includes the xylophone, marimba, glockenspiel, and the vibraphone. Sound is produced by striking the tuned keys with two padded sticks.
Believed to have been developed independently of the Southern African and South American instruments now called the marimba, oral histories of the balafon date it to at least the rise of the Mali Empire in the 12th century CE. Balafon is a Manding name, but variations exist across West Africa, including the Balangi in Sierra Leone and the Gyil of the Dagara, Lobi and Gurunsi from Ghana, Burkina Faso and Côte d'Ivoire. Similar instruments are played in parts of Central Africa, with the ancient Kingdom of Kongo denoting the instrument as palaku.
A balafon can be either fixed-key (where the keys are strung over a fixed frame, usually with calabash resonators underneath) or free-key (where the keys are placed independently on any padded surface). The balafon usually has 17-21 keys, tuned to a tetratonic, pentatonic or heptatonic scale, depending on the culture of the musician.
A brass instrument is a musical instrument that produces sound by sympathetic vibration of air in a tubular resonator in sympathy with the vibration of the player's lips. Brass instruments are also called labrosones, literally meaning "lip-vibrated instruments".
There are several factors involved in producing different pitches on a brass instrument: One is alteration of the player's lip tension (or "embouchure"), and another is air flow. Also, slides (or valves) are used to change the length of the tubing, thus changing the harmonic series presented by the instrument to the player.
The view of most scholars (see organology) is that the term "brass instrument" should be defined by the way the sound is made, as above, and not by whether the instrument is actually made of brass. Thus one finds brass instruments made of wood, like the alphorn, the cornett, the serpent and the didgeridoo, while some woodwind instruments are made of brass, like the saxophone.
Modern brass instruments generally come in one of two families:
There are two other families that have, in general, become functionally obsolete for practical purposes. Instruments of both types, however, are sometimes used for
The toy piano, also known as the kinderklavier (child's keyboard), is a small piano-like musical instrument. The present form of the toy piano was invented in Philadelphia by a 17-year-old German immigrant named Albert Schoenhut. He worked as a repairman at Wanamaker's department store, repairing broken glass sounding pieces in German toy pianos damaged in shipping. Schoenhut conceived of the toy piano as it is known today in 1872, when he substituted durable steel plates for the traditional fragile glass bars.
Toy pianos come in many shapes, from scale models of upright or grand pianos to toys which only resemble pianos in that they possess keys. Toy pianos are usually no more than 50 cm in width, and made out of wood or plastic. The first toy pianos were made in the mid-19th century and were typically uprights, although many toy pianos made today are models of grands. Rather than hammers hitting strings as on a standard piano, the toy piano sounds by way of hammers hitting metal bars or rods which are fixed at one end. The hammers are connected to the keys by a mechanism similar to that which drives keyboard glockenspiels. Some new toy pianos are electronic.
Toy pianos ostensibly
Xaphoon is a registered trademark (Trade Name – Hawaii File Number 116995D1,Trade Mark – Hawaii File Number 50914ZZ), owned by Brian Wittman under the Hawaii-based sole-proprietorship "Maui Xaphoon," and is used for a particular design of a single-reed keyless woodwind instrument (Wind Instrument – US Patent D262035). The design resulted from a spontaneous effort by Wittman (a saxophonist and multi-instrumentalist) beginning in 1972 to create an instrument for a young child who liked the sound of the saxophone. Wittman devised the name himself; prior to its current use, the word did not exist in any language. The range of the Xaphoon happens to be comparable to the chalumeau, a European keyless single-reed instrument that was the ancestor of the clarinet; therefore the Xaphoon can be used to play written chalumeau music, as well as music in any other style associated with the saxophone or clarinet. The Xaphoon plays a fully chromatic scale somewhat beyond two octaves, and overblows at the 12th, like a clarinet. Due to its abbreviated length and large finger-hole size, the pitch of individual notes can be raised and lowered easily, making the Xaphoon equally well-suited to play
Korean drums play an important part in traditional Korean music, ranging from folk music to royal court music. There are a wide variety of shapes and sizes, for use both in accompanying other instruments and in special drumming performances.
In the traditional Korean classification of instruments, drums are grouped with the hyeokbu (혁부, 革部), or instruments made with leather.
During the Joseon period, many types of drums were used for the royal court music, including the janggu, jwago, yonggo, gyobanggo, jingo, jeolgo, nogo, and others. Among these, the janggu was also used for folk music, and later became the most commonly used drum used in Korean music.
A gourd mouth organ is a traditional wind instrument found in many nations of East and Southeast Asia. It is a free reed mouth organ similar to the Chinese sheng but with a windchest made from a dried bottle gourd rather than metal or wood. Its pipes (often five in number) are made of bamboo and it has free reeds that may be made of bamboo or metal.
In China, gourd mouth organs are referred to by the generic name hulusheng (葫芦笙; pinyin: húlúshēng; literally "gourd sheng"). They are used as folk instruments by ethnic minorities such as the Lahu, Lisu, Akha, and Naxi, who have their own names for the instrument in their own languages; the instrument varies in construction and playing technique from ethnic group to ethnic group. It is found most frequently in China's southwestern province of Yunnan as well as in several other provinces of southern China.
Similar instruments are found in Thailand (where it is called naw among the Lahu, lachi among the Akha, and fulu among the Lisu), Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Vietnam (where it is called đing nǎm or m'buot), and Borneo.
Open holes on the bottom of the pipes in some gourd mouth organs allow for the bending of tones.
The krar or kraar is a five- or six-stringed bowl-shaped lyre from Eritrea and Ethiopia. The instrument is tuned to a pentatonic scale. A modern krar may be amplified, much in the same way as an electric guitar or violin.
The krar, a chordophone, is usually decorated with wood, cloth and beads. Its five or six strings determine the available pitches. The instrument's tone depends on the musician's playing technique: bowing, strumming or plucking. If plucked, the instrument will produce a soft tone. Strumming, on the other hand, will yield a harmonious pulsation. The krar is often played by musician-singers called azmari. It usually accompanies love songs and secular songs, which makes for an enjoyable accompaniment to a cozy meal.
The nagara (Armenian: Դհոլ, Georgian: დოლი, Azerbaijani: nağara) is a folk drum originating in Armenia with double head that is played on one side with the bare hands. It is used in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey and other Caucasus regions. It has different names, according to the territory in which it is played. This membranophone is different from the dhol and nagara of India. It was used by Sikhs too during their wars.
The nağara (also called koltuk davulu) is a Turkish folk drum or percussion instrument. It is placed under the arm and beaten with the hands. It is longer compared to the regular drums and its diameter is smaller.
The Turkish instrument is the same as the Azerbaijani naghara. There is a proverb in the Azerbaijani language that says "toy-dan-sora-naghara!" This literally means after the wedding ceremonies naghara!
This instrument helped the doctors to deal with bad mood, melancholy, intellectual and physical exhaustion, as well as low blood pressure. It was considered that the Naghara could be substituted for some medicinal plants like spicy cloves. The rhythmic beating of the naghara is believed to lead to the strengthening of the heart. The naghara is
The pipe organ is a musical instrument commonly used in churches or cathedrals that produces sound by driving pressurized air (called wind) through pipes selected via a keyboard. Because each organ pipe produces a single pitch, the pipes are provided in sets called ranks, each of which has a common timbre and volume throughout the keyboard compass. Most organs have multiple ranks of pipes of differing timbre, pitch and loudness that the player can employ singly or in combination through the use of controls called stops.
A pipe organ has one or more keyboards (called manuals) played by the hands, and a pedalboard played by the feet, each of which has its own group of stops. The organ's continuous supply of wind allows it to sustain notes for as long as the corresponding keys are depressed, unlike the piano and harpsichord whose sound begins to decay immediately after attack. The smallest portable pipe organs may have only one or two dozen pipes and one manual; the largest may have over 20,000 pipes and seven manuals.
The origins of the pipe organ can be traced back to the hydraulis in Ancient Greece in the 3rd century BC, in which the wind supply was created with water pressure. By
The viola d'amore (Italian: love viol) is a 7- or 6-stringed musical instrument with sympathetic strings used chiefly in the baroque period. It is played under the chin in the same manner as the violin.
The viola d'amore shares many features of the viol family. It looks like a thinner treble viol without frets and sometimes with sympathetic strings added. The 6 string viola d'amore and the treble viol also have approximately the same ambitus or range of playable notes. Like viols, it has a flat back. Intricately carved head at the top of the peg box are common on both viols and viola d'amores as well (although some viols lack them). Unlike viols, the head occurs often with blindfolded eyes to represent love. Its sound-holes are commonly in the shape of a flaming sword (suggesting a Middle Eastern influence in its development). This was one of the three usual sound hole shapes for viols as well. (The other two being f-holes for viols with "violin shape" and C-holes or flame holes on the "viol shaped" viols.) It is unfretted, and played much like a violin, being held horizontally under the chin. It is about the same size as the modern viola.
The viola d'amore usually has six or seven
The zither is a musical string instrument, most commonly found in Slovenia, Austria, Hungary, northwestern Croatia, the southern regions of Germany, alpine Europe and East Asian cultures, including China. The term "citre" is also used more broadly, to describe the entire family of stringed instruments in which the strings do not extend beyond the sounding box, including the hammered dulcimer, psaltery, Appalachian dulcimer, guqin, guzheng (Chinese zither), koto, gusli, kantele, gayageum, đàn tranh, kanun, autoharp, santoor, yangqin, piano, harpsichord, santur, swarmandal, and others. It is played by strumming or plucking the strings like a guitar.
The word "citara" is derived from the Greek word kithara, an instrument from classical times used in Ancient Greece and later throughout the Roman Empire and in the Arab world (Arabic قيثارة); the word "guitar" derives from "qithara" as well.
Whiled the term zither is mentioned in Daniel during the Jewish exile of 606 BC, the earliest known instrument of the zither family is a Chinese guqin [a fretless instrument], found in the tomb of Marquis Yi of Zeng dating from 433 BC. In modern entertainment, the zither is perhaps most famous for
The word laúd is the Spanish word for lute. It is most commonly used to refer to a plectrum-plucked chordophone from Spain. It belongs to the cittern family of instruments. It has six double courses (i.e. twelve strings in pairs), similarly to the bandurria, but its neck is longer. Traditionally it is used folk string musical groups, together with the guitar and the bandurria.
Like the bandurria, it is tuned in fifths, but its range is 1 octave lower.
There is also a Cuban variety of laúd (such as played by Barbarito Torres of the Buena Vista Social Club). It has the same appearance and use as the Spanish version, only the tuning is different. The Cuban tuning is: D, A, E, B, F#, C# (or D).
Sometimes the Cuban variety has a different body shape, with two points instead of the lute-style or wavy shapes used for the traditional Spanish variety.
The Lowrey organ is an electronic organ named after Chicago industrialist Frederick Lowrey.
During the 1960s and 1970s, Lowrey was the largest manufacturer of electronic organs in the world. In 1989, the Lowrey Organ Company produced its 1,000,000th organ. Up until 2011, modern Lowrey organs were built in LaGrange Park, Illinois. In 2011 it was announced that production was to be moved to Malaysia.
Most notably, the Lowrey organ differs from the Hammond Organ (which also bears the name of its Chicago-based inventor) in its incorporation of "automatic accompaniment" features. While originally intended for the home entertainment market, it was also used by some rock groups in the 1960s and 1970s. Garth Hudson, the keyboardist of The Band, played a Lowrey Festival organ on many of the group's most notable songs. Its sound can be heard prominently on the 1968 recording of "Chest Fever", which begins with a Bach-inspired prelude/intro. The Lowrey Organ is one of several organs on The Beatles' Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!, helping create a fairground atmosphere. A rather surprising use of a Lowrey Organ, on a percussive "marimba repeat" setting - was the synthesizer-like
The natural horn is a musical instrument that is the ancestor of the modern-day horn, and is differentiated by its lack of valves. It consists of a mouthpiece, some long coiled tubing, and a large flared bell. Pitch changes are made through a few techniques:
This instrument was used extensively until the emergence of the valved horn in the early 19th century.
The natural horn has several gaps in its harmonic range. To play chromatically, in addition to crooking the instrument into the right key, two additional techniques are required: bending and hand-stopping. Bending a note is achieved by modifying the embouchure to raise or lower the pitch fractionally, and compensates for the slightly out of pitch "wolf tones" which all brass instruments have. Hand-stopping is a technique whereby the player can modify the pitch of a note by up to a semitone (or sometimes slightly more) by inserting a cupped hand into the bell. Both change the timbre as well as the pitch.
The List of compositions for horn includes many pieces that were originally written with the natural horn in mind. Until the development of the modern horn in the early to mid 19th century, Western music employed the natural
The vielle ( /viˈɛl/) is a European bowed stringed instrument used in the Medieval period, similar to a modern violin but with a somewhat longer and deeper body, five (rather than four) gut strings, and a leaf-shaped pegbox with frontal tuning pegs. The instrument was also known as a fidel or a viuola, although the French name for the instrument, vielle, is generally used. It was one of the most popular instruments of the Medieval period, and was used by troubadours and jongleurs from the 13th through the 15th centuries. The vielle possibly derived from the lira, a Byzantine bowed instrument closely related to the rebab, an Arab bowed instrument
Starting in the middle or end of the 15th century, the word vielle was used to refer to the hurdy gurdy.
Several modern groups of musicians have formed into bands to play early music (pre-Baroque), and they sometimes include vielles, or modern reproductions, in their ensembles, together with other instruments such as rebecs and saz.
The Western concert flute is a transverse (side-blown) woodwind instrument made of metal or wood. It is the most common variant of the flute. A musician who plays the flute is called a flautist, flutist, or flute player.
This type of flute is used in many ensembles including concert bands, orchestras, flute ensembles, and occasionally jazz bands and big bands. Other flutes in this family include the piccolo, alto flute, bass flute, contrabass flute, double contrabass flute and the hyperbass flute. Millions of works have been composed for flute.
The flute is a transverse (or side-blown) woodwind instrument that is closed at the blown end. The instrument is played by blowing a stream of air over the embouchure hole. The pitch is changed by opening or closing keys that cover circular tone holes (there are typically 16 tone holes). Opening and closing the holes produces higher and lower pitches. The direction and intensity of the air stream also affects the pitch, timbre, and dynamics.
The standard concert flute is pitched in C and has a range of about three and a half octaves starting from the musical note C4 (middle C). In most cases the flute's highest pitch is C7, however more
The lyra (Greek: λύρα) is a musical instrument central to the traditional music of Crete in Greece. In Greek it shares the same name (ΛΥΡΑ) with the lyre, a harp-like stringed instrument which was developed in ancient Greece. The three-stringed lyra is played with a bow. It is not related to the Pontian kemenche as it is played by pressing the strings with the nails from the side. In Greece it is used mainly in the island of Crete and some islands of the Aegean archipelago as well as in parts of northern Greece. It is closely related to the Bulgarian Gadulka, and the Constantinople kemençe (Armudî kemençe/πολίτικη λύρα).
The violin exerted its influence on the lyra both under the organological and musical aspect: it caused the transformation of many features of the old Lyraki into the modern Lyra, in terms of tuning, performance practice, and repertory (Tullia, 1997). Noted Cretan Lyra performers include Kostas Mountakis, Thanassis Skordalos, Psarantonis and Ross Daly. Today in Rhodes, Yiannis Kladakis is known for reviving this type of lyra in the island.
The dabakan is a single-headed Philippine drum, primarily used as a supportive instrument in the kulintang ensemble. Among the five main kulintang instruments, it is the only non-gong element of the Maguindanao ensemble.
The dabakan is frequently described as either hour-glass, conical, tubular, or goblet in shape Normally, the dabakan is found having a length of more than two feet and a diameter of more than a foot about the widest part of the shell. The shell is carved from wood either out of the trunk of a coconut tree or the wood of a jackfruit tree which is then hollowed out throughout its body and stem. The drumhead that is stretched over the shell is made out of either goatskin, carabao skin, deer rawhide, or snake/lizard skin, with the last considered by many dabakan practitioners as the best material to use. The drumhead is then fastened to the shell first via small metal wire and then using two hoops of rattan very tightly to allow the rattan sticks to bounce cleanly. Artists, especially the Maranao, would then carve the outside of the shell with elaborate and decorative okkil patterns.
The dabakan is normally played while standing with the player holding two sticks made
The harmonica, also called French harp, blues harp, and mouth organ, is a free reed wind instrument used primarily in blues and American folk music, jazz, country, and rock and roll. It is played by blowing air into it or drawing air out by placing lips over individual holes (reed chambers) or multiple holes. The pressure caused by blowing or drawing air into the reed chambers causes a reed or multiple reeds to vibrate creating sound. Each chamber has multiple, variable-tuned brass or bronze reeds, which are secured at one end only, leaving the other free to vibrate.
Reeds are pre-tuned to individual tones, and each tone is determined according to the size of reed. Longer reeds make deep, low sounds and short reeds make higher-pitched sounds. On certain types of harmonica the pre-tuned reed can be changed (bending a note) to another note by redirecting air flow into the chamber. There are many types of harmonicas, including diatonic, chromatic, tremolo, octave, orchestral, and bass versions.
There are three types of harmonicas: the diatonic, the choromatic, and the tremolo.
The basic parts of the harmonica are the comb, reed-plates and cover-plates.
The comb is the term for the
The kāwālā (Arabic: كاوالا or كولة; also called salamiya, سلامية) is an end-blown cane flute used in Arabic music. It is similar to the ney but has six finger holes, while the ney has seven (including one in the back). The kawala comes in up to nine different sizes, according to the maqam.
The krapeu (Khmer: ក្រពើ; also called takhe) is a crocodile-shaped fretted floor zither from Cambodia with three strings.
The word krapeu means "alligator" or "crocodile" in the Khmer language. It is probably the most recent of the Khmer classical instruments. The takhe usually has three to five legs supporting it. When performing, the player sits beside the instrument. The left hand runs up and down the strings, while the right hand plucks them using a plectrum. The takhe is used for wedding music, A-yai, and Chapei music as well as modern music.
The krapeu is analogous to the Thai jakhe; both are used in the mahori ensemble. It is also similar to the Burmese mi gyaung, and the Mon kyam.
The Onavillu is a simple, short bow-shaped musical instrument. Its name may come from "Onam" and "Villu", since it is used in dances in Kerala during the Onam festival, and Villu means bow. Although still regularly used in rural art forms, use of the Onavillu is on the decline.
'Onavillu' also refers to flat, tapered wooden artifacts decorated with tassels and used in ceremonies of devotion to Lord Vishnu.
The Onavillu that accompanies the Kummattikali and other folk dances is a Kerala string instrument made from the pith of the palmyra stem, or from bamboo, shaped as a bow. Bamboo slivers are used for bowstrings. The bow strings sound when struck with a thin stick, the size of a pencil. The sound can be varied through finger pressure on the string.
The ceremonial Onavillu, which is not a musical instrument, is made from a flat piece of wood 1/2 inch thick, tapering on both sides. Sizes range from 3.5 feet by 4 inches to 4.5 feet by 6 inches. The wood of kadambu, maruthu, jack fruit, and aanjili trees are preferred (See List of Indian timber trees). The wood is cut to the required dimension before being decorated with miniature paintings of Anantha Sayanam (reclining pose of Lord
The term tanbūr (Persian: تنبور) can refer to various long-necked, fretted lutes originating in the Southern or Central Asia (Persia/Iran). According to the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, "terminology presents a complicated situation. Nowadays the term tanbur (or tambur) is applied to a variety of distinct and related long-necked lutes used in art and folk traditions. Similar or identical instruments are also known by other terms."
One study has identified the name "tanbūr" as being derived from pandur, a Sumerian term for long-necked lutes. Lutes have been present in Mesopotamia since the Akkadian era, or the third millennium BCE.
The tanbur was already in use in the Sassanian period (5th-6th century). In the tenth century CE Al-Farabi described a Baghdad tunbūr, distributed south and west of Baghdad, and a Khorasan tunbūr found in Persia. This distinction may be the source of modern differentiation between Arabic instruments, derived from the Baghdad tunbūr, and those found in northern Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sindh and Turkey, from the Khorasan tunbūr.
Later the Kurdish tanbur became associated with the music of the Ahl-e Haqq or "People of the Real", a primarily
The viola ( /viˈoʊlə/ or /vaɪˈoʊlə/) is a bowed string instrument. It is the middle voice of the violin family, between the violin and the cello.
The viola is similar in material and construction to the violin. A full-size viola's body is between 1 inch (25 mm) and 4 inches (100 mm) longer than the body of a full-size violin (i.e., between 15 and 18 inches (38 and 46 cm)), with an average length of 16 inches (41 cm). Small violas for children typically start at 12 inches (30 cm), which is equivalent to a half-size violin. For a child who needs a smaller size, a fractional-sized violin is often strung with the strings of a viola. Unlike the violin, the viola does not have a standard full size. The body of a viola would need to measure about 20 inches (51 cm) long to match the acoustics of a violin, making it impractical to play in the same manner as the violin. For centuries, viola makers have experimented with the size and shape of the viola, often adjusting the proportions or shape to make a lighter instrument with shorter string lengths, but which still has a large enough sound box to create an unmistakable 'viola sound'.
Experiments have tended to increase the size of the viola,
The gandingan is a Philippine set of four large, hanging gongs used by the Maguindanao as part of their kulintang ensemble. When integrated into the ensemble, it functions as a secondary melodic instrument after the main melodic instrument, the kulintang. When played solo, the gandingan allows fellow Maguindanao to communicate with each other, allowing them to send messages or warnings via long distances. This ability to imitate tones of the Maguindanao language using this instrument has given the gandingan connotation: the “talking gongs.”
The instrument is usually described as four, large, shallow-bossed, thin-rimmed gongs, vertically hung, either from a strong support such as a tree limb or housed in a strong wooden framed stand. The gongs are arranged in graduated fashion in pairs with knobs of the lower-pitched gongs facing each other and the higher-pitched gongs doing the same. Normally, the lower-pitched gongs would be situated on the left side and the higher pitched gongs on the right side of the player if he/she were right-handed. This arrangement in fact is similar to the arrangement of gongs on the horizontally laid kulintang – so much so, in fact that master musicians
The guitar is a string instrument of the chordophone family constructed from wood and strung with either nylon or steel strings. The modern guitar was preceded by the lute, vihuela, four-course renaissance guitar and five-course baroque guitar; all of which contributed to the development of the modern six-string instrument.
There are three main types of modern acoustic guitar: the classical guitar (nylon-string guitar), the steel-string acoustic guitar, and the archtop guitar. The tone of an acoustic guitar is produced by the vibration of the strings, which is amplified by the body of the guitar, which acts as a resonating chamber. The classical guitar is often played as a solo instrument using a comprehensive fingerpicking technique.
Electric guitars, introduced in the 1930s, rely on an amplifier that can electronically manipulate tone. Early amplified guitars employed a hollow body, but a solid body was found more suitable. Electric guitars have had a continuing profound influence on popular culture. Guitars are recognized as a primary instrument in genres such as blues, bluegrass, country, flamenco, jazz, jota, mariachi, metal, reggae, rock, soul, and many forms of pop.
The piano is a musical instrument played mainly by means of a keyboard. It is one of the most popular instruments in the world. Widely used in classical and jazz music for solo performances, ensemble use, chamber music and accompaniment, the piano is also very popular as an aid to composing and rehearsal. Although not portable and often expensive, the piano's versatility and ubiquity have made it one of the world's most familiar musical instruments.
Pressing a key on the piano's keyboard causes a felt-covered hammer to strike steel strings. The hammers rebound, allowing the strings to continue vibrating at their resonant frequency. These vibrations are transmitted through a bridge to a sounding board that more efficiently couples the acoustic energy to the air. The sound would otherwise be no louder than that directly produced by the strings. When the key is released, a damper stops the string's vibration. See the article on Piano key frequencies for a picture of the piano keyboard and the location of middle-C. In the Hornbostel-Sachs system of instrument classification, pianos are considered chordophones.
The word piano is a shortened form of pianoforte (PF), the Italian word for
The txistu [ˈtʃis̺tu] or chistu is a kind of fipple flute that became a symbol for the Basque folk revival. The name may stem from the general Basque word ziztu "to whistle" with palatalisation of the z (cf zalaparta > txalaparta). This three-hole pipe can be played with one hand, leaving the other one free to play a percussion instrument.
Evidence of the txistu first mentioned as such goes back to 1864. Yet it is apparent that it was used earlier, although it is not easy to establish when it started out; actually, it is impossible to do so, the txistu being the result of an evolution of the upright flutes widespread as early as the Late Middle Ages, when minstrels scattered all over the Iberian Peninsula brought in instruments that locals, noblemen first and common people later took on and developed. At the beginning, txistu players (txistularis) were named in romance written records after the tabor (pipe and tabor were played together): tamborer, tamborino, tambolín, tamborín, tamboril, músico tamboril, tamborilero, tamboriltero. However, when named after the flute, they are called in Spanish pífano, silbato, silbo, silbo vizcaíno, chilibistero to name a few.
The three-hole flute
The willow flute, also known as sallow flute (Norwegian: seljefløyte, Swedish: sälgflöjt or sälgpipa, Finnish: pitkähuilu or pajupilli), is a Scandinavian folk flute, or whistle, consisting of a simple tube with a transverse fipple mouthpiece and no finger holes. The mouthpiece is typically constructed by inserting a grooved plug into one end of the tube, and cutting an edged opening in the tube a short distance away from the plug.
Similar, however not the same instruments were made by peasants in Poland, usually using a different method described in sources as "kręcenie" (that nowadays means literally "rolling", at that time possibly also "drilling-gouging"), "ukręcanie", "ulinianie" (nowadays literally meaning: "making moulted"). Such instruments are mentioned in folk poems or songs.
The willow flute is a type of overtone flute. It is played by varying the force of the air blown into the mouthpiece, with the end of the tube being covered by the finger or left open. The tones produced are based on the harmonic series. Playing the instrument with the end of the tube covered produces one fundamental and its overtones, playing it with the end of the tube left open produces another
The Rhodes piano is an electro-mechanical piano, invented by Harold Rhodes during the 1950s and later manufactured in a number of models, first in collaboration with Fender and after 1965 by CBS.
As a member of the electrophone sub-group of percussion instruments, it employs a piano-like keyboard with hammers that hit small metal tines, amplified by electromagnetic pickups. A 2001 New York Times article described the instrument as "a pianistic counterpart to the electric guitar" having a "shimmering, ethereal sound."
The Rhodes piano was used extensively throughout the 1970s in all styles of music. It fell out of fashion for a while in the middle 1980s, principally due to the emergence of polyphonic and later digital synthesizers, but has enjoyed a huge resurgence of popularity since the 1990s — with contemporary artists highlighting the instrument, including Air, Radiohead, Portishead, The Album Leaf, D'Angelo, Erykah Badu, Chick Corea, Jamiroquai, Herbie Hancock, Steely Dan, The Doors and Stevie Wonder.
The last model, the MkV, was released in 1984, when the factory in Fullerton was closed. Rhodes Music Corporation tried to re-introduce a version of the instrument in 2007.
The esraj (Bengali: এস্রাজ; Hindi: इसराज; also called the Indian harp) is a string instrument found in two forms throughout the north, central, and east regions of India. It is a young instrument by Indian terms, being only about 200 years old. The dilruba is found in the north, where it is used in religious music and light classical songs in the urban areas. Its name is translated as "robber of the heart." The esraj is found in the east and central areas, particularly Bengal (Bangladesh and Indian states of West Bengal and Tripura) and it is used in a somewhat wider variety of musical styles than is the dilruba.
The Dilruba originates from the Taus and some argue is the work of the 10th Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh, whilst that of the Taus was the work of Guru Hargobind (the sixth guru of the Sikhs). The Dilruba was then produced to replace the previously heavy instrument (the Taus). This attempt was intended to 'scale down' the Taus into what is now known to be the Dilruba. This made it more convenient for the Sikh army to carry the instrument on horseback.
The structure of both instruments is very similar, each having a medium sized sitar-like neck with 20 heavy metal frets.
The cittern or cither (Fr. cistre, It. cetra, Ger. Cister, Sp. cistro, cedra, cítola) is a stringed instrument dating from the Renaissance. Modern scholars debate its exact history, but it is generally accepted that it is descended from the Medieval citole, or cytole. It looks much like the modern-day flat-back mandolin and the modern Irish bouzouki. Its flat-back design was simpler and cheaper to construct than the lute. It was also easier to play, smaller, less delicate and more portable. Played by all classes, the cittern was a premier instrument of casual music making much as is the guitar today.
The cittern is one of the few metal-strung instruments known from the Renaissance period. It generally has four courses (single, pairs or threes) of strings, one or more course being usually tuned in octaves, though instruments with more or fewer courses were made. The cittern may have a range of only an octave between its lowest and highest strings and employs a "re-entrant" tuning - a tuning in which the string that is physically uppermost is not the lowest, as is also the case with the five-string banjo for example. The tuning and narrow range allow the player a number of simple
A clap is the sound made by striking together two flat surfaces, as in the body parts of humans or animals. Humans clap with the palms of their hands, often in a constant drone to express appreciation or approval (see applause), but also in rhythm to match sounds in music and dance.
Some people slap the back of one hand into the palm of the other hand to signify urgency or enthusiasm; others consider it uncouth.
Perhaps the best-known koan involves (at least superficially) consideration of the act of clapping: "What is the sound of one hand clapping?"
Clapping is used as a percussion element in many forms of music, for example in Gospel music. In flamenco and sevillanas, two Spanish musical genres, clapping often sets the rhythm and is an integral part of the songs. A sampled or synthesized clap is also a staple of electronic and pop music.
Classical works performed entirely by clapping
Classical works which include clapping
The clapping patterns known as keplok are important in Javanese gamelan. A type of synthesized clap is popular in many rap and hip hop songs as well. This is derived from and mimics the technique used in older popular music, e.g. disco and funk of the 1970s, in
A hi-hat, or hihat, is a type of cymbal and stand used as a typical part of a drum kit by percussionists in R&B, hip-hop, disco, jazz, rock and roll, house, reggae and other forms of contemporary popular music. It is a standard part of the modern drum kit. The hi-hat consists of two cymbals that are mounted on a stand, one on top of the other, and a pedal which can be used to clash and hold the cymbals together.
Initial versions of the hi-hat were called clangers, which were small cymbals mounted onto a bass drum rim and struck with an arm on the bass drum pedal. Then came shoes, which were two hinged boards with cymbals on the ends that were clashed together. Next was the low-boy or low-hat, similar to a modern hi-hat stand, only with cymbals close to the ground. Hi-hats that were raised and could be played by hand as well as foot may have been developed around 1926 by Barney Walberg of the drum accessory company Walberg and Auge. Until the late 1960s, the standard hi-hats were 14 inches (36 cm), with 13 inches (33 cm) available as a less-common alternative in professional cymbal ranges and smaller sizes down to 12 inches (30 cm) restricted to children's kits. In the early 1970s,
An idiophone is any musical instrument which creates sound primarily by way of the instrument's vibrating, without the use of strings or membranes. It is the first of the four main divisions in the original Hornbostel-Sachs scheme of musical instrument classification (see List of idiophones by Hornbostel-Sachs number). In the early classification of Victor-Charles Mahillon, this group of instruments was called autophones.
Most percussion instruments which are not drums are idiophones. Hornbostel-Sachs divides idiophones into four main sub-categories. The first division is the struck idiophones (sometimes called concussion idiophones). This includes most of the non-drum percussion instruments familiar in the West. They include all idiophones which are made to vibrate by being hit, either directly with a stick or hand (like the wood block, singing bowl, triangle or marimba), or indirectly, by way of a scraping or shaking motion (like maracas or flexatone). Various types of bells fall into both categories.
The other three sub-divisions are rarer. They are plucked idiophones, such as the jaw harp, amplified cactus, kouxian, dan moi, music box or mbira (lamellophone / thumb piano);
The sarrusophone is a family of transposing musical instruments patented and placed into production by Pierre-Louis Gautrot in 1856. It was named after the French bandmaster Pierre-Auguste Sarrus (1813–1876) who is credited with the concept of the instrument, though it is not clear whether Sarrus benefited financially from this association. The instrument was intended to serve as a replacement in wind bands for the oboe and bassoon which, at that time, lacked the carrying power required for outdoor band music.
The sarrusophone was manufactured in the following sizes and had the following theoretical ranges:
The non-transposed range of the sarrusophone is nearly identical to that of the saxophone. The traditional conventional range of the saxophone is written B♭-F. Initially, Gautrot advertised the range of the sarrusophone to high F as well, but later fingering charts indicated a range to high G. Sometime after 1868, Gautrot also released a fingering chart indicating fingerings higher still up to a top B-flat, giving a range of three full octaves.
All members of the sarrusophone family are made of metal, with a conical bore, and the larger members of the family resemble the
The sousaphone is a type of tuba that is widely employed in marching bands. Designed so that it fits around the body of the musician and is supported by the left shoulder, the sousaphone may be readily played while being carried. The instrument is named after American bandmaster and composer John Philip Sousa, who popularized its use in his band.
The sousaphone was developed in the 1890s at the request of John Philip Sousa, who was unhappy with the hélicons used at that time by the United States Marine Band. The first sousaphone was either developed by J.W. Pepper, in 1893, or by C.G. Conn, in 1898. The hélicon is an instrument that is wrapped in a helical shape and can thus be worn around the player's body, facilitating marching activities. Most tuba-sized hélicons have a bell which points between straight up and to the player's left, and the bell is similar in size to that of a common European-style upright tuba. Sousa wanted a tuba that would send sound upward and over the band with a full warm tone, much like a concert (upright) tuba, an effect which could not be achieved with the more directional hélicon bell position. The new hélicon requested by Sousa would have an oversized
Steel guitar is a type of guitar or the method of playing the instrument. Developed in Hawaii in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, a steel guitar is usually positioned horizontally; strings are plucked with one hand, while the other hand changes the pitch of one or more strings with the use of a bar or slide called a steel (generally made of metal, but also of glass or other materials). The term steel guitar is often mistakenly used to describe any metal body resophonic guitar.
Steel guitar can describe:
Steel guitar refers to a method of playing on a guitar held horizontally, with the strings uppermost and the bass strings towards the player, and using a type of slide called a steel above the fingerboard rather than fretting the strings with the fingers. This may be done with any guitar, but is most common on instruments designed and produced for this style of play.
The technique was invented and popularized in Hawaii. Thus, the lap steel guitar is sometimes known as the Hawaiian guitar, particularly in documents from the early 20th century, and today any steel guitar is frequently called a Hawaiian steel guitar. However, in Hawaiian music, Hawaiian guitar means slack string
A transverse flute or side-blown flute is a flute which is held horizontally when played. The player blows "across" the embouchure hole, in a direction perpendicular to the flute's body length.
Transverse flutes include the Western classical flutes, the Indian classical flutes (the bansuri and the venu), the Chinese dizi, the Western fife, and a number of Japanese fue.
A washboard is a tool designed for hand washing clothing. With mechanized cleaning of clothing becoming more common by the end of the 20th century, the washboard has become better known for its originally subsidiary use as a musical instrument.
The traditional washboard is usually constructed with a rectangular wooden frame in which are mounted a series of ridges or corrugations for the clothing to be rubbed upon. For 19th century washboards, the ridges were often of wood; by the 20th century, ridges of metal were more common. A "fluted" metal washboard was patented in the United States in 1833. Zinc washboards were manufactured in the United States from the middle of the 19th century. In the late 20th century and early 21st century, ridges of galvanized steel are most common, but some modern boards are made of glass. Washboards with brass ridges are still made, and some who use washboards as musical instruments prefer the sound of the somewhat more expensive brass boards. One of the few musical instruments invented entirely in the United States is the Zydeco Frottoir (Zydeco Rubboard), a distillation of the washboard into essential elements (percussive surface with shoulder
The Chapman Stick (the Stick) is an electric musical instrument devised by Emmett Chapman in the early 1970s. A member of the guitar family, the Chapman Stick usually has ten or twelve individually tuned strings and has been used on music recordings to play bass lines, melody lines, chords or textures. Designed as a fully polyphonic chordal instrument, it can also cover several of these musical parts simultaneously.
A Stick looks like a wide version of the fretboard of an electric guitar, but with 8, 10 or 12 strings. It is, however, considerably longer and wider than a guitar fretboard. Unlike the electric guitar, it is usually played by tapping or fretting the strings, rather than plucking them. Instead of one hand fretting and the other hand plucking, both hands sound notes by striking the strings against the fingerboard just behind the appropriate frets for the desired notes.
For this reason, it can sound many more notes at once than some other stringed instruments, making it more comparable to a keyboard instrument than to other stringed instruments. This arrangement lends itself to playing multiple lines at once and many Stick players have mastered performing bass, chords and
The crumhorn is a musical instrument of the woodwind family, most commonly used during the Renaissance period. In modern times, there has been a revival of interest in Early Music, and crumhorns are being played again.
The name derives from the German Krumhorn (or Krummhorn or Krumporn) meaning bent horn. This relates to the old English crump meaning curve, surviving in modern English in 'crumpled' and 'crumpet' (a curved cake). The similar sounding French term cromorne when used correctly refers to a woodwind instrument of different design, though the term cromorne is often used in error synonymously with that of crumhorn.
The crumhorn is a capped reed instrument. Its construction is similar to that of the chanter of a bagpipe. A double reed is mounted inside a hi long pipe. Blowing into the windcap produces a musical note. The pitch of the note can be varied by opening or closing finger holes along the length of the pipe. One unusual feature of the crumhorn is its shape; the end is bent upwards in a curve resembling the letter 'J'. Some people think this is so that the sound produced from the crumhorn is directed toward the player to improve the intonation in consort
The floyarka (Ukrainian: Флоярка) is a type of sopilka, a traditional Ukrainian flute. It is characterized as an open-ended notched flute. The floyarka is a larger version of the frilka.
The floyarka is a pipe of approximately a 30 cm in length, (approximately 10 cm longer than the frilka). Traditionally, a Floyarka had six holes, although now ten holes are also common. One end is sharpened and the breath is broken against one of the sides of the tube at the playing end. The mouthpiece is sharpened into a cone-like edge and the instrument produces a sound similar to that of the flute.
The floyarka was often played at funerals in the Carpathian mountains. Shepherds were also able to accompany themselves with glutteral humming which produced an ostinato tone or drone.
The floyarka is often called a frilka or sometimes zubivka in central Ukraine.
The name is rather a contaminant from a Greek-Romanian filliation (more spread is the Slavic sopilka).
A glockenspiel (German pronunciation: [ˈɡlɔkənˌʃpiːl], glocken:bells and spiel:play) is a percussion instrument composed of a set of tuned keys arranged in the fashion of the keyboard of a piano. In this way, it is similar to the xylophone; however, the xylophone's bars are made of wood, while the glockenspiel's are metal plates or tubes, thus making it a metallophone. The glockenspiel, moreover, is usually smaller and higher in pitch.
In German, a carillon is also called a Glockenspiel, while in French, the glockenspiel is often called a carillon.
When used in a marching or military band, the bars are sometimes mounted in a portable case and held vertically, sometimes in a lyre-shaped frame. However, sometimes the bars are held horizontally using a harness similar to a marching snare harness. In orchestral use, the bars are mounted horizontally. A pair of hard, unwrapped mallets, generally with heads made of plastic or metal, are used to strike the bars, although mallet heads can also be made of rubber (though using too soft of rubber can make a dull sound). If laid out horizontally, a keyboard may be attached to the instrument to allow chords to be more easily played. Another
In music, the organ (from Greek όργανον organon, "organ, instrument, tool") is a keyboard instrument of one or more divisions, each played with its own keyboard operated either with the hands or with the feet. The organ is a relatively old musical instrument in the Western musical tradition, dating from the time of Ctesibius of Alexandria who is credited with the invention of the hydraulis. By around the 8th century it had overcome early associations with gladiatorial combat and gradually assumed a prominent place in the liturgy of the Catholic Church; subsequently it has re-emerged as a secular and recital instrument.
Pipe organs use wind moving through pipes to produce sounds. Since the 16th century, pipe organs have used various materials of pipes, which can vary widely in timbre and volume. The pipes are divided into ranks and controlled by the use of hand stops and/or combination pistons. Although the keyboard is not expressive as on a piano and does not affect dynamics (pressing a key only turns the sound on or off), some divisions may be enclosed in a swell box, allowing the dynamics to be controlled by shutters. Some special registers with free reed pipes are expressive.
The shakuhachi (尺八, pronounced [ɕakɯhatɕi]) is a Japanese end-blown flute. It was originally introduced from China into Japan in the 6th century and underwent a resurgence in the early Edo Period. The shakuhachi is traditionally made of bamboo, but versions now exist in ABS and hardwoods. It was used by the monks of the Fuke school of Zen Buddhism in the practice of suizen (吹禅, blowing meditation). Its soulful sound made it popular in 1980s pop music in the English-speaking world.
The instrument is normally tuned to the minor pentatonic scale.
The name shakuhachi means "1.8 shaku", referring to its size. It is a compound of two words:
Thus, "shaku-hachi" means "one shaku eight sun" (almost 55 centimeters), the standard length of a shakuhachi. Other shakuhachi vary in length from about 1.3 shaku up to 3.3 shaku. Although the sizes differ, all are still referred to generically as "shakuhachi".
Shakuhachi are usually made from the root end of a bamboo culm and are extremely versatile instruments. Professional players can produce virtually any pitch they wish from the instrument, and play a wide repertoire of original Zen music, ensemble music with koto, biwa, and shamisen, folk music,
The sitar is a plucked stringed instrument used mainly in Indian classical music, which is believed to have been derived from the ancient Indian instrument Veena and modified by a Mughal court musician to conform with the tastes of his Persian patrons and named after a Persian instrument called the setar (meaning "three strings"). Since then, it underwent many changes, and the modern sitar evolved in the 18th century India. It derives its resonance from sympathetic strings, a long hollow neck and a gourd resonating chamber.
Used widely throughout the Indian subcontinent, the sitar became known in the western world through the work of Ravi Shankar beginning in the late 1950s and early 1960s after The Kinks' top 10 single "See My Friends" featured a low tuned drone guitar which was widely mistaken to be the instrument. The sitar saw further use in popular music after The Beatles featured the sitar in their compositions, namely "Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)" and "Within You Without You". Their use of the instrument came as a result of George Harrison's taking lessons on how to play it from Shankar and Shambhu Das. Shortly after, Brian Jones of The Rolling Stones used a sitar
Steelpans (also known as steel drums or pans, and sometimes, collectively with other musicians, as a steel band or orchestra) is a musical instrument originating from The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. Steel pan musicians are called pannists.
The modern pan is a chromatically pitched percussion instrument (although some toy or novelty steelpans are tuned diatonically, and some older style round the neck instruments have even fewer notes), made from 55 gallon drums that formerly contained oil and like substances.
Drum refers to the steel drum containers from which the pans are made; the steeldrum is more correctly called a steel pan or pan as it falls into the idiophone family of instruments, and so is not a drum which is a membranophone.
The pan is struck using a pair of straight sticks tipped with rubber; the size and type of rubber tip varies according to the class of pan being played. Some musicians use four pansticks, holding two in each hand. This skill and performance has been conclusively shown to have grown out of Trinidad and Tobago's early 20th century Carnival percussion groups known as Tamboo Bamboo. The pan is the national instrument of Trinidad and Tobago. Since
The ukulele ( /ˌjuːkəˈleɪliː/ EW-kə-LAY-lee; from Hawaiian: ʻukulele [ˈʔukuˈlɛlɛ]), sometimes abbreviated to uke; is a member of the guitar family of instruments; it generally employs four nylon or gut strings or four courses of strings.
The ukulele originated in the 19th century as a Hawaiian interpretation of the machete, a small guitar-like instrument related to the cavaquinho, braguinha and the rajao, taken to Hawaii by Portuguese immigrants. It gained great popularity elsewhere in the United States during the early 20th century, and from there spread internationally.
The tone and volume of the instrument varies with size and construction. Ukuleles commonly come in four sizes: soprano, concert, tenor, and baritone.
Ukuleles are commonly associated with music from Hawaii where the name roughly translates as "jumping flea," perhaps due to movement of the player's fingers. Legend attributes it to the nickname of Englishman Edward William Purvis, one of King Kalākaua's officers, due to his small size, fidgety manner, and playing expertise. According to Queen Liliʻuokalani, the last Hawaiian monarch, the name means “the gift that came here,” from the Hawaiian words uku (gift or
The vibraphone (also known as the vibraharp or simply the vibes) is a musical instrument in the struck idiophone subfamily of the percussion family.
The vibraphone is similar in appearance to the xylophone, marimba and glockenspiel. Each bar is paired with a resonator tube having a motor-driven butterfly valve at its upper end, mounted on a common shaft, which produces a tremolo or vibrato effect while spinning. The vibraphone also has a sustain pedal similar to that used on a piano; when the pedal is up, the bars are all damped and the sound of each bar is shortened; with the pedal down, they will sound for several seconds.
The most common uses of the vibraphone are within jazz music, where it often plays a featured role, and in the wind ensemble, as a standard component of the percussion section.
The first musical instrument called "vibraphone" was marketed by the Leedy Manufacturing Company in the United States in 1921. However, this instrument differed in significant details from the instrument now called the vibraphone. The Leedy vibraphone achieved a degree of popularity after it was used in the novelty recordings of "Aloha 'Oe" and "Gypsy Love Song" by vaudeville performer
The tres is a 3-course, 6-string chordophone which was created in Cuba. A tres player is called a tresero in Cuba and a tresista in Puerto Rico.
In Cuba, the son was created as a song and a salon dance genre. Originally, a guitar, tiple or bandola, played rhythm and lead in the son, but ultimately these were replaced by a new native-born instrument which was a fusion of all three called the Cuban Tres.
The Cuban tres has three courses (groups) of two strings each for a total of six strings. From the low pitch to the highest, the principal tuning is in C Major: G, C, E. However, today many treseros are playing a step up A, D, F# or D Major.
The Puerto Rican Tres was created from the Cuban Tres. Unlike the Cuban variety, which has a guitar-like shape, the Puerto Rican tres is shaped like a Puerto Rican Cuatro, with cut outs.
The Puerto Rican tres has 9 strings in 3 courses and is tuned G4 G3 G4, C4 C4 C4, E4 E3 E4.
Players of the Puerto Rican tres are called tresistas.
Bagpipes are a class of musical instrument, aerophones, using enclosed reeds fed from a constant reservoir of air in the form of a bag. Though the Scottish Great Highland Bagpipe and Irish uilleann pipes have the greatest international visibility, bagpipes have been played for centuries throughout large parts of Europe, the Caucasus, around the Persian Gulf and in Northern Africa. The term "bagpipe" is equally correct in the singular or plural, although in the English language, pipers most commonly talk of "the pipes", "a set of pipes", or "a stand of pipes".
A set of bagpipes minimally consists of an air supply, a bag, a chanter, and, usually, at least one drone. Most bagpipes have more than one drone (and, sometimes, more than one chanter) in various combinations, held in place in stocks — sockets that fasten the various pipes to the bag.
The most common method of supplying air to the bag is by blowing into a blowpipe, or blowstick. In some pipes the player must cover the tip of the blowpipe with his tongue while inhaling, but most blowpipes have a non-return valve that eliminates this need.
An innovation, dating from the 16th or 17th centuries, is the use of a bellows to supply
The cimbalom is a concert hammered dulcimer: a type of chordophone composed of a large, trapezoidal box with metal strings stretched across its top. It is a musical instrument popularized in Hungary and commonly found throughout the group of Central-Eastern European nations and cultures which composed Austria-Hungary (1867–1918), namely contemporary Belarus, Hungary, Romania, Moldova, Ukraine, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. It is also very popular in Greece. The cimbalom is (typically) played by striking two beaters against the strings. The steel treble strings are arranged in groups of 4 and are tuned in unison. The bass strings which are over-spun with copper, are arranged in groups of 3 and are also tuned in unison. The Hornbostel-Sachs musical instrument classification system registers the cimbalom with the number 314.122-4,5. Moreover, the instrument name “cimbalom” also denotes earlier, smaller versions of the cimbalom, and folk cimbaloms, of different tone groupings, string arrangements, and box types. In English, the cimbalom spelling is the most common, followed by the variants, derived from Austria-Hungary’s languages, cimbál, cymbalom, cymbalum, ţambal,
The Wagner tuba is a comparatively rare brass instrument that combines elements of both the French horn and the tuba. Also referred to as the Bayreuth tuba, it was originally created for Richard Wagner's operatic cycle Der Ring des Nibelungen. Since then, other composers have written for it, most notably Anton Bruckner, in whose Symphony No. 7 a quartet of them is first heard in the slow movement in memory of Wagner. The euphonium is often used as a substitute in modern orchestras.
Wagner was inspired to invent this instrument after a brief visit to Paris in 1853, when he visited the shop of Adolphe Sax, the inventor of the saxophone. Wagner wanted an instrument that could intone the Valhalla motif somberly like a trombone but with a less incisive tone like that of a horn. That effect was obtained by a conical bore (like a horn) and the use of the horn mouthpiece (tapered as opposed to a cup mouthpiece such as on a trombone). The instrument is built with rotary valves, which (like those on the horn) are played with the left hand.
The Wagner tuba nominally exists in two sizes, tenor in B-flat and bass in F, with ranges comparable to those of horns in the same pitches while being
A wind instrument is a musical instrument that contains some type of resonator (usually a tube), in which a column of air is set into vibration by the player blowing into (or over) a mouthpiece set at the end of the resonator. The pitch of the vibration is determined by the length of the tube and by manual modifications of the effective length of the vibrating column of air. In the case of some wind instruments, sound is produced by blowing through a reed; others require buzzing into a metal mouthpiece.
All wind instruments use a combination of the first or second or third and the fourth method to extend their register.
Wind instruments are typically grouped into two families:
Although brass instruments were originally made of brass and woodwind instruments have traditionally been made of wood, the material used to make the body of the instrument is not always a reliable guide to its family type. A more accurate way to determine whether an instrument is brass or woodwind is to examine how the player produces sound. In brass instruments, the player's lips vibrate, causing the air within the instrument to vibrate. In woodwind instruments the player either:
For example, the saxophone
An electronic keyboard (also called digital keyboard, portable keyboard and home keyboard) is an electronic or digital keyboard instrument.
The major components of a typical modern electronic keyboard are:
Electronic keyboard is combination of processes of pressing mechanical keys and producing sounds by means of electric circuitry.
In the 12th century clavichord and harpsichord were developed. As technology got developed more sophisticated and standard keyboard got developed with 12-tone keyboard. In the 18 century, the piano was adopted which allowed a new way of controlling volume by varying the force of the press.
The next step was to develop electronic sound technology. The first musical instrument was Denis d'or which was built by Vaclav Prokop Dovis in 1753. It was incorporated with 700 strings temporarily electrified to enhance their sonic qualities. In 1760 Jean Baptiste Thillaie de Laborde developed clavecin electrique. This was keyboard instrument incorporated with plectra and activated by electricity.
But both instruments were not using electricity to produce sound. Elisha Gray invented one of first electric musical instrument called musical telegraph. It was making
The regal was a small portable organ, furnished with beating reeds and having two bellows. The instrument enjoyed its greatest popularity during the Renaissance. The name was also sometimes given to the reed stops of a pipe organ, and more especially the vox humana stop.
The sound of the regal was produced by brass reeds held in resonators. The length of the vibrating portion of the reed determined its pitch and was regulated by means of a wire passing through the socket, the other end pressing on the reed at the proper distance. The resonators in the regal were not intended to reinforce the vibrations of the beating reed or of its overtones (as in the reed pipes of the organ), but merely to form an attachment to keep the reed in place without interfering with its function. A common compass was C/E--c′′′ (four octaves, with a short octave in the bass), though this was by no means standardized. Most regals were placed on a table to be played, and required two people—one to play the instrument, and another to pump the bellows.
Michael Praetorius (1618) mentions a larger regal used in the court orchestras of some of the German princes, more like a positive organ, containing reeds at
A shofar (Hebrew: שופר) is a horn, traditionally that of a ram, used for Jewish religious purposes. Shofar-blowing is incorporated in synagogue services on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Shofar come in a variety of sizes.
The shofar is mentioned frequently in the Hebrew Bible, the Talmud and rabbinic literature. The blast of a shofar emanating from the thick cloud on Mount Sinai made the Israelites tremble in awe (Exodus 19:16).
The shofar was used to announce holidays (Ps. lxxxi. 4), and the Jubilee year (Lev. 25:9). The first day of the seventh month (Tishri) is termed "a memorial of blowing" (Lev. 23:24), or "a day of blowing" (Num. 29:1), the shofar. They were for signifying the start of a war (Josh. 6:4; Judges 3:27; 7:16, 20; I Sam. 8:3). Later, it was also employed in processions (II Sam. 6:15; I Chron. 15:28), as musical accompaniment (Ps. 98:6; comp. ib. 47:5) and eventually it was inserted into the temple orchestra by David (Ps. 150:3). Note that the 'trumpets' described in Numbers 10 are a different instrument, described by the Hebrew word 'trumpet' (Hebrew: חצוצרה; ḥaṣoṣrah), not the word for shofar (Hebrew: שופר).
The Torah describes the first day of the seventh
The accordion (from Greek a + cordion - α + χόρδιον - meaning without chord) is a box-shaped musical instrument of the bellows-driven free-reed aerophone family, sometimes colloquially referred to as a squeezebox. A person who plays the accordion is called an accordionist.
The instrument is played by compressing or expanding the bellows whilst pressing buttons or keys, causing valves, called pallets, to open, which allow air to flow across strips of brass or steel, called reeds, that vibrate to produce sound inside the body.
This instrument is sometimes considered a one-man-band, as it needs no accompanying instrument. The performer normally plays the melody on buttons or keys on the right-hand manual, and the accompaniment, consisting of bass and pre-set chord buttons, on the left-hand manual.
The accordion is often used in folk music in Europe, North America and South America, and in some countries, such as Brazil and Mexico, it is also commonly used in mainstream pop music. In Europe and North-America, it is often associated with busking. Some popular music acts also make use of the instrument. Additionally, the accordion is sometimes used in both solo and orchestra performances
A dolceola is a musical instrument resembling a miniature piano, but which is in fact a zither with a keyboard. It is used in traditional holy blues and has an unusual, angelic, music-box sound. Dolceolas were made by the Toledo Symphony Company from 1903 to 1907.
Paul Mason Howard accompanied Lead Belly on doceola on some of his 1944 Capitol Records sides. A listen to those recordings, collected under the title Grasshoppers In My Pillow, reveals the characteristic clatter of the dolceola's three-level keyboard action.
Although the gospel musician Washington Phillips was thought to have played the dolceola on several of his recordings, he was actually playing a compound instrument he fashioned out of two East Boston Phonoharp Company celestaphones.
A drum kit, drum set or trap set is a collection of drums and other percussion instruments set up to be played by a single player. Percussion instruments can be divided into three main categories: idiophones which when played give out their own natural sound, membranophones, which depend for their sound on a membrane stretched over a resonator, and chordophones, involving struck strings. Drum kits are both idiophones and membranophones.
More specifically, a modern kit (for a right-handed player), as used in popular music, taught in many music schools, and for which qualifications are available from Trinity College London consists of:
A drum kit is usually played seated on a drum stool or throne.
Most drummers extend their kits from this basic pattern, adding more drums, more cymbals, and many other instruments. In some styles of music particular extensions are normal, for example double bass drums in heavy metal music. On the other extreme but more rarely, some performers omit elements from even the basic setup, also dependent on the style of music and individual preferences.
The first recognizable ancestors of the modern drum kit were born in the Vaudeville era. Pecuniary and
The khene (/ˈkɛn/; also spelled "khaen", "kaen" and "khen"; Lao: ແຄນ; Thai: แคน, RTGS: khaen, pronounced [kʰɛ̄ːn]; Khmer: គែន) is a mouth organ of Lao origin whose pipes, which are usually made of bamboo, are connected with a small, hollowed-out hardwood reservoir into which air is blown, creating a sound similar to that of the violin. Today associated with the Lao of Laos and Northeast Thailand, similar instruments date back to the Bronze Age of Southeast Asia. In Cambodia, it is used among the ethnic Lao population of the province of Stung Treng and is used in lakhon ken, a Cambodian dance drama genre that features the khene as the premiere instrument.
The most interesting characteristic of the khene is its free reed, which is made of brass or silver. It is related to Western free-reed instruments such as the harmonium, concertina, accordion, harmonica, and bandoneon, which were developed beginning in the 18th century from the Chinese sheng, a related instrument, a specimen of which had been carried to St. Petersburg, Russia.
The khene uses a pentatonic scale in one of two modes (thang sun and thang yao), each mode having three possible keys. The khaen has five different lai, or
The baritone horn is a member of the brass instrument family. It has a predominantly cylindrical bore as do the trumpet and trombone and uses a large mouthpiece much like those of a trombone or euphonium, although it is a bit smaller. Some baritone mouthpieces will sink into a euphonium's mouthpiece tube. It is pitched in B♭, one octave below the B♭ trumpet. It is a type of low brass instrument. In the UK the baritone is frequently found in brass bands. The baritone horn is also a common instrument in high school and college bands, as older baritones are often found in schools' inventories, however, these are gradually being replaced by intermediate-level euphoniums.
The baritone is pitched in concert B♭ meaning that when no valves are in use the instrument will produce partials of the B♭ harmonic series. Music for the baritone horn can be written in either the bass clef or the treble clef. When reading from the bass clef, the baritone horn is a non-transposing instrument. However, when written in the treble clef it is often used as transposing instrument, transposing downwards a major ninth, so that written middle C for the baritone is concert B♭ below low C, with the fingerings
An acoustic guitar is a guitar that uses only an acoustic sound board to help transmitting the strings' vibrational energy to the air in order to produce a sound. The initial timbre and harmonics of the sound in an acoustic guitar are produced by the plucking of the string. The frequencies produced depend on string length, mass, and tension. The soundboard will add various resonant modes due to its own mix of bracing, damping, and undamped resonance.
The acoustic guitar's soundboard also has a strong effect on the loudness of the guitar. No amplification actually occurs in this process, in the sense that no energy is externally added to increase the loudness of the sound (as would be the case with an electronic amplifier). All the energy is provided by the plucking of the string. But without a soundboard, the string would just "cut" through the air without actually moving it much. The soundboard increases the surface of the vibrating area (initially just the strings), in a process called impedance matching. The soundboard has a much easier task to move the air than the string alone, because it is large - it can "push" the air better because the impedance of the soundboard is a
A baroque violin is, in common usage, any violin whose neck, fingerboard, bridge, and tailpiece are of the type used during the baroque period. Such an instrument may be an original built during the baroque and never changed to modern form; a modern replica built as a baroque violin; or an older instrument which has been converted (or re-converted) to baroque form. "Baroque cellos" and "baroque violas" have had similar modifications made to their form.
Following period practices, most baroque violinists use three upper plain gut strings, lending a richer blend of overtones to the sound. Baroque violinists commonly play without a chin-rest or shoulder-rest: the chin-rest was not invented until ca. 1820 by Louis Spohr (as he claims in his ca. 1830 Violinschule) and did not catch on quickly; the shoulder-rest is a mid 20th-century creation. The relaxed and natural baroque violin posture is quite different from the more tense modern violin position.
The baroque violin, as played today, is often positioned more parallel to the floor than the modern violin. Yet in Francesco Geminiani's The Art of Playing on the Violin (London, 1752; fasc. rpt. London: Oxford Univ. Pr., 1952), and most
The bass saxophone is one of the largest members of the saxophone family- larger than the more commonly encountered baritone saxophone. It was the first type of saxophone presented to the public, when Adolphe Sax presented a bass saxophone in C at an exhibition in Brussels in 1841. The modern bass saxophone is a transposing instrument pitched in B♭, an octave below the tenor saxophone. The bass saxophone is not commonly used, although in the 1920s, it was used in some jazz recordings.
The instrument was first used in 1844, both by Hector Berlioz in an arrangement of his Chant sacred, and by Georges Kastner in his opera Le Dernier Roi de Judas. Leonard Bernstein’s original score for West Side Story includes bass saxophone, as does Meredith Willson’s Music Man and Sandy Wilson’s The Boy Friend. American composer Warren Benson has championed the use of the instrument in his music for concert band.
Although bass saxophones in C were made for orchestral use, modern instruments are in B♭. This puts them a perfect fourth lower than the baritone sax and an octave lower than the tenor sax. The range is similar to that of the B♭ contrabass clarinet. Music is written in treble clef, just as
The cavaquinho (pronounced [kavɐˈkiɲu] in Portuguese) is a small string instrument of the European guitar family with four wire or gut strings. It is also called machimbo, machim, machete (in the Portuguese Atlantic islands), manchete or marchete, braguinha or braguinho, or cavaco.
The most common tuning is D-G-B-D (from lower to higher pitches); other tunings include D-A-B-E (Portuguese ancient tuning, made popular by Júlio Pereira) and G-G-B-D and A-A-C#-E. Guitarists often use D-G-B-E tuning to emulate the highest four strings of the guitar. The G-C-E-A tuning is sometimes used to emulate the soprano/tenor ukulele, an instrument developed from the cavaquinhos brought to Hawai'i by Portuguese immigrants in the late 19th century. A cavaquinho player is called a cavaquista.
The origins of this Portuguese instrument are not easily found. Gonçalo Sampaio, who explains the survival of Minho region’s archaic and Hellenistic modes by possible Greek influences on the ancient Gallaeci of the region, stresses the link between this instrument and historical Hellenistic tetrachords. The author holds that the cavaquinho and the guitar may have been brought to Braga by the Biscayans.
The helicon is a brass musical instrument in the tuba family. Most are B♭ basses, but they also commonly exist in E♭, F, and tenor sizes, as well as other types to a lesser extent.
The sousaphone is a specialized version of helicon. The original sousaphone produced by the J.W. Pepper Company had an upright bell, hence the nickname "raincatcher". Later versions differ primarily in two ways: a bell shaped to face forwards with a larger flare, and a bell diameter of 22 to 28 inches, and a "goose-neck" leadpipe which offers greater adjustability of mouthpiece position at the expense of tone quality, while both instruments have circular shapes and are designed to be worn on the shoulder.
The instrument is very popular in Central and Eastern Europe and is a common choice for military fanfares. It is used by Ed Neuhauser of the traditional folk band Bellowhead.
Its range is two octaves below that of a cornet.
The helicon is derived from the saxhorn, or the saxtuba. Helicons were first used in the 1860s for use in Cavalry Bands, then later used in Military marching bands.
The German manufacturer Melton developed these instruments using the acoustical proportions of the mighty Červený
The Qanun (Persian: قانون qānūn ; Greek: κανονάκι, plural κανονάκια; Armenian: քանոն k’anon; Arabic: قانون qānūn, plural قوانين qawānīn; Azerbaijani and Turkish: kanun; qanún or kanun) is a string instrument found in the 10th century in Farab in Iran. The name derives from the Greek word "κανών," which means rule, norm, principle. Its traditional music is based on Maqamat. It is essentially a zither with a narrow trapezoidal soundboard. Nylon or PVC strings are stretched over a single bridge poised on fish-skins on one end, attached to tuning pegs at the other end. The kanun, especially in ancient Greek times was known as the psaltery. Kanuns used in Turkey have 26 courses of strings, with three strings per course. It is played on the lap by plucking the strings with two tortoise-shell picks, one in each hand, or by the fingernails, and has a range of three and a half octaves, from A2 to E6. The dimensions of Turkish kanuns are typically 95 to 100 cm (37-39") long, 38 to 40 cm (15-16") wide and 4 to 6 cm (1.5-2.3") high. The instrument also has special latches for each course, called mandals. These small levers, which can be raised or lowered quickly by the performer while the
A rainstick is a long, hollow tube partially filled with small pebbles or beans that has small pins or thorns arranged helically on its inside surface. When the stick is upended, the pebbles fall to the other end of the tube, making a sound reminiscent of rain falling. It is designated 112.1+133.1 in the Hornbostel–Sachs classification system.
The rainstick is believed to have been invented in Chile or Peru and was played in the belief it could bring about rainstorms. Rainsticks are usually made from any of several species of cactus. The cacti, which are hollow, are dried in the sun. The spines are removed, then driven into the cactus like nails. Pebbles or other small objects are placed inside the rainstick, and the ends are sealed. A sound like falling water is made when the rainstick has its direction changed to a vertical position.
Rainsticks may also be made with other common materials like paper towel rolls instead of cactus, and nails or toothpicks instead of thorns and are often sold to tourists visiting parts of Latin America, including the Southern United States.
The recorder is a woodwind musical instrument of the family known as fipple flutes or internal duct flutes—whistle-like instruments which include the tin whistle. The recorder is end-blown and the mouth of the instrument is constricted by a wooden plug, known as a block or fipple. It is distinguished from other members of the family by having holes for seven fingers (the lower one or two often doubled to facilitate the production of semitones) and one for the thumb of the uppermost hand. The bore of the recorder is tapered slightly, being widest at the mouthpiece end and narrowest towards the foot on Baroque recorders, or flared almost like a trumpet at the bottom on Renaissance instruments. Recorders can be made out of wood, plastic or ivory.
The recorder was popular in medieval times through the baroque era, but declined in the 18th century in favour of orchestral woodwind instruments, such as the flute, oboe, and clarinet. During its heyday, the recorder was traditionally associated with pastoral scenes, miraculous events, funerals, marriages and amorous scenes. Images of recorders can be found in literature and artwork associated with all of these. Purcell, Bach, Telemann and
The Chinese sheng (Chinese: 笙; Pinyin shēng) is a mouth-blown free reed instrument consisting of vertical pipes.
It is one of the oldest Chinese instruments, with images depicting its kind dating back to 1100 BC, and there are actual instruments from the Han era that have been preserved today. Traditionally, the sheng has been used as an accompaniment instrument for solo suona or dizi performances. It is one of the main instruments in kunqu and some other forms of Chinese opera. Traditional small ensembles also make use of the sheng, such as the wind and percussion ensembles in northern China. In the modern large Chinese orchestra, it is used for both melody and accompaniment
The sheng has been used in the works of a few non-Chinese composers, including Lou Harrison, Tim Risher, Daniel Bjarnason, Brad Catler, and Christopher Adler. Some believe that Johann Wilde and Pere Amiot traveled to China and brought the first shengs to Europe in 1740 and 1777 respectively, although there is evidence that free reed musical instruments similar to shengs were known in Europe a century earlier.
Chinese free-reed wind instruments named he and yu were first mentioned in bone oracle writings dating
The tabla (or tabl, tabla) (Berber: e'ṯbel, Punjabi: ਤਬਲਾ,Hindi: तबला, Marathi: तबला, Kannada: ತಬಲ, Telugu: తబల, Tamil: தபேலா, Malayalam: തബല, Bengali: তবলা, Nepali: तबला, Urdu: طبلہ, Arabic: طبل، طبلة, Persian: طبل) is a popular Indian percussion instrument (of the membranophone family, similar to bongos), used in Hindustani classical music and in popular and devotional music of the Indian subcontinent. The instrument consists of a pair of hand drums of contrasting sizes and timbres. The term 'tabla is derived from an Arabic word, tabl, which simply means "drum."
Playing technique involves extensive use of the fingers and palms in various configurations to create a wide variety of different sounds, reflected in the mnemonic syllables (bol). The heel of the hand is used to apply pressure or in a sliding motion on the larger drum so that the pitch is changed during the sound's decay.
The tabla was invented in India yet the history of the instrument remains uncertain, and has been the subject of sometimes heated debate. The carvings in Bhaja Caves in the state of Maharashtra in India shows a woman playing Tabla and another performing a dance, dating back to 200 BC. Rebecca Stewart
The steel-string acoustic guitar is a modern form of guitar that descends from the classical guitar, but is strung with steel strings for a brighter, louder sound. It is often referred to simply as an acoustic guitar, though the nylon-strung classical guitar is also sometimes called an acoustic guitar.
The most common type is often called a flat-top guitar, to distinguish it from the more specialized archtop guitar and other variations.
The standard tuning for an acoustic guitar is E-A-D-G-B-E (low to high), although many players, particularly fingerpickers, use alternate tunings (scordatura), such as "open G" (D-G-D-G-B-D), "open D" (D-A-D-F♯-A-D), or "drop D" (D-A-D-G-B-E).
There are many variations in construction and materials used in steel-string guitars. Different combinations of woods and construction elements (for example, how the top is braced) affect the timbre or "tone" of the guitar. Many players and luthiers feel a well-made guitar's tone improves over time.
Acoustic guitars are commonly constructed in several different body shapes. In general, the guitar's soundbox can be thought of as composed of two connected chambers: the upper bouts and lower bouts (a bout being
The lyre (Greek: λύρα) is a stringed musical instrument known for its use in Greek classical antiquity and later. The word comes from the Greek "λύρα" (lyra) and the earliest reference to the word is the Mycenaean Greek ru-ra-ta-e, meaning "lyrists", written in Linear B syllabic script. The lyres of Ur, excavated in ancient Mesopotamia (modern Iraq), date to 2500 BC. The earliest picture of a lyre with seven strings appears in the famous sarcophagus of Hagia Triada (a Minoan settlement in Crete). The sarcophagus was used during the Mycenaean occupation of Crete (1400 BC). The recitations of the Ancient Greeks were accompanied by lyre playing. The lyre of classical antiquity was ordinarily played by being strummed with a plectrum, like a guitar or a zither, rather than being plucked, like a harp. The fingers of the free hand silenced the unwanted strings in the chord. The lyre is similar in appearance to a small harp but with distinct differences.
The word lyre can either refer specifically to a common folk-instrument, which is a smaller version of the professional kithara and eastern-Aegean barbiton, or lyre can refer generally to all three instruments as a family.
The mezzo-soprano saxophone, sometimes called the F alto saxophone, is an instrument in the saxophone family. It is in the key of F, pitched a whole step above the alto saxophone. Its size and the sound are similar to the E♭ alto, although the upper register sounds more like a B♭ soprano. Very few mezzo-sopranos exist — they were only produced in 1928 and 1929 by the C.G. Conn company. They were not popular and did not sell widely, as their production coincided with the Wall Street Crash of 1929 and the Great Depression. Harsh economic conditions forced Conn to reduce the range of saxophones they produced to the most popular models.
Conn used the surplus stock of mezzo-sopranos to teach instrument repair in Conn's Elkhart workshops. Typically, a Conn instructor would deliberately damage the mezzo-sopranos (e.g. dropping them onto a concrete floor) and the students would then be tasked with repairing them. The repeated wear and tear of these actions eventually destroyed the saxophones.
The mezzo-soprano is the only saxophone pitched in F, apart from a few prototypes of an F baritone saxophone. Although Maurice Ravel's 1928 orchestral work Boléro calls for a sopranino saxophone in F,
The twelve-string guitar is an acoustic or electric guitar with 12 strings in 6 courses, which produces a richer, more ringing tone than a standard six-string guitar. Essentially, it is a type of guitar with a natural chorus effect due to the subtle differences in the frequencies produced by each of the two strings on each course.
The strings are placed in courses of two strings each that are usually played together. The two strings in each bass course are normally tuned an octave apart, while each pair of strings in the treble courses are tuned in unison. The tuning of the second string in the third course (G) varies: some players use a unison string while others prefer the distinctive high-pitched, bell-like quality an octave string makes in this position. Some players, either in search of distinctive tone or for ease of playing, will remove some of the doubled strings. For example, removing the higher octave from the three bass courses simplifies playing running bass lines, but keeps the extra treble strings for the full strums.
The strings are generally arranged such that the first string of each pair to be struck on a downward strum is the higher octave string; however, this
This article refers to chande drum, not to be confused with chenda drum.
The chande is a drum used in the traditional and classical music of South India and particularly in Karnataka. It provides rhythmic accompaniment in several dance dramas of South India such as Yakshagana. It follows the Yakshagana Tala system. The rhythms are based on pre-classical music forms, folk groves and some rhythms are similar to Karnataka Sangeta and to lesser extent Hindustani Sangeetha. There are different varieties in this instrument. Two major varieties are the Badagu Thittu Chande (Northern School) and the Thenku Thittu Chande (Southern School). The later is also spelt as chenda and is used exclusively in the art forms of southern costal Karnataka and Kerala. This article deals with Badagu Thittu Chande used exclusively in Yakshagana of Karnataka. The chande used in Badagu Thittu is structurally and acoustically different from chenda used in Kerala.
In ancient Hindu sculpture, painting, and mythology, the chande is often depicted as the instrument used to declare war (Rana Chande - war drum). This instrument can produce complicated rhythms that can be heard from more than 3 km.
Its body is
The Great Highland Bagpipe (Scottish Gaelic: a' phìob mhòr; often abbreviated GHB in English) is a type of bagpipe native to Scotland. It has achieved widespread recognition through its usage in the British military and in pipe bands throughout the world.
The bagpipe is first attested in Scotland around 1400 AD, having previously appeared in European artwork in Spain in the 13th century. The earliest references to bagpipes in Scotland are in a military context, and it is in that context that the Great Highland Bagpipe became established in the British military and achieved the widespread prominence it enjoys today, whereas other bagpipe traditions throughout Europe, ranging from Portugal to Russia, almost universally went into decline by the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Though widely famous for its role in military and civilian pipe bands, the Great Highland Bagpipe is also used for a solo virtuosic style called piobaireachd, a.k.a. pibroch.
Though popular belief sets varying dates for the introduction of bagpipes to Scotland, concrete evidence is limited until approximately the 15th century. The Clan Menzies still owns a remnant of a set of bagpipes said to have been
The saw u (Thai: ซออู้, pronounced [sɔː ʔûː], RTGS: so u, also spelled saw ou) is a Thai bowed string instrument. It has a lower pitch than the saw duang and is the lowest sounding of the saw family.
The soundbox is made from a coconut shell that is covered on the open front by cowskin. The saw u is held vertically and has two silk strings that are played with a bow. The bow is between the strings and the player tilts the bow to play each string. The bow is made out of horse tail hair like every other bow and needs to have rosin put on occasionaly just like a western stringed innstrumet. The saw u is a very fragile instrument and is played traditionally on the lap sitting down. The saw u can be played as a solo instrument in some cases but is mainly used for the backbone in some ensembles because of its rich, dark, and mellow tone. The saw u perfoms its best when playing slow to moderate paced melodys. The sound that the saw u makes is more fit for those types of songs rather than fast paced melodys. The morn (bridge) that rests at the bottom is extremely sensitive and drifts over time, causing changes in tone. The saw u is similar to the Cambodian tro u and the Chinese yehu.
The shamisen or samisen (三味線, literally "three strings"), also called sangen (三絃, literally "three strings"), is a three-stringed, Japanese musical instrument played with a plectrum called a bachi. The Japanese pronunciation is usually "shamisen" but sometimes "jamisen" when used as a suffix (e.g., Tsugaru-jamisen). (In western Japan, and often in Edo-period sources, it is sometimes "samisen.")
The shamisen is a plucked stringed instrument. Its construction follows a model similar to that of a guitar or a banjo, employing a neck, and strings stretched across a resonating body. The neck of the shamisen is fretless, and is slimmer than that of a guitar or banjo. The body, called the dō (胴), resembles a drum, having a hollow body that is taut front and back with skin, in the manner of a banjo. The skin used depends on the genre of music, and level of skill of the player. Student shamisens often use dog skin, and sometimes plastic, as they are cheaper to replace, and more durable. The shamisens of professional players are often taut in cat skin, as it is more delicate and expensive. It is said that the best sound quality is produced from a shamisen bound in cat skin. In the past a
The bowed psaltery is a type of psaltery or zither that is played with a bow. In contrast with the centuries-old plucked psaltery, the bowed psaltery appears to be a 20th Century invention.
In 1925 a German patent was issued to the Clemens Neuber Company for a bowed psaltery which also included a set of strings arranged in chords, so that one could play the melody on the bowed psaltery strings, and strum accompaniment with the other hand. These are usually called "violin zithers".
Similar instruments were being produced by American companies of the same time period, often with Hawaiian-inspired names, such as Hawaiian Art Violin or Violin-Uke, and marketed for use in playing the Hawaiian music, which was popular in the United States in the 1920s. These instruments are not typically referred to as psalteries, but by the various trade names they were sold under, such as Ukelin.
Today, the bowed psaltery is most often produced without chord accompaniment strings (though some modern players retune the chromatic side to produce chords, and play it in the manner of the violin zither).
After the Second World War, Walter Mittman, a primary school teacher in Westphalia, popularized the
The Synthaxe Drumitar is an instrument created by Roy "Future Man" Wooten of Béla Fleck and the Flecktones. The Drumitar comprises piezo elements mounted in a guitar shaped body, connected by cable to assorted MIDI devices including samplers and drum machines. The instrument is one of a kind, and it was originally modified from a SynthAxe previously owned by jazz musician Lee Ritenour.
The Zendrum is a similar instrument that is commercially available.
The Fender Precision Bass (often shortened to "P Bass") is an electric bass.
Designed by Leo Fender as a prototype in 1950 and brought to market in 1951, the Precision was the first electric bass to earn widespread attention and use. A revolutionary instrument for the time, the Precision Bass has made an immeasurable impact on the sound of popular music ever since. The body of the bass is very similar to the Fender Stratocaster.
Although the Precision was the first mass-produced and widely-used bass, it was not the first model of the instrument, as is sometimes believed. That distinction was claimed in the late 1930s by the Audiovox Manufacturing Company in Seattle, Washington.
In its stock configuration, the Precision Bass is an alder or ash-bodied solid body instrument equipped with a single split-coil humbucking pickup and a one-piece maple neck with rosewood or maple fingerboard and 20 frets. To this day, the Precision Bass is among the best-selling electric basses of all time.
The Standard P-Bass is sanded, painted and assembled in Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico along with the other Standard Series guitars. As of December 5, 2008, the Standard P-Bass has been updated with
The kit violin, dancing master's kit, or kit (Tanzmeistergeige in German), is a stringed musical instrument. It is essentially a very small violin, designed to fit in a pocket — hence its other common name, the pochette (French for small pocket). It was used by dance masters in royal courts and other places of nobility, as well as by street musicians up until around the 18th century. Occasionally, the rebec was used in the same way. Several are called for (as violini piccoli alla francese - small French violins) in Monteverdi's 1607 Orfeo.
The word "kit" probably arose from an abbreviation of the word "pocket" to "-cket" and subsequently "kit"; alternatively, it may be a corruption of “cittern” (Gr. κιθάρα). Trichet is said to have described the leather carrying case of the kit as a poche, hence, "The Pocket Violin". Similarly, Mersenne wrote that it was common practice among the kit violin's players (such as traveling minstrels or dance teachers) to carry the violin in a pocket. The term "kit" is believed to first have been used in the first quarter of the 16th century, in England where it was mentioned in Interlude of the Four Elements, c. 1517.
The instrument's body is very
In African music, the mbira (also known as likembe, mbila, thumb piano, mbira huru, mbira njari, mbira nyunga nyunga, sansu, zanzu, karimbao, kalimba, or-between the late 1960s and early 1970s-sanza) is a musical instrument that consists of a wooden board to which staggered metal keys have been attached. It is often fitted into a resonator. In Eastern and Southern Africa, there are many kinds of mbira, usually accompanied by the hosho. Among the Shona people there are three that are very popular (see Shona music). The mbira is usually classified as part of the lamellaphone family. It is also part of the idiophones family of musical instruments.
Both Dr. Joseph H. Howard, owner of the largest collection of drums and ancillary folk instruments in the Americas, and Nigerian drummer Babatunde Olatunji argue that the mbira is thoroughly African, being found only in areas populated by Africans or their descendants.
Mbira came to prominance after the worldwide stage performance and recordings of Thomas Mapfumo, whose music is based on and includes the mbira; the work of Dumisani Maraire, who brought marimba and karimba music to the US Pacific Northwest; Ephat Mujuru, who was one of the
The tromboon is a musical instrument made up of the reed and bocal of the bassoon attached to the body of a trombone in place of the trombone's leadpipe, combining the reed and the slide for a distinctive and unusual instrument. The name of the instrument is a portmanteau of "trombone" and "bassoon". The sound quality of the instrument is best described as comical and loud; its creator, Peter Schickele, called it "a hybrid — that's the nicer word — constructed from the parts of a bassoon and a trombone; it has all the disadvantages of both." This instrument is called for in the scores of the fictional P. D. Q. Bach in his oratorio The Seasonings, as well as the Serenude (for devious instruments).
The viol (also known as the viola da gamba) is any one of a family of bowed, fretted and stringed musical instruments developed in the mid-late 15th century and used primarily in the Renaissance and Baroque periods. The viol family is related to and descends primarily from the Renaissance vihuela, a plucked instrument that preceded the guitar. Viols are different in several respects from instruments of the violin family.
Vihuelists began playing their flat-edged instruments with a bow in the second half of the 15th century. Within two or three decades, this led to the evolution of an entirely new and dedicated bowed string instrument that retained many of the features of the original plucked vihuela: a flat back, sharp waist-cuts, frets, thin ribs (initially), and an identical tuning—hence its original name, vihuela de arco; arco is Spanish for "bow".
An influence in the playing posture has been credited to the example of Moorish rabab players.
The viol is unrelated to the much older Hebrew stringed instrument called a viol (literally, "skin"). This ancient harp-like instrument was similar to the kinnor or nabla.
Viols most commonly had six strings, although many 16th-century
Bass violin is the modern term for various 16th and 17th-century bass instruments of the violin (i.e. "viola da braccio") family. They were the direct ancestor of the modern cello. Bass violins were usually somewhat larger than the modern cello, but tuned the same or sometimes just one step lower than it. Contemporary names for these instruments include "basso de viola da braccio," "basso da braccio," or the generic term "violone," which simply meant "large fiddle." The instrument differed from the violone of the viol, or "viola da gamba" family in that like the other violins it had at first three, and later usually four strings, as opposed to five, six, or seven strings, it was tuned in fifths, and it had no frets. With its F-holes and stylized C-bouts it also more closely resembled the viola da braccio. Because it was created to be in consort with the violin and viola, the bass violin was a member of the violin, or viola da braccio family.
The name "bass violin" is also sometimes used for the double bass.
Occasionally historians have used the term "bass violin" to refer other various instruments of the violin family which were larger than the alto violin or viola, such as the
The koto (箏) is a traditional Japanese stringed musical instrument, similar to the Chinese zheng, the Mongolian yatga, the Korean gayageum and the Vietnamese đàn tranh. The koto is the national instrument of Japan. Koto are about 180 centimetres (71 in) length, and made from kiri wood (Paulownia tomentosa). They have 13 strings that are strung over 13 movable bridges along the width of the instrument. Players can adjust the string pitches by moving these bridges before playing, and use three finger picks (on thumb, index finger, and middle finger) to pluck the strings.
The character for koto is 箏, although 琴 is often used. However, 琴 usually refers to another instrument, the kin. 箏, is also read as sō in certain contexts.
The ancestor of the koto was the Chinese zheng and was first introduced to Japan from China in the 7th and 8th century. The first known version had five strings, which eventually increased to seven strings. (It had twelve strings when it was introduced to Japan in the early Nara Period (710–784) and increased to thirteen strings). This particular instrument is known throughout Asia but in different forms: the Japanese koto, which is a distant relative to the
The sohaegeum (hangul: 사해금; hanja: 四奚琴) is a North Korean musical instrument, developed in the 1960s. It is essentially a modernized form of the haegeum (a traditional Korean bowed vertical fiddle). So (hanja: 四) in sohaeheum means "four," because it has four strings.
Its tuning pegs are like those of the violin, inserted from the side, compared to those of the haegeum, which are inserted from the front. The bow used is not used in between the strings but is played from the front like the violin also.
The Tahitian ukulele (ʻukarere or Tahitian banjo) is a short-necked fretted lute with eight nylon strings in four doubled courses, native to Tahiti and played in other regions of Polynesia. This variant of the older Hawaiian ukulele is noted by a higher and thinner sound and an open back, and is often strummed much faster.
The two middle courses are tuned an octave higher than they would be on a normal ukulele, and fishing line is used for the strings.
The Tahitian ukulele is significantly different from other ukuleles in that it does not have a hollow soundbox. The body (including the head and neck) is usually carved from a single piece of wood, with a wide conical hole bored through the middle. Alternatively Tahitian ukulele can be carved out of three pieces of wood with the sides being made from different woods, for decoration.
The tapered hole bored through the body is about 4 cm in diameter on the back; at the front it is about 10 cm in diameter. The hole is topped with a thin piece of wood, on which the bridge sits, so the instrument works rather like a wood-topped banjo. Indeed, some of these instruments are referred to as Tahitian banjos. The strings are usually made from
A theorbo (Italian: tiorba, also tuorbe; French: théorbe, Spanish: tiorba, German: Theorbe, Portuguese: teorba) is a plucked string instrument. As a name, theorbo signifies a number of long-necked lutes with second pegboxes, such as the liuto attiorbato, the French théorbe des pièces, the English theorbo, the archlute, the German baroque lute, the angélique or angelica. The etymology of the name tiorba has not yet been explained sufficiently. It is hypothesized that its origin might have been in the Slavic or Turkish "torba", meaning "bag" or "turban". According to Athanasius Kircher, tiorba was a nickname in the Neapolitan dialect that actually denoted the grinding board used by perfumers for grinding essence and herbage.
Theorboes were developed during the late sixteenth century, inspired by the demand for extended bass range for use in opera developed by the Florentine Camerata and new musical works based on basso continuo, such as Giulio Caccini's two collections, Le nuove musiche (1602 and 1614). Musicians adapted bass lutes (c.80+ cm string length) with a neck extension to accommodate open (i. e. unfretted) bass strings, called diapasons or bourdons. The instrument was called
Vihuela is a name given to two different guitar-like string instruments: one from 15th and 16th century Spain, usually with 12 paired strings, and the other, the Mexican vihuela, from 19th century Mexico with five strings and typically played in Mariachi bands.
The vihuela, as it was known in Spain, was called the viola da mano in Italy and Portugal. The two names are functionally synonymous and interchangeable. In its most developed form, the vihuela was a guitar-like instrument with six double-strings (paired courses) made of gut. Vihuelas were tuned almost like a modern guitar, with the exception of the third string, which was tuned a semitone lower. Six-course vihuela tuning was identical to six-course Renaissance lute tuning—4ths and mid-3rd (44344). Many consider the vihuela to have been the instrument that decisively influenced the development of the modern guitar.
Plucked vihuela, being essentially flat-backed lutes, evolved in the mid-15th century, in the Kingdom of Aragón (located in north-eastern Iberia (Spain), filling the gap that elsewhere in Europe was taken up by the lute; for the Spanish the lute was too close to the oud. In Spain and Italy the vihuela was in
The rebec (sometimes rebecha, rebeckha, and originally various other spellings, pronounced /ˈriːbɛk/ or /ˈrɛbɛk/) is a bowed string musical instrument. In its most common form, it has a narrow boat-shaped body and 1-5 strings and is played on the arm or under the chin, like a violin. It is also an ancestor of the violin.
The rebec dates back to the Middle Ages and was particularly popular in the 15th and 16th centuries. The instrument is European and derived from the Arabic bowed instrument rebab and the Byzantine lyra. The rebec was first referred to by that name around the beginning of the 14th century, though a similar instrument, usually called a lyra, had been played since around the 9th century.
The introduction of the rebab into Western Europe possibly coincided with the conquest of Spain by the Moors, in the Iberian Peninsula. There is however evidence of the existence of bowed instruments in the 9th century also in Eastern Europe: the Persian geographer of the 9th century Ibn Khurradadhbih cited the bowed Byzantine lira (or lūrā) as typical bowed instrument of the Byzantines and equivalent to the Arab rabāb.
The rebab was adopted as a key instrument in Arab classical
The electric mandolin is an instrument tuned and played as the mandolin and amplified in similar fashion to an electric guitar. As with electric guitars, electric mandolins take many forms:
Electric mandolins were built in the United States as early as the late 1920s. Among the first companies to produce them were Stromberg-Voisinet, Electro (which later became Rickenbacker), ViViTone, and National Reso-Phonic. Gibson and Vega introduced their electric mandolins in 1936.
In the United States, influential luthier/inventor Paul Bigsby began building solidbody electric mandolins (technically, they consisted of a solid wood core housing the electronics, with hollow wings forming the body) in 1950. His first one had 10 strings and was built for multi-instrumentalist Paul Buskirk. Other Bigsby electric mandolin players were Al Giddings and Eschol Cosby. Bigsby's most famous mandolin, built in 1952, was owned and played by Western swing musician Tiny Moore. This instrument had 5 single courses rather than the more common four double courses, and was patterned after a similar instrument built by Jim Harvey of La Jolla, California, for a player named Scotty Broyles. Gibson and Rickenbacker
The sackbut is a trombone from the Renaissance and Baroque eras, i.e., a musical instrument in the brass family similar to the trumpet except characterised by a telescopic slide with which the player varies the length of the tube to change pitches, thus allowing them to obtain chromaticism, as well as easy and accurate doubling of voices. More delicately constructed than their modern counterparts, and featuring a softer, more flexible sound, they attracted a more sizeable repertoire of original chamber and vocal music than many instruments contemporary with them.
The first reference to a slide instrument was probably trompette des ménestrels, first found in Burgundy in the 1420s and later in other regions of Europe. The name distinguished the instrument from the trompettes de guerre (war trumpets), which were a fixed length.
The next word to appear in the 15th century that implicated a slide was the sackbut group of words. There are two theories for the sources: it is either derived from the Middle French sacquer (to pull) and bouter (to push) or from the Spanish sacar (to draw or pull) and bucha (a tube or pipe). The term survives in numerous English spelling variations including
The balalaika (Russian: балала́йка, pronounced [bəlɐˈlajkə]) is a Russian folk stringed musical instrument with a characteristic triangular body and three strings.
The balalaika family of instruments includes instruments of various sizes, from the highest-pitched to the lowest, the prima balalaika, secunda balalaika, alto balalaika, bass balalaika, and contrabass balalaika. All have three-sided bodies, spruce or fir tops, backs made of three to nine wooden sections (usually maple), and they are typically strung with three strings.
The prima balalaika is played with the fingers, the secunda and alto either with the fingers or a plectrum, depending on the music being played, and the bass and contrabass (equipped with extension legs that rest on the floor) are played with leather plectrums.
The earliest mention of the term balalaika dates back to an AD 1688 Russian document. The term "balabaika" was widely used in Ukrainian language documents from 1717 to 1732. According to one theory, the term was loaned to Russian, where - in literary language - it first appeared in "Elysei", a 1771 poem by V. Maikov.
The modern balalaika is found in the following sizes:
The most common solo
The E-flat clarinet is a member of the clarinet family. It is usually classed as a soprano clarinet, although some authors describe it as a "sopranino" or even "piccolo" clarinet. Smaller in size and higher in pitch than the more common B♭ clarinet, it is a transposing instrument in E♭, sounding a minor third higher than written. In Italian it sometimes referred to as a quartino, generally appearing in scores as quartino in Mi♭.
The E♭ clarinet is used in orchestras, concert bands, marching bands, and clarinet choirs. It plays a particularly central role in clarinet choirs, carrying the high melodies that would be treacherous for the B♭ clarinet. Solo repertoire is limited.
The E♭ clarinet is required to play at the top of its range for much of the time to take advantage of its piercing quality. Fingerings in that register are more awkward than on the lower part of the instrument, making high, fast passages difficult.
Towards the end of the eighteenth century the F clarinet took this role until the E♭ clarinet took over beginning sometime in the second decade of the 1800s.
Although the E♭ is somewhat of a rarity in school bands, it is a staple instrument in college and other upper
The hammered dulcimer is a stringed musical instrument with the strings stretched over a trapezoidal sounding board. Typically, the hammered dulcimer is set on a stand, at an angle, before the musician, who holds small mallet hammers in each hand to strike the strings (cf. Appalachian dulcimer). The Graeco-Roman dulcimer (sweet song) derives from the Latin dulcis (sweet) and the Greek melos (song). The dulcimer, in which the strings are beaten with small hammers, originated from the psaltery, in which the strings are plucked.
Various types of hammered dulcimers are traditionally played in India, Iran, Southwest Asia, China, and parts of Southeast Asia, Central Europe (Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, Poland, Czech Republic, Switzerland (particularly Appenzell), Austria and Bavaria), the Balkans, Eastern Europe (Ukraine and Belarus) and Scandinavia. The instrument is also played in Great Britain (Wales, East Anglia, Northumbria) and the U.S., where its traditional use in folk music saw a notable revival in the late 20th Century.
The hammered dulcimer comes in various sizes, identified by the number of strings that cross each of the bridges. A 15/14, for example, has two bridges (treble
The Hammond organ is an electric organ invented by Laurens Hammond in 1934 and manufactured by the Hammond Organ Company. While the Hammond organ was originally sold to churches as a lower-cost alternative to the wind-driven pipe organ, in the 1960s and 1970s it became a standard keyboard instrument for jazz, blues, rock, church and gospel music.
The original Hammond organ used additive synthesis of waveforms from harmonic series made by mechanical tonewheels that rotate in front of electromagnetic pickups. The component waveform ratios are mixed by sliding drawbars mounted above the two keyboards. Although many different models of Hammond organs were produced, the Hammond B-3 organ is most well known. In the late 1960s and throughout the 1970s the distinctive sound of the B-3 organ (often played through a Leslie speaker) was widely used in blues, progressive rock bands and blues-rock groups. The last electromechanical Hammond organ came off the assembly line in the mid-1970s.
In 1897 Thaddeus Cahill patented an instrument called the Telharmonium (or Teleharmonium, also known as the Dynamaphone). Using tonewheels to generate musical sounds as electrical signals by additive
The marimba ( pronunciation (help·info)) is a musical instrument in the percussion family. It consists of a set of wooden bars with resonators. The bars are struck with mallets to produce musical tones. The bars are arranged as those of a piano, with the accidentals raised vertically and overlapping the natural bars (similar to a piano) to aid the performer both visually and physically. This instrument is a type of xylophone, but with broader and lower tonal range and resonators.
The chromatic marimba was developed in southern Mexico and northern Guatemala from the diatonic marimba, an instrument whose ancestor was a type of balafon that African slaves built in Central America.
Modern uses of the marimba include solo performances, woodwind and brass ensembles, marimba concertos, jazz ensembles, marching band (front ensembles), drum and bugle corps, and orchestral compositions. Contemporary composers have utilized the unique sound of the marimba more and more in recent years.
Marimba bars are typically made of either wood or synthetic material, rosewood being the most desirable. Padouk is commonly used as a more affordable alternative. Bars made from synthetic materials generally
The Mellotron is an electro-mechanical, polyphonic tape replay keyboard originally developed and built in Birmingham, England, in the early 1960s. It superseded the Chamberlin, which was the world's first sample-playback keyboard intended for music. The concept of the Chamberlin was itself modeled after the Laff Box invented by engineer Charlie Douglass in order to insert prerecorded laughs into TV and radio programs more easily in the then-developing field of post-production.
The heart of the instrument is a bank of parallel linear magnetic audio tape strips. Playback heads underneath each key enable the playing of pre-recorded sounds. Each of the tape strips has a playing time of approximately eight seconds, after which the tape comes to a dead stop and rewinds to the start position. A major advantage of using tape strips, as opposed to tape loops or cassettes (compare to the Birotron) is that the Mellotron can reproduce the "attack" transient of the instruments recorded on the tape. A drawback is the short "decay" time of the note.
A consequence of the eight second limit on the duration of each note is that if one wants to play chords that last longer than eight seconds, one
The ranat ek (Thai: ระนาดเอก, pronounced [ranâːt ʔèːk], "alto xylophone") is a Thai xylophone. It has 22 wooden bars suspended by cords over a boat-shaped trough resonator, and is played with two mallets. It is used as a leading instrument in the piphat ensemble.
The ranat ek is played by two types of mallets. The hard mallets create the sharp bright sound when they keys are hit.The hard mallets are used for more faster playing. The soft mallets create a mellow and more softer tone which is used for slower songs.
ranat ek bars are typically made from rosewood (Dalbergia oliveri; Thai: ไม้ชิงชัน; mai ching chan), although in rare instances instruments with bamboo bars can be found.
Some ranat ek players are able to play two instruments at the same time, placed at right angles to each other.
The ranat ek is very similar to a Cambodian xylophone called roneat ek.
The violin is a string instrument, usually with four strings tuned in perfect fifths. It is the smallest, highest-pitched member of the violin family of string instruments, which also includes the viola, cello, and double bass.
The violin is sometimes informally called a fiddle, regardless of the type of music played on it. The word violin comes from the Medieval Latin word vitula, meaning stringed instrument; this word is also believed to be the source of the Germanic "fiddle". The violin, while it has ancient origins, acquired most of its modern characteristics in 16th-century Italy, with some further modifications occurring in the 18th and 19th centuries. Violinists and collectors particularly prize the instruments made by the Gasparo da Salò, Giovanni Paolo Maggini, Stradivari, Guarneri and Amati families from the 16th to the 18th century in Brescia and Cremona and by Jacob Stainer in Austria. Great numbers of instruments have come from the hands of "lesser" makers, as well as still greater numbers of mass-produced commercial "trade violins" coming from cottage industries in places such as Saxony, Bohemia, and Mirecourt. Many of these trade instruments were formerly sold by
The xirula (Basque pronunciation: [ʃiˈɾula], spelled chiroula in French, also pronounced txirula, (t)xülüla in Zuberoan Basque; Gascon: flabuta; French: galoubet) is a small three holed woodwind instrument or flute usually made of wood akin to the Basque txistu or three-hole pipe, but more high pitched and strident, tuned to C and an octave higher than the silbote. The sound that flows from the flute has often been perceived as a metaphor for the tweet cadences of bird songs. Some scholars point out that flutes found in the Caverns of Isturitz and Oxozelaia going back to a period spanning 35.000 to 10.000 years ago bear witness to the early presence of the instrument's forerunner in the region, while this view has been disputed.
It is an instrument characteristic of the Pyrenees, and it is played on the French side of the Basque Country (the extent of its use has shrunk over the years), where it provides along with the atabal (a tabor like instrument played with drumsticks) the musical background for various traditional dances. Besides performing the music for dances, in the former viscounty of Soule (Zuberoa in Basque) it may enliven accompanied on both the ttun-ttun and the
The manjur (Arabic: المنجور) is a musical instrument used in the Arab states of the Persian Gulf but with East African origins. It is made of goat hooves attached to a cloth. It is performed by tying the instrument around the waist. The performer shakes his or her hip to create a rattle sound when the hooves collide with each other.
It is used in the fann at-Tanbura and zar performances.
The buccin is a visually distinctive trombone popularized in military bands in France between 1810–1845 which subsequently faded into obscurity.
The Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians devotes but two sentences to the buccin: “A form of trombone with a bell terminating in a stylized serpent’s or dragon’s head, often with a metal tongue, free to flap, protruding. Hector Berlioz scored for buccin in the Kyrie and Resurrexit of his Messe solennelle of 1824.”
The exact date of the invention of the buccin (which should not be confused by another instrument of the same name, invented in France in 1791, which was modeled after ancient Roman instruments which could deliver only three distinct notes) has not been documented and apart from Berlioz’s Messe, there is little in the way of surviving music for it. Yet we do know that the buccin was popularized in military bands in France between 1810–1845. Parades, outdoor festivals and civic celebrations were an important part of French cultural life from the time of the Revolution (1789) through most of the 19th century. The visual appeal of band members in uniform playing instruments with zoomorphic heads (in addition to the buccin,
The celesta ( /sɨˈlɛstə/) or celeste ( /sɨˈlɛst/) is a struck idiophone operated by a keyboard. Its appearance is similar to that of an upright piano (four- or five-octave) or of a large wooden music box (three-octave). The keys are connected to hammers which strike a graduated set of metal (usually steel) plates suspended over wooden resonators. On four or five octave models one pedal is usually available to sustain or dampen the sound. The three-octave instruments do not have a pedal because of their small "table-top" design. One of the best-known works that makes use of the celesta is Tchaikovsky's "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy" from The Nutcracker.
The sound of the celesta is similar to that of the glockenspiel, but with a much softer and more subtle timbre. This quality gave the instrument its name, celeste meaning "heavenly" in French.
The celesta is a transposing instrument; it sounds an octave higher than the written pitch. Its (four-octave) sounding range is generally considered as C3 to C7, where C3 = middle-C. The original French instrument had a five-octave range, but because the lowest octave was considered somewhat unsatisfactory, it was omitted from later models.
A fiddle is any bowed string musical instrument, most often the violin. It is also a colloquial term for the instrument used by players in all genres, including classical music. Fiddle playing, or fiddling, refers to various styles of music.
Common distinctions between violins and fiddles reflect the differences in the instruments used to play classical and folk music. However, it is not uncommon for classically trained violinists to play folk music, and today many fiddle players have some classical training. A lot of traditional (folk) styles are aural traditions, so are taught 'by ear' rather than with written music.
The medieval fiddle emerged in 10th-century Europe, deriving from the Byzantine lira (Greek:λύρα, Latin:lira, English:lyre), a bowed string instrument of the Byzantine Empire and ancestor of most European bowed instruments. The first recorded reference to the bowed lira was in the 9th century by the Persian geographer Ibn Khurradadhbih (d. 911); in his lexicographical discussion of instruments he cited the lira (lūrā) as a typical instrument of the Byzantines and equivalent to the rabāb played in the Islamic Empires. Lira spread widely westward to Europe; in the 11th
The flugelhorn ( /ˈfluːɡəl.hɔrn/—also spelled fluegelhorn, flugel horn, or flügelhorn— from German, wing horn, German pronunciation: [ˈflyːɡl̩hɔʁn]) is a brass instrument that resembles a trumpet but has a wider, conical bore. Some consider it a member of the saxhorn family developed by Adolphe Sax (who also developed the saxophone). Other historians assert that it derives from the valve bugle designed by Michael Saurle (father) in Munich in 1832 (Royal Bavarian privilege for a "chromatic Flügelhorn" 1832), which predates Adolphe Sax's work.
The German word Flügel translates into English as wing or flank. The instrument was used on the battlefield to summon the flanks of an army.
The flugelhorn is built in the same B♭ pitch as many trumpets and cornets. It usually has three piston valves and employs the same fingering system as other brass instruments, but four piston valve and rotary valve variants also exist. It can thus be played without too much trouble by trumpet and cornet players, though some adaptation to their playing style may be needed. It is usually played with a more deeply conical mouthpiece than either trumpets or cornets (though not as conical as a horn
A grand piano is the concert form of a piano. A grand piano has the frame and strings placed horizontally, with the strings extending away from the keyboard. Grand pianos are distinguished from upright piano, which have their strings and frame arranged vertically.
Grand Pianos are typically used for concerts and concert hall performances, although a baby grand piano can also be used in a household where space is limited. The strings on a Grand Piano are longer, resulting in a louder and 'performing' tone.
Some famous Grand Piano manufacturers are Bￃﾶsendorfer, Bechstein, Broadwood, Steinway & Sons, and Yamaha.
The chakhe (Thai: จะเข้, pronounced [tɕa.kʰêː], RTGS: chakhe, deriving from the word chorakhe, จระเข้, meaning "crocodile") is a plucked zither used in Thai music. It is made of wood in a stylized crocodile shape and is approximately 20 cm high and 140 cm long. Its highest two strings are made of silk yarn or nylon and lowest is made of brass. It has raised frets made of bamboo, which are affixed to the fretboard with wax or glue.
The player uses his or her left hand on the fretboard while plucking the string by his right hand with a tapered plectrum made from ivory or water buffalo horn, which is tied to the player's index finger. The instrument has a buzzing sound because the strings are raised just off the flat bridge by a sliver of bamboo or other thin material such as plastic.
The chakhe is similar to the Cambodian krapeu (takhe), the Burmese mi gyaung. and the Mon kyam.
The kane (鉦 or 鐘) [kane] is a type of bell from Japan.
Often accompanying Japanese folk music, or Min'yō, is a dish-shaped bell called a "Kane" (鉦). It is often hung on a bar, and the player holds the bell in place with one hand, and beats the Kane with a specialized mallet with the other. There are two specific sounds that the Kane makes, and the Japanese call them "chin" and "kon." "Chin," is when the mallet hits the interior sides of the bell, while "kon" is when the mallet hits the flat round inner face. It is also used in Buddhism or Shinto ceremonies like a gong.
A bell-shaped "kane" (鐘) is sometimes used for musical instrument, but in case of calling Kane, regardless of bigger or smaller size, is more known for being a Buddhist temple's equipment, used as a time signal or alert in Japan. See Japanese bells.
A bell charm called a "Suzu" (鈴) is also used as a metallic musical instrument. See Suzu.
Lute can refer generally to any plucked string instrument with a neck (either fretted or unfretted) and a deep round back, or more specifically to an instrument from the family of European lutes.
The European lute and the modern Near-Eastern oud both descend from a common ancestor via diverging evolutionary paths. The lute is used in a great variety of instrumental music from the Medieval to the late Baroque eras and was probably the most important instrument for secular music in the Renaissance. It is also an accompanying instrument, especially in vocal works, often realizing a basso continuo or playing a written-out accompaniment.
The player of a lute is called a lutenist, lutanist, "''lewtist" or lutist, and a maker of lutes (or any string instrument) is referred to as a luthier.
The words "lute" and "oud" derive from Arabic al‘ud (العود; literally "the wood"). Recent research by Eckhard Neubauer suggests ‘ud may in turn be an Arabized version of the Persian name rud, which meant "string", "stringed instrument", or "lute". It has equally been suggested the "wood" in the name may have distinguished the instrument by its wooden soundboard from skin-faced predecessors. Gianfranco
Singing bowls (also known as Tibetan Singing Bowls, rin gongs, Himalayan bowls or suzu gongs) are a type of bell, specifically classified as a standing bell. Rather than hanging inverted or attached to a handle, singing bowls sit with the bottom surface resting. The sides and rim of singing bowls vibrate to produce sound characterized by a fundamental frequency (first harmonic) and usually two audible harmonic overtones (second and third harmonic). According to singing bowl researcher Joseph Feinstein, singing bowls were traditionally used in Asia and the tradition of making sound with bronze bowls could go back 3,000 or more years to the Bronze Age.
Singing bowls are used worldwide for meditation, music, relaxation, personal well-being. They are used by a wide range of professionals, including health professionals, school teachers, musicians and spiritual teachers. Singing bowls are used in health care by psychotherapists, massage therapists, cancer specialists, stress and meditation specialists. They are used to help treat cancer patients and also for post traumatic stress disorder. They are popular in classrooms to help facilitate group activities and focus students' attention.
The soprano saxophone is a variety of the saxophone, a woodwind instrument, invented in 1840. The soprano is the third smallest member of the saxophone family, which consists (from smallest to largest) of the soprillo, sopranino, soprano, alto, tenor, baritone, bass, contrabass and sub-contrabass.
A transposing instrument pitched in the key of B♭, modern soprano saxophones with a high F# key have a range from A♭3 to E6 and are therefore pitched one octave above the tenor saxophone. Some saxophones have additional keys, allowing them to play an additional F♯ and G at the top of the range. These extra keys are commonly found on more modern saxophones. Additionally, skilled players can make use of the Altissimo register, which allows them to play even higher. There is also a soprano pitched in C, which is less common and has not been made since around 1940.
The soprano saxophone can be compared to the B♭ clarinet. Although the clarinet can play a diminshed fifth lower and over a fifth higher, the sax generally has a louder and more penetrating sound in the extreme high notes. Due to the smaller bore of the soprano, it is less forgiving with respect to intonation, though an experienced
A theatre organ (also known as a cinema organ) is a pipe organ originally designed specifically for imitation of an orchestra. New designs have tended to be around some of the sounds and blends unique to the instrument itself.
Theatre organs took the place of the orchestra when installed in a cinema (movie theatre) during the heyday of silent films. Most theatre organs were modelled after the style originally devised by Robert Hope-Jones, which he called a "unit orchestra".
Such instruments were typically built to provide the greatest possible variety of timbres with the fewest possible pipes, and often had pianos and other percussion instruments built in, as well as a variety of sound effects such as a siren.
Theatre organs are usually identified by their distinctive horseshoe-shaped consoles, which are frequently painted white with gold trim. An original example is the 3/13 Barton from Ann Arbor's historic Michigan Theatre. The organ was installed in 1927 and is currently played daily before most film screenings. There were over 7,000 such organs installed in American theatres from 1915 to 1933, but fewer than 40 original instruments remain in their original theatres. Though
Cymbals are a common percussion instrument. Cymbals consist of thin, normally round plates of various alloys; see cymbal making for a discussion of their manufacture. The majority of cymbals are of indefinite pitch, although small disc-shaped cymbals based on ancient designs sound a definite note (see: crotales). Cymbals are used in many ensembles ranging from the orchestra, percussion ensembles, jazz bands, heavy metal bands, and marching groups. Drum kits usually incorporate at least a crash, ride or crash/ride, and a pair of hi-hat cymbals.
The word cymbal is derived from the Latin cymbalum, which is the latinisation of the Greek word κύμβαλον (kumbalon), "cymbal", which in turn derives from κύμβος (kumbos), "cup".
The anatomy of the cymbal plays a large part in the sound it creates. The hole is drilled in the center of the cymbal and it is used to either mount the cymbal on a stand or straps (for hand playing). The bell, dome, or cup is the raised section immediately surrounding the hole. The bell produces a higher "pinging" pitch than the rest of the cymbal. The bow is the rest of the surface surrounding the bell. The bow is sometimes described in two areas: the ride and
The melodica, also known as the "pianica", "blow-organ" or "key-flute", is a free-reed instrument similar to the melodion and harmonica. It has a musical keyboard on top, and is played by blowing air through a mouthpiece that fits into a hole in the side of the instrument. Pressing a key opens a hole, allowing air to flow through a reed. The keyboard is usually two or three octaves long. Melodicas are small, light, and portable. They are popular in music education, especially in Asia.
The modern form of the instrument was invented by Hohner in the 1950s, though similar instruments have been known in Italy since the 19th century.
The melodica was first used as a serious musical instrument in the 1960s by composers such as Steve Reich, in his piece titled Melodica (1966) and jazz musician Phil Moore Jr, on his 1969 Atlantic Records album Right On. Brazilian multi-instrumentalist Hermeto Pascoal developed a technique consisting in singing while playing the melodica, resulting in a wide tonal and harmonical palette. It is associated with Jamaican dub and reggae musician Augustus Pablo who popularized it in the 1970s. It was featured on the 1972 #1 Billboard Hot 100 hit "Oh Girl" by the
An electric piano is an electric musical instrument.
Electric pianos produce sounds mechanically and the sounds are turned into electrical signals by pickups. Unlike a synthesizer, the electric piano is not an electronic instrument, but electro-mechanical. The earliest electric pianos were invented in the late 1920s; the 1929 Neo-Bechstein electric grand piano was among the first. Probably the earliest stringless model was Lloyd Loar's Vivi-Tone Clavier.
The popularity of the electric piano began to grow in the late 1950s, reaching its height during the 1970s, after which they were progressively displaced by electronic pianos capable of piano-like sounds without the disadvantages of moving mechanical parts. Many types were initially designed for home or school use including use in school or college piano labs for the simultaneous tuition of several students using headphones. Another factor driving their development and acceptance was the progressive electrification of popular music and the need for a portable keyboard instrument capable of amplification. Musicians adopted a number of types of domestic electric pianos encouraging their manufacturers to evolve them for stage use and
A harpsichord is a musical instrument played by means of a keyboard. It produces sound by plucking a string when a key is pressed.
"Harpsichord" designates the whole family of similar plucked keyboard instruments, including the smaller virginals, muselar, and spinet.
The harpsichord was widely used in Renaissance and Baroque music. During the late 18th century it gradually disappeared from the musical scene with the rise of the fortepiano. But in the 20th century it made a resurgence, used in historically informed performance of older music, in new (contemporary) compositions, and in popular culture.
Harpsichords vary in size and shape, but all have the same basic functional arrangement. The player depresses a key pivoted in the middle of its length, which causes the far end of the key to rise. This lifts a jack, a long strip of wood, to which is attached a small plectrum (a wedge-shaped piece of quill or, nowadays plastic), which plucks the string. When the key is released by the player, the far end returns to its rest position and the jack falls back. The plectrum, mounted on a tongue that can swivel backwards away from the string, passes the string without plucking it again. As
The kora is a 21-string bridge-harp used extensively in West Africa.
A kora is a harp built from a large calabash cut in half and covered with cow skin to make a resonator with a long hardwood neck. The skin is supported by two handles that run under it, and it supports a notched double free-standing bridge. It doesn't fit into any one category of musical instruments, but rather several, and must be classified as a "double-bridge-harp-lute." The strings run in two divided ranks, making it a double harp. They do not end in a soundboard but are held in notches on a bridge, making it a bridge harp. They originate from a string arm or neck and cross a bridge directly supported by a resonating chamber, making it a lute too.
The sound of a kora resembles that of a harp, though when played in the traditional style, it bears a closer resemblance to flamenco and delta blues guitar techniques. The player uses only the thumb and index finger of both hands to pluck the strings in polyrhythmic patterns (using the remaining fingers to secure the instrument by holding the hand posts on either side of the strings). Ostinato riffs ("Kumbengo") and improvised solo runs ("Birimintingo") are played at
A mandolin (Italian: mandolino) is a musical instrument in the lute family (plucked, or strummed). It descends from the mandore, a soprano member of the lute family. The mandolin soundboard (the top) comes in many shapes—but generally round or teardrop-shaped, sometimes with scrolls or other projections. A mandolin may have f-holes, or a single round or oval sound hole. A round or oval sound hole may be bordered with decorative rosettes or purfling.
Early mandolins had six double courses of gut strings, tuned similarly to lutes, and plucked with the fingertips. Modern mandolins—which originated in Naples, Italy in the late 18th century—commonly have four double courses (four pairs) of metal strings, which are plucked with a plectrum.
Many variants of the mandolin have existed. These include Milanese, Lombard, Brescian and other six-course types, as well as four-string (one string per course), twelve-string (three strings per course), and sixteen-string (four strings per course).
A mandolin typically has a hollow wooden body with a tailpiece that holds one end of the strings, a floating bridge, a neck with a flat (or slight radius) fretted fingerboard, a nut, and mechanical tuning
Slide guitar or bottleneck guitar is a particular method or technique for playing the guitar. The term slide refers to the motion of the slide against the strings, while bottleneck refers to the original material of choice for such slides: the necks of glass bottles. Instead of altering the pitch of the strings in the normal manner (by pressing the string against frets), a slide is placed upon the string to vary its vibrating length, and pitch. This slide can then be moved along the string without lifting, creating continuous transitions in pitch.
Slide guitar is most often played (assuming a right-handed player and guitar):
The technique of using a slide on a string has been traced to one-stringed African instruments similar to a "Diddley bow". The tuning and bend filled playing style resembles the blues-harp.
The technique was made popular by African American blues artists. The first musician to be recorded using the style was Sylvester Weaver who recorded two solo pieces "Guitar Blues" and "Guitar Rag" in 1923. Some of the blues artists who most prominently used the slide include gospel singer Blind Willie Johnson, Blind Willie McTell, Mississippi Fred McDowell, Son House,
The washtub bass, or "gutbucket", is a stringed instrument used in American folk music that uses a metal washtub as a resonator. Although it is possible for a washtub bass to have four or more strings and tuning pegs, traditional washtub basses have a single string whose pitch is adjusted by pushing or pulling on a staff or stick to change the tension.
The washtub bass was used in jug bands that were popular in some African Americans communities in the early 1900s. In the 1950s, British skiffle bands used a variant called a Tea chest bass, and during the 1960s, US folk musicians used the washtub bass in jug band-influenced music.
Variations on the basic design are found around the world, particularly in the choice of resonator. As a result there are many different names for the instrument including the "gas-tank bass", "barrel bass", "box bass" (Trinidad), "bush bass" (Australia), "babatoni" (South Africa), "tingotalango" (Cuba), "tulòn" (Italy), "laundrophone" and others.
The hallmarks of the traditional design are simplicity, very low cost and do-it-yourself construction, leading to its historical association with lower economic classes. These factors also make it quite common
The erhu (二胡; pinyin: èrhú, [êɻxǔ]) is a two-stringed bowed musical instrument, more specifically a spike fiddle, which may also be called a "southern fiddle", and sometimes known in the Western world as the "Chinese violin" or a "Chinese two-stringed fiddle". It is used as a solo instrument as well as in small ensembles and large orchestras. It is the most popular of the huqin family of traditional bowed string instruments used by various ethnic groups of China. A very versatile instrument, the erhu is used in both traditional and contemporary music arrangements, such as in pop, rock, jazz, etc.
The erhu can be traced back to instruments introduced into China more than a thousand years ago. It is believed to have evolved from the xiqin (奚琴), which was described as a foreign, two-stringed lute in Yue Shu (樂書, yuèshū, lit. book of music), an encyclopedic work on music written by music theorist Chen Yang in the Northern Song Dynasty. The xiqin is believed to have originated from the Xi people of Central Asia, and have come to China in the 10th century.
The first Chinese character of the name of the instrument (二, èr, two) is believed to come from the fact that it has two strings. An
The cornett, cornetto, or zink is an early wind instrument that dates from the Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque periods. It was used in what are now called alta capellas or wind ensembles. It is not to be confused with the trumpet-like instrument cornet.
The sound of the cornett was produced by lip vibrations against a cup mouthpiece. It consists of a conical wooden pipe covered in leather, is about 24 inches long, and has finger holes and a small horn or ivory mouthpiece. It was a popular wind instrument from 1500-1650.
The three basic types of treble cornett are curved, straight, and mute. The curved (Ger. krummer Zink, schwarzer Zink; It. cornetto curvo, cornetto alto (i.e. high), cornetto nero) is the most common type, with over 140 extant examples. It is about 60 cm long and made of a single block of wood (plum, pear, maple etc.) cut into a curved shape and split lengthwise. A conical bore is carved out of each half and the pieces are then glued back together, the exterior planed to an octagonal profile, and the longitudinal joints secured by a series of bindings and a covering of black leather or parchment. The socket for the mouthpiece, which is slightly tapered, was
Dhol (Devanagari:ढोल, Punjabi: ਢੋਲ, Urdu: ڈھول, Assamese: ঢোল) can refer to any one of a number of similar types of double-headed drum widely used, with regional variations, throughout the Indian subcontinent. Its range of distribution in India, Bangladesh and Pakistan primarily includes northern areas such as the Assam Valley, Gujarat, Kashmir, Maharashtra, Konkan and Goa, Punjab, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Sindh and Uttar Pradesh.The range stretches westward as far as eastern Afghanistan.The Punjabi dhol is perhaps best known abroad due to its prominent place in the rhythm of popular Punjabi Bhangra music.
The dhol is a double-sided barrel drum played mostly as an accompanying instrument in regional music forms. In Qawwali music, the term dhol is used to describe a similar, but smaller drum used with the smaller tabla, as a replacement for the left hand tabla drum. The typical sizes of the drum vary slightly from region to region. In Punjab, the dhol remains large and bulky to produce the preferred loud bass. In other regions, dhols can be found in varying shapes and sizes and made with different woods and materials (fiberglass, Steel, Plastic). The drum consists of a wooden barrel
A barrel piano (also known as a "roller piano") is a forerunner of the modern player piano. Unlike the pneumatic player piano, a barrel piano is usually powered by turning a hand crank, though coin operated models powered by clockwork were used to provide music in establishments such as pubs and cafés. Barrel pianos were popular with street musicians, who sought novel instruments that were also highly portable. They are frequently confused with barrel organs, but are quite different instruments.
The central element of the barrel piano is a wooden barrel covered in strategically placed pins that play the piano when the barrel is turned. The operator uses a hand crank for this purpose, and can control the speed of the music by turning the crank slower or faster. Barrels typically contain a small number of short tunes; therefore, the musical repertoire is limited by the number of barrels one can afford and easily transport.
Barrel pianos typically have a range of 40-48 (Non-Chromatic scale) notes, in contrast to standard pianos that normally have 85 or 88 chromatic keys. More elaborate barrel pianos may also include one or more percussion instruments such as bells, wood blocks, a
The bass trumpet is a type of low trumpet which was first developed during the 1820s in Germany. It is usually pitched in 8' C or 9' B♭ today, but is sometimes built in E♭ and is treated as a transposing instrument sounding either an octave, a sixth or a ninth lower than written, depending on the pitch of the instrument. Although almost identical in length to the trombone, the bass trumpet possesses a tone which is harder and more metallic than that of the trombone. Although it has valves and the same tubing length as a trombone, the bass trumpet is very different from the valve trombone. Note that certain modern manufacturers offering 'tenor horns' in upright shape, 'valve trombones' and 'bass trumpets' are actually using the same valve cluster, bell, tubing and bell flare, just bent differently - in these cases the bass trumpet would be identical to the valve trombone.
The earliest mention of the bass trumpet is in the 1821 Allgemeine Musikalische Zeitung, in which Heinrich Stölzel's Chromatische Tenor-trompetenbaß and Griesling & Schlott's Chromatische Trompetenbaß are described. Several other variants were produced through the 1820s and were employed in military bands.
A bell (old Saxon: bellan, to bawl or bellow is a simple sound-making device. The bell is a percussion instrument and an idiophone. Its form is usually a hollow, cup-shaped acoustic resonator, which vibrates upon being struck. The striking implement can be a tongue suspended within the bell, known as a clapper, a separate mallet or hammer, or in small bells a small loose sphere enclosed within the body of the bell.
Bells are usually made of cast metal, but small bells can also be made from ceramic or glass. Bells range in size from tiny dress accessories to church bells 5 meters tall, weighing many tons. Historically, bells were associated with religious rituals, and before mass communication were widely used to call communities together for both religious and secular events. Later bells were made to commemorate important events or people and have been associated with the concepts of peace and freedom. The study of bells is called campanology.
In the Western world, its most classical form is a church bell or town bell, which is hung within a tower and sounded by having the entire bell swung by ropes, whereupon an internal hinged clapper strikes the body of the bell (called a
The didgeridoo (also known as a didjeridu or didge) is a wind instrument developed by Indigenous Australians of northern Australia around 1,500 years ago and still in widespread use today both in Australia and around the world. It is sometimes described as a natural wooden trumpet or "drone pipe". Musicologists classify it as a brass aerophone.
There are no reliable sources stating the didgeridoo's exact age. Archaeological studies of rock art in Northern Australia suggest that the people of the Kakadu region of the Northern Territory have been using the didgeridoo for less than 1,000 years, based on the dating of paintings on cave walls and shelters from this period. A clear rock painting in Ginga Wardelirrhmeng, on the northern edge of the Arnhem Land plateau, from the freshwater period shows a didgeridoo player and two songmen participating in an Ubarr Ceremony.
A modern didgeridoo is usually cylindrical or conical, and can measure anywhere from 1 to 3 m (3 to 10 ft) long. Most are around 1.2 m (4 ft) long. Generally, the longer the instrument, the lower the pitch or key of the instrument. However, flared instruments play a higher pitch than unflared instruments of the same
A fife is a small, high-pitched, transverse flute, that is similar to the piccolo, but louder and shriller due to its narrower bore. The fife originated in medieval Europe and is often used in military and marching bands. Someone who plays the fife is called a fifer. The word fife comes from the German Pfeife, or pipe, ultimately derived from the Latin word pipare.
The fife is a simple instrument usually consisting of a tube with 6 finger holes, and diatonically tuned. Some have 10 or 11 holes for added chromatics. The fife also has an embouchure hole, across which the player blows, and a cork or plug inside the tube just above the embouchure hole. Some nineteenth-century fifes had a key pressed by the little finger of the right hand in place of a seventh finger hole.
Fifes are made mostly of wood: grenadilla, rosewood, mopane, pink ivory, cocobolo, boxwood and other dense woods are superior; maple and persimmon are inferior, but often used. Some Caribbean music makes use of bamboo fifes.
Military and marching fifes have metal reinforcing bands around the ends to protect them from damage. These bands are called ferrules. Fifes used in less strenuous conditions sometimes have a
The jing is a large gong used in traditional Korean music, particularly in samul nori, pungmul, and daechwita. Usually made from brass, it is struck by a hammer that is layered with soft cloth to smoothen the texture of the sound produced. It is typically played at the onset of ceremonies and special occasions. It is struck with a large, padded stick and drops in pitch slightly when struck firmly.
Its name was originally pronounced jeong (정, deriving from the Sino-Korean 鉦).
The Korean barrel drum is a shallow, barrel-shaped drum used in several types of Korean music, one of the many traditional Korean drums. This variety of drum has a round wooden body that is covered on both ends with animal skin. They are categorized as hyekbu (혁부, 革部) which are instruments made with leather, and has been used for jeongak (Korean court music) and folk music.
The barrel drums used for court music are usually fixed with nails on the rims, while ones used for folk music are usually tied up with leather straps to form the shape. Performers in the court music usually beat these drums with a single drumstick (called bukchae, 북채) in one hand or two hands together, while drummers in the folk music commonly use a drumstick in their right hand while hitting the other side with their open left hand. In the past, the jong (종, bell) was also referred to as "soebuk" (쇠북, metal drum) and included in the drum category.
Barrel drums have been used for Korean music since the period of the Three Kingdoms of Korea (57 BC – 668 AD) in light of mural paintings in Anak Tomb of Goguryeo (37 BC – 668 AD) and records of Book of Sui on the kingdoms, Goguryeo and Baekje (18 BC – 660 AD). In
The saxhorn is a valved brass instrument with a conical bore and deep cup-shaped mouthpiece. The sound has a characteristic mellow quality, and blends well with other brass.
The saxhorns form a family of seven instruments (although at one point ten different sizes seem to have existed). Designed for band use, they are pitched alternately in E-flat and B-flat, like the saxophone group.
There is much confusion as to nomenclature of the various instruments in different languages. This has been exacerbated by the debate as to whether the saxhorn family was truly new, or rather a development of members of the previously existing cornet and tuba families. The saxhorn is also commonly confused with the flügelhorn, a German instrument which has a different configuration and predates the saxhorn. This confusion is not helped by the fact that most instruments referred to today as flügelhorns are actually soprano saxhorns. If a modern 'flügelhorn' bell has a flare similar to the one shown on the larger saxhorn pictured here, then it may indeed be a soprano saxhorn, but if the conical bell is nearly the diameter of the bell rim until just before a small final flare, then it is a true
The snare drum or side drum is a widely used unpitched percussion instrument. It is often used in orchestras, marching bands and concert bands, drum corps, drum kits and many other applications.
It is the center of the drum kit, the most prominent drum in most marching and stage bands, and the drum that students of both orchestral and kit drumming learn to play first.
The snare drum is almost always double-headed, with rattles (called snares) of gut, metal wire or synthetics stretched across one or both heads. There are three patterns:
Many modern snare drums have an adjustable snare strainer which allows the snares to be released completely, creating an effect similar to a tom-tom drum.
Different types can be found, like Piccolo snares, that have a smaller depth for a higher pitch, rope-tuned snares (Maracatu snare) and the Brazilian "Tarol", that commonly has snares on the top of the upper drumhead. The snare drum is considered one of the most important drums of the drum kit.
Historically, snare drums have been used in military and parading contexts to produce drum cadences. Today in popular music, especially with rock drum kits, the snare drum is typically used to play a
The trumpet is the musical instrument with the highest register in the brass family. Trumpets are among the oldest musical instruments, dating back to at least 1500 BC. They are played by blowing air through closed lips, producing a "buzzing" sound that starts a standing wave vibration in the air column inside the instrument. Since the late 15th century they have primarily been constructed of brass tubing, usually bent twice into a rounded oblong shape.
There are several types of trumpet; the most common is a transposing instrument pitched in B♭ with a tubing length of about 148 cm. Earlier trumpets did not have valves, but modern instruments generally have either three piston valves or, more rarely, three rotary valves. Each valve increases the length of tubing when engaged, thereby lowering the pitch.
A musician who plays the trumpet is called a trumpet player or trumpeter.
The earliest trumpets date back to 1500 BC and earlier. The bronze and silver trumpets from Tutankhamun's grave in Egypt, bronze lurs from Scandinavia, and metal trumpets from China date back to this period. Trumpets from the Oxus civilization (3rd millennium BC) of Central Asia have decorated swellings in the
The horn, commonly known as the French horn, is a brass instrument made of about 12–13 feet (3.7–4.0 m) of tubing wrapped into a coil with a flared bell. A musician who plays the horn is called a horn player (or less frequently, a hornist). In informal use, "horn" refers to nearly any wind instrument with a flared exit for the sound.
Descended from the natural horn, the instrument is often informally known as the French horn. However, this is technically incorrect since the instrument is not French in origin, but German. Therefore, the International Horn Society has recommended since 1971 that the instrument be simply called the horn. French horn is still the most commonly used name for the instrument in the United States.
Pitch is controlled through the adjustment of lip tension in the mouthpiece and the operation of valves by the left hand, which route the air into extra tubing. Most horns have lever-operated rotary valves, but some horns like the Vienna horn use piston valves (similar to trumpet valves). A horn without valves is known as a natural horn, changing pitch along the natural harmonics of the instrument (similar to a bugle).
Three valves control the flow of air in the
The baritone saxophone is one of the largest members of the saxophone family. It is the lowest-pitched saxophone in common use. The tenor, alto, and the soprano saxophone are the other commonly found members of the family.
It is a transposing instrument in the key of E♭, pitched an octave plus a major sixth lower than written. It is one octave lower than the alto saxophone. Modern baritones with a low A key and high F# key have a range from C2 to A4. Adolphe Sax also produced a baritone saxophone in F intended for orchestral use, but these fell into disuse. As with all saxophones, music is written in treble clef.
The baritone saxophone is used as a standard member of concert bands and saxophone quartets.
It has also been occasionally called for in orchestral music. Examples include Richard Strauss' Sinfonia Domestica, which calls for a baritone saxophone in F; Béla Bartók's The Wooden Prince ballet music; Charles Ives' Symphony No. 4, composed in 1910-16; and Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue and An American in Paris.
It has a comparatively small solo repertoire although an increasing number of concertos have appeared.
The baritone sax is also an important part of military bands, jazz
The kaval is a chromatic end-blown flute traditionally played throughout Azerbaijan, Turkey, Hungary, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Albania, southern Serbia (кавал), northern Greece (καβάλι or τζαμάρα), Romania (caval), and Armenia (Բլուլ or blul). The kaval is primarily associated with mountain shepherds throughout the Balkans and Anatolia.
Unlike the transverse flute, the kaval is fully open at both ends, and is played by blowing on the sharpened edge of one end. The kaval has 8 playing holes (7 in front and 1 in the back for the thumb) and usually four more unfingered intonation holes near the bottom of the kaval. As a wooden rim-blown flute, kaval is similar to the ney of the Arab world. The name kaval may once have been referred to various Balkan duct and rim-blown flutes, accounting for the present day diversity of the term’s usage.
While typically made of wood (cornel cherry, apricot, plum, boxwood, mountain ash, etc.), kavals are also made from water buffalo horn, Arundo donax Linnaeus 1753 (Persian reed), metal and plastic.
A kaval made without joints is usually mounted on a wooden holder, which protects it from warping and helps keep the interior walls oiled. According to the key,
Maracas ( pronunciation (help·info), sometimes called rumba shakers) are a native instrument of Latin America. They are a kind of percussion instrument (idiophones), usually played in pairs, consisting of a dried calabash or gourd shell (cuia "koo-ya") or coconut shell filled with seeds or dried beans. They may also be made of leather, wood, or plastic.
Often one ball is pitched high, and the other is pitched low. There is evidence of clay maracas used by the natives of Colombia 1500 years ago. The word maraca is thought to have come from the Tupi language of Brazil, where it is pronounced 'ma-ra-KAH'. They are known in Trinidad as shac-shacs.
Although a simple instrument, the method of playing the maracas is not obvious. The seeds or dried beans must travel some distance before they hit the leather, wood, or plastic, so the player must anticipate the rhythm. One can also strike the maraca against one's hand or leg to get a different sound. Band leader Vincent Lopez hosted a radio program in the early 1950s called Shake the Maracas in which audience members competed for small prizes by playing the instrument with the orchestra.
Maracas are heard in many forms of Latin music and are
A sampler (or, in the case of only playback, called sample player or Rompler) is an electronic musical instrument similar in some respects to a synthesizer but, instead of generating sounds, it uses recordings (or "samples") of sounds that are loaded or recorded into it by the user and then played back by means of the sampler program itself, a keyboard, sequencer or other triggering device to perform or compose music. Because these samples are now usually stored in digital memory the information can be quickly accessed. A single sample may often be pitch-shifted to produce musical scales and chords.
Often samplers offer filters, modulation via low frequency oscillation and other synthesizer-like processes that allow the original sound to be modified in many different ways. Most samplers have polyphonic capabilities - they are able to play more than one note at the same time. Many are also multitimbral - they can play back different sounds at the same time.
Prior to computer memory-based samplers, musicians used tape replay keyboards, which store recordings on analog tape. When a key is pressed the tape head contacts the tape and plays a sound. The Mellotron was the most notable
A sound synthesizer (often abbreviated as "synthesizer" or "synth") is an electronic instrument capable of producing a wide range of sounds. Synthesizers may either imitate other instruments ("imitative synthesis") or generate new timbres. They can be played (controlled) via a variety of different input devices (including keyboards, music sequencers and instrument controllers). Synthesizers generate electric signals (waveforms), and can finally be converted to sound through the loudspeakers or headphones.
Synthesizers use a number of different technologies or programmed algorithms to generate signal, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. Among the most popular waveform synthesis techniques are subtractive synthesis, additive synthesis, wavetable synthesis, frequency modulation synthesis, phase distortion synthesis, physical modeling synthesis and sample-based synthesis. Also other sound synthesis methods including subharmonic synthesis used on mixture trautonium, granular synthesis resulting Soundscape or Cloud, are rarely used. (See #Types of synthesis)
Synthesizers are often controlled with a piano-style keyboard, leading such instruments to be referred to simply as
Kacapi is a zither-like Sundanese musical instrument played as the main accompanying instrument in the Tembang Sunda or Mamaos Cianjuran, kacapi suling (tembang Sunda without vocal accompaniment) genre (called kecapi seruling in Indonesian), pantun stories recitation or an additional instrument in Gamelan Degung performance.
Word kacapi in Sundanese also refers to santol tree, from which initially the wood is believed to be used for building the zither instrument.
According to its form or physical appearance, there are two kinds of kacapis:
The Kacapi Parahu is a resonance box with an uncovered underside to allow the sound out. The sides of this kind of kacapi are tapered inward from top to bottom, which gives the instrument a boat-like shape. In ancient times, it was made directly from solid wood by perforating it.
The Kacapi siter is a plan-parallel resonance box. Similar to the kacapi parahu, its hole is located at the bottom. The upper and bottom sides of it form a trapezium-like shape.
For both kinds of kacapi, each string is affixed to a small screw or peg on the top right hand side of the box. They can be tuned in different systems: pelog, sorog/madenda, or
The khong wong lek (Thai: ฆ้องวงเล็ก, pronounced [kʰɔ́ːŋ woŋ lék]) is a gong circle used in Thai classical music. It has 18 tuned bossed gongs, and is smaller and higher in pitch than the khong wong yai. Both instruments are played in the same manner, the khong wong lek plays a faster and more ornate variation on the principal melody, with less use of two-note chords. Each gong in tuned with beeswax under the gongs
The pan flute or pan pipe is an ancient musical instrument based on the principle of the closed tube, consisting usually of five or more pipes of gradually increasing length (and, at times, girth). The pan flute has long been popular as a folk instrument, and is considered the first mouth organ, ancestor of both the pipe organ and the harmonica. The pan flute is named for its association with the Greek god Pan. The God Pan played music on his pipes that has always been described as eerie and many people have been said to be intimidated by his irregular tunes. The pipes of the pan flute are typically made from bamboo or giant cane; other materials used include wood, plastic, metal and ivory.
Another term for the pan flute is syrinx, from Greek mythology, the story of Pan. The plural of syrinx is syringes, from which the modern word syringe is derived. (Pan pipes is both singular and plural.) Other names for the instrument are mouth organ, Pandean pipe, and the Latin fistula panis.
The pan flute's tubes are stopped at one end, at which the standing wave is reflected giving a note an octave lower than that produced by an open pipe of equal length. In the traditional South American
A psaltery is a stringed musical instrument of the harp or the zither family.
The psaltery of Ancient Greece (Epigonion) dates from at least 2800 BCE, and was a harp-like instrument. The word psaltery derives from the Ancient Greek ψαλτήριον (psaltērion), "stringed instrument, psaltery, harp" and that from the verb ψάλλω (psallō), "to touch sharply, to pluck, pull, twitch" and in the case of the strings of musical instruments, "to play a stringed instrument with the fingers, and not with the plectrum."
In the King James Version of the Bible, "psaltery," and its plural, "psalteries," is used to translate the Hebrew keliy (כלי) in Psalm 71:22 and I Chronicles 16:5; nevel (נבל) in I Samuel 10:5; 2 Samuel 6:5; I Kings 10:12; I Chronicles 13:8; 15:16, 20, 28; 25:1, 6; II Chronicles 5:12; 9:11; 20:28; 29:25; Nehemiah 12:27; Psalms 33:2; 57:6; 81:2; 92:3; 108:2; 144:9; and 150:3; and pesanterin (פסנתרין) in Daniel 3:5, 7, 10, and 15.
In the Christian era, a psaltery consisting of a soundboard with several pre-tuned strings that are usually plucked came into use. It was also known by the name canon from the Greek word κανών, "kanon," which means rule, principle, and also "mode." The modern
The bones are a musical instrument (more specifically, a folk instrument) which, at the simplest, consists of a pair of animal bones, or pieces of wood or a similar material. Sections of large rib bones and lower leg bones are the most commonly used true bones, although wooden sticks shaped like the earlier true bones are now more often used. If metal spoons are used instead, as is common in the United States, this is called "playing the spoons". The technique probably arrived in the U.S. via Irish and other European immigrants, and has a history stretching back to ancient China, Egypt, Greece, and Rome.
They have contributed to many music genres, including 19th century minstrel shows, traditional Irish music, the blues, bluegrass, zydeco, French-Canadian music, and music from Cape Breton in Nova Scotia. The clacking of the loose rib bones produces a much sharper sound than the zydeco washboard or frottoir, which mimics rattling a bone up and down a fixed ribcage.
They are typically about 5" to 7" in length, but can be much longer, and they are often curved, roughly resembling miniature barrel staves. Bones can also be flat, for example by the cutting of a yardstick. They are
The bullroarer, rhombus, or turndun, is an ancient ritual musical instrument and a device historically used for communicating over greatly extended distances. It dates to the Paleolithic period, being found in Ukraine dating from 17,000 BC. Anthropologist Michael Boyd, a Bullroarer expert, documents a number found in Europe, Asia, the Indian sub-continent, Africa, the Americas, and Australia.
In ancient Greece it was a sacred instrument used in the Dionysian Mysteries and is still used in rituals worldwide.
Along with the didgeridoo, it is prominent technology among Australian Aborigines, used in ceremony across the continent.
The bullroarer has sometimes been incorrectly used as a means of seeming to demonstrate the Doppler effect in sound waves. In such cases, an incorrect explanation which might be given is that as the instrument travels around its circular path, its perceived pitch may, to a third party, seem to appear to rise and fall as it moves closer and farther away, respectively. This explanation is credible only because it is hard to keep track of the circling blade's location and at the same time to associate that with the bullroarer's pitch changes. In fact, when the
The clarinet is a type of woodwind instrument that has a single-reed mouthpiece, a straight cylindrical tube with an approximately cylindrical bore, and a flaring bell. A person who plays the clarinet is called a clarinetist or clarinettist.
The word clarinet may have entered the English language via the French clarinette (the feminine diminutive of Old French clarin or clarion), or from Provençal clarin, "oboe". It "is plainly a diminutive of clarino, the Italian for trumpet", and the Italian clarinetto is the source of the name in many other languages. According to Johann Gottfried Walther, writing in 1732, the reason for the name was that "it sounded from far off not unlike a trumpet". This may indicate its strident quality in the upper register, although in the low register it was "feeble and buzzing". The English form clarinet is found as early as 1733, and the now-archaic clarionet appears from 1784 until the early years of the 20th century.
There are many types of clarinets of differing sizes and pitches, comprising a large family of instruments. The unmodified word clarinet usually refers to the B♭ soprano clarinet, by far the most common type. The clarinet family is the
The crwth ( /ˈkruːθ/ or /ˈkrʊθ/), also called a crowd, is an archaic stringed musical instrument, associated particularly with Welsh music, once widely-played in Europe.
The name crwth is originally a Welsh word, derived from a Proto-Celtic noun *krotto- ("round object") refers to a swelling or bulging out, of pregnant appearance, or a protuberance, and it is speculated that it came to be used for the instrument because of its bulging shape. Other Celtic words for violin also have meanings referring to rounded appearances. In Gaelic, for example, "cruit" can mean "hump" or "hunch" as well as harp or violin. Like several other English loanwords from Welsh, the name is one of the few words in the English language that is written without one of the five standard English vowel letters.
The traditional English name is crowd (or rote), and the variants crwd, crout and crouth are little used today. In Medieval Latin it is called the chorus or crotta. The Welsh word crythor means a performer on the crwth. The Irish word is cruit, although it also was used on occasion to designate certain small harps. The English surnames Crowder and Crowther denote a player of the crowd, as do the Scottish
The khong wong yai (Thai: ฆ้องวงใหญ่, pronounced [kʰɔ́ːŋ woŋ jàj]) is a circle with gongs used in the music of Thailand. It has 16 tuned bossed gongs in a rattan frame and is played with two beaters.The player sits in the middle of the circle. It is used in the piphat ensemble to provide the skeletal melody the other instruments of the elaborate ensemble. The gongs are individually tuned with beeswax under the gongs. the khong wong yai can either be played with soft beaters or hard beaters
The lesiba is a stringed-wind instrument, with a quill attached to a long string acting as the main source of vibration. The quill is blown across, creating vibration in the string, usually in short notes on a small, limited scale. The lesiba's construction is unique, in that it is the only instrument in use today that is a stringed wind instrument.
The lesiba is the national instrument of the Basotho , a southern African people, now located primarily in South Africa and Lesotho. Very few people alive today play this instrument.
One player, Ntate Thabong Phosa, plays with Sipho Mabuse and can be heard in the song "Thaba Bosiu" on Mabuse's "Township Child" album.
A nyckelharpa (literally "key harp", plural nyckelharpor), sometimes called a keyed fiddle, is a traditional Swedish musical instrument. It is a string instrument or chordophone. Its keys are attached to tangents which, when a key is depressed, serve as frets to change the pitch of the string.
The nyckelharpa is similar in appearance to a fiddle or the bowed Byzantine lira. Structurally, it is more closely related to the hurdy gurdy, both employing key-actuated tangents to change the pitch. The nyckelharpa and its tonal range appear on the reverse of the Swedish 50 kronor banknote.
A depiction of two instruments, possibly but not confirmed nyckelharpor, can be found in a relief dating from circa 1350 on one of the gates of Källunge church on Gotland. Early church paintings are found in Siena, Italy, dating to 1408 and in different churches in Denmark and Sweden, such as Tolfta church, Sweden, which dates to circa 1460-1525. Other very early pictures are to be found in Hildesheim, Germany, dating to circa 1590.
The Schlüsselfidel (nyckelharpa) is also mentioned in Theatrum Instrumentorum, a famous work written in 1620 by the German organist Michael Praetorius (1571–1621). The
The pandeiro (Portuguese pronunciation: [pɐ̃ˈdejɾu]) is a type of hand frame drum popular in Brazil ,and which has been described as an unofficial instrument of that nation.
There are two important distinctions between a pandeiro and the common tambourine. The tension of the head on the pandeiro can be tuned, allowing the player a choice of high and low notes. Also, the metal jingles (called platinelas in Portuguese) are cupped, creating a crisper, drier and less sustained tone on the pandeiro than on the tambourine. This provides clarity when swift, complex rhythms are played.
It is held in one hand, and struck on the head by the other hand to produce the sound. Typical pandeiro patterns are played by alternating the thumb, fingertips, heel, and palm of the hand.
A pandeiro can also be shaken to make sound, or one can run a finger along the head to create a "rasp" noise. The pandeiro is used in a number of Brazilian music forms, such as Samba, Choro, Coco, and Capoeira music (see Capoeira songs). The Brazilian pandeiro derives from the pandeireta or pandereta of Spain and Portugal.
Some of the best-known pandeiro players today are Paulinho Da Costa, Airto Moreira, Marcos Suzano,
Ravanahatha (ravanhatta, rawanhattha, ravanastron or ravana hasta veena) is a bowed fiddle popular in Western India. It is believed to have originated among the Hela civilisation of Sri Lanka in the time of King Ravana. The bowl is made of cut coconut shell, the mouth of which is covered with goat hide. A dandi, made of bamboo, is attached to this shell. The principal strings are two: one of steel and the other of a set of horsehair. The long bow has jingle bells.
Throughout the medieval history of India, kings were patrons of music; this helped in increased popularity of ravanhatta among royal families. In Rajasthan and Gujarat, it was the first musical instrument to be learned by princes. The Sangit tradition of Rajasthan further helped in popularizing ravanhatta among ladies as well.
According to legend, Ravana was an ardent devotee of the Hindu god Shiva, and served him using the soulful music emanating from the ravanahatha. In the Hindu Ramayana epic, after the war between Rama and Ravana, Hanuman picked up a ravanahatha and returned to North India. In India, the ravanahatha is still played in Rajasthan. From India, the ravanahatha travelled westwards to the Middle East and
The saxophone (also referred to informally as the sax) is a conical-bore, transposing musical instrument that is a member of the woodwind family. Saxophones are usually made of brass and played with a single-reed mouthpiece similar to that of the clarinet. The saxophone was invented by the Belgian instrument maker Adolphe Sax in 1846. He wanted to create an instrument that would be the most powerful and vocal of the woodwinds, and the most adaptive of the brass—that would fill the vacant middle ground between the two sections. He patented the sax on June 24, 1846 in two groups of seven instruments each. Each series consisted of instruments of various sizes in alternating transposition. The series pitched in B♭ and E♭, designed for military bands, has proved extremely popular and most saxophones encountered today are from this series. Instruments from the so-called "orchestral" series pitched in C and F never gained a foothold, and the B♭ and E♭ instruments have now replaced the C and F instruments in classical music.
While proving very popular in military band music, the saxophone is most commonly associated with jazz and classical music. There is substantial repertoire of concert
The trombone (German: Posaune, Spanish: trombón) is a musical instrument in the brass family. Like all brass instruments, sound is produced when the player’s vibrating lips (embouchure) cause the air column inside the instrument to vibrate. Nearly all trombones have a telescoping slide mechanism that varies the length of the instrument to change the pitch. Instead of a slide, the valve trombone has three valves like those on a trumpet.
The word trombone derives from Italian tromba (trumpet) and -one (a suffix meaning "large"), so the name means "large trumpet". The trombone has a predominantly cylindrical bore like its valved counterpart the baritone horn and in contrast to its conical valved counterparts, the euphonium and the orchestral horn. The most frequently encountered trombones are the tenor trombone and bass trombone, while the E♭ alto trombone became less common as tenor technique extended the upper range of that instrument, but is now enjoying a resurgence as the importance of its lighter sonority in many classical and early romantic works is appreciated. The most common variant, the tenor, is pitched in B♭, an octave below the B♭ trumpet and an octave above the B♭ tuba.
The alphorn or alpenhorn or alpine horn is a labrophone, consisting of a wooden natural horn of conical bore, having a wooden cup-shaped mouthpiece, used by mountain dwellers in Switzerland and elsewhere. Similar wooden horns were used for communication in most mountainous regions of Europe, from the French Alps to the Carpathians.
For a long time, scholars believed that the alphorn had been derived from the Roman-Etruscan lituus, because of their resemblance in shape, and because of the word liti, meaning Alphorn in the dialect of Obwalden. There is no documented evidence for this theory, however, and, the word liti was probably borrowed from 16th-18th century writings in Latin, where the word lituus could describe various wind instruments, such as the horn, the crumhorn, or the cornett. Swiss naturalist Conrad Gesner used the words lituum alpinum for the first known detailed description of the alphorn in his De raris et admirandis herbis in 1555. The oldest known document using the German word Alphorn is a page from a 1527 account book from the former Cistercian abbey St. Urban near Pfaffnau mentioning the payment of two Batzen for an itinerant alphorn player from the
The babandil is a single, narrow-rimmed Philippine gong used primarily as the “timekeeper” of the Maguindanao kulintang ensemble.
The babandil usually has a diameter of roughly one foot making it larger than the largest kulintang gong and comparable to the diameter of the agung or gandingan. However, unlike the gandingan or the agung, the babendil has a sunken boss which makes the boss relatively non-functional. Because of their sunken boss, babendils are instead struck either at the flange or the rim, using either bamboo betays or a strip of rattan, producing a sharp, distinctive metallic clang and are sometimes considered “false gongs.” In fact, this distinction makes the babendil classified as a bell in the Hornbostel-Sachs classification (if it were struck at the boss, it would be considered a gong.)
Babandils are normally made out of bronze but due to the scarcity of this metal in Mindanao, most gongs, including the babendil are made out of more common metal such as brass, iron and even tin-can.
The babendil could be played while standing or when seated with the babendil hung half a foot from the floor. Proper technique requires the player to hold the babendil vertically,
The bağlama (Turkish: bağlama, from bağlamak, "to tie", pronounced [baːɫaˈma]) is a stringed musical instrument shared by various cultures in the Eastern Mediterranean, Near East, and Central Asia.
It is sometimes referred to as the saz (from the Persian ساز, meaning a kit or set), although the term "saz" actually refers to a family of plucked string instruments, long-necked lutes used in Ottoman classical music, Turkish folk music, Azeri music, Kurdish music, Assyrian music, and in parts of Syria, Iraq and the Balkan countries.
According to The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, "the terms "bağlama" and "saz" are used somewhat interchangeably in Turkey." Like the Western lute and the Middle-Eastern oud, it has a deep round back, but a much longer neck. It can be played with a plectrum or with a fingerpicking style known as şelpe.
In the music of Greece the name baglamas (Greek: μπαγλαμάς) is given to a treble bouzouki, a related instrument. The Turkish settlement of Anatolia from the late tenth century onward saw the introduction of a two-string Turkmen dutar, which was played in some areas of Turkey until recent times.
The most commonly used string folk instrument in
A keytar is a relatively lightweight keyboard (with or without a built-in synthesizer) that is supported by a strap around the neck and shoulders, similar to the way a guitar is supported by a strap. Keytars allow players a greater range of movement compared to conventional keyboards, which are placed on stands. The instrument has a musical keyboard for triggering musical notes and sounds. Controls for pitch bends, vibrato, portamento, and sustain are placed on the instrument's "neck". The term "keytar" is a portmanteau of the words "keyboard" and "guitar". The term "keytar" might be considered slang or taken from pop culture, as none of the major manufacturers of this style of keyboard has ever referred to them as a "keytar" in any printed reference to this type of product. Keytars may either contain their own synthesis engines, or simply be controllers, triggering notes on a MIDI capable synthesizer.
In early 1970s, Edgar Winter often performed with keyboards slung around his neck, but they were not technically keytars because they had no "neck"; he actually used an ARP 2600 keyboard and a lightweight Univox electronic piano with shoulder straps added.
In late 1970s and early
Kouxian (Chinese: 口弦; pinyin: kǒuxián) is the Chinese generic term for the jaw harp, and as such is used to refer to all such instruments originating in China. In the Chinese language, however, the term is used to refer to all jaw harps, whether from China or elsewhere.
The kouxian, which likely originated in Asia, is used throughout China, and is particularly popular among non-Han ethnic groups living in China's southwest (including Yunnan, Guangxi, and Guizhou). Each of these ethnic groups has its own name for the instrument in that ethnic group's own language. Such names include ho-hos. Kouxian may be made from bamboo or metal, and are often used as a courting instrument.
One variety of kouxian consists of between one and five brass leaves which are plucked in front of the opened mouth, using the mouth as a resonance chamber. Each leaf produces a different pitched sound when plucked, and the pitches are further refined by changing the volume and shape of the oral cavity. Leaves may be plucked one at a time or many at once to produce synthesizer-like melody. Many three leaved kouxian are tuned root, minor third, fourth: the first three notes of the minor and blues minor
The Paraguayan harp is the national instrument of Paraguay, and similar instruments are used elsewhere in South America, particularly Venezuela.
It is a diatonic harp with 32, 36, 38 or 40, 42 or 46 strings, made from tropical wood, pine and cedar, with an rounded neck-arch, played with the fingernail. It accompanies traditional songs in the Guarani language. It stands 4.5'-5' feet tall and weighs 8-10 pounds.
The Paraguayan harp is constructed in three parts which are never glued or attached in fixed form; the Head (also called the neck) the Arm and the Body. Characterized by a long cone shaped sound box constructed in three parts with face attached and with a flat ovular base and two to three sound ovular holes on the backside ranging 3-4 inches in diameter each.It has two legs on the bottom which are 4 inches long. The Paraguayan Harp weighs approximately 8 pounds and is carried via the “arm” the center pole which creates tension between the sound box and the “head”.
It is constructed of lightweight cedar imported from the United States (the same thickness used in guitars) and has very fine grade Pine imported from Japan (used for violins)creates the thin face from which the
A pātē is a Polynesian percussion instrument. It is of the slit drum family, and therefore is also of the idiophone percussion family. It is made from a hollowed-out log, usually of Milo wood and produces a distinctive and loud sound. Different sizes of pate offer different pitches and volumes, as well as striking the pate in the middle or near the ends.
First a segment of a hardwood tree trunk or thick branch is taken and stripped of its bark. Holes are then bored into the log in a straight line, from one end to the other, optionally leaving some space at each end. What remains in between the holes is then chiseled out, forming the characteristic slit. After this, the log continues to be hollowed out through the slit. Both the shape of the slit and the extent that the log is gutted will affect the tone and pitch of the pate.
The piccolo (Italian for small) is a half-size flute, and a member of the woodwind family of musical instruments. The piccolo has most of the same fingerings as its larger sibling, the standard transverse flute, but the sound it produces is an octave higher than written. This gave rise to the name "ottavino," the name by which the instrument is referred to in the scores of Italian composers.
Piccolos are now only manufactured in the key of C; however, they were once also available in D♭. It was for this D♭ piccolo that John Philip Sousa wrote the famous solo in the final repeat of the closing section (trio) of his march "The Stars and Stripes Forever".
In the orchestral setting, the piccolo player is often designated as Piccolo/Flute III or even Assistant Principal. The larger orchestras have designated this position as a Solo position due to the demands of the literature. Piccolos are often orchestrated to double (i.e., to play together with) the violins or the flutes, adding sparkle and brilliance to the overall sound because of the aforementioned one-octave transposition upwards.
The first known use of the word piccolo was in 1856, though the English were using the term already
A seven-string guitar is a guitar with seven strings instead of the usual six. Some types of seven-string guitars are specific to certain cultures (i.e. Russian and Brazilian guitars). The standard 7-string guitar tuning is BEADGbe. Seven-string electric guitars are used particularly in certain styles of music, such as heavy metal, rock and jazz. Rock and metal artists such as A Plea For Purging, Breakthrough, Paradise Lost, Born of Osiris, Devin Townsend, Fear Factory, Steve Vai, Scribe, Dream Theater, Animals as Leaders, Bleeding Oath, Trivium, Korn, Limp Bizkit, Slayer, Megadeth,(Megadeth's lead guitarist Chris Broderick uses 7 string guitars, but a 7 string isn't required in Megadeth.) Deftones, Behemoth, Periphery, Nevermore, TesseracT, Textures and Mucc have all experimented with seven-string guitars. Jazz artists such as George Van Eps, Bucky Pizzarelli, John Pizzarelli, Howard Alden, Lenny Breau and Jimmy Bruno use 7-strings.
Extra strings are usually added to extend the bass range of the 6-string guitar. These strings are commonly added in two different ways. The first and most common construction is to increase the width of the fingerboard such that the extra string (or
Swedish bagpipes (säckpipa, Swedish: Svensk säckpipa) are a variety of bagpipes from Sweden. The term itself generically translates to "bagpipes" in Swedish, but is used in English to describe the specifically Swedish bagpipe from the Dalarna region.
Medieval paintings in churches suggest that the instrument was spread all over Sweden. The instrument was practically extinct by the middle of the 20th century; the instrument that today is referred to as Swedish bagpipes is a construction based on instruments from the western parts of the district called Dalarna, the only region of Sweden where the bagpipe tradition survived into the 20th century.
In late 1930s, the ethnologist Mats Rehnberg found some bagpipes in the collections of the museum Nordiska museet, and he wrote a thesis on the subject. Rehnberg managed to find the last carrier of Swedish bagpipe tradition, Gudmunds Nils Larsson in the village Dala-Järna. Rehnberg visited Larsson together with a music teacher, Ture Gudmundsson, who managed to reconstruct an instrument, with which Ture later played and recorded two tunes for the national publicly-funded radio broadcaster Sveriges Radio. During the following decades only a
The alto saxophone is a member of the saxophone family of woodwind instruments invented by Belgian instrument designer Adolphe Sax in 1841. It is smaller than the tenor but larger than the soprano, and is the type most used in classical compositions. The alto and tenor are the most common types of saxophone.
The alto saxophone is an E♭ transposing instrument and reads the treble clef. A written C-natural sounds as the concert E♭ a major sixth lower.
The range of the alto saxophone is from concert D♭3 (the D♭ below middle C—see Scientific pitch notation) to concert A♭5 (or A5 on altos with a high F♯ key). As with most types of saxophones, the standard written range is B♭3 to F6 (or F♯6). Above that, the altissimo register begins at F♯ and extends upwards. The saxophone's altissimo register is more difficult to control than that of other woodwinds and is usually only expected from advanced players.
Notable alto saxophonists include jazz musicians Charlie Parker, Kenny Garrett, Jimmy Dorsey, Johnny Hodges, Art Pepper, Cannonball Adderley, Eric Dolphy, Sonny Stitt, David Sanborn, Ornette Coleman, Anthony Braxton, Phil Woods, John Zorn, and Paul Desmond. Classical musicians include
The bandoneón is a type of concertina particularly popular in Argentina and Uruguay which is an essential instrument in most tango ensembles from the traditional orquesta típicas of the 1930s and 1940s onwards. The bandoneón, so named by the German instrument dealer, Heinrich Band (1821–1860), was originally intended as an instrument for religious music and the popular music of the day, in contrast to its predecessor, the German concertina (or Konzertina), considered to be a folk instrument by some modern authors. German sailors and Italian seasonal workers and emigrants brought the instrument with them to Argentina in the late 19th century, where it was incorporated into the local music, such as tango.
Like concertinas, the bandoneón is played by holding the instrument between both hands and either pushing in or pulling out the instrument while simultaneously pressing one or more buttons with the fingers. It is considered part of the concertina family of instruments rather than the accordion family, although both are free reed instruments. In the concertina family the direction of button movement is parallel with the direction of bellows movement, whereas in the accordion family
The bass guitar (also called electric bass, or simply bass; /ˈbeɪs/) is a stringed instrument played primarily with the fingers or thumb, by plucking, slapping, popping, tapping, thumping, or picking.
The bass guitar is similar in appearance and construction to an electric guitar, but with a longer neck and scale length, and four, five, six, or eight strings. The four-string bass—by far the most common—is usually tuned the same as the double bass, which corresponds to pitches one octave lower than the four lower strings of a guitar (E, A, D, and G). The bass guitar is a transposing instrument, as it is notated in bass clef an octave higher than it sounds (as is the double bass) to avoid excessive ledger lines. Like the electric guitar, the bass guitar is plugged into an amplifier and speaker for live performances.
Since the 1960s, the bass guitar has largely replaced the double bass in popular music as the bass instrument in the rhythm section. While the types of basslines performed by the bassist vary widely from one style of music to another, the bassist fulfills a similar role in most types of music: anchoring the harmonic framework and laying down the beat. The bass guitar is
The bassoon is a woodwind instrument in the double reed family that typically plays music written in the bass and tenor registers, and occasionally higher. Appearing in its modern form in the 19th century, the bassoon figures prominently in orchestral, concert band and chamber music literature. The bassoon is a non-transposing instrument known for its distinctive tone color, wide range, variety of character and agility. Listeners often compare its warm, dark, reedy timbre to that of a male baritone voice. Someone who plays the bassoon is called a bassoonist.
The word bassoon comes from French basson and from Italian bassone (basso with the augmentative suffix -one).
The bassoon disassembles into six main pieces, including the reed. The bell (6), extending upward; the bass joint (or long joint) (5), connecting the bell and the boot; the boot (or butt) (4), at the bottom of the instrument and folding over on itself; the wing joint (3), which extends from boot to bocal; and the bocal (or crook) (2), a crooked metal tube that attaches the wing joint to a reed (1) ( listen (help·info)). Bassoons are double reed instruments like the oboe and the English horn.
The modern bassoon is
Binioù means bagpipe in the Breton language.
There are two bagpipes called binioù in Brittany: the traditional binioù kozh (kozh means "old" in Breton) and the binioù bras (bras means "big"), which was brought into Brittany from Scotland in the late 19th century. The oldest native bagpipe in Brittany is the veuze, from which the binioù kozh is thought to be derived.
The binioù bras is essentially the same as the Scottish Great Highland Bagpipe; sets are manufactured by Breton makers or imported from Scotland or elsewhere.
The binioù kozh has a one octave scale, and is very high-pitched; it is tuned to play one octave higher than the bombard which it accompanies. More traditional forms have a single drone, while modern instruments sometimes have two. In the old days the leather used for the bag was usually from a dog's skin, but this is nowadays replaced by synthetic materials or other leathers which are easier to procure, like cow or sheep.
Traditionally it is played in duet with the bombard, a double reed instrument which sounds an octave below the binioù chanter, for Breton folk dancing. The binioù bras is typically used as part of a bagad band, although it is sometimes also
The C melody saxophone is a saxophone pitched in the key of C, one whole step above the tenor saxophone. In the UK it is sometimes referred to as a "C tenor", and in France as a "tenor en ut". The C melody was part of the series of saxophones pitched in C and F, intended by the instrument's inventor, Adolphe Sax, for orchestral use. Since 1930, only saxophones in the key of B♭ and E♭ (originally intended by Sax for use in military bands and wind ensembles) have been produced on a large scale. However, in the early years of the 21st century, small-scale production of new C melody saxophones has commenced in China for a company called Aquilasax.
A C melody saxophone is larger than an alto and smaller than a tenor. When seen in profile, its shape bears some resemblance to a tenor saxophone, though it is smaller and the bell appears longer. Most C melody saxophones have curved necks (with a similar shape to that of the tenor saxophone) though C.G.Conn did make straight-necked C melody instruments. C melody saxophones are usually marked with a letter "C" above or below the serial number.
A major selling point for the C melody saxophone was the fact that in contrast to other saxophones,
A Cajun accordion also known as a squeezebox is single-row diatonic button accordion used for playing Cajun music.
Many different accordions were developed in Europe throughout the 19th century, and exported worldwide. Accordions were brought to Acadiana in the 1890s and became popular by the early 1900s (decade), eventually becoming a staple of Cajun music.
Many of the German factories producing diatonic accordions for the United States market were destroyed during World War II. As a result, some Cajuns began producing their own instruments, based on the popular one-row German accordions but with modifications to suit the nuances of the Cajun playing style. Since the end of World War II, there has been a surge in the number of Cajun accordion makers in Louisiana, as well as several in Texas.
The Cajun accordion is generally defined as a single-row diatonic accordion, as compared to multiple-row instruments commonly used in Irish, Italian, polka, and other styles of music. The Cajun accordion has multiple reeds for every button and the number of reeds sounding is controlled by four stops or knobs. Louisiana constructed accordions are usually built in small backyard shops like Marc
A calliope (see below for pronunciation) is a musical instrument that produces sound by sending a gas, originally steam or more recently compressed air, through large whistles, originally locomotive whistles.
A calliope is typically very loud. Even some small calliopes are audible for miles around. There is no provision for varying the tone or loudness. The only expression possible is the timing and duration of the notes.
The steam calliope is also known as a steam organ or steam piano. The air-driven calliope is sometimes called a calliaphone, the name given it by its inventor, but the "Calliaphone" name is registered by the Miner Company for instruments produced under the Tangley name.
In the age of steam, the steam calliope was particularly employed on riverboats and in circuses. In both cases, a steam supply was already available for other purposes. Riverboats supplied steam from their propulsion boilers. Circus calliopes were sometimes installed in steam-drive carousels, or supplied with steam from a traction engine, which may also supply electric power for lighting and tow the calliope in the circus parade, in which it traditionally came last. Other circus calliopes were
A concertina is a free-reed musical instrument, like the various accordions and the harmonica. It has a bellows and buttons typically on both ends of it. When pressed, the buttons travel in the same direction as the bellows, unlike accordion buttons which travel perpendicularly to it. Also, each button produces one note, while accordions typically can produce chords with a single button.
The concertina was developed in England and Germany, most likely independently. The English version was invented in 1829 by Sir Charles Wheatstone and a patent for an improved version was filed by him in 1844. The German version was announced in 1834 by Carl Friedrich Uhlig.
The word concertina refers to a family of hand-held bellows-driven free reed instruments constructed according to various systems. Strictly speaking: Concertinas are six sided, Aeolas are eight sided and Edeophones are twelve sided. The systems differ in:
Because the concertina was developed nearly contemporaneously in England and Germany, systems can be broadly divided into English, German, and Anglo-German types. To a player proficient in one of these systems, a concertina constructed according to a different system may be
A frame drum is a drum that has a drumhead width greater than its depth. Usually the single drumhead is made of rawhide or man-made materials. Shells are traditionally constructed of bent wood (rosewood, oak, ash etc.) scarf jointed together; plywood and man-made materials are also used. Some frame drums have mechanical tuning and on many the drumhead is stretched and tacked in place. It is the earliest skin drum known to have existed. Examples are found in many places and cultures. It has been suggested that they were also used to winnow grain.
Frame drums are one of the most ancient types of musical instruments. They have a simple structure with strong spiritual and entertaining effects. They are usually round, made of wood with animal skin and sometimes metal rings or plates incorporated into the drum to provide jingle. They have different sizes; the larger drums are played mainly by men in spiritual rituals and medium size drums are played mainly by women.
Frame drums originated in the ancient Middle East, India, and Rome, and reached medieval Europe through Islamic culture. The similarity of the names of frame drums in these regions shows the common history of these drums.
A handbell is a bell designed to be rung by hand. To ring a handbell, a ringer grasps the bell by its slightly flexible handle — traditionally made of leather, but often now made of plastic — and moves the wrist to make the hinged clapper inside the bell strike. An individual handbell can be used simply as a signal to catch people's attention or summon them together, but handbells are generally heard in tuned sets.
The first tuned handbells were developed by brothers Robert and William Cor in Aldbourne, Wiltshire, England, between 1696 and 1724. The Cor brothers originally made latten bells for hame boxes, but for reasons unknown, they began tuning their bells more finely to have an accurate fundamental tone, and fitted them with hinged clappers that moved only in one plane.
Originally, tuned sets of handbells, such as the ones made by the Cor brothers, were used by change ringers to rehearse outside their towers. Tower bell ringers' enthusiasm for practicing the complicated algorithms of change ringing can easily exceed the neighbours' patience, so in the days before modern sound control handbells offered them a way to continue ringing without the aural assault. The handbell sets
The Hang (German pronunciation: [haŋ], plural form: Hanghang) is a musical instrument in the idiophone class created by Felix Rohner and Sabina Schärer (PANArt Hangbau AG) in Bern, Switzerland.
It is made from two deep drawn, nitrided steel sheets that are attached together creating the recognizable 'UFO shape'. There is nothing inside the Hang but air. The top ("Ding") side has a center 'note' hammered into it with seven or eight 'tone fields' hammered around it. The bottom ("Gu") is a simpler surface that has a rolled hole in the center with a tuned note that can be created when the rim is struck.
The Hang uses some of the same physical principles as a steelpan but with a new material and structural change of having two clamped shells with a small opening so that the instrument is a Helmholtz resonator. The creation of the Hang was the result of many years of research on the steelpan as well as the study of a diverse collection of instruments from around the world such as gongs, gamelan, ghatam, drums and bells. Metallurgical and acoustic research by the makers has led to significant changes and refinement in structure, design, and process over the years since the first Hang was
A wooden fish (Chinese: 木魚, pinyin: mùyú), (Vietnamese: mộc ngư or mõ), (Japanese: mokugyo (木魚)), (Korean: moktak 목탁), (Tibetan: ཤིང་ཉ།, Wylie: shingnya) sometimes known as a Chinese block, is a wooden percussion instrument similar to the Western wood block. The wooden fish is used by monks and laity in the Mahayana Buddhist tradition. It is often used during rituals usually involving the recitation of sutras, mantras, or other Buddhist texts. The wooden fish is mainly used by Buddhist disciples in China, Japan, Korea, and other East Asian countries where the practice of Mahayana, such as the ceremonious reciting of sutras, is prevalent. In most Zen/Ch'an Buddhist traditions, the wooden fish serves to keep the rhythm during sutra chanting. In Pure Land Buddhism, it is used when chanting the name of Amitabha.
The Taoist clergy has also adapted the wooden fish into their rituals.
There are two kinds of wooden fish.
Most commonly today, it is the traditional instrument that is round in shape and often made out of wood (often made out of lumber); this form is actually a later development from the original. The fish is hollow with a ridge outside of the wooden fish to help provide the
A musical saw, also called a singing saw, is the application of a hand saw as a musical instrument. Capable of glissando, the sound creates an ethereal tone, very similar to the theremin. The musical saw is classified as a friction idiophone with direct friction (131.22) under the Hornbostel-Sachs system of musical instrument classification.
The saw is generally played seated with the handle squeezed between the legs, and the far end held with one hand. Some sawists play standing, either with the handle between the knees and the blade sticking out in front of them, or with the handle under the chin (like a violin). The saw is usually played with the serrated edge, or teeth facing the body, though some players face them away. Some saw players file down the teeth for added comfort. To sound a note, a sawist first bends the blade into an S-curve. The parts of the blade that are curved are damped from vibration, and do not sound. At the center of the S-curve a section of the blade remains relatively flat. This section, the "sweet spot", can vibrate across the width of the blade, producing a distinct pitch: the wider the section of blade, the lower the sound. Sound is usually created by
The ocarina (/ɒkəˈriːnə/) is an ancient flute-like wind instrument. Variations do exist, but a typical ocarina is an enclosed space with four to twelve finger holes and a mouthpiece that projects from the body. It is often ceramic, but other materials may also be used, such as plastic, wood, glass, clay, metal, and even vegetables.
The ocarina belongs to a very old family of instruments, believed to date back to over 12,000 years. Ocarina-type instruments have been of particular importance in Chinese and Mesoamerican cultures. For the Chinese, the instrument played an important role in their long history of song and dance. The ocarina has similar features to the Xun (塤), another important Chinese instrument (but is different in that Ocarina uses an internal duct, whereas Xun is blown across the outer edge.) In Japan, the traditional ocarina is known as the tsuchibue (kanji: 土笛; literally "earthen flute"). Different expeditions to Mesoamerica, including the one conducted by Cortés, resulted in the introduction of the ocarina to the courts of Europe. Both the Mayans and Aztecs had produced versions of the ocarina, but it was the Aztecs who brought to Europe the song and dance that
The Oud ( /ˈuːd/; Arabic: عود ʿūd, plural:أعواد, a‘wād; Assyrian:ܥܘܕ ūd, Greek: ούτι; Hebrew: עוּד; Persian: بربط barbat; Turkish: ud or ut; Armenian: ուդ, Azeri: ud; Somali: cuud or kaban) is a pear-shaped stringed instrument commonly used in Greek, Byzantine, North African (Chaabi, Classical, and Andalusian) and Middle Eastern music. Construction of the oud is similar to that of the lute. The modern oud and the European lute both descend from a common ancestor via diverging paths. The oud is readily distinguished by its lack of frets and smaller neck. It is considered an ancestor of the guitar.
The origin of the name oud (and its etymological cousin, lute) for the musical instrument is uncertain, but the Arabic العود (al-ʿūd) refers literally to a thin piece of wood similar to the shape of a straw, and may refer to the wooden plectrum traditionally used for playing the oud, to the thin strips of wood used for the back, or to the wooden soundboard that distinguished it from similar instruments with skin-faced bodies. Recent research by Eckhard Neubauer suggests that oud may simply be an Arabic borrowing from the Persian name rud, which meant string, stringed instrument, or
A piano accordion is an accordion equipped with a right-hand keyboard similar to a piano or organ. Its acoustic mechanism is more similar to that of an organ than a piano, as they are both wind instruments, but the term "piano accordion"—coined by Guido Deiro in 1910—has remained the popular nomenclature. It may be equipped with any of the available systems for the left-hand manual.
In comparison to a piano keyboard, the keys are more rounded, smaller, and lighter to the touch. These go vertically down the side, pointing inward, toward the bellows, making them accessible to only one hand while handling the accordion.
The bass piano accordion is a variation of a piano accordion without bass buttons and with the piano keyboard in an octave lower. They typically have around 3 octaves.
The first accordion to feature a piano keyboard was probably the instrument introduced in 1852 by Bouton of Paris. Another source claimed the first piano accordion was introduced in 1854 at the Allegemeine Deutsche Industrieausstellung in München. It was showcased by the instrument builder Mattäus Bauer and quickly became a serious competitor to button accordions.
In the United States, the piano
The ranat thum (Thai: ระนาดทุ้ม, pronounced [ranâːt tʰúm]) is a low pitched xylophone used in the music of Thailand. It has 18 wooden keys, which are stretched over a boat-shaped trough resonator. Its shape looks like a ranat ek, but it is lower and wider. It is usually played in accompaniment of a ranat ek.
ranat thum bars are typically made from bamboo, although instruments with rosewood (Dalbergia oliveri; Thai: ไม้ชิงชัน; mai ching chan) bars can also be found.
It is similar to a Cambodian xylophone called roneat thung.
The udukai or udaku is a membranophone instrument used in folk music and prayers in South India. Its shape is similar to other Indian hourglass drums, having a small snare stretched over one side. The udaku is played with the hand and the pitch may be altered by squeezing the lacing in the middle. The damru in the hands of Lord Shiva is also referred to as udukai.
South Asia : The Indian Subcontinent. (Garland Encyclopedia of World Music, Volume 5). Routledge; Har/Com edition (November 1999). ISBN 978-0-8240-4946-1
A vocoder ( /ˈvoʊkoʊdər/, short for voice encoder) is an analysis/synthesis system, used to reproduce human speech. In the encoder, the input is passed through a multiband filter, each band is passed through an envelope follower, and the control signals from the envelope followers are communicated to the decoder. The decoder applies these (amplitude) control signals to corresponding filters in the synthesizer. Since the control signals change only slowly compared to the original speech waveform, the bandwidth required to transmit speech can be reduced. This allows more speech channels to share a radio circuit or submarine cable. By encoding the control signals, voice transmission can be secured against interception.
The vocoder was originally developed as a speech coder for telecommunications applications in the 1930s, the idea being to code speech for transmission. Transmitting the parameters of a speech model instead of a digitized representation of the speech waveform saves bandwidth in the communication channel; the parameters of the model change relatively slowly, compared to the changes in the speech waveform that they describe. Its primary use in this fashion is for secure