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Article

J. Richard Haefer

Suspension rattle of Iñupiat peoples of Alaska and Canada. Several dozen fin-shaped, 2-cm pieces of walrus tusk are sewn on a dancer’s arm wrapping made from a strip of sealskin about 25 to 30 cm long. Around the top of the wrapping is stitched a circle of polar bear fur. Some believe that the sound of the rattle represents the north wind....

Article

Abadá  

John M. Schechter

Obscure drum, presumably of African origin, of the Babasué (Babassuê) syncretic sect of Belem, Pará, Brazil. It might be related to the atabaque. The body is slightly conical and the single head is secured by a hoop that is laced to four iron hooks that jut from the body below the upper rim. ...

Article

Ableton  

Brandon Smith

Music production software company based in Berlin, with a branch in New York. Ableton (Ableton AG) was founded in 1999 by Gerhard Behles, Robert Henke, and Bernd Roggendorf. Its main product is a computer program called Live, which was released in 2001. This is a digital audio workstation (DAW) environment for recording audio and MIDI with an emphasis on working in real time, essentially allowing the user to play the software as an instrument. Practically any operation can be controlled via MIDI. Since its introduction, Live has become popular among electronic music artists for its ability to allow spontaneous manipulation of audio in a performance situation. Many manufacturers of MIDI controllers have developed control surfaces for Live, bridging the gap between software and hardware....

Article

A family of portable, bellows fueled, free-reed instruments. The right hand typically has access to a series of piano-like keys or circular buttons that activate melodic tones by allowing air to flow over reeds and set them in oscillation. The left hand has access to a separate set of buttons that regulate bass, chord, and in some cases independent tone sonorities. The term “accordion” may apply to instruments that are either diatonically or chromatically scaled. More specifically, a melodeon is a smaller, diatonic button accordion. Another type, known as a concertina, is made in both diatonic and chromatic tunings and is sometimes distinguished by its polygonal sound box. Most accordions have left-hand side air buttons that, when depressed, allow the bellows to be moved rapidly without sounding a reed tone, or provide more bellows when a performer reaches either the bellows’ conventional limits of extension (draw out) or compression (push in)....

Article

Acheré  

Malena Kuss

Afro-Cuban vessel rattle of Yoruba origin. It is made from the shell of a güira, totuma, or calabaza fruit, typically about 10 cm in diameter, with rattling objects inserted and a long wooden handle attached. It is associated mostly with the batá drum ensemble in Santería ceremonies involving dancing, and participates in other instrumental groups, such as those for the Regla de Palo Monte, Arará, Gangá, Radá, conga, ...

Article

Robert E. Eliason

(b Dunstable, NH, Aug 21, 1783; d Milford, NH, March 16, 1864). American brass instrument maker. He invented a valve with movable tongues or flaps within the windway. A trumpet in F by Adams with three such valves is displayed on board the USS Constitution; it dates from about ...

Article

Robert E. Eliason

(b Dunstable, NH, Aug 21, 1783; d Milford, NH, March 16, 1864). American brass instrument maker. He invented a valve with movable tongues or flaps within the windway. A trumpet in F by Adams with three such valves is displayed on board the ...

Article

John M. Schechter and Alice L. Satomi

Term for several aerophones of the Carajá and Savajé Indians of Brazil. Izikowitz documents it as a ribbon-reed aerophone made from a narrow blade of burity plant fibre that is twisted spirally into a tube and then somewhat flattened. Harcourt calls it an ocarina (vessel flute) with five fingerholes. Krautze calls it a gourd vessel flute having a narrow rectangular opening for an embouchure and two fingerholes on the opposite side, and also gives it the Savajé name ...

Article

Laurence Libin

Term for an anthropo- or zoomorphic ceramic rattle of the pre-Contact Americas. In American archaeology ‘adorno’ (from Sp. adornar, ‘to decorate’) generally refers to a decoration attached to the rim (not the side) of a ceramic vessel. Many adornos have been broken off, perhaps intentionally, and are found separately. A significant number of these attached or detached effigies, typically about 6 cm tall or larger, are hollow and contain well-formed, loose pellets, also made of ceramic and fired together with the effigy and its vessel. In the USA adorno rattles have been found in pre-Mississippian and Mississippian-era sites, most examples dating from about ...

Article

Aeolian  

Cynthia Adams Hoover, Edwin M. Good and Barbara Owen

Name associated with a series of American piano, organ, and player piano manufacturers.

Founded by William B(urton) Tremaine (1840–1907), who had begun as a piano maker with Tremaine Brothers in New York City. He formed the Mechanical Orguinette Co. (1878) and the Aeolian Organ & Music Co. (...

Article

Cynthia Adams Hoover

American firm of player piano manufacturers. It was founded by William B. Tremaine, who had begun as a piano builder with Tremaine Brothers. He formed the Mechanical Orguinette Co. in New York (1878) and the Aeolian Organ & Music Co. (by 1888) to manufacture automatic organs and perforated music rolls. His son Harry B. Tremaine sensed the possibility of a larger market and directed the company in an extensive advertising campaign that resulted in the sale of millions of player pianos during the first three decades of the 20th century. In 1913 the company introduced the Duo-Art Reproducing Piano, a sophisticated mechanism (fitted in high-quality pianos) that made it possible to record and reproduce through paper rolls the slightest nuances of dynamics, tempo, and phrasing; a number of leading pianists of that time were recorded in this way....

Article

Cynthia Adams Hoover

American piano manufacturer. It was formed as the result of two mergers, the first of which, on 1 Sept 1932, between the Aeolian Co. and the American Piano Corporation (formerly the American Piano Co.), created the Aeolian American Corporation. In May 1959 the assets of the corporation were purchased by Winter & Co. The parent company changed its name to the Aeolian Corporation on ...

Article

Barbara Owen

American organ building firm. It was formed in 1931 when the firm of Ernest M(artin) Skinner & Co. acquired the organ department of the Aeolian Co., which had made its reputation building organs with self-playing mechanisms for private houses, changing its name to Aeolian-Skinner. In ...

Article

Ágbe  

Afro-Cuban rattle. It is a large gourd with a net of beads or seeds on cords around the outside acting as external strikers. It can be shaken or struck with the palm of the hand and might be played in groups of three different sizes, the largest about 50 cm long. Nowadays a tin sphere sometimes substitutes for the gourd; it is distinct from the ...

Article

Agbosí  

John M. Schechter

Double-headed drum of Cuba. It is 30 to 50 cm long and 15 to 25 cm in diameter at its ends, slightly wider in the middle. Initially constructed from a single piece of wood, it was sometimes made of staves, with its heads nailed on. For private religious rituals of the Yoruba-associated Egguado people, its function was to call and greet the female deity Obbá. The calls on the ...

Article

David P. McAllester and J. Richard Haefer

Term used by the Navajo of the southwestern USA for various rattles. It can also denote the decorated stick carried in the Enemyway ceremony, representing the power of Changing Woman and Enemy Slayer. ‘Aghááł nímaazígíí is the name for a wild gourd rattle, ndilkal ‘aghááł...

Article

Agida  

J. Richard Haefer

Single-headed cylindrical drum of Suriname. It is played with the tumao and apinti drums and is the lowest sounding of the three. It is made from a hollow log commonly 2 to 3 metres long and about 15 to 20 cm in diameter, though drums vary in size. The head is fastened by cords with tuning wedges. The drum is laid on the ground, the performer kneeling beside it and playing with one stick and one hand. A steady beat is played against which the other two drums improvise. Two tones are achieved by striking either the centre or edge of the head. The ...

Article

K.A. Gourlay and Amanda Villepastour

Lamellaphone of the Ọ̀yọ́ Yorùbá in Nigeria. It has diffused to the Nago peoples of Benin and Lucumí people in Cuba, where it is known as the marímbula. Five adjustable metal tongues are mounted on a large wooden box resonator, which can be 45 cm by 60 cm and 22 cm deep or larger. The instrument is played on the lap, suspended from the neck at waist level so that the tongues can be plucked with the fingers of either hand, or resting on the floor with the player seated. The ...

Article

Agogo  

James Holland

(from Afro-Brazilian agogô). Percussion instrument. It consists of two conical bells mounted on a sprung steel hoop (it is classified as a percussion idiophone) and is used in samba bands. The player holds the instrument in one hand and strikes the bells with a wooden or metal stick held in the other. A variety of sounds and rhythmic patterns is produced by striking the bells in different spots and squeezing them together. There are also variations on the original, in the form of triple and quattro agogos and a blade agogo, which has a small metal blade between the two bells. There are also wooden agogos: in this case the ‘bells’ are side by side and not on a sprung steel hoop....

Article

Ahpareo  

J. Richard Haefer

Diatonic harp with 28 strings of the Yoeme Yaqui Indians of Arizona and Sonora, Mexico, and the Mayo and Guarijio Indians of Northern Mexico. The names derive from the Spanish arpa. Made from cedar or other local woods, the harp is about 160 cm tall, with a straight forepillar made from a local cactus pole, an inverted arch neck with wooden tuning pegs, and a resonator of three or usually five sides and a flat soundtable with three circular sound holes. Traditionally the lower strings are made of wound goat gut which the harpist receives as part of his payment for playing the fiesta. Nowadays the strings are made from monofilament nylon of various sizes with the lower ones wound to a larger diameter. The harp is retuned as the performance proceeds through the night with various segments using different scales. The harp is played together with the lave’leo violin to accompany the dancing of the ...