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Article

Edwin M. Ripin and John Koster

A device found on harpsichords of most periods and schools (though more rarely on Italian instruments) as well as on some pianos, especially square pianos of the 18th and early 19th centuries. It mutes the tone by lightly pressing a piece of buff leather, cloth or felt against the strings near the nut, and has the effect of damping the vibrations, especially the high harmonics, so that the sound takes on a duller, pizzicato quality. In harpsichords, the buff stop usually consists of a sliding batten fitted with a small block of material for each note. Sliding the batten to one side brings the blocks against one register of strings, usually at 8′ pitch. In harpsichords by members of the Ruckers family, the buff batten was usually divided into separate treble and bass sections. Occasionally in harpsichords but normally in pianos the buff-stop batten is covered with material along its entire length, so that all the unison strings are damped when the batten is raised or (if placed over the strings) lowered against them. The buff stop should not be confused with the ...

Article

The Fingering of keyboard music with figures 1 to 5 for each hand, 1 standing for the thumb, a system in general use throughout the world today. The term was used in Britain in the 19th century in contrast to so-called English fingering (not, however, exclusively English), which provided for four fingers (marked 1 to 4) and a thumb (marked +)....

Article

The Fingering of keyboard music with figures 1 to 4 representing four fingers, and + the thumb, of each hand, a system used in England and elsewhere in the 19th century and now obsolete. The term contrasted with Continental fingering, which provides the figures 1 to 5 for each hand, 1 standing for the thumb, a system in general use throughout the world today....

Article

Bruce Haynes

An ornament, not unlike a trill, used in woodwind playing, produced by a quick finger movement on the edge of or above a tone hole (usually the highest open hole). It was described in Dutch, English, French and German sources from 1654 to 1847, including Jacques Hotteterre's ...

Article

Edwin M. Ripin

A term sometimes used today for the piano of the 18th and early 19th centuries in order to distinguish it from the 20th-century instrument. German writers sometimes use the terms ‘Hammerklavier’ and ‘Hammerflügel’ for the same purpose. See Pianoforte, §I, 1, Pianoforte, §I, 6, Pianoforte, §I, 7...

Article

Barbara Owen

A name given to certain 16th- and 17th-century tower organs of central Germany and Austria. At first such outdoor organs could play only a few chords, and were used for signalling in the same manner as bells. Later they were enlarged and fitted with self-playing mechanisms of the pinned barrel type, enabling them to play melodies in the manner of a carillon. Two operable examples exist in Austria. One, dating from ...

Article

Gerhard Kubik

Term coined by Gerhard Kubik in 1965 for a type of acoustic guitar music that had developed in the late 1940s and early 1950s along the Copperbelt mining area in Katanga (southern Belgian Congo) and Northern Rhodesia. Its main exponents include the guitar music composers ...

Article

Claus Bockmaier

To introduce Coloration. A term used in German-speaking lands during the late Middle Ages and Renaissance to describe the use of commonplace melodic figures to generate musical textures. During the 15th century, standardized coloration formulae were the starting point for many compositions, especially those which elaborated upon a cantus firmus (...

Article

Edwin M. Ripin

A register of jacks with plectra made from buff leather, occasionally found – especially as an extra fourth register – on French late 18th-century harpsichords.

Harpsichord-piano

Article

Anne Beetem Acker

Term for any device, mechanism, or means by which a player controls an instrument. It embraces keys and keyboards, valves, mouthpieces, bows, plectra, beaters, ribbon controllers, joysticks, touchscreens, other computer input devices and displays running control software, and any other intermediary between player and instrument (real or virtual) giving the player control of the sound-producing elements....

Article

Greer Garden

In Baroque vocal and instrumental music, an appoggiatura, particularly one that resolves upwards by a tone or semitone. Deriving from late 16th-century Italian improvisatory practice – Bovicelli's Regole, passaggi di musica, madrigali et motetti passeggiati (1594/R) contains written-out examples – it became one of the most important graces of French Baroque music. In France it was rarely printed before the late 17th century, but was left to the performer to add extempore. Bacilly explained in his ...

Article

Howard Mayer Brown

A word for improvised counterpoint, and especially for florid melodies added to a cantus prius factus, used in Germany from c1500 to the middle of the 17th century. The word first appeared in a German MS of c1476 ( D-Rp 98 th.4°) and shortly afterwards in Nicolaus Wollick’s ...