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Article

Anthony C. Baines and Trevor Herbert

A valved brass instrument in B♭, pitched as the trombone, in Britain having a narrower bore than the similarly pitched Euphonium [euphonion, tenor tuba in B♭]. Two are used in British brass bands to fill the harmony rather than as solo instruments. The usual compass sounds from ...

Article

The bass oboe. See Oboe, §III, 5, (i).

Article

Vasil S. Tole

(b Përmet, Albania, May 2, 1929; d Përmet, Jan 26, 2014). Albanian folk music performer. A clarinettist and vocalist, nicknamed ‘Përmeti’s nightingale’, founder of the instrumental iso-polyphonic group (saze ensemble) in the Southern town of Përmet (1944–2004). At a young age, he showed a special ability to design and make instruments. He was taught to play the lute and the clarinet by the ...

Article

A bass brass instrument invented by Václav František Červený.

Article

Lyndesay G. Langwill

Reviser Arthur W.J.G. Ord-Hume

A mechanical instrument in which the musical programme is represented by projections on the surface of a slowly rotating barrel or cylinder.

In its common form, the barrel organ comprises a small pipe-organ offering 14 notes or more in a non-chromatic scale and represented on between one and four stops or registers controlled by drawstops. To save pipes and space as well as expense, tunes were frequently pinned in only two or three keys, G and D being usual. The music is provided by a pinned wooden barrel arranged horizontally within the organ case and rotated by a worm gear on a cross-shaft extending outside the case and terminating in a crankhandle. This cross-shaft also carries one or (more usually) two offset bearings like a crankshaft and to these are attached reciprocators which pass to the lower part of the organ where a simple air bellows and reservoir is provided. Turning the crankhandle thus fulfils two purposes: it pumps wind into the organ chest and it turns the barrel. As the barrel is rotated, its circumference passes beneath a simple frame containing pivoted metal levers or ‘keys’. These keys engage with the barrel pins and are lifted by them. The lifting motion causes the rear end of the key to be depressed, pushing down a slender wooden sticker which enters the wind-chest and controls the pallet to allow wind from the bellows reservoir to enter a particular pipe and produce a sound. In all respects, other than the replacement of a manual keyboard by the mechanical keyframe and the barrel, the barrel organ mechanism is merely a simplification of the conventional pipe organ. Besides pipework, some instruments also included percussion in the form of a drum with two beaters, and a triangle. Rarely, an abbreviated octave of bells would also be added. The mechanism is one of simplicity and extreme effectiveness. That some instruments are still in playing order after 150 or 200 years, with little or no repair work or restoration, is evidence of the practical design and durability of the basic organ component assemblies. The mechanism of the barrel organ is illustrated in ...

Article

Lyndesay G. Langwill and Arthur W.J.G. Ord-Hume

Mechanical instrument in which the musical programme is represented by projections on the surface of a slowly rotating barrel or cylinder. In its common form, the barrel organ comprises a small pipe organ offering 14 notes or more in a non-chromatic scale and one to four stops or registers controlled by drawstops. To save space and expense, tunes were frequently pinned in only two or three keys, G and D being usual. The music is provided by a pinned wooden barrel arranged horizontally within the organ case and rotated by a worm gear on a cross-shaft extending outside the case and terminating in a crank handle. This cross-shaft also carries one or (usually) two offset bearings like a crankshaft and to these are attached reciprocators that pass to the lower part of the case where a simple bellows and reservoir is provided. Turning the crank pumps wind into the windchest and turns the barrel. As the barrel rotates, its circumference passes beneath a frame containing pivoted levers or ‘keys’. These keys engage with the barrel pins and are lifted by them. The lifting motion causes the rear end of the key to be depressed, pushing down a slender wooden sticker which enters the windchest and controls the pallet to allow wind from the reservoir to enter a particular pipe. In all respects, other than the replacement of a manual keyboard by the mechanical keyframe and the barrel, the barrel organ mechanism is merely a simplification of the conventional mechanical-action pipe organ. Besides pipework, some instruments also include percussion in the form of a drum with two beaters, and a triangle. Rarely, an abbreviated octave of bells is added. That some instruments remain in playing order after 150 or 200 years, with little or no repair work, demonstrates the practical design and durability of the basic organ components....

Article

Baruma  

Ferdinand J. de Hen

Notched flute of the Pygmies of the Epulu region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It is end-blown and has three fingerholes.

J.S. Laurenty: Systématique des aerophones de l’Afrique centrale (Tervuren, 1974), 279–80.

Article

Bas (i)  

Margaret J. Kartomi and Mayco A. Santaella

Bamboo trumpet of the Toraja people in the province of South Sulawesi, Indonesia. It comprises a forward-projecting mouthpipe (blown directly, without mouthpiece) about 20 cm long and 1 cm in diameter, inserted and sealed with wax to a downward section about 9 cm by 1 cm, this connected to a horizontal section, and this to the main, vertical tube, 36 cm long and 3 cm in diameter, closed by a node at its base. The instrument is reinforced by a horizontal bamboo beam near the top of the main tube and by rattan string wound around the joints. These measurements are for the smallest ...

Article

Alastair Dick and Geneviève Dournon

Term in the north Indian languages for flutes of different types (ba ̄̃s: ‘bamboo’).

In the eastern regions of the subcontinent—Bengal, Orissa, Assam, and so on (eastern India and Bangladesh)—ba ̄̃sī (here pronounced ba ̄̃shi) commonly denotes a transverse flute, mostly of bamboo, which abounds in the area. The most usual type is stopped by a natural node at one end, and has a simple lateral mouth-hole and a number of fingerholes. Sizes vary greatly, but the typical rustic flute is fairly small; large versions are found especially in Bangladesh. Flutes of the tribal peoples of the region include the ...

Article

In military and brass bands, the valved instrument in E♭ or low B♭ corresponding to the orchestral tuba.

The term is also used with other instruments, e.g. bass flute.

Article

Nicholas Shackleton

A member of the clarinet family (see Clarinet), generally pitched in B♭, an octave below the soprano clarinet (it is classified as an Aerophone). Its range is usually extended to E♭ (usually written e♭; sounding D♭) on French and English instruments, ...

Article

A term occasionally used to denote the alto flute in G, although more properly reserved for the flute in C an octave below the concert flute. See Flute, §II, 3, (v).

Flute, §II, 3(v): The Western transverse flute: Bass and sub-bass flutes

Article

Stephen Weston

A late development of the upright Serpent, invented about 1850 by Heinrich Joseph Haseneier (1798–1890) of Koblenz. It is made of wood, with a brass bell and crook and ten large keys on rod axles, the first two keys standing open. It is about 130 cm tall and resembles Streitwolf’s chromatic bass-horn. At least two examples survive (in ...

Article

Reginald Morley-Pegge and Anthony C. Baines

An early variety of upright Serpent invented by Louis Alexandre Frichot in the 1790s. It is classified as a trumpet. The instrument consists of a conical tube about 230 cm long and generally made of copper. The larger end terminates in a widely flared bell and the smaller in a graceful swan-neck crook, this last accounting for nearly one-third of the instrument’s total length. The tube is cut at a distance of about 81 cm from the bell and the two straight sections are set at a very acute angle into a short butt which ensures the continuity of the air column (...

Article

Charles Foster

A family of late 16th century double-reed, conically bored wind instruments, softer in tone than shawms or curtals. No example survives, although bassanelli were described and illustrated by Praetorius (2/1619). They had seven finger-holes, the lowest controlled by a key, the lower part of which was covered by an elaborate ...

Article

A type of tenor shawm used in Swiss Protestant churches between about 1760 and 1810. See Hautbois d'église.

Article

Nicholas Shackleton

A soprano clarinet ( see Clarinet, §II, 1 ) whose range is extended downwards to written c, in the manner of the basset-horn (it is classified as an Aerophone ). The instrument was probably devised by Anton Stadler in collaboration with the Viennese instrument maker T. Lotz. Several of Mozart’s compositions were intended for a basset clarinet rather than for an instrument of conventional range: the Concerto ...

Article

Nicholas Shackleton

Woodwind instrument; a member of the clarinet family (see Clarinet, §II, 1), normally now pitched in F (it is classified as an Aerophone). A distinctive feature is the extension of its compass downwards to written c (sounding F), a major 3rd below the lowest note of the conventional clarinet. In most early examples, this is achieved without inconvenience by the curious ‘book’ or ‘box’ in which the extra length of tube makes three excursions before emerging into a rather flamboyant metal bell. A straight form of basset-horn was invented around the beginning of the 19th century, and a crook for it first appears in the last decade of the 18th (...

Article

Charles Foster

Double-reed wind-cap aerophone, illustrated in M. Praetorius, Syntagma musicum, ii, Sciagraphia (Wolfenbüttel, 1620), pl.XIII, alongside a consort of crumhorns. No other description or example is known. The wind cap, turnings, and fingerholes resemble those of the extended bass crumhorn illustrated, while the lower section has four keys covered by a large fontanelle, as in the ‘Basset oder Tenor Pommer’ illustrated in pl.XI of Praetorius. Baines argued that the Bassett: Nicolo resembles the instrument referred to in the Cassel inventory of ...

Article

Bassoon  

William Waterhouse

A wooden conical wind instrument, sounded with a double reed, which forms the tenor and bass to the woodwind section. In the modern orchestra, the family exists in two different sizes: the bassoon and the double bassoon or contrabassoon, sounding one octave lower. Built in four joints, its precursor the dulcian was of one-piece construction. Because of its wide compass and its range of characteristic tone-colours, from richly sonorous at the bottom to expressively plaintive at the top, it is one of the most versatile and useful members of the orchestra. Certain design features are peculiar to it: the doubling back on itself of the bore, like a hairpin; the ‘extension bore’ beyond the sixth finger-hole; and local wall thickness allowing for finger-hole chimneys. These features give the instrument its essential tone qualities and condition its complex acoustics. The standard compass of the present-day bassoon is from ...