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Article

Casio  

Hugh Davies

Japanese electronic instrument manufacturer. Casio was founded in Tokyo about 1956 by Toshio Kashio as the Casio Computer Co., to make smaller electronic machines; it has been specially successful with its pocket calculators, digital watches and cash registers. Its first musical keyboard was marketed in 1980. Casio pioneered electronic keyboards designed for children. It has manufacturered organ-like home keyboards (since ...

Article

Daewoo  

Anne Beetem Acker

(Korean: ‘great Woo’)

South Korean manufacturer of acoustic and digital pianos. Founded in 1967 as Daewoo Industrial, the large conglomerate Daewoo International Corp. is named for its founder, Kim Woo-jung. In 1977 the Daewoo Precision Industries division purchased the Sojin musical instrument factory of Yeoju, Korea. Sojin had been making guitars; it added upright pianos in 1976. Between 1980 and 1991, Daewoo exported Sojin pianos as well as pianos under the names Royale, Daytron, Daewoo, Schafer & Sons, Sherman Clay (until 1987), and Cline, in addition to private labels. These pianos were of inconsistent and relatively low quality. Starting in 1989, Daewoo began to manufacture digital pianos. In 1990 they produced 13,452 uprights, 2,364 grands, and 2,120 digital pianos.

In 1991, Daewoo purchased a 33% share of the German piano maker Ibach, selling the Sojin equipment to a Chinese firm and replacing it with copies of Ibach’s machinery. Thereafter, instead of Sojin pianos, Daewoo produced Ibach brand instruments to a higher standard, using components such as Renner actions and Delignit wrestplanks. However, the parent Daewoo International Corp., stressed by the Asian financial crisis, went bankrupt in ...

Article

Anne Beetem Acker

Line of MIDI-based reproducing player pianos introduced by Yamaha Corporation in 1982 (1986 in North America). The Disklavier system combines an acoustic piano with an electromechanical player-piano system. As in other such systems, fibre-optic sensors register the movement of keys, hammers, and pedals during performance, while the digital controller operates a bank of solenoids installed under the piano’s key bed; one solenoid is positioned under the tail of each key, with additional solenoids connected to the pedal rods. Performance information is stored digitally on CD-ROM, floppy discs (still used for many accompaniments for instructional piano material), or a hard drive. Disklavier systems can be connected to sequencers, tone modules, and computers via MIDI and Ethernet. A built-in speaker system attached to the case under the soundboard is used to play back optional digital piano sound and especially for playback of accompanying orchestral or vocal tracks.

Unlike other electronic player systems, the Disklavier is only installed in new Yamaha pianos and only at the factory. It cannot be installed in older Yamahas or other brands of pianos. Compared with other systems, the Disklavier’s recording capability is generally regarded to be of the highest quality and sophistication. Of the Disklavier models available in ...

Article

Anne Beetem Acker

Chinese piano manufacturer. An outgrowth of the government-owned Shanghai Piano Factory, founded in the 1920s, the Dongbei Piano Factory was established in 1952 in Yingkou City in Liaoning province of northeastern China (dongbei means ‘northeast’) to take advantage of the high quality of local wood. For many years, the firm made only upright pianos. In 1988, after the Swedish firm Nordiska went out of business, Dongbei purchased the designs and equipment for the Nordiska Model 116, an upright superior to Dongbei’s. Dongbei formed an agreement in 1991 with the Korean firm Daewoo whereby Daewoo helped Dongbei produce uprights. This arrangement was extended in 1996 to include grand piano production and ended with Dongbei buying most of Daewoo’s equipment and designs after the latter ceased piano manufacture in 1997; some of Daewoo’s designers and technicians then went to work for Dongbei. In 1994 Dongbei began to export their Sagenhaft uprights to the USA....

Article

(Jap.: Hoshino Musical Instruments)

Japanese manufacturer of musical instruments. Matsujiro Hoshino founded the company in 1908 as a book and sheet music store (Hoshino Shoten) that from 1929, as Hoshino Gakki Ten, also sold guitars by Salvador Ibáñez imported from Spain. Under direction of Hoshino’s son Yoshitaro Hoshino, the company began manufacturing Ibanez-brand guitars in 1935, after Ibáñez’s workshop had been destroyed in the Spanish Civil War and the brand sold to Hoshino. In turn, the Japanese factory was destroyed in 1945, and in 1955 the Hoshino company moved to Nagoya. From that time most of their products were exported, including, from 1957, a line of newly-designed Ibanez guitars. Under Yoshitaro’s son, Junpei Hoshino, the company opened the Tama Seisakusho factory in 1962 to produce amplifiers and electric and acoustic guitars, including copies of classic American guitars that eventually led to lawsuits. Star-brand drums were added to the Tama product line in 1965, and from ...

Article

Laurence Libin

[Kong Hsue Sheh]

Manufacturer and distributor of musical instruments, headquartered in Taiwan. The company, part of a conglomerate that also includes K. H. S. Investing Co., Ltd, K. H. S. Trading Co., K. H. S. Audio Co., Ltd, Aeolus Music Corp., and Musix Co., Ltd, was founded in 1930 by Chien-Chung Hsieh and his brothers in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. The company, originally named Wan-Wu (‘everything available’), was renamed Kong Hsue Sheh (‘contribute to schools and society’) after World War II; it was registered in Taipei in 1950. K. H. S. has operations in Taiwan, Japan, China, the Netherlands, and the USA (Mt Juliet, Tennessee), and a worldwide distribution network for products ranging from motorcycles to wind and string instruments and drums, mostly of student grade. In 2010 the parent company of K. H. S. had about 4200 employees and declared corporate revenue of about US$590 million, some US$295 million from instrument production and sales. Among its brands is M. Hohner, of which K. H. S. bought a majority share in ...

Article

Andrew C. McGraw

[tek-tek]

Processional ensemble of Banyumas, Central Java, Indonesia. The ensemble, developed since 2000, includes up to 20 kentongan (tek-tek) consisting of two tuned lengths of bamboo from 50 to 80 cm long cut in the manner of the calung bar, screwed onto a square frame of bamboo, and carried on a rope strung around the player’s shoulders. The bars are struck with a padded wooden mallet. Up to five musicians play beḍug, large homemade drums constructed from plastic barrels and rubber or plastic heads ranging from 30 to 45 cm in diameter and struck with large padded mallets. A single musician plays several small, one-headed drums and cymbals arranged in the manner of Western marching tom-toms. The melody is played by a single musician on a diatonic set of angklung rattles and doubled on a gambang xylophone. A small suling flute is added along with maracas and Western marching cymbals. The ensemble is played by youth groups in parades, at community centres, and sometimes in organized competitions in which female dancers and MCs are included. Its repertoire includes material adapted from Javanese ...

Article

Korg  

Hugh Davies

Japanese firm of electronic instrument manufacturers. It was founded in Tokyo in 1963 by Tsutomu Katoh and the accordion player Tadashi Osanai as Keio Geijutsu Kenkyujo. From 1968 the firm became known as Keio Electronic Laboratories; although they used the brand-name Korg (‘Katoh-Osanai organ’) on the products, this became the company's official name only in the mid-1980s. Keio began by constructing rhythm units for Yamaha's Electone electronic organs, then produced its own separate units, the Doncamatic rhythm machine followed by the MiniPops series. Korg soon became one of the most successful Japanese manufacturers of electronic instruments, and produced the first Japanese synthesizer in 1968. In 1986 Yamaha bought a 40% stake in Korg.

The range of Korg instruments has included monophonic and polyphonic synthesizers (such as the Polysix), synthesizer modules, electronic organs and pianos (many digital models), string synthesizers, home keyboards, electronic percussion units, guitar synthesizers, samplers, electronic tuners and a vocoder. Its most successful product has been the M1 work station (...

Article

Laba bu  

Margaret J. Kartomi

revised by Andrew C. McGraw

[labe buu]

Ensemble of two to four end-blown buffalo horns (bu) and two or three single-head drums (laba), of the central Ngada region of Flores, Indonesia. The horns range from 30 to 40 cm long and each produce one note. The drums, called laba bhegu in Ngada, range from 75 to 80 cm long and 15 to 20 cm in diameter and have a horsehide head affixed to a bamboo body with rattan lacing. They are beaten by a standing musician using two wooden sticks. The ensemble, now rare, formerly performed as soldiers went to war or for ceremonies commemorating war. More recently the ensemble accompanies a war dance performed by men and women....

Article

Letor  

Andrew C. McGraw

(1) Bamboo ensemble of the central Sikka region of Flores, Indonesia. A single performer plays two bamboo stamping tubes (boku) 40 to 50 cm long, one tuned slightly higher than the other. The tubes are closed by a node at the bottom and sounded by hitting them against the ground in alternation. Meanwhile three performers play bamboo idiochord tube zithers (toda), each about 60 cm long and 11 cm in diameter with one string, as in the Balinese guntang. One musician plays three todas; a second musician plays two; and a third musician plays one. They strike the idiochord with thin, unpadded sticks, performing complex interlocking rhythmic patterns. A cracked piece of young bamboo, called a waning ana, is sometimes added to this ensemble, and is struck on the beat with a wooden stick.

A similar ensemble involving four todas, each with its own player, and two drums (...

Article

Meko  

Andrew C. McGraw

Gong and drum ensemble from Roti, Indonesia, named after the highest-pitched gong. The gongs are often cast locally of iron, but some bronze gongs are imported from Java. Eight to ten gongs hang from tree limbs by rope strung through two small holes drilled into their rims, which are about 4 cm deep. They are played by four or five musicians using unpadded wooden mallets. The gongs are divided into four sections. The lowest range, called the ina, with three gongs about 40 cm in diameter, are hung side by side and played by one musician. The middle range, called nggasa, includes two gongs about 35 cm in diameter, hung one above the other. They are played by one musician who damps both gongs by holding the rim in his left hand. The third, highest range is called the leko and includes two gongs about 25 cm in diameter, positioned and damped as the ...

Article

Hugh Davies

Electronic instrument manufactured by Suzuki in Hamamatsu, Japan, from 1981. It resembles a zither or autoharp, both visually and in playing technique. The instrument offers 27 chords, selected by pushbuttons that are ‘strummed’ in arpeggiated form on a touch-plate. It also incorporates ‘walking bass’ and electronic percussion units. In 1983...

Article

John Spitzer and Neal Zaslaw

(It.; Fr. orchestre; Ger. Orchester)

‘Orchestra’ has been used in a generic sense to mean any large grouping of instrumentalists. Thus one reads of an Indonesian gamelan orchestra, a Japanese gagaku orchestra, a Chinese drum and gong orchestra, the ‘orchestra’ of a Renaissance intermedio, or even the ‘orchestras’ of the Old Testament. In this article, ‘orchestra’ is treated in a specific and historical sense, as a characteristically European institution that arose in the 17th and 18th centuries and subsequently spread to other parts of the world as part of Western cultural influence. Related information will be found in other articles, for example Concert, Conducting and Instrumentation and orchestration; see also Band .

Analysis of orchestras from the 18th century to the present reveals a series of interrelated defining traits (Zaslaw, 1988, 1993). (a) Orchestras are based on string instruments of the violin family plus double basses. (b) This core group of bowed strings is organized into sections within which the players usually perform the same notes in unison. This practice of doubling string instruments is carried out unequally: there will almost always be more violins than lower strings. (...

Article

Anne Beetem Acker

Chinese instrument manufacturer, based in Guangzhou. The government-owned firm was formed in 1956 from several piano-making facilities. In the 1950s they were producing four upright pianos per month for the Chinese market. In the mid-1980s the firm was granted import and export rights. By the 1990s, liberalized economic policies coupled with relatively inexpensive raw materials and very low labour costs allowed for rapid expansion.

Under the leadership of Tong Zhi Cheng beginning in 1992, the firm pursued a goal of becoming a world leader in piano sales. They invested in a climate-controlled, 93,000 m2 factory and CNC (computer numerically controlled) machinery from Germany. Foreign industry executives were hired as consultants. By the 2000s, the factory had expanded to 260,000 m2. With its own foundries, lumberyards, and sawmills, Pearl River produces nearly every part of each piano, using Chinese wood exclusively, including veneers. By 2010 the firm employed more than 4000 workers with a capacity of making 100,000 pianos per year....

Article

Terry E. Miller

[bin bādy]

In Cambodia, the primary classical ensemble played at court ceremonies, some Buddhist festivals, to accompany the large shadow theatre, masked drama, and dance drama. Both the ensemble and its name are closely related to similar ensembles in Thailand (piphat) and Laos (sep nyai/piphat). Ensembles vary in size from minimal (five instruments) to large. A basic ensemble consists of ...

Article

Roland  

Hugh Davies

Japanese company of electronic instrument manufacturers. It was founded in Osaka in 1972 by the electronics designer Ikutaro Kakehashi (who had co-founded Ace Electronic Industries in Osaka in 1955, marketing rhythm machines and Ace Tone electronic organs); it was named after the legendary medieval French hero. Expansion was rapid, and by the early 1980s the company employed over 500 people in Osaka alone. During the period 1988–90 Roland bought three foreign electronic keyboard manufacturers: Siel, Rodgers and Rhodes.

The range of Roland instruments has included monophonic and polyphonic synthesizers, synthesizer modules, remote keyboard controllers, electronic organs and pianos (many digital models), a digital harpsichord, home keyboards, guitar synthesizers, samplers, vocoders, sequencers and many electronic percussion devices and effects units, some under the names of Roland’s offshoots, Boss and Amdek. The company also manufactures a variety of sound equipment as well as a teaching system designed for use with Roland electronic keyboard instruments....

Article

Anne Beetem Acker

South Korean manufacturer of acoustic and digital instruments. The name Samick (‘three benefits’) refers to benefits to the company, its customers, and the national economy. Founded in 1958 by Hyo Ick Lee (d 1990) as a Baldwin piano distributor, the Samick Piano Co. began building uprights from imported parts under the name Horugel in 1960. In 1964 Samick became the first exporter of Korean pianos and in 1970 manufactured the first Korean grand. Guitar production began in 1965, eventually expanding to acoustic and electric guitars, bass guitars, banjos, and mandolins under the names Samick, Abilene, Silvertone, and the Greg Bennett Signature series. In 1973 the company was incorporated as Samick Musical Instruments Co., Ltd. In 1983 Samick engaged the German piano designer Klaus Fenner. Fenner introduced European-style scale designs and three-ply ‘surface tension’ soundboards, which are claimed not to crack or lose their crown and to suffer only a slight tonal disadvantage compared with solid spruce soundboards....

Article

Robert C. Provine

[Samullori]

Korean percussion group whose name (roughly meaning ‘playing of four objects’) was adopted for a recently developed genre of Korean traditional music. The first performance of this type of music by the original group took place in February 1978 at the Space Theatre in Seoul, when the members were Kim Duk-soo (Kim Tŏksu, changgo), Kim Yongbae (kkwaenggwari), Lee Kwang-soo (Yi Kwangsu, puk) and Choi Jong-sil (Ch'oi Chongsil, ching). After a number of personnel changes, only Kim Duk-soo (b 1952) remains from the original group. The group had enormous success in Korea and many international tours after 1982, making several recordings and collaborating with jazz, rock and orchestral musicians.

While the music of Samul Nori is largely derived from parts of traditional Korean farmers' band music (nongak or p'ungmul kut), it is played only on two drums and two gongs (rather than by a large band), is played seated on an indoor stage (instead of dancing outdoors), and has a much more developed, professionalized and virtuoso style. The music undergoes constant development and modification, the four most popular pieces being ...

Article

Cheng Liu and Stewart Carter

Largest Chinese manufacturer of traditional instruments. Located in the Minhang district of Shanghai, the corporation was founded in 1958 through the consolidation of 86 small workshops. Huifang Ren led the company from its inception through 1962; Guozhen Wang has served as its director since 1998. The firm produces more than 60,000 erhus (including about 100 of top professional quality) and 40,000 guzhengs annually, and also makes pipas, ruans, yangqins, Chinese flutes, and a few non-Chinese instruments, notably marimbas. Proprietary subsidiaries of the corporation include Dunhuang Musical Instruments Company, Shanghai Guibao Musical Instruments Company, and Lankao Shanghai Musical Instruments Company in Lankao. The firm has manufactured instruments under the Dunhuang brand since 1962. In 1999 the firm signed a cooperative agreement with the Central Chinese Orchestra in Beijing, under which instruments in that orchestra have gradually been replaced with Dunhuang instruments. The firm also maintains a close relationship with the Singapore Chinese Orchestra. Many instruments bearing the Dunhuang brand are exported, particularly through Eason Music in Singapore....

Article

Andrew C. McGraw

[selundeng, salunding, selonding]

Ancient Balinese gamelan ensemble associated with pre-Hindu villages. It comprises six metallophones with iron bars suspended over a shallow wooden trough, played with unpadded wooden mallets. Each instrument begins on a different tone of the seven-tone pelog system. The lowest instrument, referred to as the gong, has eight bars. The higher inting gede and inting cenik have four bars each and are played together by a single performer. The mid-range penem and petuduh have four bars each and are connected to form a single instrument but are played, like the Balinese reyong gong chime, by two musicians performing complex interlocking patterns. The higher nyonyong gede and nyonyong cenik have eight bars each and may each be played by one or two musicians. The nyonyong performers typically carry the principal melody in their right-hand patterns, doubled two octaves below on the inting. Ceng-ceng cymbals may be added when accompanying dance works. The ...