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John M. Schechter and J. Richard Haefer

An ensemble of gourd (puro) trumpets of various sizes, used in the Chota river valley of Imbabura and Carchi provinces of Ecuador. Formed in the late 19th century by Afro-Ecuadorians without access to Western military band instruments, the ensemble includes several puros (...

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Bandiri  

Set of two or more single-headed frame drums, with or without circular metal jingles, and a kettledrum used by members of the k’adiriyya Islamic sect of northern Nigeria. It accompanies the zikiri (creed formula by which a person acknowledges that he is a Muslim). The frame drum is held in the left hand and beaten with the fingers of the right....

Article

H.G. Farmer and Raoul F. Camus

The master, leader or director of a band (see Band). Earlier titles included Music Master, Music Major and Leader of the Band. Bandmasters normally hold officer's rank in the armed forces; in the 18th century and the 19th they were often civilians. Army bandsmen in Britain have been formally trained as bandmasters since ...

Article

Michael Webb

Both a struck aerophone (alternatively, an idiophone) comprising a set of three or five tuned bamboo tubes, and the name for an ensemble including these instruments. It was featured in popular music in the Solomon Islands (its place of origin) and parts of Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu for several decades from the 1970s. The primary instrument is derived from the handheld tuned stamping tube, and comprises a set of 7- to 9-cm-diameter bamboos, open at both ends and graduated in lengths of up to 2 metres, arranged in raft form. A band will include at least three sets; each set is commonly tuned (to a guitar) 1–3–5–6–8 (or 1–3–5), usually in a low register, to sound one of the three primary chords in a given key. With flexible paddles players vigorously slap in succession one open end of each bamboo in a boogie-woogie rhythmic-melodic pattern that outlines a triad; sets alternate according to changes in harmony. The ensemble includes guitars and accompanies harmonized singing. A related Solomon Islands ensemble without guitars yet employing Westernized tuning, involves multiple sets of panpipes, ‘pantrumpets’, and the rack-mounted bass ...

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A type of wind band, consisting solely of brass instruments and percussion, which originated in the 1820s. See Band, §IV.

Band (i), §IV: Brass bands

Article

Anne Beetem Acker

Ensemble of performers using programmable mobile (cellular) phones. MoPhoO, the Mobile Phone Orchestra of CCRMA at Stanford University, formed in 2007 with 16 phones and players under the supervision of Ge Wang, Georg Essl, and Henri Penttinen, claims to be the first repertoire- and ensemble-based mobile phone performance group. Notably it uses only the phone’s onboard speakers. Since MoPhoO’s founding, other cell phone ensembles have been founded at the University of Michigan, Berlin (both founded by Georg Essl), and in Helsinki (directors Henri Penttinen and Antti Jylhä). The Michigan ensemble uses custom-made wearable speaker systems. Repertoire consists of scored compositions, sonic sculpture, and structured improvisation. For each piece, the phones run customised programmes that direct how they respond sonically to inputs that can come from the keypad or touchpad, the accelerometer positions, the built-in camera, or the microphone. For example, the keypad numbers can be mapped to different pitches in different modes, or to any sort of sound or sequence of sounds. While cell phones have considerable computing capability, they have limited acoustic bandwidth, but partial selection can suggest bass frequencies that are below the cell phone’s actual capability....

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A small orchestra of a few strings on each part and selected woodwind and brass. See Orchestra, §8.

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Chef  

In French usage a chef d’orchestre is the conductor of an orchestra. A chef d’attaque is a section leader in a choir or, by extension, in an orchestra. In military parlance chef de musique refers to the head of regimental music, hence a bandmaster.

Article

The fifth part in 17th-century French orchestral music, also Quinte.

Article

Nicholas Temperley

The two halves of the choir (in an architectural sense) in an English cathedral or a large church or chapel: decani is the south side, cantoris the north. The names mean ‘dean’s [side]’, ‘cantor’s [side]’, and refer to the two highest officials of the chapter of a medieval cathedral. The ...

Article

Dyegele  

Konin Aka

Term for a xylophone or ensemble of xylophones and kettledrums of the Senufo people in the Korhogo region of the Ivory Coast. The ensemble normally comprises three or four frame xylophones, each with 12 bars slung on cords attached to the frame at each end. Under each bar is a gourd resonator with spider’s web mirliton. All the xylophones have the same pentatonic tuning; they are accompanied by three wooden kettledrums. The players wear iron jingles on their wrists. The ...

Article

Eluma  

Ferdinand J. de Hen

Stopped flute ensemble of the Amba and Yira peoples of the border region of Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The individual pipes are made from a plant locally known as lumaluma. The stopped lower ends of the pipes are decorated with tufts of animal hair or tassels of raffia, and Amba pipes are sometimes covered with plaited raffia. The instruments are played by men and boys, for various social and ceremonial occasions. Players dance in a circle around an ensemble of drums; participation is usually restricted to members of the same extended family or warrior group. Mbuti Pygmies in the same area also play similar pipes....

Article

Anne Beetem Acker

Interactive computer network used as an extended musical instrument, played by a San Franciso Bay–area experimental computer network band also called The Hub. The band, founded in 1985 by Tim Perkis and John Bischoff, evolved from the League of Automatic Music Composers (1978–83). The concept of The Hub is to create live music resulting from the unpredictable behaviour of the interconnected computer system. The composer/performers consider their performances a type of ‘enhanced improvisation’....

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The musician in charge of a Kapelle or Chapel. See also Bandmaster.

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A piano arrangement of ensemble music for voices, or for voices and instruments; particularly an arrangement of an opera or oratorio with the vocal parts left intact and the orchestral accompaniment reduced for piano; see also Score.

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Laba bu  

Margaret J. Kartomi and Andrew C. McGraw

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 ...

Article

Laptop  

Edmond T. Johnson

A compact personal computer specifically designed for portability, which may serve various functions related to musical performance and composition. Though portable computers were commercially available in the 1970s, it was only in the early 1980s that the laptop took on its now nearly ubiquitous hinged form. While early laptops were sometimes used by musicians for ancillary tasks such as sequencing and patch editing, their limited data storage, expandability, and processing power—all of which compared unfavorably with contemporary desktop computers—generally prevented them from functioning as the generative source for a musical performance. By the late 1990s, however, significant advances in technology, coupled with dramatic reductions in price, allowed the laptop rapidly to achieve popularity as an independent locus of music-making for composers and performers of both popular and electronic art music. As desktop computers are capable of running the same range of software as laptops, the preference for the latter among many electronic musicians reflects the advantages offered by the device’s compact form and consequent portability, and not any difference in intrinsic functionality....

Article

Leader  

Clive Brown

In modern orchestras, the principal first violinist, who sits immediately to the left of the conductor as viewed by the audience. As principal first violinist, the leader has significant but varying duties, often including the marking of parts, liaison between orchestra and management and responsibility for sectional rehearsals; but the precedence accorded to the principal first violinist over the principals of other sections is largely a product of the leader's historical role. Until the early 19th century instrumental music, regardless of the size of the ensemble, was usually directed by one (or more) of the performers. Some degree of direction from the keyboard was common during the 18th century, but there are many references to violin direction (including C.P.E. Bach's account of his father's preference for that method), and it became more pervasive with the gradual abandonment of the keyboard continuo during the later 18th century. Reichardt in ...

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 (...

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 ...