Instrumental modifications and extended performance techniques
- Hugh Davies
The instrumentarium of Western music throughout its history has been in a state of continuous change, and every type and period of music has given rise to its own modifications of existing instruments and playing techniques. The desire for instruments capable of greater range, volume and dynamic control has led not only to the use of new materials and improvements in design but also to the invention of new instruments, many of which have achieved small success and are now regarded as little more than curiosities. These developments, naturally, form the matter of other articles in this dictionary, in which the evolution of individual instruments to their present state is fully described. The 20th century saw an unprecedented expansion in the instrumentarium and a host of new approaches by composers and performers to the use of existing instruments; because these experiments often took place outside the mainstream of musical life it seems appropriate to discuss them as a group....