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A general term for the tuning of an instrument, especially string instruments. Accordatura is often used in the sense of the ‘usual’ tuning as opposed to a special or exceptional tuning. For the latter, see Scordatura.

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Helmi Strahl Harrington and Gerhard Kubik

A term applied to a number of portable free-reed aerophones. Their common features include a mechanical keyboard under each hand, manipulated by the fingers to select pitches. The keyboards are connected by folded bellows which induce air to flow through the reedplates; these move horizontally and are controlled by arm-pressures that in turn regulate the loudness of the sound emitted. An air-button or -bar on the left-hand end, operated by the thumb or palm, is used to fill and empty the bellows without sounding a note. Straps hold the instrument in the hands or on the shoulders. The casework around the keyboards and covering the reedplates is usually of a style and decoration that has become associated with the type of accordion and is sometimes identifiable with its company of origin. Accordions are related historically, organologically and technologically to the ...

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A family of portable, bellows fueled, free-reed instruments. The right hand typically has access to a series of piano-like keys or circular buttons that activate melodic tones by allowing air to flow over reeds and set them in oscillation. The left hand has access to a separate set of buttons that regulate bass, chord, and in some cases independent tone sonorities. The term “accordion” may apply to instruments that are either diatonically or chromatically scaled. More specifically, a melodeon is a smaller, diatonic button accordion. Another type, known as a concertina, is made in both diatonic and chromatic tunings and is sometimes distinguished by its polygonal sound box. Most accordions have left-hand side air buttons that, when depressed, allow the bellows to be moved rapidly without sounding a reed tone, or provide more bellows when a performer reaches either the bellows’ conventional limits of extension (draw out) or compression (push in)....

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Acheré  

Malena Kuss

Afro-Cuban vessel rattle of Yoruba origin. It is made from the shell of a güira, totuma, or calabaza fruit, typically about 10 cm in diameter, with rattling objects inserted and a long wooden handle attached. It is associated mostly with the batá drum ensemble in Santería ceremonies involving dancing, and participates in other instrumental groups, such as those for the Regla de Palo Monte, Arará, Gangá, Radá, conga, ...

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A cornet-shaped horn invented by Johann Riedel of Pressburg (now Bratislava) in 1854. It had four valves, for a half step, whole step, and whole plus half step, plus a combination valve, and a compass from G′ to g″; it was not a success.

F.L. Schubert...

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Tiberiu Alexandru

Piano accordion of Romania. Early forms were known in rural communities in the 1880s under the name armoniu, etc. It became widespread in the period between the two World Wars, replacing the button-keyed Armonicǎ and encouraging the demise of certain other traditional instruments among the ...

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Laurence Libin

A term used for an instrument that does not incorporate pickups or microphones for the purpose of electronic amplification or manipulation. It is normally used only when it is necessary to distinguish between such an instrument and one of the same or a similar type that does incorporate pickups or microphones: for example ‘acoustic bass’ as opposed to ‘electric bass’ and ‘acoustic guitar’ as opposed to ‘electric guitar’. In most cases, therefore, an instrument is assumed to be acoustic unless its name explicitly states that it is electric or electronic....

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Action  

Edwin M. Ripin and Peter Walls

(1) The linkage between the fingers (or feet) and the sound-producing parts of an instrument. Hence, the mechanism by means of which the strings or pipes of a keyboard instrument are sounded when a key is depressed, e.g. tracker action, pneumatic action, electric action, etc. in organs (...

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Philip J. Kass

French family of bow makers. Jean Adam, also known as Grandadam (b Mirecourt, 1 Dec 1767; d Mirecourt, 3 Jan 1849), was a maker of reliable if workmanlike bows of good quality. His son and pupil Jean Dominique Adam, later known as Dominique Grandadam (...

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Adams  

James Holland

Dutch manufacturer of percussion instruments. Adams Musical Instruments was established at the end of the 1960s by André Adams at Thorn in the Netherlands. Adams has become one of the leading percussion manufacturers in the world. Its list of products range from lightweight, low-priced pedal timpani designed for schools and bands, through to top of the range professional timpani and concert marimbas. A great deal of thought is given to the adaptability and portability of the instruments, as well as to their quality. For example, playing height of their keyboard instruments is adjustable, and their tubular bells may be adjusted both for height and range. In the contemporary world of percussion these refinements are invaluable for the player. Adams now manufactures timpani, xylophones, marimbas, tubular bells, bell plates, concert bass drums, temple blocks and a range of sticks....

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Robert E. Eliason

(b Dunstable, NH, Aug 21, 1783; d Milford, NH, March 16, 1864). American brass instrument maker. He invented a valve with movable tongues or flaps within the windway. A trumpet in F by Adams with three such valves is displayed on board the USS Constitution; it dates from about ...

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Robert E. Eliason

(b Dunstable, NH, Aug 21, 1783; d Milford, NH, March 16, 1864). American brass instrument maker. He invented a valve with movable tongues or flaps within the windway. A trumpet in F by Adams with three such valves is displayed on board the ...

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Laurence Libin

(fl 1670–80). English luthier, active in London. His only extant instrument, a bass viol, is labelled ‘William Addison in Long Alley Over Against Moorfields 1670’, near the workshops of the contemporary viol makers Richard Meares and George Miller. Addison’s viol bears elaborate geometric inlay, including on the back a stylized heart pierced by arrows, and on the carved soundtable a fleur-de-lis. The unusually large soundholes are closer to the middle than normal. The pegbox, ornamented with ivory studs, is surmounted by a carving of Hercules. A ‘William Addis’, presumably the same man, was recorded on the Strand in ...

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Adema  

Adri de Groot

Dutch family of organ builders . The firm, active from the mid-19th century onwards, was established by the brothers Carolus Borremeyes (1824–1905) and Petrus Josephus Adema (1828–1919) in Leeuwarden in 1855; they were joined by their brother Johannus Romanus (1834–62). Carolus Borremeyes had trained as an organ builder with the Van Dam and Witte firms, Petrus Josephus with W. Hardoff and H. Loret....

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Adewu  

Hunter’s drum of the Ewe people of Ghana.

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Laurence Libin

Keyboard idiophone invented in 1818 and patented on 15 Feb 1819 by the Viennese clockmaker Franz Schuster. Shaped somewhat like a square piano, it had six octaves of plucked steel tongues or rods instead of strings and its sound was described as between those of an organ and a glass armonica. It was claimed not to need tuning. Contemporary writers mentioned that it lacked sonority and strength of tone, and complained of excessive resonance and blurring of notes....

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Adigidi  

Version of the endingidi (single-string spike fiddle), made by the Teso people of Uganda. The large calabash resonator provides a deep tone. A half-groundnut serves as a bridge. The fiddle is used to accompany songs.

See also Endingidi .

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John M. Schechter and Alice L. Satomi

Term for several aerophones of the Carajá and Savajé Indians of Brazil. Izikowitz documents it as a ribbon-reed aerophone made from a narrow blade of burity plant fibre that is twisted spirally into a tube and then somewhat flattened. Harcourt calls it an ocarina (vessel flute) with five fingerholes. Krautze calls it a gourd vessel flute having a narrow rectangular opening for an embouchure and two fingerholes on the opposite side, and also gives it the Savajé name ...

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Howard Schott

(b Kingston-on-Thames, May 30, 1938). English maker of fortepianos, clavichords, and harpsichords. He was educated at the Guildhall School of Music, London, where he specialized in keyboard instruments, studying the piano with Frank Laffitte, the harpsichord with Celia Bizony, and the organ with Harold Dexter. After some years as a music teacher, during which he also undertook some restorations of early keyboard instruments, he became curator of the Colt Clavier Collection, Bethersden, Kent (...

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Adler  

Niall O’Loughlin

German family of woodwind makers. Karl Friedrich Adler (b Breitenfeld, Germany, March 14, 1795; d Erlangen, Germany, April 1, 1888) learnt his craft from his father, Johann Georg Adler, in the years 1809–12, for short periods under Carl Doke of Linz and August Rorarius of Vienna, and for some three years with Max Stiegler in Munich. He set up his own business in Bamberg in ...