Ferdinand J. de Hen
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. (...
Terry E. Miller
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 ...
Robert C. Provine
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 ...
James W. McKinnon and Robert Anderson
(Lat.; Gk., usually plural, kroupezai or kroupala)
Ancient percussion instrument consisting of foot-activated clappers (it is classified as an idiophone). It took the form of a sandal with a thick wooden sole hinged to a similarly shaped block of wood on the ground. To each of the wooden parts hollowed clappers of varying materials were attached.
The Hittite word h̬uh̬upal may refer to some such instrument, which was comparatively rare in Greece but became relatively prominent in Rome with the general expansion of instrumental usage there. It found a place in the orgiastic music of Dionysiac festivals, but it was most commonly used by a tibia player to emphasize dance rhythms when accompanying a group of pantomimi, or acting as leader to such a theatrical instrumental ensemble (see also Greece §I 5., (i), (b)). This player was called the scabillarius, and the Roman organization of theatrical musicians, the collegium scabillariorum, was named after him. The scabellum appears also with some frequency in Roman representations of cult music....
From the 16th century to the 19th, the choirboys who sang polyphony in the cathedrals of Seville, Toledo, Avila, Segovia, Mexico City, Lima and elsewhere in the Spanish-speaking world were called seises – six being their traditional number at Seville and Toledo cathedrals. The earliest papal bulls designating the income from a prebend for a master of the choirboys in Seville Cathedral were Eugene IV’s Ad exequendum (24 September 1439) and Nicolas V’s Votis illis (27 June 1454). Throughout the next three centuries Seville Cathedral (which set the pattern for the Spanish Indies) had both a master of the altar boys who sang only plainchant, and a master of the seises, generally the maestro de capilla or his deputy. The master of the seises boarded and taught them. When their voices changed, and upon receiving a certificate of good behaviour, they were entitled to a few years’ free tuition and other benefits in the Colegio de S Miguel or in the Colegio de S Isidoro maintained by the Sevillian Chapter. Similar ...
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 ...
J. Richard Haefer
Collective name for the duct flute and drum used by the Yoeme Yaqui Indians of Arizona and northern Mexico. It is played when both the maso (deer dancer) and pahko’ola (pascola) dancers are dancing at the same time. The flute, called kusia or cuzia, has two fingerholes and a thumbhole. It is made from cane that grows in the Yaqui river basin. Two sections of cane, each 20 to 25 cm long, are joined at a node by carving one end so it can slide inside the other tube; the V-shaped toneholes are in the lower section. A mouthpiece is formed by undercutting the proximal end of the cane and inserting a smaller piece of cane beneath, held in place by a peg to make an internal duct to direct the airflow against a V-shaped lip cut in the upper surface of the top section.
The drum, called ...
Margaret J. Kartomi
revised by Andrew C. McGraw
Slit drum ensemble of three, sometimes four, instruments of different sizes and pitches, used in the Mentawai Islands, Indonesia. They are used for signalling as well as for musical purposes. The drums are housed in a small covered structure raised approximately three metres above ground level and are audible up to five kilometres away. Each drum consists of a long piece of palm or other tree trunk, the ends of which are narrowed so that the middle third is ovoid, with a long slit about the width of two fingers. The drums rest horizontally on sticks on the wooden floorboards, and the player beats the middle upper edge of the slit. The largest drum, called ina (‘mother’), can be about 300 cm long, with a middle diameter of about 30 cm. The other two are called toga siboito (‘small child’) and toga sikatelu (‘third child’, about 150 cm long). Some have carved decorations. There is no standard tuning but a set in central Siberut plays approximately ...