61-80 of 1,271 results  for:

  • Chordophones (Stringed Instruments) x
Clear all

Article

Henry Johnson

Musical bow of Japan. The name refers to the quintessential material used for the bow (azusa: catalpa) and the form (yumi: bow). Other names for the instrument include azusa and yumidaiko (daiko/taiko: drum). It is nowadays made of wood such as catalpa or mulberry and is about 1 metre long, has an independent resonator (usually an upside-down box), and is sounded by a wooden beater usually held in the player’s right hand. The single string is normally made of flax. The player, who normally kneels with the string placed horizontally in front, presses the bow on to the resonator with the left hand and beats the string without any change of pitch. The azusayumi is used especially by female itako (shamans) to accompany religious chanting, and is particularly well known in the northern parts of Honshū. A musical bow has been known in Japan since ancient times and is mentioned in the 11th-century book ...

Article

J. Gansemans, K.A. Gourlay and Ferdinand J. de Hen

[babakungbu]

Ground harp of the Mamvu, Apanga, and Mari peoples of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). It consists of a flexible stick stuck in the ground with a string tied to its upper end. The lower end of the string is fastened to the bark cover of a nearby pit, which serves as the resonator. The string is plucked with the right thumb and forefinger or hit with a small stick. The name ...

Article

Gerhard Kubik

Modern single-string bass instrument of Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi, and adjacent areas. It became popular in the early 1950s with kwela flute (tin whistle) music and is probably derived from the American washtub bass or tea-chest bass. The resonator is usually an empty plywood tea chest, its open end resting on the ground. The string is anchored through a central hole in the top of the chest and its other end is tied to the top of a stick (resembling a broomstick) that stands vertically on the chest, near the side closest to the player (but is not attached to it). With one foot on the chest to steady it, the player holds the top of the stick with his left hand, pulling it towards him with varying pressure to alter the tension of the string as required, to change the pitch, while plucking the string with his right hand.

A. Benseler...

Article

Article

Article

Christoph Wolff

[Johann]

Member of Bach family

(b Andelsbuch, Vorarlberg, c1555; d Nürtingen, Dec 1, 1615). Violinist and court musician. He became a Spielmann (violinist) and jester at the Stuttgart court of Duke Ludwig of Württemberg about 1585, and in 1593 he followed the widowed Duchess Ursula to the court of Nürtingen, where he remained until his death. He apparently often travelled, both alone and in the court entourage. Of his work all that survives is the text of a narrative song of 1614 describing a visit to the town of Weil (Hanss Baachens Lobspruch zur Weil der Statt: ‘Es ist nun über zwantzig Jahr’); its manner is reminiscent of the late medieval style of Oswald von Wolkenstein. There are two extant portraits of him, an etching of about 1605 and an engraving of 1617. The etching bears the inscription:

Hie siehst du geigen/Hansen Bachen

Wenn du es hörst/so mustu lachen...

Article

Bachi  

Plectrum of the Japanese shamisen and biwa (plucked lutes). Good shamisen plectra are of ivory or ivory-tipped wood, although tortoise-shell is used when playing certain chamber and folk music. Practice plectra are made of plastic or of three weights of wood to provide balance and to supply a thin point. ...

Article

Martin Elste

A keyboard instrument of the harpsichord type designed and built by the Munich instrument-making firm of Maendler-Schramm in the 1920s. Its mechanism was designed to allow dynamic gradation: a pad was fitted diagonally between the back key lever and the adjustable screw of a specially sprung jack, so that the length of the plectrum could be regulated by touch (patented ...

Article

Milena Bozhikova

[Gueorgui]

(b Vidin, Bulgaria, June 24, 1939). Bulgarian violinist. He studied violin at the age of five under Petăr Hadjiangelov. After his talent was discovered, he was admitted to the Boarding School for Gifted Children (1952–7). He graduated from the State Conservatory (now National Academy of Music) in Sofia under the famous pedagogue Vladimir Avramov (1957–61). His concert début was in 1952 with the Kabalevski Concerto for violin and orchestra with the Rousse Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Dobrin Petkov. Badev studied under Isaac Stern (at Stern’s invitation) in 1971. He received awards in international competitions, first prize at the 6th World Festival of Youth and Students, Moscow (1957), sixth prize at the Queen Elizabeth Competition in Brussels (1959), and second prize at the Montreal International Music Competition (1966). He began teaching in 1962 as a part-time assistant professor of violin; after 1966 it became a full-time position. He is also professor at the National Music Academy and was professor at Musashino Academy of Music in Tokyo (...

Article

R. Conway Morris

Turkish long-necked lute of the Ṭanbūr family (for illustration see Kurdish music). The pear-shaped bowl resonator is carved (oyma) or carvel-built (yapraklı). The soundtable is of wood, usually coniferous. The neck has a variable number of movable frets. Traditionally these were made of sheepgut or copper wire but nylon line is now used. The instrument’s name, dating from the 17th century, derives from these ‘tied’ frets (bağ: ‘fret’, ‘knot’; bağlamak: ‘to tie, knot’). The movability of the frets allows the setting of scales to include microtones. There are three double courses of metal strings tuned with wooden pegs. The bağlama is generally played with a cherry-bark plectrum, though formerly the fingertips were widely used. The melody is commonly played on the first double course of strings, while the remaining courses are struck open as drones. Sometimes, however, the second and third courses are also fingered. The second finger of the plectrum hand is often used to strike the soundtable to add a percussive element to the melody....

Article

Article

Bailol  

Jeremy Montagu

Mouth bow of the Fula and Tukulor peoples of Senegal and the Gambia. The left hand presses the string with a small stick to alter the pitch of the fundamental, while the right hand taps the string with a second stick. Overtones are selected by altering the shape of the mouth....

Article

Ramón Hernández

Twelve-string instrument sharing some similarities with an acoustic guitar. Although its exact origins are unclear, the bajo sexto appeared in Mexico during the late 1800s and has gained popularity since that time. The instrument is tuned lower than a typical acoustic guitar, hence the bajo part of the name; the sexto, or six, refers to the original number of strings. Changes to the instrument were made to increase its volume, including an expansion of the body (to around 30% larger than an acoustic guitar), a larger bridge, a widened neck, an increase to seven frets, and the doubling of strings to 12, or six double courses. The highest three strings are typically tuned in unison; the lower three strings in octaves, which offers great resonance and depth. The husky, hoarse sound of the refashioned bajo sexto is capable of both bass rhythm and harmony, allowing greater flexibility for other instruments, such as the accordion, in various ensembles. Once it gained popularity, the ...

Article

Andrew C. McGraw

A bamboo ensemble of the eastern Sumenep region of Madura, Indonesia. Bak beng specifically refers to an idiochord tube zither made from a length of bamboo two and a half internodes long (about 145 cm), from which four ‘strings’, two per internode, are raised from the epidermis by small wooden bridges. The pitches of the front two strings are lowered by small wooden tongues placed in the middle of the strings above a small resonance hole. The instrument is placed horizontally in front of the player on a short wooden stand, the right end closed by a natural node and the left end covered with a leather skin, which the performer beats with his left hand (bak) while striking the four strings with a wooden stick in his right hand (beng), alternating between the internodes. Meanwhile two bamboo tubes, the dak, about 55 cm long, and the ...

Article

Baka  

Mouth bow of the Gbande people of Liberia. The player taps the string with a stick in his right hand while regulating the vibrating length with a stick in his left. The string passes between his lips; by altering the shape of the oral cavity he can produce different overtones. ...

Article

Ardian Ahmedaja

Three-stringed lute of southeastern Albania (Korçë area). Its half-pear-shaped body is assembled from thin ribs of wood. The slightly curved soundboard of fir is edged with mulberry or cherry wood and often has a thin piece of walnut as a plectrum guard. The 11 to 14 tied frets, formerly of gut, are nowadays made of synethetic material. The plectrum is made from cherry bark or turkey quill. The strings are of wire, the first two tuned a 4th, 5th, or major 2nd apart. The third string is tuned either in unison with or an octave lower than the second. The melody is played as a rule on the first string, rarely on the second. The third string is played as a drone. The bakllama was used until the mid-20th century mostly as a solo instrument and as part of small ensembles. Nowadays it is rare, since its role has been superseded as a rule by the Llautë....

Article

Baku  

Ferdinand J. de Hen

Article

Martin Kiszko

A long-necked chordophone with a triangular body and three strings. The soundboard is usually constructed from four strips of Russian spruce or silver fir and the slightly arched belly of seven pieces of maple. The instrument has a small soundhole, a fretted neck and strings of gut or steel. The balalaika is related to the dömbra, a variant of the long-necked lute played by peoples of Central Asia. The earliest mention in literature appeared in 1688 and Peter the Great used balalaikas in his grand orchestral procession of 1715. The instrument may have been a new arrival or a natural development of the 17th-century domra. The skomorokhis (minstrels) gave it a primary role in accompanying dance.

A public performance in 1886 began the balalaika's elevation from a peasant’s instrument to one of artistic stature. The success of the balalaika is attributed to Vasily Vasil'yevich Andreyev (1861–1918) who, assisted by the instrument makers V. Ivanov, F. Paserbsky and S. Nalimov, produced a metal-fretted chromatic version in a family of sizes: prime (...

Article

Bambaro  

Jeremy Montagu

[bamboro]

Metal jew’s harp of European pattern played by young men of the Songhay in Niger and the Zamfara Hausa in Nigeria. It has become a part of the local instrumentarium, replacing the indigenous bamboo zagada. Children still make substitutes from halved guinea-corn stalks, loosening a strip of cortex as the tongue and digging out a segment of the pith as a small resonating chamber....

Article

Jonathan McCollum

[bambirn, pandïr, pandïrn]

Plucked chordophone of medieval Armenia. It was used by gusanner (entertainers) in theatrical performances, weddings, funerals, and other rites and feasts. The Armenian historian Movses Khorenatsi refers to the bambir in his History of Armenia (474 ce). Some modern scholars believe the bambir might have been a concussion idiophone, similar to castanets....