981-1,000 of 1,002 results  for:

  • Chordophones (Stringed Instruments) x
Clear all

Article

Article

Withers  

Charles Beare

revised by Philip J. Kass

English family of violin makers, repairers and dealers . Edward Withers (i) (1808–75) founded his firm in London by purchasing that of R. and W. Davis in 1846. Davis had been associated with the well-known violin maker John Frederick Lott, with whom Withers had clearly studied. Withers's output was considerable and of fine quality; for a time he employed Charles Adolphe Maucotel and Charles Boullangier, émigrés from France. The premises were at 31 Coventry Street.

Edward Withers (ii) (1844–1915) was apprenticed to his father at an early age, also working with Lott. Like his father, he copied the work of Stradivari and Guarneri (mainly the latter) and it is said that he made about 200 instruments in addition to his repair work. In 1878 the business moved to 22 Wardour Street, where it has remained; on the death of Edward Withers (ii) it was continued by his three sons, Edward Sidney Munns Withers (...

Article

Edwin M. Ripin

revised by John Koster

[tuning pins] (Fr. chevilles; Ger. Stimmwirbeln)

The turnable metal pegs around which one end of the strings of a piano, harpsichord, clavichord, zither, European harp etc. are wound. They are turned to increase or decrease tension on the strings, thereby raising or lowering their pitch and enabling the instrument to be tuned. In modern instruments, the wrest pins are made of hardened steel, have accurately formed square heads that fit an appropriate tuning-key or ‘hammer’, are finely threaded at the end to be inserted into the Wrest plank or other part into which they are driven (in harps they pass through the neck), and have a hole through which the end of the string passes before being wound on to the pin. Earlier wrest pins were forged from round iron rod and the head formed by flattening on an anvil; the opposite end, usually slightly tapered, is not threaded, although it may be lightly knurled. These pins were not drilled to accept the end of the string, but the softer wire formerly used for strings could be wound directly on to the pins. In general, early wrest pins are far smaller in diameter than those used on modern pianos, since the string tension was much smaller – approximately 10 kg at the beginning of the 19th century compared with about 75 kg today. In pianos there have since the 18th century been occasional attempts, none lasting, to replace wrest pins with a machine screw mechanism: the end of the string is attached to one end of a threaded pin that passes horizontally through the wrest plank; the pin’s other end protrudes and is secured by a nut which is turned with a spanner....

Article

Cynthia Adams Hoover, Roslyn Rensch and Hugh Davies

American firm of instrument makers and dealers of German origin.

Cynthia Adams Hoover

(Franz) Rudolph Wurlitzer (b Schöneck, Saxony, 31 Jan 1831; d Cincinnati, 14 Jan 1914) came to the USA in 1853; he settled in Cincinnati and began dealing in musical instruments in addition to working in a local bank. It is likely that he was one of a long line of Saxon instrument makers, beginning with Heinrich Wurlitzer (1595–1656), a lute maker. By 1860 he had a thriving trade and is said to have been a leading supplier of military wind instruments and drums during the Civil War. In 1865 he opened a branch in Chicago and in 1872 joined his brother Anton to form the partnership of Rudolph Wurlitzer & Bro. On 25 March 1890 the firm was incorporated as the Rudolph Wurlitzer Company. Rudolph served as president of the corporation from 1890 to 1912...

Article

Cynthia Adams Hoover, Roslyn Rensch and Hugh Davies

Firm of instrument makers and dealers of German origin.

Rudolph Wurlitzer (Franz Rudolph Wurlitzer; b Schöneck, Saxony, 31 Jan 1831; d Cincinnati, OH, 14 Jan 1914) came to the United States in 1853; he settled in Cincinnati and began dealing in musical instruments in addition to working in a local bank. It is likely that he was one of a long line of Saxon instrument makers, beginning with Heinrich Wurlitzer (1595–1656), a lute maker. By 1860 he had a thriving trade and is said to have been a leading supplier of military wind instruments and drums during the Civil War. In 1865 he opened a branch in Chicago and in 1872 joined his brother Anton to form the partnership of Rudolph Wurlitzer & Bro. On 25 March 1890 the firm was incorporated as the Rudolph Wurlitzer Company. Rudolph served as president of the corporation from 1890 to 1912...

Article

Article

Alastair Dick

Drone spike lute of Sindh, Pakistan. Its name means literally ‘monochord’, like the South Asian ektār, of which it is the Sindi equivalent, although it generally has two strings. A round-section wooden neck, terminating in a lathe-turned bobbin at each end, passes through two-thirds of a skin-covered gourd. The metal strings pass from two frontal pegs at the upper end over a clay or metal bridge in the middle of the skin soundtable and are affixed to the lower end of the neck. The yaktāro is held over one shoulder and plucked by the forefinger, the player often holding in his other hand the ḍaṇḍo (stick rattle) or capṙun (clappers) to accompany his own singing of kāfi or kalām Sufi songs; an accompaniment is often also provided by a clay pot (the dilo or the ghaghar). As well as a drone the yaktāro provides rhythmic backing in various tār...

Article

Yāḻ  

Alastair Dick

[yāzh]

Name of the arched harp in old Tamil literature of South India. In the Cilappatikāram (?2nd century ce) and other texts it is described as having a resonator (pattar: ‘wooden trough’); a skin-covered, curved neck (kōṭu: ‘horn’) to which the strings (narampu: ‘gut’) are attached at one end by leather tuning-cords (tivavu); and, probably, a string-bar (tantirikaram) in the resonator to which the strings are attached at the other end (possibly called oṟṟuṟupu). It has been said to have had a tuning-bar (māṭakam), an oblong piece of wood lying on the resonator, with holes through which the strings passed, and pins (āṇi) to hold them tight. Reference is made to yāḻ with 7, 14, 19, and 21 strings, in different tunings. The harp was covered with a colourful cloth and used to accompany song and in the dance orchestra, where it followed the ...

Article

Henry Johnson

Type of long-neck Japanese lute. The instrument is named after Yanagawa Kengyō (d 1680), a blind male professional musician who influenced much shamisen music of his time. The instrument is thought to be very similar to the one used early in the shamisen’s existence in Japan, in the latter half of the 16th century. Its distinctive features include its particularly thin neck (hosozao, about 2.4 cm wide), a large curve just before the neck enters the soundbox (although some other types of shamisen also have this curve in contrast to the jiuta shamisen), a very slender ivory plectrum with a narrow spatula-shaped end, and a small piece of brocade on the top of the soundbox upon which players rest the right arm whilst playing (in contrast to a cover on other shamisen that fits over the entire top part of the box). The instrument is used especially in the Yanagawa-ryū ...

Article

Yangqin  

Alan R. Thrasher

Hammered dulcimer of the Han Chinese. The name yang in its original form means ‘foreign’; qin is generic for string instruments. More recently, another character for yang meaning ‘elevated’ has come into public acceptance. The yangqin is also traditionally known as hudie qin (‘butterfly qin’, in reference to its double-wing shaped body) and daqin (‘beaten qin’).

The traditional instrument shell is trapezoidal in shape, with rounded ends and fluted sides of hardwood, its resonating chamber covered with a thin soundboard of white pine or other softwood (see). Held against the soundboard by pressure of the strings are two rows of bridges, each row with seven or eight chessman-shaped bridges. The strings on older instruments are of copper (more recently of steel) and organized in two groups (left and right), each traditionally comprising a one-octave range of diatonically tuned pitches, with double (or more) courses of strings for each pitch position. Strings in the right group run from their tuning pegs, over a common nut, across their respective bridges (the right row), between the left row of bridges, across the left nut, and are fastened to pins on the left side of the instrument. Strings in the left group reverse this arrangement, running between the right row of bridges and then over the left row. The left row of bridges is positioned on the soundboard so as to divide its strings in a 2:3 relationship (such as 20 cm on the left side, 30 cm on the right). With this particular division, these strings are capable of sounding two pitches a 5th apart, one on each side of its bridge (e.g. ...

Article

Yatga  

Carole Pegg

[yataga, yatuga]

Mongolian half-tube zither with movable bridges. Traditionally, the instrument varies in size and tuning even within one ethnic group, as evidenced by two Chahar Mongol instruments collected by Haslund-Christensen this century: one, now in the National Museum, Copenhagen, measures 114·5 cm long by 21·6 cm wide; a second, in the Swedish Ethnographical Museum, Stockholm, measures 153·4 cm long by 22 cm wide. The tuning of the instrument used by Sünit Mongols was pentatonic in the sequence of the Chinese zhi mode, using the harmonic series 45·123. Similarly, the ten-string Ordos Mongol zither described by van Oost (1915–16) lacked the mi and ti of the Western solmization series.

The earliest documentation of the classical Mongolian term yatuga (or yatugan) occurs in a Mongolian-Chinese dictionary of 1389, where it is paired with the Chinese zheng, an instrument described in the Yüan shih (1370), a history of the Yüan (Mongol) dynasty, as having 13 strings. It was also used in the Mughal courts of Central Asia. Persian sources use the Mongolian word ‘yatugan’ for a zither with movable bridges, and a 15th-century poem written in old Uzbek (Chagatay) also mentions the ...

Article

Eric B. Ederer

The bowed (yayli) version of the Turkish Ṭanbūr. The normal tanbur was first bowed by the composer Tanburi Cemil Bey in the 1910s, but by the 1930s the much louder yayli tanbur was invented, apparently as a type of Cümbüş , with that instrument’s characteristic skin-head resonator. Its body is usually bowl-shaped, made of glued wooden strips or, less expensively, of spun aluminium. The wooden neck, with geared tuning machines, is 104 to 110 cm long, affording a 120 cm vibrating string length. It normally has 31 tied nylon frets in the lower octave and 24 in the higher octave, though players often move, add, or subtract frets. All but the highest course of its three or four metal bichords (tuned in fifths, fourths, and/or octaves according to the melodic mode) are intended to vibrate sympathetically, only the highest bichord being bowed and fingered. The lower bichords often sound octaves, while the playing course is tuned in unison, normally to ...

Article

Yazheng  

Han Mei

Bowed half-tube zither of China (ya: ‘creak’; zheng: ‘zither’). The instrument is mentioned in the Jiu Tangshu (‘Old History of the Tang Dynasty’, completed 945 ce) with the comment, ‘The yazheng is made to creak with a slip of bamboo, moistened at its tip’. An early illustration of the yazheng appears in Chen Yang’s Yueshu (‘Treatise on Music’) of 1104, showing a long zither with a slightly convex soundboard (closely resembling a zheng), approximately nine strings, and an L-shaped playing implement. Yazheng was also referred to as qin (a different character from the seven-string scholar’s zither) from the Song to the Ming dynasties. The 13th-century encyclopedia Shilin guangji (‘Comprehensive Record of the Forest of Affairs’) states that the instrument had seven strings, each with a movable bridge underneath. Da Qing huidian tu (‘Illustrations for the Compendium of Administrative Laws of Qing’, 1899) describes the yazheng as having ten strings played with a straight wooden stick....

Article

Yenjing  

Jeremy Montagu

Article

Yueqin  

Alan R. Thrasher

Short-necked lute of the Han Chinese. Literally ‘moon qin’, the name is often popularly translated as ‘moon lute’. The yueqin is constructed of a short fingerboard inserted into a large circular resonating chamber (about 60 cm in total length). Distinguishing features include four long tuning pegs inserted laterally into the pegbox, soundboards of softwood (commonly wutong) covering the top and bottom of the resonating chamber, and between eight and 12 bamboo frets glued to the neck and upper part of the soundboard. On traditional lutes, four silk strings are grouped in two double courses and tuned a 5th apart.

The yueqin is historically related to several Han Chinese lutes, especially the qinqin, shuangqing and ruan. The qinqin (‘Qin [kingdom] qin’) has a long fretted neck, often only two or three strings (pitched about one octave lower than the yueqin) and a scalloped or ‘plum blossom’ shaped resonating chamber (about 90 cm in total length). The ...

Article

Article

Mauricio Molina

Article

K.A. Gourlay

revised by Ferdinand J. de Hen

[zenze, nzenze, nsense, nzensi, dzendze, lunzenze, nzeze, luzenzu, dizeze, sese, lusese]

Stick zither widely distributed throughout the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The stick is a solid bar of wood 55 to 65 cm long and 2 to 3 cm wide throughout most of its length. Both ends of the bar terminate in a small knob to which the strings, of plant fibre, are attached. Three cylindrical ‘frets’ protrude on both sides of the stick. The U-shaped bridge is usually made of a feather quill. One or more drone strings pass beside the frets. A resonator made of two superposed calabash halves, or seldom a single half-calabash shell, is attached near one end; it is affixed to the underside of the bar by means of a small part-calabash collar and a cord. The zither produces four notes (open string and one note from each of the three frets) together with the drone(s). Accounts of the method of performance vary. Among the Shi the zither is held to the left so that the frets can be stopped with the fingers of the left hand while the thumb activates the drone string and the fingers of the right hand stroke the melody string. The half-calabash is usually placed on the player‘s chest and opened or closed in the same way as the resonator of a ...

Article

Zheng  

Han Mei

A plucked half-tube zither with movable bridges, one of the principal Chinese zithers, the others being the Qin and the ancient se ( see China, People’s Republic of ). Discussed here are construction, early history, tuning and notation; for living traditions and repertories, see China, People’s Republic of .

The zheng consists of a soundbox with adjustable bridges over which a number of strings are stretched. The size of the zheng ranges from 120 to 170 cm long and 20 to 35 cm wide, depending on the number of strings. The soundboard is made of wutong wood (Firmiana platanifolia), the bottom being flat and the upper board convex. The wood used for the sides and bottom is traditionally hardwood: red sandalwood, rosewood or sometimes boxwood. The bridges, used for fine tuning, are usually made of wood, occasionally of ivory or bone. The strings are secured on pins at one end of the instrument, stretched over individual bridges, and wound around tuning pegs at the other end. While silk strings were traditionally used, today they are most commonly of steel wound with nylon. The bridges divide the strings into two sections, the portion to the right delineating the open-string tuning mode and the plucking area, that to the left the area where ornamentations and pitch modifications may be made....

Article

Zither  

Mark Lindley, Andreas Michel and Alan R. Thrasher

A term having two main senses in modern organology. The first denotes (in both English and German) a large category of string instruments also known as ‘simple chordophone’ (defined in §1 below); the second, more limited and perhaps more familiar sense refers to a small group of Alpine folk and popular instruments. From the late 15th century the term ‘zither’ was used exclusively to denote chordophones with necks, of the cittern type. It was only from the early 19th century that the name began to be used for descendants of the north European Scheitholt type of instrument (see §§2 and 3 below), which had no neck and frets placed directly on the box. From the Scheitholt evolved the modern Alpine instrument still known as the zither (Fr. cithare; Ger. Zither; It. cetra da tavola); other types of fretted zither are found elsewhere in Europe.

Mark Lindley

According to the classification system of Hornbostel and Sachs (...