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Commonly pitched in B flat like the standard orchestral clarinet, but sounding an octave below it, the bass clarinet began life as an eighteenth-century instrument that looked faintly like a dulcian, though with an upward-pointing bell. Adolphe Sax (1814–94) and L. A. Buffet (fl. 1839–43) both worked on the instrument in the nineteenth century. Sax developed one with ...

Source: Classical Music Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie
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Like the snare drum and tenor drum, the bass drum originated in the Middle East. It is a large instrument with a cylindrical body and two heads, and is the drum used to keep the rhythm in marching bands. The modern orchestral bass drum (100 cm/70 in diameter and 50 cm/20 in long) is double headed and rod tensioned. ...

Source: The Illustrated Complete Musical Instruments Handbook, general editor Lucien Jenkins
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The invention of valves meant that brass instruments could now explore the bass register, and soon after 1835 bass tubas started being manufactured in Germany. Essentially a keyed bugle by descent, the bass tuba (confusingly, the name tuba comes from the Latin word for trumpet) has a very wide conical bore and as a result requires a good ...

Source: Classical Music Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie
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The double bass is the only survivor from the viol family to have found a regular place in the orchestra. Like other members of the viol family, it initially carried frets – tiny knotted pieces of gut that measured out the fingerboard. As it was adopted into the violin family, it settled down as a four-stringed instrument, shed ...

Source: Classical Music Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie
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The electric bass is similar in both appearance and operation to the electric guitar, but is actually a descendent of the upright acoustic double bass. The double bass had long been an integral part of the jazz rhythm section, but the increasing need to compete with amplified instruments – not to mention the transportation problems caused by its sheer ...

Source: The Illustrated Complete Musical Instruments Handbook, general editor Lucien Jenkins
303 Words Read More

Drum’n’bass was a kind of re-branding that came from the scene itself – the producer side that wanted to allow filmic sounds to speak for them rather than some patois MC. By downplaying the ragga, producers and DJs were effectively saying that they wished to communicate a message or mood sonically rather than verbally. Some have argued that drum’n’bass is ...

Source: The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Music, general editor Paul Du Noyer
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steel) are set in vibration by a rectangular bellows. The bellows are operated by the left hand, which also – as in all keyboard instruments – manipulates the so-called bass keyboard, in this case a collection of buttons, rather than keys proper, which produce both single notes and certain pre-ordained chords. The right hand operates the treble ...

Source: The Illustrated Complete Musical Instruments Handbook, general editor Lucien Jenkins
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instruments to add to their sound palette. Berg’s Three Pieces for Orchestra (1913) requires a xylorimba: a composite instrument, with a top end sounding like a xylophone, the bass end like a marimba. Walton’s Façade (1926) requires wood blocks: stemming from Africa, these are a series of resonant wooden blocks stuck by drumsticks. Wood blocks are also to ...

Source: Classical Music Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie
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A bowed string instrument, the arpeggione was invented in Vienna by J. G. Stauffer in 1823–24. A kind of bass viol, with soundholes like a viol, it is waisted, but shaped more like a large guitar than a viol or double bass. Six-stringed and with metal frets, it was tuned E, A, d, ...

Source: Classical Music Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie
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, it is mouth-blown with a single nine-holed, conical-bored chanter. Today’s standardized version has three separate drone pipes: two tenors an octave below the chanter’s keynote, and a bass an octave below them. Pitch The exact pitch of that keynote varies; while called A, it is generally between Bb and B. Until recently, Highland pipes were not ...

Source: The Illustrated Complete Musical Instruments Handbook, general editor Lucien Jenkins
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A baryton is a bass string instrument, similar in appearance to a viol. It is held between the performer’s knees and played with a bow; it usually carries six strings which the bow sounds directly. It has a number of strings (up to 40) which are concealed and which can be plucked by the thumb or allowed to vibrate in ...

Source: Classical Music Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie
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is mounted on it. The sound of the Baroque bassoon was not unlike that of the oboe – similarly buzzing, but deeper. The bassoon was usually relegated to the bass line, supporting other instruments, but a number of more challenging solo pieces appeared for the bassoon at the hands of both Telemann and J. S. Bach; Vivaldi distinguished ...

Source: Classical Music Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie
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the lower ranges. Large versions of wind instruments intended for the higher registers lacked volume and agility and were often difficult to play. Various elements of existing instruments – the bass recorder’s crook and the shawm’s double reed, for instance – were combined to create the bassoon’s predecessor: the dulcian. Dulcian Meaning ‘sweet’ (presumably in comparison with the raucous shawm), ...

Source: The Illustrated Complete Musical Instruments Handbook, general editor Lucien Jenkins
628 Words Read More

begun playing a kind of rebec placed upright on the lap, this position was not used in western music until some years later – when the viols and the bass members of the violin family began to emerge at the beginning of the sixteenth century. Styles & Forms | Medieval Era | Classical Instruments | Viol & Violin | Renaissance ...

Source: Classical Music Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie
278 Words Read More

1890s, asked Philadelphia instrument makers J.W. Pepper to modify an instrument called the helicon; the company named the final result in his honour. The helicon was a circular bass tuba created in Vienna in the 1840s; the sousaphone added a detachable bell pointing straight up on early versions, and later in a forward direction. In fact there is ...

Source: The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Music, general editor Paul Du Noyer
1569 Words Read More
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