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Broadly speaking, guitars can be divided into two categories – acoustic and electric. The term ‘electric guitar’ tends to be reserved for solid-body instruments. Acoustic guitars use the resonating properties of a hollow body and sound holes to produce and project their sound. Electro-Acoustic Guitars The development of amplified music, played in increasingly larger venues, presented a challenge ...

Source: The Illustrated Complete Musical Instruments Handbook, general editor Lucien Jenkins
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Electro is currently enjoying a huge renaissance, but, despite the current hype and mainstream acceptance of the music, it has always enjoyed a strong cult following. This is due to the music’s many different strands and its constant need for reinvention. At its most basic level, electro differentiates itself from house and techno by the fact that ...

Source: The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Music, general editor Paul Du Noyer
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Gibson Les Paul. Adolphe Richenbacher (later changed to Rickenbacker) worked making components for the Dopera Brothers’ National Resonator Guitars. Together with George Beauchamp and Paul Barth, he formed the Electro String Company and, in the 1930s, began building Hawaiian-style guitars using their newly developed magnetic-pickup system. Fender Strat In the late 1940s, electrician and amplifier-maker Leo Fender ...

Source: The Illustrated Complete Musical Instruments Handbook, general editor Lucien Jenkins
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The piano has occupied a special place in music and, since the advent of amplification, musicians have sought ways in which its expressive, versatile sound could be made louder in order to carry above the sound of other amplified instruments and also how it could be packaged into an instrument more easily transportable than the traditional acoustic piano. ...

Source: The Illustrated Complete Musical Instruments Handbook, general editor Lucien Jenkins
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Bass Guitar In 1951, guitar maker Leo Fender launched the first commercially available electric bass guitar, the Fender Precision. Compared to the cumbersome and often difficult-to-hear acoustic double bass, Fender offered an instrument that had many advantages. Not only was it louder because it was amplified – and more portable – it allowed for more precise intonation because ...

Source: The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Music, general editor Paul Du Noyer
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The drum is perhaps the oldest instrument known to man. Drummers have always sought increasingly sophisticated ways of refining their art and gaining access to as broad a palette of sounds as possible and, in many instances, have embraced the electronic revolution as enthusiastically as their keyboard-playing counterparts. Early Electronic Drums Early electronic drum systems included the Electro-Harmonix Space ...

Source: The Illustrated Complete Musical Instruments Handbook, general editor Lucien Jenkins
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The term electric, or electromechanical, organ is used to describe instruments that produce sounds using a dynamo-like system of moving parts – as opposed to electronic organs that employ solid-state electronics. Laurens Hammond In the same way that ‘Hoover’ is used instead of ‘vacuum cleaner’, the very name ‘Hammond’ has become synonymous with electric organs. The Hammond organ was ...

Source: The Illustrated Complete Musical Instruments Handbook, general editor Lucien Jenkins
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Musique concrète (‘concrete music’) was the term coined by Pierre Schaeffer (1910–95) in 1948 to describe his new approach to composition, based on tape recordings of natural and industrial sounds. The term was chosen to distinguish the new genre from pure, abstract music (musique abstrait). Schaeffer was a radio engineer and broadcaster. Having gained a qualification from L’École Polytechnique ...

Source: The Illustrated Complete Musical Instruments Handbook, general editor Lucien Jenkins
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The organ is an instrument of extremes – the biggest, the loudest, the lowest, the highest, the oldest, the newest and the most complex, it is also among the smallest, the most intimate, the most modest, and the simplest. Organ Extremes The aptly named portative organ – much played from the twelfth ...

Source: The Illustrated Complete Musical Instruments Handbook, general editor Lucien Jenkins
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In the twentieth century, some musicians became interested in inventing new acoustic instruments that could take music beyond the tuning systems, scales and harmonic language inherent in the instruments commonly played in western classical music. Creating new instruments created a revolutionary new sound world. New instruments were often promoted outside the normal scope of the bourgeois concert audience, ...

Source: The Illustrated Complete Musical Instruments Handbook, general editor Lucien Jenkins
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The vibraphone (or ‘vibes’ or ‘vibraharp’ as it is sometimes known), is a percussion instrument that uses an electro-mechanical system to create its distinctive sound. Construction The vibraphone is similar in appearance to a xylophone or marimba, in that it consists of a set of bars arranged over resonating vertical tubes. However, unlike the other, wooden instruments, ...

Source: The Illustrated Complete Musical Instruments Handbook, general editor Lucien Jenkins
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Until the 1970s, most synthesizers were played by means of a traditional, piano-style keyboard. This tended to limit the player’s ability to expressively control the sound in real time and manufacturers sought to include additional means of control, such as modulation wheels and touch-sensitive ribbon controllers. Wind and brass players, however, realized that their experience of ...

Source: The Illustrated Complete Musical Instruments Handbook, general editor Lucien Jenkins
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masses and the industrialized world, the first Futurist concert took place in Milan, Italy, in 1914. The driving concepts behind Futurism are still inherent in techno and electro, in which contemporary electronic styles try to define and capture the essence of the post-industrial world. By the 1920s, Leon Theremin had developed the theremin instrument, whose ...

Source: The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Music, general editor Paul Du Noyer
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(DJ/rap artist, b. 1960) As a DJ, Bambaataa (b. Kevin Donovan) was at the forefront of the rise of hip hop in the late 1970s. In 1982, he released ‘Planet Rock’, which borrowed from Kraftwerk’s ‘Trans-Europe Express’, and essentially invented electro. In the mid-1980s he collaborated with both John Lydon and James Brown. His debut album, Beware ...

Source: The Definitive Illustrated Encyclopedia of Rock, general editor Michael Heatley
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‘Spaceman’, 1996 Another case of Levi’s jeans popularizing a song into a hit single – something they had done, not only with new songs, but also with reissues of classic soul songs in the 1980s – Babylon Zoo’s ‘Spaceman’ was an electro-pop hit that appealed instantly to a mid-1990s crowd, but would seem dated and clumsy today. Jas ...

Source: The Definitive Illustrated Encyclopedia of Rock, general editor Michael Heatley
114 Words Read More
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