Brahms guitar

Last updated
Brahms guitar Brahms guitar.jpg
Brahms guitar

The Brahms guitar, or cello-guitar, is an eight-string guitar with a conventional resonating body, but also an external, box-shaped resonator. Classical guitarist Paul Galbraith, in collaboration with luthier David Rubio, invented the instrument in 1994. David Rubio's protégé, luthier Martin Woodhouse, innovated the design and continues to build Brahms guitars. Galbraith originally conceived it specifically to perform Johannes Brahms' Theme and Variations, Op. 21.

Contents

The instrument adds two strings to the standard six—a low A (a 5th below the standard low E), and a high A (a 4th above the standard high E), giving A E A D G B E A. [1] The guitar's frets are fanned to allow for the different string lengths. The player holds the guitar like a cello, with a cello-like post from the bottom of the guitar to the box resonator.

Other adopters include Joseph Ehrenpreis, Everton Gloeden, Luiz Mantovani of the Brazilian Guitar Quartet, and Galbraith's former students Redmond O'Toole and Matthew Korbanic. The Dublin Guitar Quartet uses the instrument in their arrangements of Philip Glass, Kevin Volans, [2] and Arvo Part string quartets.

In November of 2020, Joseph Ehrenpreis released "New Music with Brahms Guitar, Vol. 1" [3] funded by an IAS grant from the Illinois Arts Council. The project includes entirely new compositions from an international cast of composers, including Dai Fujikura, written specifically for the 8-string Brahms Guitar.

See also

Related Research Articles

Steel-string acoustic guitar


The steel-string acoustic guitar is a modern form of guitar that descends from the nylon-strung classical guitar, but is strung with steel strings for a brighter, louder sound. Like the classical guitar, it is often referred to simply as an acoustic guitar.

Cello Bowed string musical instrument

The cello ( CHEL-oh; plural celli or cellos) or violoncello ( VY-ə-lən-CHEL-oh; Italian pronunciation: [vjolonˈtʃɛllo]) is a bowed (and occasionally plucked) string instrument of the violin family. Its four strings are usually tuned in perfect fifths: from low to high, C2, G2, D3 and A3. The viola's four strings are each an octave higher. Music for the cello is generally written in the bass clef, with tenor clef and treble clef used for higher-range passages.

Double bass Acoustic stringed instrument of the violin family

The double bass, also known simply as the bass, is the largest and lowest-pitched bowed string instrument in the modern symphony orchestra. The Double bass has a similar structure to the cello.

Guitar Fretted string instrument

The guitar is a fretted musical instrument that typically has six strings. It is held flat against the player's body and played by strumming or plucking the strings with the dominant hand, while simultaneously pressing the strings against frets with the fingers of the opposite hand. A plectrum or individual finger picks may be used to strike the strings. The sound of the guitar is projected either acoustically, by means of a resonant chamber on the instrument, or amplified by an electronic pickup and an amplifier.

Mandolin Musical instrument in the lute family

A mandolin is a stringed musical instrument in the lute family and is generally plucked with a plectrum. It most commonly has four courses of doubled metal strings tuned in unison, thus giving a total of 8 strings, although five and six course versions also exist. The courses are typically tuned in an interval of perfect fifths, with the same tuning as a violin. Also like the violin, it is the soprano member of a family that includes the mandola, octave mandolin, mandocello and mandobass.

In music, a quartet or quartette is an ensemble of four singers or instrumental performers; or a musical composition for four voices or instruments.

String instrument Class of musical instruments with vibrating strings

String instruments, stringed instruments, or chordophones are musical instruments that produce sound from vibrating strings when a performer plays or sounds the strings in some manner.

String quartet Musical ensemble of four string players

A string quartet is a musical ensemble consisting of four string players – two violin players, a viola player and a cellist – or a musical composition written to be performed by such a group. The string quartet is one of the most prominent chamber ensembles in classical music; most major composers from the mid 18th century onwards having written string quartets.

Chamber music Form of classical music composed for a small group of instruments

Chamber music is a form of classical music that is composed for a small group of instruments—traditionally a group that could fit in a palace chamber or a large room. Most broadly, it includes any art music that is performed by a small number of performers, with one performer to a part. However, by convention, it usually does not include solo instrument performances.

Scordatura[skordaˈtuːra] is a tuning of a stringed instrument that is different from the normal, standard tuning. It typically attempts to allow special effects or unusual chords or timbre, or to make certain passages easier to play. It is common to notate the finger position as if played in regular tuning, while the actual pitch resulting is altered. When all the strings are tuned by the same interval up or down, as in the case of the viola in Mozart's Sinfonia Concertante for Violin, Viola and Orchestra, the part is transposed as a whole.

A luthier is a craftsperson who builds and repairs string instruments that have a neck and a sound box. The word "luthier" is originally French and comes from the French word for lute. The term was originally used for makers of lutes, but it came to be used already in French for makers of most bowed and plucked stringed instruments such as members of the violin family and guitars. Luthiers, however, do not make harps or pianos; these require different skills and construction methods because their strings are secured to a frame.

Eight-string guitar

An eight-string guitar is a guitar with two more strings than the usual six, or one more than the Russian guitar's seven. Eight-string guitars are less common than six- and seven-string guitars, but they are used by a few classical, jazz, and metal guitarists. The eight-string guitar allows a wider tonal range, or non-standard tunings, or both.

Kevin Volans Irish composer of South-African birth

Kevin Volans is a South African born Irish composer and pianist. He studied with Karlheinz Stockhausen and Mauricio Kagel in Cologne in the 1970s and later became associated with the Neue Einfacheit movement in the city. In the late 1970s he became interested in the indigenous music of his homeland and began a series of pieces which attempted to combine aspects of African and contemporary European music. Although Volans later moved away from any direct engagement with African music, certain residual elements such as interlocking rhythms, repetition and open forms are still detectable in his music since the early 1990s which takes a new direction more redolent of certain schools of abstract art. He settled in Ireland permanently in 1986 and was granted Irish citizenship in 1995.

Multi-scale fingerboard

A multi-scale fingerboard is an instrument fretboard which incorporates multiple scale lengths. The scale length is the vibrating length of the strings.

E minor

E minor is a minor scale based on E, consisting of the pitches E, F, G, A, B, C, and D. Its key signature has one sharp. Its relative major is G major and its parallel major is E major.

Classical guitar with additional strings

A classical guitar with additional strings is a nylon-string or gut-string classical guitar with more than six strings, in which the additional strings pass over a fingerboard so that they may be "stopped" or fretted with the fingers. These are also known as extended-range guitars, and should not be confused with harp guitars.

Paul Galbraith is a Scottish classical guitarist known for his unique style of playing.

David Rubio

David Rubio was an English maker of stringed musical instruments.

Dublin Guitar Quartet

The Dublin Guitar Quartet is an Irish guitar quartet that specialises in the performance of contemporary classical music, particularly music associated with minimalist composers such as Philip Glass, Steve Reich, Arvo Pärt and Kevin Volans. The bulk of their repertoire consists of their own transcriptions of works by these composers. They have also transcribed and performed works by György Ligeti, Igor Stravinsky and Michael Nyman.

References

  1. Paul Galbraith on his guitar.
  2. "White Man Sleeps Mvt 4 (Excerpt) - KEVIN VOLANS" via soundcloud.com.
  3. "New Music with Brahms Guitar, Vol. 1" via https://music.apple.com.

Sources