Free reed aerophone

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The reeds of an early 20th-century button accordion, with closeup. Reedsinset.jpg
The reeds of an early 20th-century button accordion, with closeup.

A free reed aerophone is a musical instrument that produces sound as air flows past a vibrating reed in a frame. Air pressure is typically generated by breath or with a bellows. In the Hornbostel–Sachs system, it is number: 412.13 (a member of interruptive free aerophones). Free reed instruments are contrasted with non-free or enclosed reed instruments, where the timbre is fully or partially dependent on the shape of the instrument body, Hornbostel–Sachs number: 42 (flute, reed, and brass).

Contents

Operation

The following illustrations depict the type of reed typical of harmonicas, pitch pipes, accordions, and reed organs as it goes through a cycle of vibration. One side of the reed frame is omitted from the images for clarity; in reality, the frame completely encloses the reed. Airflow over one side of the reed (labeled “AR”) creates a region of low pressure on that side (see the Bernoulli's principle article for details), causing the reed to flex towards the low-pressure side. The reed frame is constructed so that the flexing of the reed obstructs the airflow, which reduces or eliminates the low-pressure region and allows the reed to flex back. [1]

Palheta repouso.png
A reed is fixed by one end in a close-fitting frame. The loose end has a slight rising bend.
Palheta vibra1.png
Air depression is applied under the reed; the reed prevents air flow, except for a small, high-velocity flow at the tip.
Palheta vibra2.png
The reed is sucked through the opening, allowing the air to pass.
Palheta vibra3.png
The elasticity of the reed forces it back through the frame.

Each time the reed passes through the frame, it interrupts air flow. These rapid, periodic interruptions of the air flow create the audible vibrations perceived by the listener.

In a free-reed instrument, it is generally the physical characteristics of the reed itself, such as mass, length, cross-sectional area, and stiffness, which determine the pitch of the musical note produced. Of secondary importance to the pitch are the physical dimensions of the chamber in which the reed is fitted, and of the air flow. As an exception, the pitch of the Chinese bawu and hulusi are determined by fingering recorder-like tone holes along the instrument body.

History

Sheng with 17 pipes; height is 55 cm (22 inches) Sheng (Chinese mouth organ).jpg
Sheng with 17 pipes; height is 55 cm (22 inches)

Various free reed instruments appear to have been invented since antiquity. The most likely precursor to free reed aerophones is the Jew's harp, [2] an instrument known to many cultures throughout the world, and by many names (e.g., k'uang in ancient China [3] ). In this instrument, the main sound producer is the vibrating reed tongue itself, rather than the air flow.

Among the ancient instruments, the khene of Laos, the shēng of China and the shō of Japan have survived to modern times.

The sheng was traditionally made with bamboo pipes, and was first mentioned in the Shi Jing of the Zhou Dynasty (c. 1050–256 BC). A free reed organ was invented in the Arab world in the 13th century, while the German Heinrich Traxdorf (fl. 15th century) of Nuremberg built one around 1460 AD.

In Copenhagen, one of these instruments with brass pipes and free reeds in-caved into the sides of the pipes inspired the organ builder Kirsnick to fit similar reeds into portable organs. [4] In 1780 Kirsnick moved to Saint Petersburg improved these new organ pipes to an adjustable pitch with a hook. Christian Gottlieb Kratzenstein also built his speaking machine in Copenhagen and he was in contact with Kirsnick. Christian Gottlieb Kratzenstein got an award for the machine in Petersburg but he never moved to Petersburg. His machine or a copy of this machine came to Paris very shortly after 1780. [5] Georg Joseph Vogler put all his effort to get this new type of organ pipes in use in church organs so he started with changing organs in Rotterdam (1790), London(1790), [notes 1] Frankfurt (1791), Stockholm (1791), Paris (1796), Berlin (1800), Prague (1802), Vienna (1804), Salzburg Munich (1805), – up to 30 documented rebuilds of organs with new free reed type organ pipes. He also held lessons at universities and did all to promote this new type of reeds, not only in German-speaking regions of Europe. The actual work was done by different organ builders, and very many people were involved, so it is nearly impossible that any organ builder in Europe did not know about free reeds after 1800. In the two years from 1802 to 1804 in Vienna, he spent time with Johann Nepomuk Mälzel and Mälzel changed the type of reeds used in his Panharmonicon to free reed pipes. Vogler, Maelzel and Friedrich Kaufmann were then at the same time in Paris in 1807. From there, Mälzel went to Regensburg and Vienna, where he constructed a new Panharmonicon and the mechanischer Trompeter; after that he went on tour again to Paris, London and other places; maybe he went for the first time to Boston and New York as well, but up to now we don't know of any notice in a newspaper about it. Friedrich Kaufmann, a clock maker, went back home to Dresden and copied Mälzel's machines. The mechanischer Trompeter still can be seen in a museum in Munich.

First use in America

In the United States, organ builder William M. Goodrich is often claimed[ by whom? ] to have invented the free reed. He tells that he worked in 1810 to 1812 with Johann Nepomuk Mälzel's Pan Harmonicon that was sent to Boston and then exhibited in several towns. Märzel had a very good relationship to Vogler while in Europe so his Pan Harmonicon used free reeds. It is not known with certainty whether Mälzel was personally in America around 1811. What is clear is that he arrived New York on February 7, 1826, which might have been either his first or his second visit to the New World. He also visited Boston around that time.

"In June 1811 a curious instrument called a Pan Harmonicon was brought to Boston. It was invented by Maelzel, whose name is usually linked with the Metronome. William Goodrich was employed to set up and exhibit the Pan Harmonnicon in New York and other cities. He […] traveled with the instrument from September 1811 until June 1812." [6]

1823 Pan Harmonicun copied;

In March, 1823, Mr. Goodrich undertook to complete, with the assistance of others, a Pan Harmonicon, in imitation of that of Maelzel. Mr. Savage, the proprietor of a Museum in Boylston Hall, had kept the latter for some time on exhibition in his Museum, and had made considerable progress in constructing one like it. After his death, it was determined to complete it. Mr. Goodrich was employed, and it was finished in May, 1824. From November, 1824, till sometime in 1825, he was chiefly employed in the exhibition of this instrument; [7]

There is a story that in 1821 James H. Bazin repaired a free reed pipe and used this type of reeds for constructing, in 1836, the "lap organ".

In an article in " The Musical World and Times " […] the invention of this class of instruments is claimed for Mr. James H. Bazin, an ingenious musician and mechanic, of Canton, Mass. […] However,[…] as will be observed […] Mr. Bazin was not the man. The account referred to contains the following :— " Late in the year of 1821, some young men from a neighboring town, brought a small, round, brass pipe, with the letter A marked on it, and a piece of thin brass screwed on one side; which brass appeared to have been made to vibrate through an opening about one-half the length of the pipe, but which had been broken off near the screw. They had borrowed this pipe from a singing-master in Boston, and wished to have Mr. Bazin repair it, […] We have a legend, in which it is asserted that the free reed was the invention of a German shoemaker [Maelzel], who, captivated with the sweet sounds produced by it,[…], [8] [9]

From 1833, Prescott built similar instruments.

In 1831 Prescott […]. On a business trip to Boston he saw an "elbow organ" or lap organ ("rocking melodeon") built by Jams Bazin. Seeing the potential of this small REED ORGAN, he commenced manufacturing them in 1836 or 1837 both the button (melodeon) and the conventional keyboard type; [10] [11] Video of "rocking melodeon" [12]

Melodeons in 1840

Free reed from a Melodion, 1867. Melodeon MET 219840.jpg
Free reed from a Melodion, 1867.

By 1840, there were 40 melodeon builders in America.

"Melodeons were inexpensive, easy to move, and required a minimum of upkeep. These features were so attractive that by 1840 there were forty melodeon builders in the United States, with an annual product of $646,975, but reports listed only twenty pipe organ builders, with an annual product of $324,750 [13,p.132]" [13]

Europe

Cyrill Demian's (see below) patent of 1829 [14] however states that the reeds in his instrument "were known for more than 200 years as Regale, Zungen, Schnarrwerk, in organs." He compares the reeds used by him with beating reeds.

The accordion in Russia

The earliest history of the accordion in Russia is poorly documented. Nevertheless, according to Russian researchers, the earliest known simple accordions were made in Tula, Russia by Timofey Vorontsov  [ ru ] from 1820, and Ivan Sizov  [ ru ] from 1830. [15] By the late 1840s, the instrument was already very widespread; [16] together the factories of the two masters were producing 10,000 instruments a year. By 1866, over 50,000 instruments were being produced yearly by Tula and neighbouring villages, and by 1874 the yearly production rate was over 700,000. [17] By the 1860s, Novgorod, Vyatka and Saratov Governorates also had significant accordion production. By the 1880s, the list included Oryol, Ryazan, Moscow, Tver, Vologda, Kostroma, Nizhny Novgorod, Simbirsk and others, and many of these places created their own varieties of the instrument. [18] The first chromatic piano-like accordions in Russia were built in 1871 by Nikolay Ivanovich Beloborodov. [19]

In 1907, St. Petersburg master accordion maker V. S. Sterlingov created a chromatic button accordion for the player Ya. F. Orlandskiy-Titarenko featuring 52 melody keys and 72 chords of the Stradella bass system. Orlandskiy-Titarenko called his new instrument the bayan (after the legendary bard Boyan), and it was the ancestor of the modern instrument with that name. However, its layout on the melody side was different from the layout of the modern bayan. The modern bayan's B-system layout (or "Moscow system") became more popular than the early instrument's "Leningrad system" (which was more similar to the Khromka garmon) around 1930–35. [20]

Between 1953 and 1968, the yearly production of button accordions (garmons and bayans) in the Soviet Union ranged between 597,307 and 921,674 instruments, while the yearly production of piano accordions ranged between 7,124 and 120,313 instruments (averaging around 50,000). [21]

Notable examples

The harmonica, the harmonium, the melodica, and the bandoneón.

In the related woodwind instruments, a vibrating reed is used to set a column of air in vibration within the instrument. In such instruments, the pitch is primarily determined by the effective length of that column of air. Although the Chinese sheng, Japanese sho and Laotian khene have pipes, the pipes do not determine the pitch. In these instruments, the pipes serve as resonating chambers.

Notes

  1. He was in London 1890 and recorded this in his autobiography, but it is unclear whether this was after or before his visit to Warschau in the same year. It is also unclear if he did make changes to church organs there. His Orchestrion that he was carrying with him was not using free reeds at this time.[ citation needed ]

Related Research Articles

Accordion Bellows-driven free-reed aerophone musical instrument

Accordions are a family of box-shaped musical instruments of the bellows-driven free-reed aerophone type, colloquially referred to as a squeezebox. A person who plays the accordion is called an accordionist. The concertina and bandoneón are related. The harmonium and American reed organ are in the same family, but are typically larger than an accordion and sit on a surface or the floor.

Harmonica Free reed wind musical instrument

The harmonica, also known as a French harp or mouth organ, is a free reed wind instrument used worldwide in many musical genres, notably in blues, American folk music, classical music, jazz, country, and rock. The many types of harmonica include diatonic, chromatic, tremolo, octave, orchestral, and bass versions. A harmonica is played by using the mouth to direct air into or out of one holes along a mouthpiece. Behind each hole is a chamber containing at least one reed. A harmonica reed is a flat, elongated spring typically made of brass, stainless steel, or bronze, which is secured at one end over a slot that serves as an airway. When the free end is made to vibrate by the player's air, it alternately blocks and unblocks the airway to produce sound.

Woodwind instrument Family of musical wind instruments

Woodwind instruments are a family of musical instruments within the more general category of wind instruments. Common examples include flute, clarinet, oboe, bassoon, and saxophone. There are two main types of woodwind instruments: flutes and reed instruments. The main distinction between these instruments and other wind instruments is the way in which they produce sound. All woodwinds produce sound by splitting the air blown into them on a sharp edge, such as a reed or a fipple. Despite the name, a woodwind may be made of any material, not just wood. Common examples include brass, silver, cane, as well as other metals such as gold and platinum. The saxophone, for example, though made of brass, is considered a woodwind because it requires a reed to produce sound. Occasionally, woodwinds are made out of earthen materials, especially ocarinas.

Reed (mouthpiece)

A reed is a thin strip of material that vibrates to produce a sound on a musical instrument. Most woodwind instrument reeds are made from Arundo donax or synthetic material. Tuned reeds are made of metal or synthetics. Musical instruments are classified according to the type and number of reeds.

Pitch pipe

A pitch pipe is a small device used to provide a pitch reference for musicians without absolute pitch. Although it may be described as a musical instrument, it is not typically used to play music as such. Technically, it is a harmonica; however, it lacks many characteristics of harmonicas.

Hornbostel–Sachs or Sachs–Hornbostel is a system of musical instrument classification devised by Erich Moritz von Hornbostel and Curt Sachs, and first published in the Zeitschrift für Ethnologie in 1914. An English translation was published in the Galpin Society Journal in 1961. It is the most widely used system for classifying musical instruments by ethnomusicologists and organologists. The system was updated in 2011 as part of the work of the Musical Instrument Museums Online (MIMO) Project.

Aerophone

An aerophone is a musical instrument that produces sound primarily by causing a body of air to vibrate, without the use of strings or membranes, and without the vibration of the instrument itself adding considerably to the sound.

Organ (music) Musical keyboard instrument

In music, the organ is a keyboard instrument of one or more pipe divisions or other means for producing tones, each played with its own keyboard, played either with the hands on a keyboard or with the feet using pedals.

<i>Sheng</i> (instrument) Chinese mouth-blown free reed instrument

The sheng is a Chinese mouth-blown free reed instrument consisting of vertical pipes. It is a polyphonic instrument and enjoys an increasing popularity as a solo instrument.

Overblowing is a technique used while playing a wind instrument that causes the sounded pitch to jump to a higher one primarily through the manipulation of the supplied air rather than by a fingering change or the operation of a slide. Depending on the instrument, and to a lesser extent the player, overblowing may involve a change in the air pressure, in the point at which the air is directed, or in the resonance characteristics of the chamber formed by the mouth and throat of the player. In some instruments, overblowing may also involve the direct manipulation of the vibrating reed(s), and/or the pushing of a register key while otherwise leaving fingering unaltered. With the exception of harmonica overblowing, the pitch jump is from one vibratory mode of the reed or air column, e.g., its fundamental, to an overtone. Overblowing can be done deliberately in order to get a higher pitch, or inadvertently, resulting in the production of a note other than that intended.

Flue pipe

A flue pipe is an organ pipe that produces sound through the vibration of air molecules, in the same manner as a recorder or a whistle. Air under pressure is driven through a flue and against a sharp lip called a labium, causing the column of air in the pipe to resonate at a frequency determined by the pipe length. Thus, there are no moving parts in a flue pipe. This is in contrast to reed pipes, whose sound is driven by beating reeds, as in a clarinet. Flue pipes are common components of pipe organs.

Button accordion

A button accordion is a type of accordion on which the melody-side keyboard consists of a series of buttons. This differs from the piano accordion, which has piano style keys. Erich Von Hornbostel and Curt Sachs categorize it as a free reed aerophone in their classification of instruments, published in 1914. The sound from the instrument is produced by the vibration of air in reeds. Button accordions of various types are particularly common in European countries and countries where European people settled. The button accordion is often confused with the concertina, however the button accordion's buttons are on the front of the instrument, where as the concertina's are on the sides and pushed in parallel with the bellows.

Organ pipe Musical instrument part

An organ pipe is a sound-producing element of the pipe organ that resonates at a specific pitch when pressurized air is driven through it. Each pipe is tuned to a specific note of the musical scale. A set of organ pipes of similar timbre comprising the complete scale is known as a rank; one or more ranks constitutes a stop.

Pump organ

The pump organ is a type of free-reed organ that generates sound as air flows past a vibrating piece of thin metal in a frame. The piece of metal is called a reed. Specific types of pump organ include the reed organ, harmonium, and melodeon. The idea for the free reed was imported from China through Russia after 1750, and the first Western free-reed instrument was made in 1780 in Denmark.

Regal (instrument)

The regal is a small portable organ, furnished with beating reeds and having two bellows. The instrument enjoyed its greatest popularity during the Renaissance. The name was also sometimes given to the reed stops of a pipe organ, and more especially the vox humana stop.

Reed pipe Type of organ pipe

A reed pipe is an organ pipe that is sounded by a vibrating brass strip known as a reed. Air under pressure is directed towards the reed, which vibrates at a specific pitch. This is in contrast to flue pipes, which contain no moving parts and produce sound solely through the vibration of air molecules. Reed pipes are common components of pipe organs.

Reed aerophones is one of the categories of musical instruments found in the Hornbostel-Sachs system of musical instrument classification. In order to produce sound with these Aerophones the player's breath is directed against a lamella or pair of lamellae which periodically interrupt the airflow and cause the air to be set in motion.

Wind instrument Class of musical instruments with air resonator

A wind instrument is a musical instrument that contains some type of resonator in which a column of air is set into vibration by the player blowing into a mouthpiece set at or near the end of the resonator. The pitch of the vibration is determined by the length of the tube and by manual modifications of the effective length of the vibrating column of air. In the case of some wind instruments, sound is produced by blowing through a reed; others require buzzing into a metal mouthpiece, while yet others require the player to blow into a hole at an edge, which splits the air column and creates the sound.

William Marcellus Goodrich was an organ builder in the United States.

References

  1. John Watkinson (1998), The Art of Sound Reproduction, Focal Press, p. 117, ISBN   978-0-240-51512-0.
  2. Crane, Frederick (1 January 1968). "The Jew's Harp as Aerophone". The Galpin Society Journal. 21: 66–69. doi:10.2307/841429. JSTOR   841429.
  3. Picken, Laurence (1 January 1962). "Musical Terms in a Chinese Dictionary of the First Century". Journal of the International Folk Music Council. 14: 40–43. doi:10.2307/835557. JSTOR   835557.
  4. Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung, 5 March 1823. Nr. 10, Vol. 15, pg. 149–155. (online)
  5. "Pipe Organs With Free Reeds". Tardis.dl.ac.uk. Retrieved 2018-12-04.
  6. The History of the Organ in the United States, Orpha Caroline Ochse, page 77 Online
  7. The New-England Magazine, Band 6, page 32 Online
  8. Emerson's magazine and Putnam's monthly, Band 2 1855, Page 117,Online
  9. The New-England Magazine, Band 6, von 1834, Page 25 45 Online
  10. The organ: an encyclopedia, off Richard Kassel, Page 441,Online
  11. The organ in Manitoba: a history of the instruments, the builders and the …, James Barclay Hartman, Page 16 Online
  12. SilverStringsClub (16 August 2009). "Oh Suzannah – Silver Strings Variety Night July 2009" via YouTube.
  13. The History of the Organ in the United States, Orpha Caroline Ochse, Page 112,Online
  14. See "Demian's Accordion Patent translated from archaic German by Karl and Martin Weyde" at "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-06-19. Retrieved 2009-06-19.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  15. Mirek, Alfred. Garmonika. Proshloe i nastoiashchee. Nauchno-istoricheskaia entsyklopedicheskaia kniga. Moscow, 1994. p.50
  16. Etnograficheskii sbornik Russkogo geograficheskogo obshchestva. Vol.2, Saint Petersburg, 1854. p.26, 162.
  17. Mirek, Alfred. Iz istorii akkordeona i baiana. Moscow, 1967. p.43-45
  18. Banin A.A. Russkaia instrumentalnaia muzyka folklornoi traditsii. Moscow, 1997. (p.144)
  19. Fadeyev, I.G. and I.A. Kuznetsov. Remont garmonik, bayanov, i akkordeonov. Izdaniye 2-e, ispravlennoye i dopolnenoye. Moscow: Legkaya industriya, 1971. p.9-10.
  20. Fadeyev, 12-13.
  21. Fadeyev, 15.