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A thongophone is a musical instrument classified as a percussion instrument. Playing the thongophone is somewhat rare in Western music for solo performance, but was brought to prominence by the music of Yanni and Blue Man Group, among others. Thongophones are found in rural Papua New Guinea.

Musical instrument History and classification

A musical instrument is an instrument created or adapted to make musical sounds. In principle, any object that produces sound can be considered a musical instrument—it is through purpose that the object becomes a musical instrument. The history of musical instruments dates to the beginnings of human culture. Early musical instruments may have been used for ritual, such as a trumpet to signal success on the hunt, or a drum in a religious ceremony. Cultures eventually developed composition and performance of melodies for entertainment. Musical instruments evolved in step with changing applications.

Percussion instrument Type of musical instrument that produces a sound by being hit

A percussion instrument is a musical instrument that is sounded by being struck or scraped by a beater ; struck, scraped or rubbed by hand; or struck against another similar instrument. The percussion family is believed to include the oldest musical instruments, following the human voice.

Western music is a form of country and hillbilly music composed by and about the people who settled and worked throughout the Western United States and Western Canada. Western music celebrates the life of the cowboy on the open ranges, Rocky Mountains, and prairies of Western North America. Directly related musically to old English, Irish, Scottish, and folk ballads, also the Mexican folk music of Northern Mexico and Southwestern United States influenced the development of this genre, particularly corrido, ranchera, New Mexico and Tejano. Western music shares similar roots with Appalachian music, which developed around the same time throughout Appalachia and the Appalachian Mountains. The music industry of the mid-20th century grouped the two genres together under the banner of country and western music, later amalgamated into the modern name, country music.

The thongophone produces sound by striking a rubber clapper, usually a thong, hence its namesake, against the opening of one of many PVC pipes of varying length. Vibrations are transmitted through the hollow pipes, each one resonating to a preset pitch. The tubing system that allows the instrument to generate its sounds, resembles a pipe organ, which works on the same principle; however, the resonance is generated using a more direct method. In standard thongophones, there is a standard pitch designated for each tube; however the variable pitch thongophone, or drumbone, was made widely known due to its use by Blue Man Group, as seen in the Intel Pentium 4 commercials. The thongophone can also be played with the use of drumsticks, or virtually any other solid stick-like object to create resonance in the tube.

Flip-flops type of sandal

Flip-flops are a type of sandal, typically worn as a form of casual wear. They consist of a flat sole held loosely on the foot by a Y-shaped strap known as a toe thong that passes between the first and second toes and around both sides of the foot or can be a hard base with a strap across all the toes.

Polyvinyl chloride Polymer

Polyvinyl chloride is the world's third-most widely produced synthetic plastic polymer, after polyethylene and polypropylene. About 40 million tonnes are produced per year.

Pipe organ wind instrument that produces sound by driving pressurized air (called wind) through pipes selected via a keyboard

The pipe organ is a musical instrument that produces sound by driving pressurized air through the organ pipes selected via a keyboard. Because each pipe produces a single pitch, the pipes are provided in sets called ranks, each of which has a common timbre and volume throughout the keyboard compass. Most organs have multiple ranks of pipes of differing timbre, pitch, and volume that the player can employ singly or in combination through the use of controls called stops.

On the instrument, one end of each pipe is set up to resemble the layout of a standard piano in that the natural notes are at the front, C, D, E, F, G, A, B and so on, with the Accidental notes, C♯/D♭, E♭/D♯, F♯/G♭, G♯/A♭ and B♭/A♯ above them in groups of 2 and 3, just as in a piano or a xylophone.

Piano musical instrument

The piano is an acoustic, stringed musical instrument invented in Italy by Bartolomeo Cristofori around the year 1700, in which the strings are struck by hammers. It is played using a keyboard, which is a row of keys that the performer presses down or strikes with the fingers and thumbs of both hands to cause the hammers to strike the strings.

Xylophone musical instrument of the family of mallets

The xylophone is a musical instrument in the percussion family that consists of wooden bars struck by mallets. Each bar is an idiophone tuned to a pitch of a musical scale, whether pentatonic or heptatonic in the case of many African and Asian instruments, diatonic in many western children's instruments, or chromatic for orchestral use.

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Pan flute type of flute

The pan flutes are a group of musical instruments based on the principle of the closed tube, consisting of multiple pipes of gradually increasing length. Multiple varieties of pan flutes have long been popular as folk instruments. The pipes are typically made from bamboo, giant cane, or local reeds. Other materials include wood, plastic, metal and ivory.

Tuba type of musical instrument of the brass family

The tuba (bass) is the largest and lowest-pitched musical instrument in the brass family. As with all brass instruments, the sound is produced by lip vibration into a large mouthpiece. It first appeared in the mid-19th century, making it one of the newer instruments in the modern orchestra and concert band. The tuba largely replaced the ophicleide. Tuba is Latin for 'trumpet'.

Transposing instrument

A transposing instrument is a musical instrument whose music is recorded in staff notation at a pitch different from the pitch that actually sounds. A written middle C on a transposing instrument produces a pitch other than middle C, and that pitch identifies the interval of transposition when describing the instrument. For example, a written C on a B clarinet sounds a concert B.

Pitch (music) perceptual property in music

Pitch is a perceptual property of sounds that allows their ordering on a frequency-related scale, or more commonly, pitch is the quality that makes it possible to judge sounds as "higher" and "lower" in the sense associated with musical melodies. Pitch can be determined only in sounds that have a frequency that is clear and stable enough to distinguish from noise. Pitch is a major auditory attribute of musical tones, along with duration, loudness, and timbre.

Uilleann pipes characteristic national bagpipe of Ireland

The uilleann pipes are the characteristic national bagpipe of Ireland. Earlier known in English as "union pipes", their current name is a partial translation of the Irish-language term píobaí uilleann, from their method of inflation. There is no historical record of the name or use of the term uilleann pipes before the twentieth century. It was an invention of Grattan Flood and the name stuck. People mistook the term 'union' to refer to the 1800 Act of Union; this is incorrect as Breandán Breathnach points out that a poem published in 1796 uses the term 'union'.

Pitch pipe device for tuning musical instruments

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.

Great Highland bagpipe type of bagpipe native to Scotland

The Great Highland bagpipe is a type of bagpipe native to Scotland. It has acquired widespread recognition through its usage in the British military and in pipe bands throughout the world.

Digital piano

A digital piano is a type of electronic keyboard designed to serve primarily as an alternative to the traditional piano, both in the way it feels to play and in the sound produced. It is intended to provide an accurate simulation of an acoustic piano. Some digital pianos are also designed to look like an ordinary piano, both the upright or grand piano. Digital pianos use either a synthesized emulation or samples of an actual piano, which are then amplified through an internal loudspeaker. Digital pianos incorporate weighted keys, which recreate the feel of an acoustic piano.

Electronic keyboard electronic keyboard instrument

An electronic keyboard or digital keyboard is an electronic musical instrument, an electronic or digital derivative of keyboard instruments. Broadly speaking, the term electronic keyboard or just a keyboard can refer to any type of digital or electronic keyboard instrument. These include synthesizers, digital pianos, stage pianos, electronic organs and digital audio workstations. However, an electronic keyboard is more specifically a synthesizer with a built-in low-wattage power amplifier and small loudspeakers.

Overblowing is a technique used while playing a wind instrument which, primarily through manipulation of the supplied air, causes the sounded pitch to jump to a higher one. Depending on the instrument, overblowing may involve a change in 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.

Wind chime percussion instrument

Wind chimes are a type of percussion instrument constructed from suspended tubes, rods, bells or other objects that are often made of metal or wood. The tubes or rods are suspended along with some type of weight or surface which the tubes or rods can strike when they or another wind-catching surface are blown by the natural movement of air outside. They are usually hung outside of a building or residence as a visual and aural garden ornament. Since the percussion instruments are struck according to the random effects of the wind blowing the chimes, wind chimes have been considered an example of chance-based music. The tubes or rods may sound either indistinct pitches, or fairly distinct pitches. Wind chimes that sound fairly distinct pitches can, through the chance movement of air, create simple melodies or broken chords.

Resonator device or system that exhibits resonance or resonant behavior, that is, it naturally oscillates at some frequencies, called its resonant frequencies, with greater amplitude than at others

A resonator is a device or system that exhibits resonance or resonant behavior, that is, it naturally oscillates at some frequencies, called its resonant frequencies, with greater amplitude than at others. The oscillations in a resonator can be either electromagnetic or mechanical. Resonators are used to either generate waves of specific frequencies or to select specific frequencies from a signal. Musical instruments use acoustic resonators that produce sound waves of specific tones. Another example is quartz crystals used in electronic devices such as radio transmitters and quartz watches to produce oscillations of very precise frequency.

In music, a register is the "height" or range of a note, set of pitches or pitch classes, melody, part, instrument, or group of instruments. A higher register indicates higher pitch.

Electric organ Electronic keyboard instrument

An electric organ, also known as electronic organ, is an electronic keyboard instrument which was derived from the harmonium, pipe organ and theatre organ. Originally designed to imitate their sound, or orchestral sounds, it has since developed into several types of instruments:

Manual (music) keyboard  played by the hands

A manual is a musical keyboard designed to be played with the hands, on an instrument such as a pipe organ, harpsichord, clavichord, electronic organ, or synthesizer. The term "manual" is used with regard to any hand keyboard on these instruments to distinguish it from the pedalboard, which is a keyboard that the organist plays with their feet. It is proper to use "manual" rather than "keyboard", then, when referring to the hand keyboards on any instrument that has a pedalboard.

In music, a chorus effect occurs when individual sounds with approximately the same time, and very similar pitches converge and are perceived as one. While similar sounds coming from multiple sources can occur naturally, as in the case of a choir or string orchestra, it can also be simulated using an electronic effects unit or signal processing device.

A (musical note) musical note

La or A is the sixth note of the fixed-do solfège. Its enharmonic equivalents are B (Heses) which is a diatonic semitone above A and G (Gisis) which is a diatonic semitone below A.

Acoustic resonance phenomenon where acoustic systems amplify sound waves whose frequency matches one of its own natural frequencies of vibration (its resonance frequencies)

Acoustic resonance is a phenomenon where acoustic systems amplify sound waves whose frequency matches one of its own natural frequencies of vibration.

Siku (instrument) traditional Andean panpipe

The siku is a traditional Andean panpipe. This instrument is the main instrument used in a musical genre known as sikuri. It is traditionally found all across the Andes but is more typically associated with music from the Kollasuyo, or Aymara speaking regions around Lake Titicaca. Historically because of the complicated mountain geography of the region, and due to other factors, in some regions each community would develop its own type of siku, with its own special tuning, shape and size. Additionally each community developed its own style of playing. Today the siku has been standardized to fit in with modern western forms of music and has been transported from its traditional roots.

Music technology

Music technology is the use of any device, mechanism, machine or tool by a musician or composer to make or perform music; to compose, notate, play back or record songs or pieces; or to analyze or edit music. The earliest known applications of technology to music was prehistoric peoples' use of a tool to hand-drill holes in bones to make simple flutes. Ancient Egyptians developed stringed instruments, such as harps, lyres and lutes, which required making thin strings and some type of peg system for adjusting the pitch of the strings. Ancient Egyptians also used wind instruments such as double clarinets and percussion instruments such as cymbals. In Ancient Greece, instruments included the double-reed aulos and the lyre. Numerous instruments are referred to in the Bible, including the horn, pipe, lyre, harp, and bagpipe. During Biblical times, the cornet, flute, horn, organ, pipe, and trumpet were also used. During the Middle Ages, music notation was used to create a written record of the notes of plainchant melodies.