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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.
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.
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.
A pan flute is a musical instrument based on the principle of the closed tube, consisting of multiple pipes of gradually increasing length. Multiple varieties of pan flutes have 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.
The pitch of a brass instrument corresponds to the lowest playable resonance frequency of the open instrument. The combined resonances resemble a harmonic series. The fundamental frequency of the harmonic series can be varied by adjusting the length of the tubing using the instrument's valve, slide, key or crook system, while the player's embouchure, lip tension and air flow serve to select a specific harmonic from the available series for playing. The fundamental is essentially missing from the resonances and is impractical to play on most brass instruments, but the overtones account for most pitches.
A transposing instrument is a musical instrument for which music notation is not written at concert pitch. For example, playing a written middle C on a transposing instrument produces a pitch other than middle C; that sounding pitch identifies the interval of transposition when describing the instrument. Playing a written C on clarinet or soprano saxophone produces a concert B♭, so these are referred to as B♭ instruments. Providing transposed music for these instruments is a convention of musical notation. The instruments do not transpose the music; rather, their music is written at a transposed pitch. Where chords are indicated for improvisation they are also written in the appropriate transposed form.
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 terms píobaí uilleann, from their method of inflation. There is no historical record of the name or use of the term uilleann pipes before the 20th 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'.
A pitch pipe is a small device used to provide a pitch reference for musicians. 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.
The pipe organ is a musical instrument that produces sound by driving pressurized air through the organ pipes selected from 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 many 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.
The sheng is a Chinese mouth-blown polyphonic free reed instrument consisting of vertical pipes.
The Great Highland bagpipe is a type of bagpipe native to Scotland, and the Scottish analogue to the Great Irish Warpipes. It has acquired widespread recognition through its usage in the British military and in pipe bands throughout the world.
The Northumbrian smallpipes are bellows-blown bagpipes from North East England, where they have been an important factor in the local musical culture for more than 250 years. The family of the Duke of Northumberland have had an official piper for over 250 years. The Northumbrian Pipers' Society was founded in 1928, to encourage the playing of the instrument and its music; Although there were so few players at times during the last century that some feared the tradition would die out, there are many players and makers of the instrument nowadays, and the Society has played a large role in this revival. In more recent times the Mayor of Gateshead and the Lord Mayor of Newcastle have both established a tradition of appointing official Northumbrian pipers.
Overblowing is the manipulation of supplied air through a wind instrument that causes the sounded pitch to jump to a higher one without a fingering change or the operation of a slide. 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.
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.
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:
A pedalboard is a keyboard played with the feet that is usually used to produce the low-pitched bass line of a piece of music. A pedalboard has long, narrow lever-style keys laid out in the same semitone scalar pattern as a manual keyboard, with longer keys for C, D, E, F, G, A and B, and shorter, raised keys for C♯, D♯, F♯, G♯ and A♯. Training in pedal technique is part of standard organ pedagogy in church music and art music.
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, melodica, 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.
A single-reed instrument is a woodwind instrument that uses only one reed to produce sound. The very earliest single-reed instruments were documented in ancient Egypt, as well as the Middle East, Greece, and the Roman Empire. The earliest types of single-reed instruments used idioglottal reeds, where the vibrating reed is a tongue cut and shaped on the tube of cane. Much later, single-reed instruments started using heteroglottal reeds, where a reed is cut and separated from the tube of cane and attached to a mouthpiece of some sort. By contrast, in a double reed instrument, there is no mouthpiece; the two parts of the reed vibrate against one another. Reeds are traditionally made of cane and produce sound when air is blown across or through them. The type of instruments that use a single reed are clarinets and saxophone. The timbre of a single and double reed instrument is related to the harmonic series caused by the shape of the corpus. E.g. the clarinet is only including the odd harmonics due to air column modes canceling out the even harmonics. This may be compared to the timbre of a square wave.
Acoustic resonance is a phenomenon in which an acoustic system amplifies sound waves whose frequency matches one of its own natural frequencies of vibration.
In music, the bore of a wind instrument is its interior chamber. This defines a flow path through which air travels, which is set into vibration to produce sounds. The shape of the bore has a strong influence on the instrument's timbre.
Each bass guitar tuning assigns pitches to the strings of an electric bass. Because pitches are associated with notes, bass-guitar tunings assign open notes to open strings. There are several techniques for accurately tuning the strings of an electric bass. Bass method or lesson books or videos introduce one or more tuning techniques, such as:
The whirly tube, corrugaphone, or bloogle resonator, also sold as Free-Ka in the 1960s-1970s, is an experimental musical instrument which consists of a corrugated (ribbed) plastic tube or hose, open at both ends and possibly wider at one end (bell), the thinner of which is rotated in a circle to play. It may be a few feet long and about a few inches wide. The faster the toy is swung, the higher the pitch of the note it produces, and it produces discrete notes roughly belonging to the harmonic series, like a valveless brass instrument generates different modes of vibration. However, the first and the second modes, corresponding to the fundamental and the second harmonics, are reported as being difficult to excite. To be played in concert the length of the tube must be trimmed to tune it.
Mechanical 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, hand-written music notation was developed to write down the notes of religious Plainchant melodies; this notation enabled the Catholic church to disseminate the same chant melodies across its entire empire.