Category:English musical instruments
Pages in category "English musical instruments"
The following 38 pages are in this category, out of 38 total. This list may not reflect recent changes (learn more).
The following 38 pages are in this category, out of 38 total. This list may not reflect recent changes (learn more).
1. Cittern – The cittern or cithren is a stringed instrument dating from the Renaissance. Modern scholars debate its exact history, but it is accepted that it is descended from the Medieval citole. It looks much like the modern-day flat-back mandolin and the modern Irish bouzouki and its flat-back design was simpler and cheaper to construct than the lute. It was also easier to play, smaller, less delicate, played by all classes, the cittern was a premier instrument of casual music-making much as is the guitar today. The cittern is one of the few metal-strung instruments known from the Renaissance period and it generally has four courses of strings, one or more course being usually tuned in octaves, though instruments with more or fewer courses were made. The tuning and narrow range allow the player a number of chord shapes useful for both simple song accompaniment and dances, however much more complex music was written for it. Its bright and cheerful timbre make it a valuable counterpoint to gut-strung instruments, the Spanish bandurria, still used today, is a similar instrument. DUMAIN, The head of a bodkin, BIRON, A Deaths face in a ring. The leading 18th century Swedish songwriter Carl Michael Bellman played mostly on the cittern, in Germany the cittern survives under the names Waldzither and Lutherzither. The last name comes from the belief that Martin Luther played this instrument, also, the names Thüringer Waldzither in Thüringer Wald, Harzzither in the Harz mountains, Halszither in German-speaking Switzerland are used. There is a tendency in modern German to interchange the words for cittern, the term waldzither came into use around 1900, to distinguish citterns from zithers. The cittern family survives as the Corsican cetara and the Portuguese guitar, the guitarra portuguesa is typically used to play the popular traditional music known as fado. Chitarra Italiana Cithara Italica English guitar Stringed instrument tunings Gregory Doc Rossi Martina Rosenberger Musics Delight on the Cithren, John Playford. Renovata Cythara, The Renaissance Cittern Pages Stefan Sobell website G.1550 at the National Music Museum Decorated Cittern by Joachim Tielke, Hamburg, ca.1685 at The Metropolitan Museum of Art
2. Crwth – Four examples have survived and are to be found in St Fagans National History Museum Cardiff, National Museum Wales Aberystwyth, Warrington Museum & Art Gallery and Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Other Celtic words for violin also have meanings referring to rounded appearances, in Gaelic, for example, cruit can mean hump or hunch as well as harp or violin. Like several other English loanwords from Welsh, the name is one of the few words in the English language in which the letter W is used as a vowel, the traditional English name is crowd, and the variants crwd, crout and crouth are little-used today. In Medieval Latin it is called the chorus or crotta, the Welsh word crythor means a performer on the crwth. The Irish word is cruit, although it also was used on occasion to designate certain small harps, the English surnames Crewther, Crowder, Crother and Crowther denote a player of the crowd, as do the Scottish names MacWhirter and MacWhorter. In this article crwth denotes the modern, or most recent, a variety of string instruments so designated are thought to have been played in Wales since at least Roman times. Continuous, clear records of the use of crwth to denote an instrument of the lyre class date from the 11th century, Medieval instruments somewhat resembling the crwth appear in pictures as far back as the 11th century, shortly after bowing was first known in the West. In Wales, the crwth long took second place to the harp in the musical hierarchy, the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica mentioned the crwth in an article about transition of instruments from the lyre to plucked and bowed instruments. The crwth consists of a simple box construction with a flat, fretless fingerboard and six gut strings. The original report of that tuning, from which most subsequent others appear to draw their information, jones also states that the tuning procedure began by tightening the highest string as much as possible without breaking it, subsequently tuning the others to it intervalically. Such was not a practice in the days before standardized pitch and was, in fact. A second tuning, reported by William Bingley, features the drones tuned in octaves, traditionally the soundbox, or resonator, and a surmounting yoke in the shape of an inverted U, were carved as a single unit from a block of maple or sycamore. The soundboard, or belly, a piece, was most often made of deal or some other soft wood. Two soundholes, or circular openings about an inch to an inch, the two G strings ran parallel to the fingerboard, but not over it, so those strings were used as fixed-pitch drones which could be plucked by the players left thumb. The remaining strings, which were tightened and loosened with metal harp wrest-pins, one characteristic feature of the crwth is that one leg of the bridge goes through a soundhole and rests on the back of the instrument. Since that piece is flat, unbraced, and usually made of soft wood, all surviving pictures of crwth players show a playing position with the lower end of the crwth braced against the chest, supported with a strap around the players neck. The sound of the crwth was described by medieval poet Gruffydd ap Dafydd ap Hywel as in the hand a hundred voices, a three-stringed version also existed which required less skill and was played by minstrels. Its sound that goes well with the timbres of the harp, for all its technical limitations, the crwth has great charm, and is much more than a historical curiosity
3. Euphonium – The euphonium is a large, conical-bore, baritone-voiced brass instrument that derives its name from the Ancient Greek word εὔφωνος euphōnos, meaning well-sounding or sweet-voiced. The euphonium is an instrument, nearly all current models are piston valved. The euphonium is an instrument known for its distinctive tone color. A person who plays the euphonium is sometimes called a euphoniumist, euphophonist, or a euphonist, while British players often colloquially refer to themselves as euphists, similarly, the instrument itself is often referred to as eupho or euph. The euphonium is part of the family of brass instruments and it is sometimes confused with the baritone horn. The two instruments are easily interchangeable to the player, with modification of breath and embouchure. The cylindrical baritone offers a brighter sound and the conical euphonium offers a mellower sound, several late 19th century music catalogs sold a euphonium-like instrument called the B♭ bass. In these catalog drawings, the B♭ Bass had thicker tubing than the baritone, along the same lines, drum and bugle corps introduced the Bass-baritone, and distinguished it from the baritone. The thicker tubing of the three-valve B♭ bass allowed for production of strong false-tones, ferdinand Sommers original name for the instrument was the euphonion. It is sometimes called the tenor tuba in B♭, although this can refer to other varieties of tuba. Names in other languages, as included in scores, can be ambiguous as well and they include French basse, saxhorn basse, and tuba basse, German Baryton, Tenorbass, and Tenorbasshorn, Italian baritono, bombardino, eufonio, and flicorno basso. The most common German name, Baryton, may also have caused the American use of the term baritone for the instrument with the influx of German musicians to the United States in the nineteenth century. As a baritone-voiced brass instrument, the euphonium traces its ancestry to the ophicleide, the search for a satisfactory foundational wind instrument that could support masses of sound above it took some time. With the invention of the valve system c. 1818, the construction of instruments with an even sound. While Saxs family of saxhorns were invented at about the same time, the euphonium, like the tenor trombone, is pitched in concert B♭. For a valved brass instrument like the euphonium, this means that when no valves are in use the instrument will produce partials of the B♭ harmonic series. It is generally orchestrated as an instrument like the trombone
4. Fiddle – Fiddle is another name for the bowed string musical instrument more often called a violin. It is also a term for the instrument used by players in all genres. Fiddle playing, or fiddling, refers to various styles of music, Fiddle is also a common term among musicians who play folk music on the violin. The fiddle is part of traditional styles of music which are aural traditions. There are few distinctions between violins and fiddles, though more primitively constructed and smaller violins are more likely to be considered fiddles. In order to produce a tone, compared to the deeper tones of gut or synthetic core strings. Among musical styles, fiddling tends to produce rhythms focused on dancing, with associated quick note changes, whereas classical music tends to contain more vibrato and it is less common for a classically trained violinist to play folk music, but today, many fiddlers have classical training. The medieval fiddle emerged in 10th-century Europe, deriving from the Byzantine lira, lira spread widely westward to Europe, in the 11th and 12th centuries European writers use the terms fiddle and lira interchangeably when referring to bowed instruments. During the Renaissance the gambas were important and elegant instruments, they eventually lost ground to the viola da braccio family. The etymology of fiddle is uncertain, the Germanic fiddle may derive from the same early Romance word as does violin, the name seems however to be related to Icelandic Fiðla and also Old English fiðele. A native Germanic ancestor of fiddle may even be the ancestor of the early Romance form of violin, historically, fiddle also referred to a predecessor of todays violin. Like the violin, it tended to have four strings, another family of instruments that contributed to the development of the modern fiddle are the viols, which are held between the legs and played vertically, and have fretted fingerboards. Violins, on the hand, are commonly grouped in sections. The difference was likely compounded by the different sounds expected of violin music, historically, the majority of fiddle music was dance music, while violin music had either grown out of dance music or was something else entirely. Violin music came to value a smoothness that fiddling, with its dance-driven clear beat, in situations that required greater volume, a fiddler could push their instrument harder than could a violinist. In the very late 20th century, a few artists have attempted a reconstruction of the Scottish tradition of violin and big fiddle. Notable recorded examples include Iain Fraser and Christine Hanson, Amelia Kaminski and Christine Hansons Bonnie Lasses and Alasdair Fraser and Natalie Haas Fire and Grace. In Hungary, a three stringed viola variant with a bridge, called the kontra or háromhúros brácsa makes up part of a traditional rhythm section in Hungarian folk music
5. Hammered dulcimer – The hammered dulcimer is a percussion instrument and stringed instrument with the strings typically stretched over a trapezoidal sounding board. The hammered dulcimer is set before the musician, who may sit cross legged on the floor or on a stool at a stand on legs. The player holds a small spoon shaped mallet hammer in hand to strike the strings. The Graeco-Roman dulcimer derives from the Latin dulcis and the Greek melos, the dulcimer, in which the strings are beaten with small hammers, originated from the psaltery, in which the strings are plucked. Various types of hammered dulcimers are traditionally played in Iraq, India, Iran, Southwest Asia, China, and parts of Southeast Asia, Central Europe, the Balkans, Eastern Europe and Scandinavia. The instrument is played in the United Kingdom and the U. S. where its traditional use in folk music saw a notable revival in the late 20th century. A dulcimer usually has two bridges, a bridge near the right and a treble bridge on the left side. The bass bridge holds up bass strings, which are played to the left of the bridge, the treble strings can be played on either side of the treble bridge. In the usual construction, playing them on the side gives a note a fifth higher than playing them on the right of the bridge. The dulcimer comes in sizes, identified by the number of strings that cross each of the bridges. A 15/14, for example, has 15 strings crossing the bridge and 14 crossing the bass bridge. The strings of a hammered dulcimer are usually found in pairs, each set of strings is tuned in unison and is called a course. A hammered dulcimer, like an autoharp, harp, or piano, requires a tuning wrench for tuning, the strings of the hammered dulcimer are often tuned according to a circle of fifths pattern. Typically, the lowest note is struck at the lower right-hand of the instrument, as a player strikes the courses above in sequence, they ascend following a repeating sequence of two whole steps and a half step. With this tuning, a scale is broken into two tetrachords, or groups of four notes. For example, on an instrument with D as the lowest note and this is the lower tetrachord of the D major scale. At this point the player returns to the bottom of the instrument and shifts to the strings to the right of the treble bridge to play the higher tetrachord. See the drawing on the left above, in which DO would correspond to D, the shift from the bass bridge to the treble bridge is required because the bass bridges fourth string G is the start of the lower tetrachord of the G scale
6. Hurdy-gurdy – The hurdy-gurdy is a stringed instrument that produces sound by a crank-turned, rosined wheel rubbing against the strings. The wheel functions much like a bow, and single notes played on the instrument sound similar to those of a violin. Melodies are played on a keyboard that presses tangents—small wedges, typically made of wood—against one or more of the strings to change their pitch, like most other acoustic stringed instruments, it has a sound board to make the vibration of the strings audible. Most hurdy-gurdies have multiple strings, which give a constant pitch accompaniment to the melody. Many folk music festivals in Europe feature music groups with hurdy-gurdy players, the most famous has been held since 1976 at Saint-Chartier in the Indre département in Central France. In 2009, it relocated nearby to the Château dArs at La Châtre, the hurdy-gurdy is generally thought to have originated from fiddles in either Europe or the Middle East some time before the eleventh century A. D. The first recorded reference to fiddles in Europe was in the 9th century by the Persian geographer Ibn Khurradadhbih describing the lira as an instrument within the Byzantine Empire. One of the earliest forms of the hurdy-gurdy was the organistrum, an instrument with a guitar-shaped body. The organistrum had a melody string and two drone strings, which ran over a common bridge, and a relatively small wheel. Due to its size, the organistrum was played by two people, one of whom turned the crank while the other pulled the keys upward, pulling keys upward is cumbersome, so only slow tunes could be played on the organistrum. The pitches on the organistrum were set according to Pythagorean temperament, another 10th century treatise thought to have mentioned an instrument like a hurdy-gurdy is an Arabic musical compendium written by Al Zirikli. Later on, the organistrum was made smaller to let a player both turn the crank and work the keys. The solo organistrum was known from Spain and France, but was replaced by the symphonia. At about the time, a new form of key pressed from beneath was developed. These keys were more practical for faster music and easier to handle. Medieval depictions of the show both types of keys. During the Renaissance, the hurdy-gurdy was a popular instrument and the characteristic form had a short neck. It was around this time that buzzing bridges first appeared in illustrations, the buzzing bridge is an asymmetrical bridge that rests under a drone string on the sound board
7. Irish flute – The vast majority of traditional Irish flute players use a wooden, simple-system flute. The Irish flute is a system, transverse flute which plays a diatonic scale as the tone holes are successively uncovered. Most flutes from the Classical era, and some of modern manufacture include metal keys, due to its wooden construction, characteristic embouchure and direct fingering, the simple system flute has a distinctly different timbre from the Western concert flute. Most Irish flute players tend to strive for a dark and reedy tone in comparison to classical flautists. Though most commonly pitched in the key of D, simple system flutes are available pitched in other keys, although referred to as a D flute, this is a non-transposing instrument, so if you finger C, a concert-pitch C is sounded. The name D-flute comes from the fact that the simplest 6-hole wooden flute has D as its lowest note, the E-flat, B flat and C versions are transposing instruments. The flute has six main finger-holes, for a D flute, with X symbolizing a covered finger-hole and O symbolizing an uncovered finger-hole, all holes covered, can be represented as XXX-XXX = D. As the scale progresses, XXX-XXO = E, XXX-XOO = F#, XXX-OOO = G, XXO-OOO = A, XOO-OOO = B, OOO-OOO = C#, wooden flutes have a cylindrical bore in the head and a conical bore in the body. This bore is largest at the end, tapering down to a smaller bore at the foot. This has the effect of shortening the flute for a given pitch, there is some confusion with modern players in that a modern Boehm keyed system flute is typically pitched in C. The Boehm flute has a bore and uses keys to enable the tone holes to be in the ideal place. Despite the implication of this commonly used name, the Irish flute is not an instrument indigenous to Ireland, the simple system, conical-bore flute is what people played before the advent of the modern, Boehm system, Western concert flute in the mid-19th century. Simple-system flutes are made of wood. There were several manufacturers of this type of flute, among whom was English inventor and flautist Charles Nicholson Jr, george Rudall was an amateur player of some importance who studied for a time under the junior Nicholson before teaching on his own. He was introduced to John Mitchell Rose in c.1820, the Pratten has wider bore dimensions and provides a bigger sound. Many of these original flutes had a joint that allowed the playing of both C# and C with the use of keys, typically pewter plugs that fit into silver plates. Simple system flutes were not made with traditional musicians in mind. Also, an upturn in the conditions in Ireland from the middle of the 19th century meant that more people were able to acquire instruments
8. Lyre – The lyre is a string instrument known for its use in Greek classical antiquity and later periods. The lyre is similar in appearance to a small harp but with distinct differences, the word comes via Latin from the Greek, the earliest reference to the word is the Mycenaean Greek ru-ra-ta-e, meaning lyrists and written in the Linear B script. The lyres of Ur, excavated in ancient Mesopotamia, date to 2500 BC, the earliest picture of a lyre with seven strings appears in the famous sarcophagus of Hagia Triada. The sarcophagus was used during the Mycenaean occupation of Crete, the recitations of the Ancient Greeks were accompanied by lyre playing. The lyre of classical antiquity was ordinarily played by being strummed with a plectrum, the fingers of the free hand silenced the unwanted strings in the chord. However, later lyres were played with a bow in Europe, one example from Wales that has been resurrected recently is the crwth. In organology, lyres are defined as yoke lutes, being lutes in which the strings are attached to a yoke which lies in the plane as the sound-table. A classical lyre has a body or sound-chest, which. Extending from this sound-chest are two raised arms, which are hollow, and are curved both outward and forward. They are connected near the top by a crossbar or yoke, an additional crossbar, fixed to the sound-chest, makes the bridge which transmits the vibrations of the strings. They were stretched between the yoke and bridge, or to a tailpiece below the bridge, according to ancient Greek mythology, the young god Hermes stole a herd of sacred cows from Apollo. In order not to be followed, he made shoes for the cows which forced them to walk backwards, Apollo, following the trails, could not follow where the cows were going. Along the way, Hermes slaughtered one of the cows and offered all, from the entrails and a tortoise/turtle shell, he created the Lyre. Apollo, figuring out it was Hermes who had his cows, Apollo was furious, but after hearing the sound of the lyre, his anger faded. Apollo offered to trade the herd of cattle for the lyre, hence, the creation of the lyre is attributed to Hermes. Other sources credit it to Apollo himself, locales in southern Europe, western Asia, or north Africa have been proposed as the historic birthplace of the genus. The instrument is played in north-eastern parts of Africa. Some of the cultures using and developing the lyre were the Aeolian and Ionian Greek colonies on the coasts of Asia bordering the Lydian empire, some mythic masters like Musaeus, and Thamyris were believed to have been born in Thrace, another place of extensive Greek colonization
9. Ring of bells – A Ring of bells is the name bell ringers give to a set of bells hung in the English full circle ringing style. The term peal of bells is often used, but a peal refers to a change ringing performance of more than about 5,000 changes. A set of bells rung in this manner can be made to strike in different sequences and this ability to control the speed of bells soon led to the development of change ringing where the striking sequence of the bells is changed to give variety and musicality to the sound. The vast majority of rings are in church towers in the Anglican church in England and they are tuned to the notes of a diatonic scale, and range from a few hundredweight up to a few tons in weight. They are most commonly associated with churches as a means of calling the congregation to worship, smaller rings of bells, known as mini-rings have come recently into existence for training, demonstration or leisure purposes, with bells weighing just a few kilogrammes. The full-circle bell is hung from bearings at the headstock and can be swung through an arc of over 360 degrees using a rope wrapping round a circular bell wheel in alternate directions. This allows the speed of the bell to be changed, by controlling the arc of the swing, the larger the arc, the slower the rate of striking. The bells are mounted within a bellframe of steel or wood, each bell is suspended from a headstock fitted on trunnions mounted to the belfry framework so that the bell assembly can rotate. The headstock is fitted with a stay, which, in conjunction with a slider. To the headstock a large wheel is fitted and to which a rope is attached. The rope wraps and unwraps as the bell rotates backwards and forwards and this is full circle ringing and quite different from fixed or limited motion bells, which chime. Within the bell the clapper is constrained to swing in the direction that the bell swings, the clapper is a rigid steel or wrought iron bar with a large ball to strike the bell. The thickest part of the mouth of bell is called the soundbow, beyond the ball is a flight, which controls the speed of the clapper. In very small bells this can be nearly as long as the rest of the clapper, the rope is attached to one side of the wheel so that a different amount of rope is wound on and off as it swings to and fro. The first stroke is the handstroke with an amount of rope on the wheel. The ringer pulls on the sally and when the bell swings up it draws up more rope onto the wheel and the sally rises to, or beyond, the ringer keeps hold of the tail-end of the rope to control the bell. After a controlled pause with the bell, on or close to its balancing point, as the sally rises, the ringer catches it to pause the bell at its balance position. Each time it is pulled, a motion begins in the mouth-upwards position
10. Flageolet – The flageolet is a woodwind instrument and a member of the fipple flute family. Its invention was ascribed to the 16th century Sieur Juvigny in 1581. The latter was developed by English instrument maker William Bainbridge, resulting in the improved English flageolet in 1803, there are also double and triple flageolets, having two or three bodies that allowed for a drone and countermelody. Flageolets were made until the 19th century when they were succeeded by the cheaper, flageolets have varied greatly during the last 400 years. The first flageolets were called French flageolets, and have four tone-holes on the front and this instrument was played by Hector Berlioz, Frédéric Chalon, Samuel Pepys, and Robert Louis Stevenson. Henry Purcell and George Frideric Handel both wrote pieces for it, an early collection of manuscript Lessons for the Flajolet, dating from about 1676, is preserved in the British Library. Small versions of this instrument, called bird flageolets were also made and were used for teaching birds to sing and these tiny flageolets have, like the French flageolet, four finger holes on the front and two thumb holes on the back. The number of keys on French flageolets range from none to seven, the arrangement of the tone holes on the flageolet yields a scale different from that on the whistle or recorder. Whereas the whistles basic scale is D-E-F#-G-A-B-C#-d, the basic scale is D-E-F-G-A-C-d. Cross-fingerings and keys are required to fill in the gaps, in the late 18th and early 19th century certain English instrument makers started to make flageolets with six finger-holes on the front. These instruments are called English flageolets and were produced in metal as tin whistles. The keys range between none and six, some were produced with changeable top joints which allowed the flageolet to be played as a flute or fife. An English maker, William Bainbridge, in around 1810 patented a double flageolet which consisted of two English flageolets joined together so that the player could harmonise the tunes that he played. He also produced a triple flageolet which added a third, drone pipe which was fingered in a way to an ocarina. The flageolet was eventually replaced by the tin whistle and is rarely played today. However, it is a very easy instrument to play and the tone is soft and it has a range of about two octaves. The flageolet is composed of parts, the ivory beak serves as the instruments mouthpiece. Finally, there is the body contains the finger holes