Fiddling refers to the act of playing the fiddle, fiddlers are musicians that play it. A fiddle is a bowed string musical instrument, most a violin, it is a colloquial term for the violin, used by players in all genres including classical music. Although violins and fiddles are synonymous, the style of the music played may determine specific construction differences between fiddles and classical violins. For example, fiddles may optionally be set up with a bridge with a flatter arch to reduce the range of bow-arm motion needed for techniques such as the double shuffle, a form of bariolage involving rapid alternation between pairs of adjacent strings. To produce a "brighter" tone, compared to the deeper tones of gut or synthetic core strings, fiddlers use steel strings; the fiddle is part of many traditional styles, which are aural traditions—taught'by ear' rather than via written music. Among musical styles, fiddling tends to produce rhythms that focus on dancing, with associated quick note changes, whereas classical music tends to contain more vibrato and sustained notes.
Fiddling is open to improvisation and embellishment with ornamentation at the player's discretion—in contrast to orchestral performances, which adhere to the composer's notes to reproduce a work faithfully. 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, a bowed string instrument of the Byzantine Empire and ancestor of most European bowed instruments. The first recorded reference to the bowed lira was in the 9th century by the Persian geographer Ibn Khurradadhbih. Lira spread westward to Europe. Over the centuries, Europe continued to have two distinct types of fiddles: one square-shaped, held in the arms, became known as the viola da braccio family and evolved into the violin. During the Renaissance the gambas were elegant instruments; the etymology of fiddle is uncertain: the Germanic fiddle may derive from the same early Romance word as does violin, or it may be natively Germanic.
The name appears to be related to Icelandic Fiðla and Old English fiðele. A native Germanic ancestor of fiddle might be the ancestor of the early Romance form of violin. In medieval times, fiddle referred to a predecessor of today's violin. Like the violin, it came in a variety of shapes and sizes. 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, have fretted fingerboards. In performance, a solo fiddler, or one or two with a group of other instrumentalists, is the norm, though twin fiddling is represented in some North American, Scandinavian and Irish styles. Following the folk revivals of the second half of the 20th century, however, it has become common for less formal situations to find large groups of fiddlers playing together—see for example the Calgary Fiddlers, Swedish Spelmanslag folk-musician clubs, the worldwide phenomenon of Irish sessions. Orchestral violins, on the other hand, are grouped in sections, or "chairs".
These contrasting traditions may be vestiges of historical performance settings: large concert halls where violins were played required more instruments, before electronic amplification, than did more intimate dance halls and houses that fiddlers played in. The difference was compounded by the different sounds expected of violin music and fiddle music; 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, did not always follow. In situations that required greater volume, a fiddler could push their instrument harder than could a violinist. Various fiddle traditions have differing values. In the late 20th century, a few artists have attempted a reconstruction of the Scottish tradition of violin and "big fiddle," or cello. Notable recorded examples include Iain Fraser and Christine Hanson, Amelia Kaminski and Christine Hanson's Bonnie Lasses, Alasdair Fraser and Natalie Haas' Fire and Grace. and Tim Macdonald and Jeremy Ward's The Wilds.
Hungarian and Romanian fiddle players are accompanied by a three-stringed variant of the viola—known as the kontra—and by double bass, with cimbalom and clarinet being less standard yet still common additions to a band. In Hungary, a three stringed viola variant with a flat bridge, called the kontra or háromhúros brácsa makes up part of a traditional rhythm section in Hungarian folk music; the flat bridge lets the musician play three-string chords. A three stringed double bass variant is used. To a greater extent than classical violin playing, fiddle playing is characterized by a huge variety of ethnic or folk music traditions, each of which has its own distinctive sound. English folk music fiddling, including The Northumbrian fiddle style, which features "seconding", an improvised harmo
The bağlama is a stringed musical instrument. It is sometimes referred to as the saz, it is sometimes referred to as the "cura", although the term "saz" refers to a family of plucked string instruments, long-necked lutes used in Ottoman classical music, Turkish folk music, Iranian music, Azerbaijani music, Kurdish music, Assyrian music, Armenian music and in parts of Syria and the Balkan countries. According to The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, "the terms'bağlama' and'saz' are used somewhat interchangeably in Turkey." Like the Western lute and the Middle-Eastern oud, it has a much longer neck. It can be played with a fingerpicking style known as şelpe. In the music of Greece the name baglamas is given to a related instrument; the Turkish settlement of Anatolia from the late eleventh century onward saw the introduction of a two-string Turkmen dutar, played in some areas of Turkey until recent times. The most used string folk instrument in Turkey, the bağlama has seven strings divided into courses of two and three.
It can be tuned in various ways and takes different names according to region and size: Bağlama, Divan Sazı, Bozuk, Çöğür, Kopuz Irızva, Tambura, etc. The cura is the smallest member of the bağlama family: larger than the cura is the tambura, tuned an octave lower; the Divan sazı, the largest instrument in the family, is tuned one octave lower still. A bağlama has three main parts, the bowl, made from mulberry wood or juniper, spruce or walnut, the spruce sound board and a neck of beech or juniper; the tuning pegs are known as burgu. Frets are tied to the sap with fishing line; the bağlama is played with a mızrap or tezene made from cherrywood bark or plastic. In some regions, it is played with the fingers in a style known as Şerpe. There are electric bağlamas, which can be connected to an amplifier; these can have either double pickups. The Azerbaijani saz was used by Ashiqs; the art of Azerbaijani Ashiqs combines poetry, storytelling and vocal and instrumental music into a traditional performance art.
This art is one of the symbols of Azerbaijani culture and considered an emblem of national identity and the guardian of Azerbaijani language and music. Characterized by the accompaniment of the kopuz, a stringed musical instrument, the classical repertoire of Azerbaijani Ashiqs includes 200 songs, 150 literary-musical compositions known as dastans, nearly 2,000 poems and numerous stories. Since 2009 the art of Azerbaijani Ashiqs has been inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity; the bağlama is a synthesis of historical musical instruments in Central Asia and pre-Turkish Anatolia. It is descended from the Turkic komuz; the kopuz, or komuz, differs from the bağlama in that it has a leather-covered body and two or three strings made of sheep gut, wolf gut, or horsehair. It has a fingerboard without frets. Bağlama translates as "something, tied up" a reference to the tied-on frets of the instrument; the word bağlama is first used in 18th-century texts. The French traveler Jean Benjamin de Laborde, who visited Turkey during that century, recorded that "the bağlama or tambura is in form like the cogur, but smaller."
He was referring to the smallest of the bağlama family, the cura. According to the historian Hammer, metal strings were first used on a type of komuz with a long fingerboard known as the kolca kopuz in 15th-century Anatolia; this was the first step in the emergence of the çöğür, a transitional instrument between the komuz and the bağlama. According to 17th-century writer Evliya Çelebi, the cogur was first made in the city of Kütahya in western Turkey. To take the strain of the metal strings the leather body was replaced with wood, the fingerboard was lengthened and frets were introduced. Instead of five hair strings there were now twelve metal strings arranged in four groups of three. Today, the cogur is smaller than a medium-size bağlama. There are three string groups, or courses, with strings double or tripled; these string groups can be tuned in a variety of ways, known as düzen. For the bağlama düzeni, the most common tuning, the courses are tuned from top downward, A-G-D; some other düzens are Kara Düzen, Misket Düzeni, Müstezat, Abdal Düzeni, Rast Düzeni.
Name Bağlama düzeni Bozuk düzen, kara düzen Misket düzeni Fa müstezat düzeni Abdal düzeni Zurna düzeni Do müstezat düzeni Aşık düzeni (La, Re, Mi The musical scale of the bağlama differs from that of many western instruments – such as the guitar – in that it features ratios that are close to quarter tones. The traditional ratios for bağlama frets are listed by Yalçın Tura: Fret 1: 18/17 Fret 2: 12/11 Fret 3: 9/8 Fret 4: 81/68 Fret 5: 27/22 Fret 6: 81/64 Fret 7: 4/3 Fret 8: 24/17 Fret 9: 16/11 Fret 10: 3/2 Fret 11: 27/17 Fret 12: 18/11 Fret 13: 27/16 Fret 14: 16/9 Fret 15: 32/17 Fret 16: 64/33 Fret 17: 2/1However, as confirmed by Okan Öztürk, instrument makers now set frets on the bağlama with the aid of fret calculators and tuners based on the 24-tone equal temperament. Asik Veysel Muharrem Ertaş Neşet Ertaş (1
The bouzouki is a musical instrument popular in Greece, brought there in the 1900s by Greek immigrants from Turkey, became the central instrument to the rebetiko genre and its music branches. A mainstay of modern Greek music, the bouzouki has a flat front heavily inlaid with mother-of-pearl; the instrument is played with a plectrum and has a sharp metallic sound, reminiscent of a mandolin but pitched lower. There are two main types of bouzouki: the trichordo has three pairs of strings and the tetrachordo has four pairs of strings; the name bouzouki comes from the Turkish word bozuk, meaning "broken" or "modified", comes from a particular re-entrant tuning called bozuk düzen, used on its Turkish counterpart, the saz-bozuk. It is in the same instrumental family as the lute; the body was carved from a solid block of wood, similar to the saz, but upon its arrival in Greece in the early 1910s it was modified by the addition of a staved back borrowed from the Neapolitan mandola, the top angled in the manner of a Neapolitan mandolins so as to increase the strength of the body to withstand thicker steel strings.
The type of the instrument used in Rembetika music was a three-stringed instrument, but in the 1950s a four-string variety by Manolis Chiotis was introduced. From a construction point of view, the bouzouki can have differences not only in the number of strings but in other features, e.g. neck length, height, depth of the bowl or main body, the width of the staves etc. These differences are determined by the manufacturer, who in his experience and according to the sound that the instrument should make, modifies his functional elements to achieve a more piercing, deeper or heavier sound; the size and type of the resonating body determine the instrument's timbre, while the length of the neck, by extension the strings, determines the instrument's pitch range, as well as influencing the timbre. While neck length can vary from instrument to instrument, most bouzoukis have the same number of frets, spaced such as to provide a chromatic scale in 12-tone equal temperament. On modern instruments the frets are metal, set into fixed position in the fingerboard The quality of the wood from which the instrument is made is of great importance to the sound.
For the construction of the bowl, apricot, cherry and elm are considered to be the best woods with walnut and chestnut being inferior. The wood must be sourced from slow growth trees; the top or soundboard should spruce if possible, cut in one piece. The top plays a major role in the sound because it resonates and strengthens and prolongs the vibration of the strings. Another factor that affects the quality of the sound is the varnish and the method of its application; the best varnish is a natural one made of shellac, applied by hand in many layers in the traditional way, for both acoustic and visual effect. The neck must be of dry hardwood in order not to warp and increase the distance of the strings from the fret board which makes playing the instrument more laborious. To achieve this, manufacturers use each one having their own secrets. Many modern instrument have a metal rod or bar set into a channel in the neck, under the fingerboard, which adds some weight, but increases rigidity, allows adjustment of the neck should it begin to warp.
The Greek bouzouki is a plucked musical instrument of the lute family, called the thabouras or tambouras family. The tambouras has existed in ancient Greece as pandoura, can be found in various sizes, depths of body, lengths of neck and number of strings; the bouzouki and the baglamas are the direct descendants. The Greek marble relief, known as the Mantineia Base, dating from 330–320 BC, shows a muse playing a variant of the pandoura. From Byzantine times it was called pandura and tambouras. On display in the National Historical Museum of Greece is the tambouras of a hero of the Greek revolution of 1821, General Makriyiannis. Other sizes have appeared and include the Greek instrument tzouras, an instrument smaller in size than standard bouzouki; the bouzouki arrived in Greece following the 1919–1922 war in Asia Minor and the subsequent exchange of populations between Greece and Turkey when the ethnic Greeks fled to Greece. The early bouzoukia were three-string, with three courses and were tuned in different ways, as to the scale one wanted to play.
At the end of the 1950s, four-course bouzoukia started to gain popularity. The four-course bouzouki was made popular by Manolis Chiotis, who used a tuning akin to standard guitar tuning, which made it easier for guitarists to play bouzouki as it angered purists; however it allowed for greater virtuosity and helped elevate the bouzouki into a popular instrument capable of a wide range of musical expression. The three-course bouzouki has gained in popularity; the first recording with the 4-course instrument was made in 1956. The Irish bouzouki, with four courses, a flatter back, differently tuned from the Greek bouzouki, is a more recent development, stemming from the introduction of the Greek instrument into Irish music by Johnny Moynihan around 1965, its subsequent adoption by Andy Irvine, Alec Finn, Dónal Lunny, many others. This
The cavaquinho is a small Portuguese string instrument in the European guitar family, with four wire or gut strings. More broadly, cavaquinho is the name of a four-stringed subdivision of the lute family of instruments. A cavaquinho player is called a cavaquista. There are several forms of cavaquinho used for different styles of music. Separate varieties are named for Portugal, Minho, Madeira and Cape-Verde; the instrument’s name cavaqu-inho means “little wood splinter” in Portuguese. The Venezuelan concert cuatro is nearly the same instrument, but somewhat larger; the Brazilian cavaquinho is larger than the Portuguese cavaquinho, resembling a small classical guitar. Its neck is raised above the level of the sound box, the sound hole is round, like cavaquinhos from Lisbon and Madeira; the Venezuelan concert cuatro is nearly the same size and shape, but has its neck laid level with the sound box, like the Portuguese cavaquinho. The cavaco is a smaller version of the Brazilian cavaquinho, similar in size to the Portuguese cavaquinho.
It is part of a samba ensemble. The name cavaco means “wood splinter” in Portuguese – back-formed from the original name cavaquinho; the machete is a steel-string version of the cavaquinho from Madeira. It is a predecessor of the modern ukulele; the Machete de Braga is called a braguinha. The minhoto cavaquinho, associated with the Minho region in Portugal is similar to the viola braguesa, its neck is on the same level as the body. Like the braguesa, the minhoto’s sound hole was traditionally shaped like a stylized ray; the most common tuning in Portugal is C G A D. The standard tuning in Brazil is D G B D. Other tunings include: D A B E – Portuguese ancient tuning, made popular by Júlio Pereira G G B D A A C♯ E D G B E – used for solo parts in Brazil G D A E – mandolin tuning G C E A – ‘cavacolele’ tuning, the same as the soprano/tenor ukulele D G B E – the same as the highest four strings in standard guitar tuning used by guitarists, the same tuning used for the baritone ukulele Different forms of cavaquinho have been adapted in different regions.
Varieties used outside of Iberia are found in Brazil, Cape-Verde, Madeira. The locally iconic Caribbean region cuatro family and the Hawaiian ukuleles were both adapted from the cavaquinho; the cavaco – a small version of the Brazilian cavaquinho – is a important instrument in Brazilian samba and choro music. The samba cavaco is played with a pick, with sophisticated percussive strumming beats that connect the rhythm and harmony by playing the rhythm “comping”; some of the most important players and composers of the Brazilian instrument are Waldir Azevedo, Paulinho da Viola, Mauro Diniz. In Cape Verde the cavaquinho was introduced in the 1930s from Brazil; the present-day Cape-Verdean cavaquinho is similar to the Brazilian one in dimensions and tuning. It is used as a rhythmic instrument in Cape-Verdean music genres but it is used as a melodic instrument; the Hawaiian ukulele has four strings and a shape similar to the cavaquinho, although tuned differently – G C E A. The ukulele is an iconic element of Hawaiian popular music, which spread to the continental United States in the early 20th century.
It was developed from the braguinha and rajão, brought to Hawaii in the late 19th century by Portuguese immigrants from Madeira Island. The machete was introduced into Hawaii by Augusto Dias, Manuel Nunes, João Fernandes in 1879, which further influenced the development of the ukulele; the cuatro is a family of larger 4-stringed instruments derived from the cavaquinho that are popular in Latin-American countries in and around the Caribbean. Versions of the iconic Venezuelan cuatro are similar to the Brazilian cavaquinho, with a neck like a Portuguese cavaquinho; the origins of this Portuguese instrument are elusive. Author Gonçalo Sampaio holds that the cavaquinho and the guitar may have been brought to Braga by the Biscayans. Sampaio explains Minho region’s archaic and Hellenistic modes by possible survival of Greek influences on the ancient Gallaeci of the region, stresses the link between this instrument and historical Hellenistic tetrachords. Cuatro – a four-string Latin-American instrument that remains similar to the cavaquinho Cuatro – the cuatro family of instruments Tenor guitar Ukulele Viola braguesa Richards, Tobe A..
The Cavaquinho Chord Bible: DGBD Standard Tuning 1,728 Chords. United Kingdom: Cabot Books. ISBN 978-1-906207-09-0. – A comprehensive chord dictionary instructional guide for the Brazilian and Portuguese cavaquinho. "All the Cavaquinhos types". Associação Cultural Museu Cavaquinho. "Cavaquinho". Grupo de Cavaquinhos do Porto
A trumpet is a brass instrument used in classical and jazz ensembles. The trumpet group contains the instruments with the highest register in the brass family. Trumpet-like instruments have been used as signaling devices in battle or hunting, with examples dating back to at least 1500 BC. Trumpets are used in art music styles, for instance in orchestras, concert bands, jazz ensembles, as well as in popular music, they are played by blowing air through nearly-closed lips, producing a "buzzing" sound that starts a standing wave vibration in the air column inside the instrument. Since the late 15th century they have been constructed of brass tubing bent twice into a rounded rectangular shape. There are many distinct types of trumpet, with the most common being pitched in B♭, having a tubing length of about 1.48 m. Early trumpets did not provide means to change the length of tubing, whereas modern instruments have three valves in order to change their pitch. There are eight combinations of three valves, making seven different tubing lengths, with the third valve sometimes used as an alternate fingering equivalent to the 1-2 combination.
Most trumpets have valves of the piston type. The use of rotary-valved trumpets is more common in orchestral settings, although this practice varies by country; each valve, when engaged, increases the length of lowering the pitch of the instrument. A musician who plays the trumpet is called trumpeter; the English word "trumpet" was first used in the late 14th century. The word came from Old French "trompette", a diminutive of trompe; the word "trump", meaning "trumpet," was first used in English in 1300. The word comes from Old French trompe "long, tube-like musical wind instrument", cognate with Provençal tromba, Italian tromba, all from a Germanic source, of imitative origin." The earliest trumpets date earlier. The bronze and silver trumpets from Tutankhamun's grave in Egypt, bronze lurs from Scandinavia, metal trumpets from China date back to this period. Trumpets from the Oxus civilization of Central Asia have decorated swellings in the middle, yet are made out of one sheet of metal, considered a technical wonder.
The Shofar, made from a ram horn and the Hatzotzeroth, made of metal, are both mentioned in the Bible. They were played in Solomon's Temple around 3000 years ago, they were said to be used to blow down the walls of Jericho. They are still used on certain religious days; the Salpinx was a straight trumpet 62 inches long, made of bronze. Salpinx contests were a part of the original Olympic Games; the Moche people of ancient Peru depicted trumpets in their art going back to AD 300. The earliest trumpets were signaling instruments used for military or religious purposes, rather than music in the modern sense. Improvements to instrument design and metal making in the late Middle Ages and Renaissance led to an increased usefulness of the trumpet as a musical instrument; the natural trumpets of this era consisted of a single coiled tube without valves and therefore could only produce the notes of a single overtone series. Changing keys required the player to change crooks of the instrument; the development of the upper, "clarino" register by specialist trumpeters—notably Cesare Bendinelli—would lend itself well to the Baroque era known as the "Golden Age of the natural trumpet."
During this period, a vast body of music was written for virtuoso trumpeters. The art was revived in the mid-20th century and natural trumpet playing is again a thriving art around the world. Many modern players in Germany and the UK who perform Baroque music use a version of the natural trumpet fitted with three or four vent holes to aid in correcting out-of-tune notes in the harmonic series; the melody-dominated homophony of the classical and romantic periods relegated the trumpet to a secondary role by most major composers owing to the limitations of the natural trumpet. Berlioz wrote in 1844: Notwithstanding the real loftiness and distinguished nature of its quality of tone, there are few instruments that have been more degraded. Down to Beethoven and Weber, every composer – not excepting Mozart – persisted in confining it to the unworthy function of filling up, or in causing it to sound two or three commonplace rhythmical formulae; the attempt to give the trumpet more chromatic freedom in its range saw the development of the keyed trumpet, but this was a unsuccessful venture due to the poor quality of its sound.
Although the impetus for a tubular valve began as early as 1793, it was not until 1818 that Friedrich Bluhmel and Heinrich Stölzel made a joint patent application for the box valve as manufactured by W. Schuster; the symphonies of Mozart, as late as Brahms, were still played on natural trumpets. Crooks and shanks as opposed to keys or valves were standard, notably in France, into the first part of the 20th century; as a consequence of this late development of the instrument's chromatic ability, the repertoire for the instrument is small compared to other instruments. The 20th century saw an explosion in the variety of music written for the trumpet; the trumpet is constructed of brass tubing bent twice into a rounded oblong shape. As with all brass instruments, sound is produced by blowing air through closed lips, producing a "buzzing" sound into the mouthp
A djembe or jembe is a rope-tuned skin-covered goblet drum played with bare hands from West Africa. According to the Bambara people in Mali, the name of the djembe comes from the saying "Anke djé, anke bé" which translates to "everyone gather together in peace" and defines the drum's purpose. In the Bambara language, "djé" is the verb for "gather" and "bé" translates as "peace."The djembe has a body carved of hardwood and a drumhead made of untreated rawhide, most made from goatskin. Excluding rings, djembes have an exterior diameter of 30 -- a height of 58 -- 63 cm; the majority have a diameter in the 13 to 14 inch range. The weight of a djembe depends on size and shell material. A medium-size djembe carved from one of the traditional woods weighs around 9 kg; the djembe can produce a wide variety of sounds. The drum is loud, allowing it to be heard as a solo instrument over a large percussion ensemble; the Malinké people say that a skilled drummer is one who "can make the djembe talk", meaning that the player can tell an emotional story.
Traditionally, the djembe is played only by men. Conversely, other percussion instruments that are played as part of an ensemble, such as the shekere and kese kese, are played by women. Today, it is rare to see women play djembe or dunun in West Africa, African women express astonishment when they do see a female djembe player. There is general agreement that the origin of the djembe is associated with the Mandinka caste of blacksmiths, known as Numu; the wide dispersion of the djembe drum throughout West Africa may be due to Numu migrations during the first millennium AD. Despite the association of the djembe with the Numu, there are no hereditary restrictions on who may become a djembefola; this is in contrast to instruments whose use is reserved for members of the griot caste, such as the balafon and ngoni. Anyone who plays djembe is a djembefola—the term does not imply a particular level of skill. Geographically, the traditional distribution of the djembe is associated with the Mali Empire, which dates back to 1230 AD and included parts of the modern-day countries of Guinea, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast and Senegal.
However, due to the lack of written records in West African countries, it is unclear whether the djembe predates or postdates the Mali Empire. It seems that the history of the djembe reaches back for at least several centuries, more than a millennium; the goblet shape of the djembe suggests that it may have been created from a mortar. There are a number of different creation myths for the djembe. Serge Blanc relates the following myth reported by Hugo Zemp: Prior to the 1950s and the decolonization of West Africa, due to the limited travel of native Africans outside their own ethnic group, the djembe was known only in its original area; the djembe first came to the attention of audiences outside West Africa with the efforts of Fodéba Keïta, who, in 1952, founded Les Ballets Africains. The ballet toured extensively in Europe and was declared Guinea's first national ballet by Guinea's first president, Sékou Touré, after Guinea gained independence in 1958, to be followed by two more national ballets, the Ballet d'Armee in 1961 and Ballet Djoliba in 1964.
Touré's policies alienated Guinea from the West and he followed the Eastern Bloc model of using the country's culture and music for promotional means. He and Fodéba Keïta, who had become a close friend of Touré, saw the ballets as a way to secularize traditional customs and rites of different ethnic groups in Guinea; the ballets combined rhythms and dances from different spiritual backgrounds in a single performance, which suited the aim of Touré's demystification program of "doing away with'fetishist' ritual practices". Touré generously supported the ballets and, until his death in 1984, financed extensive world-wide performance tours, which brought the djembe to the attention of Western audiences. Other countries followed Touré's example and founded national ballets in the 1960s, including Ivory Coast and Senegal, each with its own attached political agenda. In the United States, Ladji Camara, a member of Ballets Africains in the 1950s, started teaching djembe in the 1960s and continued to teach into the 1990s.
Camara performed extensively with Babatunde Olatunji during the 1970s raising awareness of the instrument in the US. After the death of Sekou Touré in 1984, funding for the ballets dried up and a number of djembefolas emigrated and made regular teaching and performance appearances in the west, including Mamady Keïta, Famoudou Konaté, Epizo Bangoura. A number of other djembefolas—M'bemba Bangoura, Abdoulaye Diakite, Bolokada Conde, Mohamed "Bangouraké" Bangoura, Babara Bangoura, among others—followed their example, creating a ready supply of expatriate performers and teachers in many western countries; the 1991 documentary Djembefola by Laurent Chevallier depicts Mamady Keïta's return to the village of his birth aft
The erhu, or urheen, is a two-stringed bowed musical instrument, more a spike fiddle, which may be called a Southern Fiddle, sometimes known in the Western world as the Chinese violin or a Chinese two-stringed fiddle. It is used as a solo instrument as well as in large orchestras, it is the most popular of the huqin family of traditional bowed string instruments used by various ethnic groups of China. A versatile instrument, the erhu is used in both traditional and contemporary music arrangements, such as in pop and jazz; the Erhu can be traced back to proto-Mongolic instruments introduced to China more than a thousand years ago. It is believed to have evolved from the Xiqin; the xiqin is believed to have originated from the Xi people of Central Asia, have come to China in the 10th century. The first Chinese character of the name of the instrument is believed to come from the fact that it has two strings. An alternate explanation states that it comes from the fact that it is the second highest huqin in pitch to the gaohu in the modern Chinese orchestra.
The second character indicates that it is a member of the Huqin family, with Hu meaning barbarians. The name Huqin means "instrument of the Hu peoples", suggesting that the instrument may have originated from regions to the north or west of China inhabited by nomadic people on the extremities of past Chinese kingdoms. Historic bowed zithers of China, including the Xiqin and Yaqin, the Korean Ajaeng, were played by bowing with a rosined stick, which created friction against the strings; as soon as the horsehair bow was invented, it spread widely. The Erhu consists of a long vertical stick-like neck, at the top of which are two big tuning pegs, at the bottom is a small resonator body, covered with python skin on the front end. Two strings are attached from the pegs to the base, a small loop of string placed around the neck and strings acting as a nut pulls the strings towards the skin, holding a minute wooden bridge in place; the Erhu has some unusual features. First is that its characteristic sound is produced through the vibration of the python skin by bowing.
Second, there is no fingerboard. Third, the horse hair bow is never separated from the strings. Lastly, although there are two strings, they are close to each other and the player's left hand in effect plays as if on one string; the inside string is tuned to D4 and the outside string to A4, a fifth higher. The maximum range of the instrument is three and a half octaves, from D4 up to A7, before a stopping finger reaches the part of the string in contact with the bow hair; the usual playing range is about two and a half octaves. Various dense and heavy hardwoods are used in making the Erhu. According to Chinese references the woods include zi tan, Lao hong mu, wu mu, hong mu. Fine Erhus are made from pieces of old furniture. A typical erhu measures 81 cm from top to bottom, the length of the bow being 81 cm; the parts of the Erhu: Qín tong, sound box or resonator body. Qín pí/She pí, made from python; the python skin gives the erhu its characteristic sound. Qín gan, neck. Qín tou, top or tip of neck a simple curve with a piece of bone or plastic on top, but is sometimes elaborately carved with a dragon's head.
Qín zhou. Tuning pegs, traditional wooden, or metal machine gear pegs Qiān jin, made from string, or, less a metal hook Nèi xián, inside or inner string tuned to D4, nearest to player Wai xián, outside or outer string tuned to A4 Qín ma, made from wood Gong, has screw device to vary bow hair tension Gong gan, bow stick, made from bamboo Gong máo, bow hair white horsehair Qín diàn, pad, a piece of sponge, felt, or cloth placed between the strings and skin below the bridge to improve its sound Qín tuō – base, a piece of wood attached to the bottom of the qín tong to provide a smooth surface on which to rest on the legMost Erhu are mass-produced in factories; the three most esteemed centres of Erhu making are Beijing and Suzhou. In the collectivist period after the establishment of the People's Republic of China, these factories were formed by merging what had been private workshops. Although most Erhu were machine-made in production lines, the highest quality instruments were handmade by specialist craftsmen.
In the 20th century, there have been attempts to standardize and improve the Erhu, with the aim of producing a louder and better sounding instrument. One major change was the use of steel strings instead of silk; the move to steel strings was made gradually. By 1950 the thinner A-string had been replaced by a violin E-string with the thicker D-string remaining silk. By 1958 professional players were using purpose made D and A steel Erhu strings as standard. In 1988 China passed its Law on the Protection of Endangered Species after ratifying the UN Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species, making it illegal to use and trade unlicensed pythons. To regulate the use of python s