Balrogs are fictional creatures in J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth legendarium, they first appeared in print in his novel The Lord of the Rings, where the Fellowship of the Ring encounter one known as Durin's Bane in the Mines of Moria. Balrogs appeared in Tolkien's earlier writings, published posthumously in The Silmarillion and books. Balrogs are tall and menacing beings who can shroud themselves in fire and shadow, they appeared armed with fiery whips "of many thongs", used long swords. In Tolkien's conception, they could not be vanquished—a certain stature was required by the would-be hero. Only dragons rivalled their capacity for ferocity and destruction, during the First Age of Middle-earth, they were among the most feared of Morgoth's forces. According to The Silmarillion, the evil Vala Melkor corrupted lesser Maiar to his service in the days of his splendor before the making of Arda; these became known as "Demons of Might": Valaraukar in Quenya, Belryg in Sindarin. Upon the awakening of the Elves, the Valar captured Melkor and destroyed his fortresses Utumno and Angband.
But they overlooked the deepest pits, with many of Melkor's other allies, the Balrogs fled into hiding. When Melkor returned to Middle-earth from Valinor, now bearing the epithet Morgoth, he was attacked by Ungoliant, a spider-like creature; when the Noldor arrived in Beleriand in pursuit of Morgoth, they won a swift victory over his Orcs in the Dagor-nuin-Giliath. Fëanor pressed on towards Angband, but the Balrogs came against him, Fëanor was mortally wounded by Gothmog, Lord of Balrogs. Fëanor's sons fought off the Balrogs. In The Lays of Beleriand, The Lay of Leithian mentions Balrog captains leading Orcs: "the Orcs went forth to rape and war, Balrog captains marched before". Tolkien tells of two Balrogs slain by Elves in the fall of Gondolin. During the assault on the city, Ecthelion of the Fountain fought Gothmog, "each slew the other." Glorfindel fought a Balrog. In the War of Wrath that ended the First Age, most of the Balrogs were destroyed, although some including the Balrog known as Durin's Bane, managed to escape and hide in "caverns at the roots of the earth".
In The Fellowship of the Ring, the Fellowship ventured through Moria and were attacked in the Chamber of Mazarbul by Orcs and the Balrog. Gandalf faced the Balrog at the Bridge of Khazad-dûm and broke the Bridge, but was dragged down by the Balrog, he slew the Balrog but perished himself at the same time—to be sent back as the more powerful Gandalf the White. Tolkien's conception of Balrogs changed over time. In all his early writing, they are numerous. A host of a thousand of them is mentioned in the Quenta Silmarillion, while at the storming of Gondolin Balrogs in the hundreds ride on the backs of the Dragons, they are of twice human size, were killed in battle by Elves and Men. They were fierce demons, associated with fire, armed with fiery whips of many thongs and claws like steel, Morgoth delighted in using them to torture his captives, they were loyal to Morgoth, once came out of hiding to save him from capture. In the published version of The Lord of the Rings, Balrogs became altogether more sinister and more powerful.
Christopher Tolkien notes the difference, saying that in earlier versions they were "less terrible and more destructible". He quotes a late margin note, not incorporated into the text saying "at most seven" existed. In writings they ceased to be creatures, but are instead Maiar, lesser Ainur like Gandalf or Sauron, spirits of fire whom Melkor had corrupted before the creation of the World. Power of the order of Gandalf's was necessary to destroy them, as Maiar, only their physical forms could be destroyed. Tolkien says of the Valar that they can change their shape at will, move unclad in the raiment of the world, meaning invisible and without form, but it seems that Morgoth and their associated Maiar could lose this ability: Morgoth, for example, was unable to heal his burns from the Silmarils or wounds from Fingolfin and Thorondor. Tolkien does not address this for Balrogs though at least in his conception they are Maiar. In "the Bridge of Khazad-dûm" in The Fellowship of the Ring, the Balrog appears "like a great shadow, in the middle of, a dark form, of man-shape maybe, yet greater".
Though the Balrog had entered the "large square chamber" of Mazarbul, at the Bridge of Khazad-dûm it "drew itself to a great height, its wings spread from wall to wall" in what was a vast hall. The Balrog's size and shape, are not given precisely; when Gandalf threw it from the peak of Zirakzigil, the Balrog "broke the mountain-side where he smote it in his ruin". Whether Balrogs have wings is unclear; this is due to Tolkien's changing conception of Balrogs, but to his imprecise but suggestive and figurative description of the Balrog that confronted Gandalf in Moria. The three key quotations: His enemy halted again, facing him, the shadow about it reached out like two vast wings. … it drew itself up to a great height, its wings were spread from wall to w
A keyboard instrument is a musical instrument played using a keyboard, a row of levers which are pressed by the fingers. The most common of these are the piano and various electronic keyboards, including synthesizers and digital pianos. Other keyboard instruments include celestas, which are struck idiophones operated by a keyboard, carillons, which are housed in bell towers or belfries of churches or municipal buildings. Today, the term keyboard refers to keyboard-style synthesizers. Under the fingers of a sensitive performer, the keyboard may be used to control dynamics, shading and other elements of expression—depending on the design and inherent capabilities of the instrument. Another important use of the word keyboard is in historical musicology, where it means an instrument whose identity cannot be established. In the 18th century, the harpsichord, the clavichord, the early piano were in competition, the same piece might be played on more than one. Hence, in a phrase such as "Mozart excelled as a keyboard player," the word keyboard is all-inclusive.
The earliest known keyboard instrument was the Ancient Greek hydraulis, a type of pipe organ, invented in the third century BC. The keys were balanced and could be played with a light touch, as is clear from the reference in a Latin poem by Claudian, who says magna levi detrudens murmura tactu... intent, “let him thunder forth as he presses out mighty roarings with a light touch”. From its invention until the fourteenth century, the organ remained the only keyboard instrument; the organ did not feature a keyboard at all, but rather buttons or large levers operated by a whole hand. Every keyboard until the fifteenth century had seven naturals to each octave; the clavichord and the harpsichord appeared during the fourteenth century—the clavichord being earlier. The harpsichord and clavichord were both common until widespread adoption of the piano in the eighteenth century, after which their popularity decreased; the piano was revolutionary because a pianist could vary the volume of the sound by varying the vigor with which each key was struck.
The piano's full name is gravicèmbalo con piano e forte meaning harpsichord with soft and loud but can be shortened to piano-forte, which means soft-loud in Italian. In its current form, the piano is a product of the late nineteenth century, is far removed in both sound and appearance from the "pianos" known to Mozart and Beethoven. In fact, the modern piano is different from the 19th-century pianos used by Liszt and Brahms. See Piano history and musical performance. Keyboard instruments were further developed in the early twentieth century. Early electromechanical instruments, such as the Ondes Martenot, appeared early in the century; this was a important contribution to the keyboard's history. Much effort has gone into creating an instrument that sounds like the piano but lacks its size and weight; the electric piano and electronic piano were early efforts that, while useful instruments in their own right, did not convincingly reproduce the timbre of the piano. Electric and electronic organs were developed during the same period.
More recent electronic keyboard designs strive to emulate the sound of specific make and model pianos using digital samples and computer models. Each acoustic keyboard contains 88 keys. Weighted keys, found on electronic keyboards, are designed to simulate the resistance of a key on an acoustic keyboard, via pressurization. There are 4 types of weighted keys. Keybeds, or non-weighted keys place the weights within the base of the keyboard; the second type, Semi-weighted uses springs, the third type is hammer keys. Most electronic keyboards use the fourth type: graded simulate keys. Weighted keys are made of wood, or metal/wood substitute. Enharmonic keyboard Musical instrument Orchestrina di camera Piano Symphony Young, Percy M. Keyboard Musicians of the World. London: Abelard-Schuman, 1967. N. B.: Concerns celebrated keyboard players and the various such instruments used over the centuries. ISBN 0-200-71497-X The general keyboard in the age of MIDI Renaissance Keyboards on the Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History, The Metropolitan Museum of Art The Pianofortes of Bartolomeo Cristofori on the Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History, The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Poland the Republic of Poland, is a country located in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 administrative subdivisions, covering an area of 312,696 square kilometres, has a temperate seasonal climate. With a population of 38.5 million people, Poland is the sixth most populous member state of the European Union. Poland's capital and largest metropolis is Warsaw. Other major cities include Kraków, Łódź, Wrocław, Poznań, Gdańsk, Szczecin. Poland is bordered by the Baltic Sea, Russia's Kaliningrad Oblast and Lithuania to the north and Ukraine to the east and Czech Republic, to the south, Germany to the west; the establishment of the Polish state can be traced back to AD 966, when Mieszko I, ruler of the realm coextensive with the territory of present-day Poland, converted to Christianity. The Kingdom of Poland was founded in 1025, in 1569 it cemented its longstanding political association with the Grand Duchy of Lithuania by signing the Union of Lublin; this union formed the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, one of the largest and most populous countries of 16th and 17th century Europe, with a uniquely liberal political system which adopted Europe's first written national constitution, the Constitution of 3 May 1791.
More than a century after the Partitions of Poland at the end of the 18th century, Poland regained its independence in 1918 with the Treaty of Versailles. In September 1939, World War II started with the invasion of Poland by Germany, followed by the Soviet Union invading Poland in accordance with the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact. More than six million Polish citizens, including 90% of the country's Jews, perished in the war. In 1947, the Polish People's Republic was established as a satellite state under Soviet influence. In the aftermath of the Revolutions of 1989, most notably through the emergence of the Solidarity movement, Poland reestablished itself as a presidential democratic republic. Poland is regional power, it has the fifth largest economy by GDP in the European Union and one of the most dynamic economies in the world achieving a high rank on the Human Development Index. Additionally, the Polish Stock Exchange in Warsaw is the largest and most important in Central Europe. Poland is a developed country, which maintains a high-income economy along with high standards of living, life quality, safety and economic freedom.
Having a developed school educational system, the country provides free university education, state-funded social security, a universal health care system for all citizens. Poland has 15 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Poland is a member state of the European Union, the Schengen Area, the United Nations, NATO, the OECD, the Three Seas Initiative, the Visegrád Group; the origin of the name "Poland" derives from the West Slavic tribe of Polans that inhabited the Warta river basin of the historic Greater Poland region starting in the 6th century. The origin of the name "Polanie" itself derives from the early Slavic word "pole". In some languages, such as Hungarian, Lithuanian and Turkish, the exonym for Poland is Lechites, which derives from the name of a semi-legendary ruler of Polans, Lech I. Early Bronze Age in Poland begun around 2400 BC, while the Iron Age commenced in 750 BC. During this time, the Lusatian culture, spanning both the Bronze and Iron Ages, became prominent; the most famous archaeological find from the prehistory and protohistory of Poland is the Biskupin fortified settlement, dating from the Lusatian culture of the early Iron Age, around 700 BC.
Throughout the Antiquity period, many distinct ancient ethnic groups populated the regions of what is now Poland in an era that dates from about 400 BC to 500 AD. These groups are identified as Celtic, Slavic and Germanic tribes. Recent archeological findings in the Kujawy region, confirmed the presence of the Roman Legions on the territory of Poland; these were most expeditionary missions sent out to protect the amber trade. The exact time and routes of the original migration and settlement of Slavic peoples lacks written records and can only be defined as fragmented; the Slavic tribes who would form Poland migrated to these areas in the second half of the 5th century AD. Up until the creation of Mieszko's state and his subsequent conversion to Christianity in 966 AD, the main religion of Slavic tribes that inhabited the geographical area of present-day Poland was Slavic paganism. With the Baptism of Poland the Polish rulers accepted Christianity and the religious authority of the Roman Church.
However, the transition from paganism was not a smooth and instantaneous process for the rest of the population as evident from the pagan reaction of the 1030s. Poland began to form into a recognizable unitary and territorial entity around the middle of the 10th century under the Piast dynasty. Poland's first documented ruler, Mieszko I, accepted Christianity with the Baptism of Poland in 966, as the new official religion of his subjects; the bulk of the population converted in the course of the next few centuries. In 1000, Boleslaw the Brave, continuing the policy of his father Mieszko, held a Congress of Gniezno and created the metropolis of Gniezno and the dioceses of Kraków, Kołobrzeg, Wrocław. However, the pagan unrest led to the transfer of the capital to Kraków in 1038 by Casimir I the Restorer. In 1109, Prince Bolesław III Wrymouth defeated the King of Germany Henry V at the Battle of Hundsfeld, stopping the Ge
MusicBrainz is a project that aims to create an open data music database, similar to the freedb project. MusicBrainz was founded in response to the restrictions placed on the Compact Disc Database, a database for software applications to look up audio CD information on the Internet. MusicBrainz has expanded its goals to reach beyond a compact disc metadata storehouse to become a structured open online database for music. MusicBrainz captures information about artists, their recorded works, the relationships between them. Recorded works entries capture at a minimum the album title, track titles, the length of each track; these entries are maintained by volunteer editors. Recorded works can store information about the release date and country, the CD ID, cover art, acoustic fingerprint, free-form annotation text and other metadata; as of 21 September 2018, MusicBrainz contained information about 1.4 million artists, 2 million releases, 19 million recordings. End-users can use software that communicates with MusicBrainz to add metadata tags to their digital media files, such as FLAC, MP3, Ogg Vorbis or AAC.
MusicBrainz allows contributors to upload cover art images of releases to the database. Internet Archive provides the bandwidth and legal protection for hosting the images, while MusicBrainz stores metadata and provides public access through the web and via an API for third parties to use; as with other contributions, the MusicBrainz community is in charge of maintaining and reviewing the data. Cover art is provided for items on sale at Amazon.com and some other online resources, but CAA is now preferred because it gives the community more control and flexibility for managing the images. Besides collecting metadata about music, MusicBrainz allows looking up recordings by their acoustic fingerprint. A separate application, such as MusicBrainz Picard, must be used for this. In 2000, MusicBrainz started using Relatable's patented TRM for acoustic fingerprint matching; this feature allowed the database to grow quickly. However, by 2005 TRM was showing scalability issues as the number of tracks in the database had reached into the millions.
This issue was resolved in May 2006 when MusicBrainz partnered with MusicIP, replacing TRM with MusicDNS. TRMs were phased out and replaced by MusicDNS in November 2008. In October 2009 MusicIP was acquired by AmpliFIND; some time after the acquisition, the MusicDNS service began having intermittent problems. Since the future of the free identification service was uncertain, a replacement for it was sought; the Chromaprint acoustic fingerprinting algorithm, the basis for AcoustID identification service, was started in February 2010 by a long-time MusicBrainz contributor Lukáš Lalinský. While AcoustID and Chromaprint are not MusicBrainz projects, they are tied with each other and both are open source. Chromaprint works by analyzing the first two minutes of a track, detecting the strength in each of 12 pitch classes, storing these 8 times per second. Additional post-processing is applied to compress this fingerprint while retaining patterns; the AcoustID search server searches from the database of fingerprints by similarity and returns the AcoustID identifier along with MusicBrainz recording identifiers if known.
Since 2003, MusicBrainz's core data are in the public domain, additional content, including moderation data, is placed under the Creative Commons CC-BY-NC-SA-2.0 license. The relational database management system is PostgreSQL; the server software is covered by the GNU General Public License. The MusicBrainz client software library, libmusicbrainz, is licensed under the GNU Lesser General Public License, which allows use of the code by proprietary software products. In December 2004, the MusicBrainz project was turned over to the MetaBrainz Foundation, a non-profit group, by its creator Robert Kaye. On 20 January 2006, the first commercial venture to use MusicBrainz data was the Barcelona, Spain-based Linkara in their Linkara Música service. On 28 June 2007, BBC announced that it has licensed MusicBrainz's live data feed to augment their music Web pages; the BBC online music editors will join the MusicBrainz community to contribute their knowledge to the database. On 28 July 2008, the beta of the new BBC Music site was launched, which publishes a page for each MusicBrainz artist.
Amarok – KDE audio player Banshee – multi-platform audio player Beets – automatic CLI music tagger/organiser for Unix-like systems Clementine – multi-platform audio player CDex – Microsoft Windows CD ripper Demlo – a dynamic and extensible music manager using a CLI iEatBrainz – Mac OS X deprecated foo_musicbrainz component for foobar2000 – Music Library/Audio Player Jaikoz – Java mass tag editor Max – Mac OS X CD ripper and audio transcoder Mp3tag – Windows metadata editor and music organizer MusicBrainz Picard – cross-platform album-oriented tag editor MusicBrainz Tagger – deprecated Microsoft Windows tag editor puddletag – a tag editor for PyQt under the GPLv3 Rhythmbox music player – an audio player for Unix-like systems Sound Juicer – GNOME CD ripper Zortam Mp3 Media Studio – Windows music organizer and ID3 Tag Editor. Freedb clients can access MusicBrainz data through the freedb protocol by using the MusicBrainz to FreeDB gateway service, mb2freedb. List of online music databases Making Metadata: The Case of Mus
Wrocław is a city in western Poland and the largest city in the historical region of Silesia. It lies on the banks of the River Oder in the Silesian Lowlands of Central Europe 350 kilometres from the Baltic Sea to the north and 40 kilometres from the Sudeten Mountains to the south; the population of Wrocław in 2018 was 639,258, making it the fourth-largest city in Poland and the main city of the Wrocław agglomeration. Wrocław is the historical capital of Lower Silesia. Today, it is the capital of the Lower Silesian Voivodeship; the history of the city dates back over a thousand years, its extensive heritage combines all religions and cultures of Europe. At various times, it has been part of the Kingdom of Poland, Kingdom of Bohemia, Kingdom of Hungary, Habsburg Monarchy and Germany. Wrocław became part of Poland again in 1945, as a result of the border changes after the Second World War, which included a nearly complete exchange of population. Wrocław is a university city with a student population of over 130,000, making it one of the most youthful cities in the country.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, the University of Wrocław Breslau University, produced 9 Nobel Prize laureates and is renowned for its high quality of teaching. Wrocław is classified as a Gamma-global city by GaWC, it was placed among the top 100 cities in the world for the quality of life by the consulting company Mercer and in the top 100 of the smartest cities in the world in the IESE Cities in Motion Index 2017 report. The city hosted the Eucharistic Congress in the Euro 2012 football championships. In 2016, the city was a European Capital of the World Book Capital. In this year, Wrocław hosted the Theatre Olympics, World Bridge Games and the European Film Awards. In 2017, the city was the host of the World Games; the city's name was first recorded as "Wrotizlava" in the chronicle of German chronicler Thietmar of Merseburg, which mentions it as a seat of a newly installed bishopric in the context of the Congress of Gniezno. The first municipal seal stated. A simplified name is given, as Wrezlaw, Prezla or Breslaw.
The Czech spelling was used in Latin documents as Vratislavia. At that time, Prezla was used in Middle High German. In the middle of the 14th century, the Early New High German form of the name, began to replace its earlier versions; the city is traditionally believed to be named after Wrocisław or Vratislav believed to be named after Duke Vratislaus I of Bohemia. It is possible that the city was named after the tribal duke of the Silesians or after an early ruler of the city called Vratislav; the city's name in various other languages is: Hungarian: Boroszló, Czech: Vratislav, German: Breslau, Hebrew: ורוצלב, Yiddish: ברעסלוי, Silesian German: Brassel, Latin: Vratislavia or Budorgis or Wratislavia. The city's name in other languages is available at the list of names of European cities. Persons born or living in the city are known as "Vratislavians". In ancient times at or near Wrocław was a place called Budorigum, it has been mapped to Claudius Ptolemy's map of AD 142–147. The city of Wrocław originated at the intersection of two trade routes, the Via Regia and the Amber Road.
Settlements in the area existed during the migration period. A Slavic tribe Ślężans erected on Ostrów Tumski a gord; the city was first recorded in the 10th century as Vratislavia, the Bohemian duke Vratislaus I founded here a Bohemian stronghold. Vratislavia was derived from the duke's name Vratislav. In 985, Duke Mieszko I of Poland conquered Silesia including Wrocław; the town was mentioned explicitly in the year 1000 AD in connection with a founding of a bishopric during the Congress of Gniezno. The medieval chronicle, Gesta principum Polonorum, written by Gallus Anonymus in 1112–1116, named Wrocław, along with Kraków and Sandomierz, as one of the three capitals of the Polish Kingdom. During Wrocław's early history, the control over it changed hands between Bohemia, the Kingdom of Poland, after the fragmentation of the Kingdom of Poland, the Piast-ruled duchy of Silesia. One of the most important events during this period was the foundation of the Diocese of Wrocław by the Polish Duke Bolesław the Brave in 1000.
Along with the Bishoprics of Kraków and Kołobrzeg, Wrocław was placed under the Archbishopric of Gniezno in Greater Poland, founded by Pope Sylvester II through the intercession of the Emperor Otto III in 1000, during the Congress of Gniezno. In the years 1034–1038 the city was affected by Pagan reaction in Poland; the city became a commercial centre and expanded to Wyspa Piasek, to the left bank of the River Oder. Around 1000, the town had about 1,000 inhabitants. In 1109 during the Polish-German war, Prince Bolesław III Wrymouth defeated the King of Germany Henry V at the Battle of Hundsfeld, stopping the German march into Poland. By 1139, a settlement belonging to Governor Piotr Włostowic was built, another was founded on the left bank of the River Oder, near the present seat of the University. While the city was Polish, there were communities of Bohemians, Jews and Germans. In the 13th century, Wrocław was the political centre of the divided Polish kingdom. In April 1241, during the First Mongol invasion of Poland the city was abandoned by the inhabitants and burned for strategic reason
The guitar is a fretted musical instrument that has six strings. It is played with both hands by strumming or plucking the strings with either a guitar pick or the finger/fingernails of one hand, while fretting with the fingers of the other hand; the sound of the vibrating strings is projected either acoustically, by means of the hollow chamber of the guitar, or through an electrical amplifier and a speaker. The guitar is a type of chordophone, traditionally constructed from wood and strung with either gut, nylon or steel strings and distinguished from other chordophones by its construction and tuning; the modern guitar was preceded by the gittern, the vihuela, the four-course Renaissance guitar, the five-course baroque guitar, all of which contributed to the development of the modern six-string instrument. There are three main types of modern acoustic guitar: the classical guitar, the steel-string acoustic guitar, the archtop guitar, sometimes called a "jazz guitar"; the tone of an acoustic guitar is produced by the strings' vibration, amplified by the hollow body of the guitar, which acts as a resonating chamber.
The classical guitar is played as a solo instrument using a comprehensive finger-picking technique where each string is plucked individually by the player's fingers, as opposed to being strummed. The term "finger-picking" can refer to a specific tradition of folk, blues and country guitar playing in the United States; the acoustic bass guitar is a low-pitched instrument, one octave below a regular guitar. Electric guitars, introduced in the 1930s, use an amplifier and a loudspeaker that both makes the sound of the instrument loud enough for the performers and audience to hear, given that it produces an electric signal when played, that can electronically manipulate and shape the tone using an equalizer and a huge variety of electronic effects units, the most used ones being distortion and reverb. Early amplified guitars employed a hollow body, but solid wood guitars began to dominate during the 1960s and 1970s, as they are less prone to unwanted acoustic feedback "howls"; as with acoustic guitars, there are a number of types of electric guitars, including hollowbody guitars, archtop guitars and solid-body guitars, which are used in rock music.
The loud, amplified sound and sonic power of the electric guitar played through a guitar amp has played a key role in the development of blues and rock music, both as an accompaniment instrument and performing guitar solos, in many rock subgenres, notably heavy metal music and punk rock. The electric guitar has had a major influence on popular culture; the guitar is used in a wide variety of musical genres worldwide. It is recognized as a primary instrument in genres such as blues, country, folk, jota, metal, reggae, rock and many forms of pop. Before the development of the electric guitar and the use of synthetic materials, a guitar was defined as being an instrument having "a long, fretted neck, flat wooden soundboard, a flat back, most with incurved sides." The term is used to refer to a number of chordophones that were developed and used across Europe, beginning in the 12th century and in the Americas. A 3,300-year-old stone carving of a Hittite bard playing a stringed instrument is the oldest iconographic representation of a chordophone and clay plaques from Babylonia show people playing an instrument that has a strong resemblance to the guitar, indicating a possible Babylonian origin for the guitar.
The modern word guitar, its antecedents, has been applied to a wide variety of chordophones since classical times and as such causes confusion. The English word guitar, the German Gitarre, the French guitare were all adopted from the Spanish guitarra, which comes from the Andalusian Arabic قيثارة and the Latin cithara, which in turn came from the Ancient Greek κιθάρα. Which comes from the Persian word "sihtar"; this pattern of naming is visible in setar and sitar. The word "tar" at the end of all of these words is a Persian word that means "string". Many influences are cited as antecedents to the modern guitar. Although the development of the earliest "guitars" is lost in the history of medieval Spain, two instruments are cited as their most influential predecessors, the European lute and its cousin, the four-string oud. At least two instruments called "guitars" were in use in Spain by 1200: the guitarra latina and the so-called guitarra morisca; the guitarra morisca had a rounded back, wide fingerboard, several sound holes.
The guitarra Latina had a narrower neck. By the 14th century the qualifiers "moresca" or "morisca" and "latina" had been dropped, these two cordophones were referred to as guitars; the Spanish vihuela, called in Italian the "viola da mano", a guitar-like instrument of the 15th and 16th centuries, is considered to have been the single most important influence in the development of the baroque guitar. It had six courses, lute-like tuning in fourths and a guitar-like body, although early representations reveal an instrument with a cut waist, it was larger than the contemporary four-course guitars. By the 16th century, the vihuela's construction had more in common with the modern guitar, with its curved one-piece ribs, than with the viols, more like a larger version of the contemporary four-course guita
Black metal is an extreme subgenre of heavy metal music. Common traits include fast tempos, a shrieking vocal style distorted guitars played with tremolo picking, raw recording, unconventional song structures, an emphasis on atmosphere. Artists appear in corpse paint and adopt pseudonyms. During the 1980s, several thrash metal and death metal bands formed a prototype for black metal; this so-called first wave included bands such as Venom, Mercyful Fate and Celtic Frost. A second wave arose in the early 1990s, spearheaded by Norwegian bands such as Mayhem, Burzum, Emperor and Gorgoroth; the early Norwegian black metal scene developed the style of their forebears into a distinct genre. Norwegian-inspired black metal scenes emerged throughout Europe and North America, although some other scenes developed their own styles independently; some prominent Swedish bands spawned during this second wave, such as Marduk and Dark Funeral. A synonym for "Satanic metal", black metal has sparked controversy, due to the actions and ideologies associated with the genre.
Many artists express extreme anti-Christian and misanthropic views, advocating various forms of Satanism or ethnic paganism. In the 1990s, members of the scene were responsible for a spate of church murders. There is a small neo-Nazi movement within black metal, although it has been shunned by many prominent artists. Black metal strives to remain underground, inaccessible to the mainstream and those who are not committed. Although contemporary black metal refers to the Norwegian style with shrieking vocals and raw production, the term has been applied to bands with differing sounds. Norwegian-inspired black metal guitarists favor high-pitched or trebly guitar tones and heavy distortion; the guitar is played with fast, un-muted tremolo picking. Guitarists use dissonance—along with specific scales and chord progressions—to create a sense of dread; the tritone, or flat-fifth, is used. Guitar solos and low guitar tunings are rare in black metal; the bass guitar is used to play stand-alone melodies. It is not uncommon for the bass to be muted against the guitar, or for it to homophonically follow the low-pitched riffs of the guitar.
While electronic keyboards were "not heard in type of music", Dimmu Borgir say they started using keyboards "in the background" and started using them as a "proper instrument" for creating "atmosphere". Some newer black metal bands began raising their production quality and introducing additional instruments such as synthesizers and orchestras; the drumming is fast and relies on double-bass and blast beats to maintain tempos that can sometimes approach 300 beats per minute. These fast tempos require great skill and physical stamina, typified by black metal drummers Frost and Hellhammer. Still, authenticity is still prioritized over technique. "This professionalism has to go," insists well-respected drummer and metal historian Fenriz of Darkthrone. "I want to de-learn playing drums, I want to play primitive and simple, I don't want to play like a drum solo all the time and make these complicated riffs". Black metal songs stray from conventional song structure and lack clear verse-chorus sections.
Instead, many black metal songs contain repetitive instrumental sections. The Greek style—established by Rotting Christ and Varathron—has more traditional heavy metal and death metal traits than Norwegian black metal. Traditional black metal bands tend to favor raspy, high-pitched vocals which include techniques such as shrieking and snarling, a vocal style influenced by Quorthon of Bathory. Death growls, common in the death metal genre, are sometimes used, but less than the characteristic black metal shriek. Black metal lyrics attack Christianity and the other institutional religions using apocalyptic language. Satanic lyrics are common, many see them as essential to black metal. For Satanist black metal artists, "Black metal songs are meant to be like Calvinist sermons. Misanthropy, global catastrophe, death and rebirth are common themes. Another topic found in black metal lyrics is that of the wild and extreme aspects and phenomena of the natural world the wilderness, mountains, winter and blizzards.
Black metal has a fascination with the distant past. Many bands write about the mythology and folklore of their homelands and promote a revival of pre-Christian, pagan traditions. A significant number of bands write lyrics only in their native language and a few have lyrics in archaic languages; some doom metal-influenced artists' lyrics focus on depression, introspection, self-harm and suicide. Many bands choose not to play live. Many of those who do play live maintain that their performances "are not for entertainment or spectacle. Sincerity and extremity are valued above all else"; some bands consider their concerts to be rituals and make use of stage props and theatrics. Bands such as Mayhem and Gorgoroth are noted for their controversial shows, which have featured impaled animal heads, mock crucifixions, medieval weaponry and band members doused in animal blood. A few vocalists, such as Dead and Kvarforth, are known for cutting themselves while singing onstage. Black metal artists appear dressed in black with combat boots, bullet belts, spiked wristbands and inverted crosses and inverted pentagrams to reinforce their anti-Christian or anti-religious stance.