A chordophone is a musical instrument that makes sound by way of a vibrating string or strings stretched between two points. It is one of the four main divisions of instruments in the original Hornbostel-Sachs scheme of musical instrument classification. Hornbostel-Sachs divides chordophones into two main groups: instruments without a resonator as an integral part of the instrument. Most western instruments fall into the second group, but the piano and harpsichord fall into the first. Hornbostel and Sachs' criterion for determining which sub-group an instrument falls into is that if the resonator can be removed without destroying the instrument it is classified as 31; the idea that the piano's casing, which acts as a resonator, could be removed without destroying the instrument, may seem odd, but if the action and strings of the piano were taken out of its box, it could still be played. This is not true of the violin, because the string passes over a bridge located on the resonator box, so removing the resonator would mean the strings had no tension.
Curt Sachs broke chordophones into four basic categories, "zithers, lutes and harps." Zithers include stick zithers such as the musical bow, tube zithers with a tube as the resonator such as the valiha, board zithers including clavichord and piano and dulcimer, long zithers including Se and Guzheng families. Lutes are stringed musical instruments that include a body and "a neck which serves both has a handle and as a means of stretching the strings beyond the body." The lute family includes not only short-necked plucked lutes such as the lute, pipa, citole, mandore and gambus and long-necked plucked lutes such as the tanbura, bağlama, bouzouki veena, archlute, sitar, but bowed instruments such as the Yaylı tambur, rebab and entire family of viols and violins. The Lyre has two arms, which have a "yoke" or crossbar connecting them, strings between the crossbar and the soundboard. Sachs divided this into the box lyre such as the Greek kithara and the bowl lyre which used a bowl on its side with skin soundboard.
The harp which has strings vertical to the soundboard. What many would call string instruments are classified as chordophones. Violins, guitars and harps are examples. However, the word embraces instruments that many would hesitate to call string instruments, such as the musical bow and the piano. Electric string instruments have an electromagnetic pickup that produces a signal that can be amplified; the electric guitar is the most common example, but many other chordophones use pickups—including mandolins and the overtone koto. When a chordophone is played, the strings interact with each other. There is something that makes the sound resonate, such as the body of a guitar or violin; the strings are set into motion by either plucking, strumming, by rubbing with a bow, or by striking. Common chordophones are the banjo, double bass, guitar, lute, sitar, ukulele and violin. 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.
Banjo Cello Citole Clavichord Claviharp Clavinet Crwth Cuban tres Double bass Gittern Guitar Dulcimer Harp Harpsichord Hurdy-gurdy Lyre Lute Monochord Piano Psaltery Rebec Rote Sitar String drum Ukulele Veena Vielle Viol Viola Violin History of Lute-family instruments K'ni, Vietnam Bro, Vietnam Kafir harp Kanklės, Lithuania Koto, Japan Guzheng, China Yatga, Mongolia Đàn tranh, Vietnam Gayageum, Korea
The barbat or barbud was a lute of Central Asian or Greater Iranian or Persian origin. The barbat was an important instrument of the Ghassanids in pre-Islamic times and of the Syrians in early Islamic times, it was characterized as carved from a single piece of wood, including the neck and a wooden sound board. It would be ancestral to the wood-topped oud and biwa and the skin-topped Yemeni qanbus. Although the original barbat disappeared, modern musicians have re-created the instrument, looking at historical images for details; the modern re-created instrument resembles the oud, although differences include a smaller body, longer neck, a raised fingerboard, a sound, distinct from that of the oud. The barbat originated in Central Asia; the earliest image of the barbat dates back to the 1st century BC from ancient northern Bactria. While in his book Marcel-Dubois pointed out a more "clear cut" depiction of the barbat from Gandhara sculpture dated to the 2nd-4th centuries AD, which may well have been introduced by the Kushan aristocracy whose influence is attested in Gandharan art.
The name itself meant short-necked lute in Pahlavi, the language of the Sasanian Empire, through which the instrument came west from Central Asia to the Middle East, adopted by the Persians. The barbat was used by some Arabs in the sixth century. At the end of the 6th century, a wood topped version of the Persian-styled instrument was constructed by al Nadr, called "ūd", introduced from Iraq to Mecca; this Persian-style instrument was being played there in the seventh century. Sometime in the seventh century it was modified or "perfected" by Mansour Zalzal, the two instruments were used side by side into the 10th century, longer; the two instruments have been confused by modern scholars looking for examples, some of the ouds identified may be barbats. Examples of this cited in the Encyclopedia of Islam include a lute in the Cantigas de Santa Maria and the frontispiece from The Life and Times of Ali Ibn ISA by Harold Bowen. Laurence Picken in his 1955 article The Origin of the Short Lute laid out an argument for the lute originating in the lands of the Kusana peoples.
He looked at the places for the short ovoid lute to originate. He showed that the evidence found by 1955 indicated that China would not have had the such a lute earlier than the 5th century, he found no evidence of the Sasainian barbad or barbud earlier than the 4th century A. D; the earliest evidence was to be found among the Kusanas. He only found evidence of long-necked lutes; the only other possibility was among the "Elamic clay figures" from the 8th century B. C; these were discounted, as "no structural detail are visible." He was careful to point out that his conclusions were based on the evidence, unearthed by 1955, from literature and art. In his paper which summarized what was known about early examples of Asian harps and lutes, focusing on images and literature for his sources, Michael Nixon pointed out that one image of the barbat from Sasanian Iran resembled other images of the barbat from Sasanian and Gandharan sources, he said that the instrument was held in the same manner. The instrument resembled an image from a door-lintel bas-relief from the Gupta period in Padmavati Pawaya, India..
A. D.)The Ganharan image he points to was published in Kurt Sachs' book The History of Musical Instruments in 1940. It shows a man holding a lute-style instrument with bottom of the rounded bowl of the instrument held to his chest, the neck of the instrument held down at a 45 degree angle, the man strumming the instrument near his chest. Another image from Gandhara from an overlapping time period is in the collection of the Cleveland Museum of Art; the image shows a shaped instrument, with similar bridge held and strummed in the same manner. This image, unlike the other two mentioned, shows sound holes, an indication that this instrument had a wooden soundboard and not a skin top. Jean During, who wrote the 1988 Barbat article used by the Encyclopedia Iranica, cites two images of short lutes as being the oldest known. One is in c. 1st century A. D; the other, "at the moment the oldest evidence of the existence of the barbaṭ," was at Dal’verzin Tepe, c. 1st century B. C. Another early source of lute images from Central Asia comes from East Kashkadarya, where coroplast statuettes from the Kangyui period were found, female lutenists that appear religious, depticting a female goddess playing a lute.
The Kangyui Kingdom was in the Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan region from the 2nd century B. C. to the 4th century A. D; the lutes are short lutes. Whether they are the same as the other short lutes in the area is not clear; the barbat is held similar to a guitar, but care must be taken to have the face vertical so that it is not visible to the player, to support the weight with the thigh and right arm so that the left hand is free to move around the fingerboard. Note the idiosyncratic manner of holding the mizrab or risha or pick. In all matters of holding and playing it is recommended that the playe
The oud is a short-neck lute-type, pear-shaped stringed instrument with 11 or 13 strings grouped in 5 or 6 courses used predominantly in Western Asia and North Africa: in Egypt, Sudan, Lebanon, Kurdistan, Arabia, Greece, Turkey and other ethnic music like Jewish music, North African Chaabi and Spanish Andalusian. The oud is similar to modern lutes, to Western lutes; the modern oud is most derived from the Persian barbat. Similar instruments have been used in the Middle East, North Africa, Central Asia for thousands of years, including from Mesopotamia, North Africa, the Caucasus, the Levant; the oud, as a fundamental difference with the western lute, has a smaller neck. It is the direct ancestor of the European lute; the oldest surviving oud is thought to be at the Museum of Musical Instruments. An early description of the "modern" oud was given by 11th-century musician and author Al-Hasan Ibn al-Haytham in his compendium on music Ḥāwī al-Funūn wa Salwat al-Maḥzūn; the first known complete description of the ‛ūd and its construction is found in the epistle Risāla fī-l-Luḥūn wa-n-Nagham by 9th-century Philosopher of the Arabs Yaʻqūb ibn Isḥāq al-Kindī.
Kindī's description stands thus: " length will be: thirty-six joint fingers – with good thick fingers – and the total will amount to three ashbār. And its width: fifteen fingers, and its depth seven and a half fingers. And the measurement of the width of the bridge with the remainder behind: six fingers. Remains the length of the strings: thirty fingers and on these strings take place the division and the partition, because it is the sounding length; this is. For the depth, seven fingers and a half and this is the half of the width and the quarter of the length, and the neck must be one third of the length and it is: ten fingers. Remains the vibrating body: twenty fingers, and that the back be well rounded and its "thinning" towards the neck, as if it had been a round body drawn with a compass, cut in two in order to extract two ‛ūds". In Pre-Islamic Arabia and Mesopotamia, the oud had only three strings, with a small musical box and a long neck without any tuning pegs, but during the Islamic era the musical box was enlarged, a fourth string was added, the base for the tuning pegs or pegbox was added.
In the first centuries of Arabian civilisation, the oud had four courses, tuned in successive fourths. Curt Sachs said they were called maṭlaṭ, maṭnā and zīr. "As early as the ninth century" a fifth string ḥād was sometimes added "to make the range of two octaves complete". It was highest in pitch, placed lowest in its positioning in relation to other strings. Modern tuning preserves the ancient succession of fourths, with adjunctions which may be tuned differently following regional or personal preferences. Sachs gives one tuning for this arrangement of five pairs of strings, d, e, a, d', g'. Historical sources indicate, he was well-known for founding a school of music in Andalusia, one of the places where the oud or lute entered Europe. Another mention of the fifth string was made by Al-Hasan Ibn al-Haytham in Ḥāwī al-Funūn wa Salwat al-Maḥzūn; the Arabic: العود denotes a thin piece of wood similar to the shape of a straw. It may refer to the wooden plectrum traditionally used for playing the oud, to the thin strips of wood used for the back, or to the wooden soundboard that distinguishes it from similar instruments with skin-faced bodies.
Henry George Farmer considers the similitude between al-ʿawda. Oud means "from wood" and "stick" in Arabic. Multiple theories have been proposed for the origin of the Arabic name. A music scholar by the name of Eckhard Neubauer suggested that oud may be an Arabic borrowing from the Persian word rōd or rūd, which meant string. Another researcher, archaeomusicologist Richard J. Dumbrill, suggests that rud came from the Sanskrit rudrī and transferred to Arabic through a Semitic language. However, another theory according to Semitic language scholars, is that the Arabic ʿoud is derived from Syriac ʿoud-a, meaning "wooden stick" and "burning wood"—cognate to Biblical Hebrew ’ūḏ, referring to a stick used to stir logs in a fire. Names for the instrument in different languages include Arabic: عود ʿūd or ʿoud, Armenian: ուդ, Syriac: ܥܘܕ ūd, Greek: ούτι oúti, Hebrew: עוּד ud, Persian: بربط barbat, Turkish: ud or ut, Azeri: ud, Somali: cuud or kaban; the complete history of the development of the lute family is not compiled at this date, but archaeomusicologists have worked to piece together a lute family history.
The influential organologist Curt Sachs distinguished between the "long-necked lute" and the short-necked variety. Douglas Alton Smith argues the long-necked variety should not be called lute at all because it existed for at least a millennium before the appearance of the short-necked instrument that evolved into what is now known the lute. Musicologist Richard Dumbrill today uses the word more categorically to discuss i
The mandola or tenor mandola is a fretted, stringed musical instrument. It is to the mandolin what the viola is to the violin: the four double courses of strings tuned in fifths to the same pitches as the viola, a fifth lower than a mandolin; the mandola, although now rarer, is the ancestor of the mandolin, the name of which means "little mandola". The name mandola may originate with the ancient pandura, was rendered as mandora, the change having been due to approximation to the Italian word for "almond"; the instrument developed from the lute at an early date, being more compact and cheaper to build, but the sequence of development and nomenclature in different regions is now hard to discover. Related instruments include the mandore, vandola, bandora, pandurina and—in 16th-century Germany—the quinterne or chiterna; however different instruments have at times and places taken on the same or similar names, the "true" mandola has been strung in several different ways. The mandola has four double courses of metal strings, tuned in unison rather than in octaves.
The scale length is around 42 cm. The mandola is played with a plectrum; the double strings accommodate a sustaining technique called tremolando, a rapid alternation of the plectrum on a single course of strings. The mandola is used in folk music—particularly Italian folk music, it is sometimes played in Irish traditional music, but the instruments octave mandolin, Irish bouzouki and modern cittern are more used. It is tuned like a viola CGDA; some Irish traditional musicians, following the example of Andy Irvine, restring the tenor mandola with lighter, mandolin strings and tune it F-C-G-C, while others use alternate tunings such as D-A-E-A. Like the guitar, the mandola can be electric. Attila the Stockbroker, punk poet and frontman of Barnstormer, uses an electric mandola as his main instrument. Alex Lifeson, guitarist of Rush, has featured the mandola in his work. Mandolas are played in mandolin orchestras, along with other members of the mandolin family: mandolin and mandobass. Sometimes the octave mandolin is included as well.
Mandolin Mando-bass Octave mandolin - Tuned an octave below the mandolin Mandocello - Tuned an octave below the mandola Irish bouzouki Troughton, John. Mandolin Manual: The Art and Science of the Mandolin and Mandola. United States: Crowood Press, The. ISBN 1-86126-496-8. — A comprehensive chord dictionary. Richards, Tobe A.. The Tenor Mandola Chord Bible: CGDA Standard Tuning 1,728 Chords. United Kingdom: Cabot Books. ISBN 0-9553944-2-2. — A comprehensive chord dictionary. Loesberg, John. Chords for Mandolin, Irish Bango, Mandola, Mamdocello. Rep. of Ireland: Random House. ISBN 0-946005-47-8. — A chord book featuring 20 pages of popular chords. The Mandolin Page theMandolinTuner, a mandolin site focusing on mandolin tuning and tabs
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 Weymann Mandolute was one of the products sold under Weymann, the Philadelphia-based brand of Weymann and Sons, established 1864. The'mandolutes' were mandolins, with 8 strings and tuned like as the same; the scale length is within the standard mandolin scale. They advertised using scientific principles to create vibrations and volume as well as sustained sweet and mellow tones, all in the same instrument. Weymann and Son was a Philadelphia company, manufacturers of Weymann and Keystone State musical instruments, they manufactured the mandolute during the early 20th century. They had a retail store on 1010 Chestnut Street, they advertised with advertisements pushing culture. Young men and women, sitting around in a formal parlor setting, playing music together on Weymann Mandolins, dancing together around a Victrola record player; the Mandolutes sold from $25 to $75 in 1913
The biwa is a Japanese short-necked fretted lute used in narrative storytelling. The biwa is the chosen instrument of Benten, goddess of music, eloquence and education in Japanese Buddisim; the origin of the biwa is the Chinese pipa. It arrived in Japan in two forms. Since that time, the number of biwa types has more than quadrupled. Guilds supporting biwa players the biwa hoshi, helped proliferate biwa musical development for hundreds of years. Biwa hōshi performances overlapped with performances by other biwa players many years before heikyoko and continues to this day; this overlap resulted in a rapid evolution of the biwa and its usage and made it one of the most popular instruments in Japan. Yet, in spite of its popularity, the Ōnin War and subsequent Warring States Period disrupted biwa teaching and decreased the number of proficient users. With the abolition of Todo in the Meiji period, biwa players lost their patronage. Furthermore, reforms stemming from the Meiji Restoration led to massive, rapid industrialization and modernization.
Japan modeled its development on Europe and the US, praising everything Western and condemning everything native. Traditions identifiably Japanese became associated with terms like backwards or primitive; such associations extended into areas like art and music, the biwa. By the late 1940s, the biwa, a Japanese tradition, was nearly abandoned for Western instruments. Japanese and foreign musicians alike have begun embracing traditional Japanese instruments the biwa, in their compositions. While blind biwa singers no longer dominate the biwa, many performers continue to use the instrument in traditional and modern ways; the biwa came to Japan in the 7th century and it was evolved from the Chinese instrument pipa, while the pipa itself was derived from similar instruments in Western Asia. This type of biwa is called the gaku-biwa and was used in gagaku ensembles and is the most known type. While the route is unclear, another type of biwa found its way to the Kyushu region, this thin biwa was used in ceremonies and religious rites.
Before long, as the Ritsuryō state collapsed, the court music musicians were faced with the reconstruction and sought asylum in Buddhist temples. There they encountered the mōsō-biwa, they incorporated the convenient aspects of mōsō-biwa, its small size and portability, into their large and heavy gaku-biwa, created the heike-biwa, which, as indicated by its namesake, was used for recitations of The Tale of the Heike. Through the next several centuries, players of both traditions intersected and developed new music styles and new instruments. By the Kamakura period, the heike-biwa had emerged as a popular instrument; the heike-biwa could be described as a cross between both the mōsō-biwa. It retained the rounded shape of the gaku-biwa and was played with a large plectrum like the mōsō-biwa; the heike biwa was small, like the mōsō-biwa and was used for similar purposes. While the modern satsuma-biwa and chikuzen-biwa both find their origin with the mōsō-biwa, the Satsuma biwa was used for moral and mental training by samurai of the Satsuma Domain during the Warring States period, in general performances.
The Chikuzen biwa was used by Buddhist monks visiting private residences to perform memorial services, not only for Buddhist rites, but for telling entertaining stories and news while accompanying themselves on the biwa, this form of storytelling was thought to be spread in this way. Not much seems to have been written about biwas from the 16th century to the mid-19th century. What is known is that three main streams of biwa emerged during that time: zato and chofu; these styles emphasized 琵琶歌 —vocalization with biwa accompaniment—and formed the foundation for 江戸歌 styles such as shinnai and kota. From these styles emerged the two principal survivors of the biwa tradition: satsuma-biwa and chikuzen-biwa. From the Meiji Era until the Pacific War, the satsuma-biwa and chikuzen-biwa were popular across Japan, and, at the beginning of the Showa Era, the nishiki-biwa was created and gained popularity. Of the remaining biwa traditions, only higo-biwa remains a style solely performed by blind persons in the post-war era.
The higo-biwa is related to the heike-biwa and relies on an oral-narrative tradition focusing on wars and legends. By the middle of the Meiji period, improvements had been made on the instruments and understandable songs were composed in quantity. In the beginning of the Taishō period, the Satsuma biwa was modified into the Nishiki biwa, popular among female players at the time. With this the biwa met a great period of prosperity, the songs themselves were not just about the Tale of the Heike but songs connected to the Sino-Japanese War and the Russo-Japanese War such as "Takeo Hirose", "Hitachimaru", "203 Hill" gained popularity. However, the playing of the biwa nearly became extinct during the Meiji period as Western music and instruments became popular, until players such as Tsuruta Kinshi and others revitalized the genre with modern playing styles and collaborations with Western composers. There are more than seven types of biwa, characterised by number of strings, sounds it could produce, type of plectrum, their use.
As the biwa does not play in tempered tuning, pitches are approx