Music notation or musical notation is any system used to visually represent aurally perceived music played with instruments or sung by the human voice through the use of written, printed, or otherwise-produced symbols. Types and methods of notation have varied between cultures and throughout history, much information about ancient music notation is fragmentary. In the same time period, such as in the 2010s, different styles of music and different cultures use different music notation methods; the symbols used include ancient symbols and modern symbols made upon any media such as symbols cut into stone, made in clay tablets, made using a pen on papyrus or parchment or manuscript paper. Although many ancient cultures used symbols to represent melodies and rhythms, none of them were comprehensive, this has limited today's understanding of their music; the seeds of what would become modern western notation were sown in medieval Europe, starting with the Catholic Church's goal for ecclesiastical uniformity.
The church began notating plainchant melodies so that the same chants could be used throughout the church. Music notation developed further in the Baroque music eras. In the classical period and the Romantic music era, notation continued to develop as new musical instrument technologies were developed. In the contemporary classical music of the 20th and 21st century, music notation has continued to develop, with the introduction of graphical notation by some modern composers and the use, since the 1980s, of computer-based score writer programs for notating music. Music notation has been adapted to many kinds of music, including classical music, popular music, traditional music; the earliest form of musical notation can be found in a cuneiform tablet, created at Nippur, in Babylonia, in about 1400 BC. The tablet represents fragmentary instructions for performing music, that the music was composed in harmonies of thirds, that it was written using a diatonic scale. A tablet from about 1250 BC shows a more developed form of notation.
Although the interpretation of the notation system is still controversial, it is clear that the notation indicates the names of strings on a lyre, the tuning of, described in other tablets. Although they are fragmentary, these tablets represent the earliest notated melodies found anywhere in the world. Ancient Greek musical notation was in use from at least the 6th century BC until the 4th century AD; the notation consists of symbols placed above text syllables. An example of a complete composition is the Seikilos epitaph, variously dated between the 2nd century BC to the 1st century AD. Three hymns by Mesomedes of Crete exist in manuscript; the Delphic Hymns, dated to the 2nd century BC use this notation, but they are not preserved. Ancient Greek notation appears to have fallen out of use around the time of the Decline of the Western Roman Empire. Byzantine music has survived as music for court ceremonies, including vocal religious music, it is not known if it is based on the monodic modal singing and instrumental music of Ancient Greece.
Greek theoretical categories played a key role to understand and transmit Byzantine music the tradition of Damascus had a strong impact on the pre-Islamic Near East comparable to Persian music. Unlike Western notation Byzantine neumes always indicate modal steps in relation to a clef or modal key; this key or the incipit of a common melody was enough to indicate a certain melodic model given within the echos. Despite ekphonetic notation further early melodic notation developed not earlier than between the 9th and the 10th century. Like the Greek alphabet notational signs are ordered left to right; the question of rhythm was based on cheironomia, well-known melodical phrases given by gestures of the choirleaders, which existed once as part of an oral tradition. Today the main difference between Western and Eastern neumes is that Eastern notation symbols are differential rather than absolute, i.e. they indicate pitch steps, the musicians know to deduce from the score and the note they are singing presently, which correct interval is meant.
These step symbols themselves, or better "phonic neumes", resemble brush strokes and are colloquially called gántzoi in Modern Greek. Notes as pitch classes or modal keys are represented in written form only between these neumes. In modern notation they serve as an optional reminder and modal and tempo directions have been added, if necessary. In Papadic notation medial signatures meant a temporary change into another echos; the so-called "great signs" were once related to cheironomic signs. Since Chrysanthos of Madytos there are seven standard note names used for "solfège" pá, vú, ghá, dhē, ké, zō, nē, while the older practice still used t
Stile concitato or "agitated style" is a Baroque style developed by Claudio Monteverdi with effects such as having rapid repeated notes and extended trills as symbols of bellicose agitation or anger. Kate Van Orden points out a precedent in Clément Janequin's "La Guerre". Agathe Sueur points out similarities and ambiguities between Monteverdi's genere concitato and stile concitato in rhetoric and poetry; some examples of stile concitato can be found in the following works: Claudio Monteverdi: Il Ritorno d'Ulisse in Patria Claudio Monteverdi: L'incoronazione di Poppea Claudio Monteverdi: Il Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda Giacomo Carissimi: Jephte Barbara Strozzi: Tradimento The earliest description of stile concitato comes from the forward to Madrigali guerrieri, et amorosi, Claudio Monteverdi’s eighth and final book of madrigals, published in 1638. Monteverdi wrote the following: “I have reflected that the principal passions or affections of our mind are three, anger and humility or supplication...
The art of music points to these three in its terms “agitated,” “soft,” and “moderate”. In all the works of former composers I have indeed found examples of the “soft” and the “moderate,” but never of the “agitated."Monteverdi developed the musical style of stile concitato to represent the human emotion of agitation. He considered Il combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda, one of the pieces from Madrigali guerrieri, et amorosi, to be the first instance of stile concitato. Stile concitato is represented musically in Il combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda through the rapid repetition of sixteenth notes
The flexatone or fleximetal is a modern percussion instrument consisting of a small flexible metal sheet suspended in a wire frame ending in a handle. Used in classic cartoons for its glissando effect, its sound is comparable to the musical saw. Flexatone percussion instrument. An invention for a flexatone occurs in the British Patent Records of 1922 and 1923. In 1924 the'Flex-a-tone' was patented in the USA by the Playatone Company of New York. "An instrument called the'Flex-a-tone' was patented in the U. S. A. in 1924 by the Playertone Company of New York. It was introduced as a new instrument, making'jazz jazzier' and announced as combining the tone effect of musical saw, orchestra bells, song whistle." "Small sheet of spring steel in a frame with wooden strikers mounted on either side. The player shakes the beater while bending the steel in order to change the pitch."The instrument was first used in 1920s jazz bands as an effect but is now and used in orchestral music. The flexatone is a small, flexible metal plate fastened to its frame at one end.
The plate is hit alternatively on each side by rubber or wooden beaters mounted on a clock spring. A tremolo is the normal effect, thumb pressure on the free end of the plate alone changes the pitch, resulting in a glissando from note to note... It is employed as an abstract effect, since it is notoriously difficult to play specified pitches with any accuracy—the thumb pressure to sharpen or flatten is subtle and difficult to gauge... The sound is quite clangy, a cross between the smoothness of a poor glockenspiel. Wooden knobs mounted on strips of spring steel lie on each side of the metal sheet; the player holds the flexatone in one hand with the palm around the wire frame and the thumb on the free end of the spring steel. The player shakes the instrument with a trembling movement which causes the beaters to strike the sides of the metal sheet. While shaking the handle, the musician makes a high- or low-pitched sound depending on the curve given to the blade by the pressure from his or her thumb: "As the thumb depresses the vibrating metal sheet, the relative pitch of the instrument ascends.
A vibrato is thus produced. While the instrument has a limited dynamic range, volume can be controlled by how vigorously or delicately the player shakes the Flexatone, it cannot be pretended that its scope or range are wide, but such as it is, it is quite irreplaceable. Its curious penetrating whine is created by rapid oscillation of the little wooden knob at the end of the thin flexible strips against the broad curving metal plate, whose curvature—and hence pitch—is controlled by the thumb; this effect cannot be emulated by any other means except the Ondes Martenot...or the musical saw. "Vibes make a acceptable alternative when the music is somewhat indeterminate anyway."An alternate technique involves removing the two wooden knobs and their mounting springs, using a small metal rod held in the free hand striking the strip of spring steel. The pitch is altered in the same manner as the previous technique. "This method give the player greater control of the sound of the flexatone as it eliminates the need to shake the instrument."
This method of playing results in a different, more constrained sound. The flexatone may be bowed along its edge with an orchestral string instrument bow; the flexatone is notated using tremolo lines to indicate shaking the instrument and lines to indicate the desired direction of the glissando or a wavy line to indicate alternating thumb pressure. If using the instrument with the balls removed, indicate strikes with single notes followed by arrows indicating the direction of the glissando, it is recommended that pitch designation should only be approximate, as, "specific pitches are difficult but possible. In contemporary music of the 20th century between around 1920 and 1970 the term "Flexatone" has been used on one hand for the instrument flexatone, on the other hand for the musical saw. Composers who used it for the musical saw were: Arthur Honegger, Ernst Krenek, Dmitri Shostakovich, Aram Khachaturian, Hans Werner Henze; the flexatone is sometimes heard in funk music, in pop music for special effect.
It is used in the soundtracks of films or cartoons to represent "ghosts" or other paranormal phenomena. The instrument is not used in classical music, but it appears in the work of Arnold Schoenberg, Hans Werner Henze, Sofia Gubaidulina, György Ligeti and others. Schoenberg employed it, "unrealistically...accurate bursts of spaced sounds being hardly obtainable with such abruptness," in his Variations for Orchestra Op.31 and his unfinished opera Moses und Aron. The cellist in Sofia Gubaidulina's The Canticle of the Sun plays a bowed flexatone before the final section. Alfred Schnittke used it in his Faust Cantata, in the Tuba Mirum movement of his Requiem, in his Viola Concerto, in his score for the ballet Peer Gynt, the flexatone represents the sound of the moaning wind. György Ligeti used it in many of his works, such as his 1988 concerto for pia
An electric guitar is a guitar that uses one or more pickups to convert the vibration of its strings into electrical signals. The vibration occurs when a guitar player strums, fingerpicks, slaps or taps the strings; the pickup uses electromagnetic induction to create this signal, which being weak is fed into a guitar amplifier before being sent to the speaker, which converts it into audible sound. The electric signal can be electronically altered to change the timbre of the sound; the signal is modified using effects such as reverb, distortion and "overdrive". Invented in 1931, the electric guitar was adopted by jazz guitar players, who wanted to play single-note guitar solos in large big band ensembles. Early proponents of the electric guitar on record include Les Paul, Lonnie Johnson, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, T-Bone Walker, Charlie Christian. During the 1950s and 1960s, the electric guitar became the most important instrument in popular music, it has evolved into an instrument, capable of a multitude of sounds and styles in genres ranging from pop and rock to country music and jazz.
It served as a major component in the development of electric blues and roll, rock music, heavy metal music and many other genres of music. Electric guitar design and construction varies in the shape of the body and the configuration of the neck and pickups. Guitars may have a fixed bridge or a spring-loaded hinged bridge, which lets players "bend" the pitch of notes or chords up or down, or perform vibrato effects; the sound of an electric guitar can be modified by new playing techniques such as string bending and hammering-on, using audio feedback, or slide guitar playing. There are several types of electric guitar, including: the solid-body guitar. In pop and rock music, the electric guitar is used in two roles: as a rhythm guitar, which plays the chord sequences or progressions, riffs, sets the beat. In a small group, such as a power trio, one guitarist switches between both roles. In large rock and metal bands, there is a rhythm guitarist and a lead guitarist. Many experiments at electrically amplifying the vibrations of a string instrument were made dating back to the early part of the 20th century.
Patents from the 1910s show telephone transmitters were adapted and placed inside violins and banjos to amplify the sound. Hobbyists in the 1920s used carbon button microphones attached to the bridge. With numerous people experimenting with electrical instruments in the 1920s and early 1930s, there are many claimants to have been the first to invent an electric guitar. Electric guitars were designed by acoustic guitar makers and instrument manufacturers; the demand for amplified guitars began during the big band era. The first electric guitars used in jazz were hollow archtop acoustic guitar bodies with electromagnetic transducers. Early electric guitar manufacturers include Rickenbacker in 1932; the first electrically amplified stringed instrument to be marketed commercially was designed in 1931 by George Beauchamp, the general manager of the National Guitar Corporation, with Paul Barth, vice president. The maple body prototype for the one-piece cast aluminium "frying pan" was built by Harry Watson, factory superintendent of the National Guitar Corporation.
Commercial production began in late summer of 1932 by the Ro-Pat-In Corporation, in Los Angeles, a partnership of Beauchamp, Adolph Rickenbacker, Paul Barth. In 1934, the company was renamed the Rickenbacker Electro Stringed Instrument Company. In that year Beauchamp applied for a United States patent for an Electrical Stringed Musical Instrument and the patent was issued in 1937. By early-mid 1935, Electro String Instrument Corporation had achieved mainstream success with the A-22 "Frying Pan" steel guitar, set out to capture a new audience through its release of the Electro-Spanish Model B and the Electro-Spanish Ken Roberts, the first full 25" scale electric guitar produced; the Electro-Spanish Ken Roberts was revolutionary for its time, providing players a full 25" scale, with easy access to 17 frets free of the body. Unlike other lap-steel electrified instruments produced during the time, the Electro-Spanish Ken Roberts was designed to play standing vertical, upright with a strap; the Electro-Spanish Ken Roberts was the first instrument to feature a hand-operated vibrato as a standard appointment, a device called the "Vibrola," invented by Doc Kauffman.
It is estimated that fewer than 50 Electro-Spanish Ken Roberts were constructed between 1933 and 1937. The solid-body electric guitar is made without functionally resonating air spaces; the first solid-body Spanish standard guitar was offered by Vivi-Tone no than 1934. This model featured a guitar-shaped body of a single sheet
A percussion instrument is a musical instrument, sounded by being struck or scraped by a beater. The percussion family is believed to include the oldest musical instruments, following the human voice; the percussion section of an orchestra most contains instruments such as timpani, snare drum, bass drum, cymbals and tambourine. However, the section can contain non-percussive instruments, such as whistles and sirens, or a blown conch shell. Percussive techniques can be applied to the human body, as in body percussion. On the other hand, keyboard instruments, such as the celesta, are not part of the percussion section, but keyboard percussion instruments such as the glockenspiel and xylophone are included. Percussion instruments are most divided into two classes: Pitched percussion instruments, which produce notes with an identifiable pitch, unpitched percussion instruments, which produce notes or sounds without an identifiable pitch. Percussion instruments may play not only rhythm, but melody and harmony.
Percussion is referred to as "the backbone" or "the heartbeat" of a musical ensemble working in close collaboration with bass instruments, when present. In jazz and other popular music ensembles, the pianist, bassist and sometimes the guitarist are referred to as the rhythm section. Most classical pieces written for full orchestra since the time of Haydn and Mozart are orchestrated to place emphasis on the strings and brass; however at least one pair of timpani is included, though they play continuously. Rather, they serve to provide additional accents. In the 18th and 19th centuries, other percussion instruments have been used, again sparingly; the use of percussion instruments became more frequent in the 20th century classical music. In every style of music, percussion plays a pivotal role. In military marching bands and pipes and drums, it is the beat of the bass drum that keeps the soldiers in step and at a regular speed, it is the snare that provides that crisp, decisive air to the tune of a regiment.
In classic jazz, one immediately thinks of the distinctive rhythm of the hi-hats or the ride cymbal when the word "swing" is spoken. In more recent popular music culture, it is impossible to name three or four rock, hip-hop, funk or soul charts or songs that do not have some sort of percussive beat keeping the tune in time; because of the diversity of percussive instruments, it is not uncommon to find large musical ensembles composed of percussion. Rhythm and harmony are all represented in these ensembles. Music for pitched percussion instruments can be notated on a staff with the same treble and bass clefs used by many non-percussive instruments. Music for percussive instruments without a definite pitch can be notated with a specialist rhythm or percussion-clef. Percussion instruments are classified by various criteria sometimes depending on their construction, ethnic origin, function within musical theory and orchestration, or their relative prevalence in common knowledge; the word "percussion" derives from Latin the terms: "percussio", "percussus".
As a noun in contemporary English, Wiktionary describes it as "the collision of two bodies to produce a sound." The term has application in medicine and weaponry, as in percussion cap. However, all known uses of percussion appear to share a similar lineage beginning with the original Latin: "percussus". In a musical context the percussion instruments may have been coined to describe a family of musical instruments including drums, metal plates, or blocks that musicians beat or struck to produce sound. Hornbostel–Sachs has no high-level section for percussion. Most percussion instruments are classified as membranophones; however the term percussion is instead used at lower-levels of the Hornbostel–Sachs hierarchy, including to identify instruments struck with either a non-sonorous object or against a non-sonorous object. This is opposed to concussion, which refers to instruments with two or more complementary sonorous parts that strike against each other and other meanings. For example: 111.1 Concussion idiophones or clappers, played in pairs and beaten against each other, such as zills and clapsticks.
111.2 Percussion idiophones, includes many percussion instruments played with the hand or by a percussion mallet, such as the hang and the xylophone, but not drums and only some cymbals. 21 Struck drums, includes most types of drum, such as the timpani, snare drum, tom-tom. (Included in most drum sets or 412.12 Percussion reeds, a class of wind instrument unrelated to percussion in the more common sense There are many instruments that have some claim to being percussion, but are classified otherwise: Keyboard instruments such as the celesta and piano. Stringed instruments played with beaters such as the hammered dulcimer. Unpitched whistles and similar instruments, such as the pea whistle and Acme siren. Percussion instruments are sometimes classified as "pitched" or "unpitched". While valid, this classification is seen as inadequate. Rather, it may be more informative to describe percussion instruments in regards to one or more of the following four paradigms: Many texts, including Teaching Percussion by Gary Cook of the University of Arizona, begin by studying the physica
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
Vibrato systems for guitar
A vibrato system on a guitar is a mechanical device used to temporarily change the pitch of the strings. Instruments without a vibrato have other tailpiece systems, they add vibrato to the sound by changing the tension of the strings at the bridge or tailpiece of an electric guitar using a controlling lever. The lever enables the player to and temporarily vary the tension and sometimes length of the strings, changing the pitch to create a vibrato, portamento, or pitch bend effect; the pitch-bending effects have become an important part of many styles, allowing creation of sounds that could not be played without the device, such as the 1980s-era shred guitar "dive bombing" effect. The mechanical vibrato systems began as a device for more producing the vibrato effects that blues and jazz guitarists had achieved on arch top guitars by manipulating the tailpiece with their picking hand. Guitar makers developed a variety of vibrato systems since the 1920s. A vibrato-equipped guitar is more difficult to tune than a fixed-tailpiece guitar.
Since the regular appearance of mechanical vibrato systems in the 1950s, many guitarists have used them—from Chet Atkins to Duane Eddy and the surf music of The Ventures, The Shadows, Dick Dale. In the 1960s and 1970s, Jimi Hendrix, Jeff Beck, David Gilmour, Ritchie Blackmore, Jimmy Page, Frank Zappa used vibrato arms for more pronounced effects. In the 1980s, shred guitarists Eddie Van Halen, Eric Johnson, Joe Satriani and Steve Vai, metal guitarists Ritchie Blackmore, Kirk Hammett, Terje Rypdal, David Torn and David Duhig used vibrato in a range of metal-influenced styles; some electric guitarists have reversed the normal meanings of the terms vibrato and tremolo when referring to hardware devices and the effects they produce. This reversal of terminology is attributed to Leo Fender and the naming of his 1954 Stratocaster mechanical vibrato system as a "Tremolo Device for Stringed Instruments". Additionally, the 1956 Fender "Vibrolux" guitar amplifier, used electronically generated tremolo that Fender called “vibrato”.
Other classic guitar amplifiers contain electronic “vibrato units” which produce a tremolo effect via a tremolo circuit. This confusion of terms persists. While the "tremolo arm" can produce variations of pitch, including vibrato, it cannot produce tremolo. Other used names for the device include "vibrato bar" and "whammy bar", the latter attributed to guitarist Lonnie Mack's aggressive, rapid manipulation of the pitch-bending device in his 1963 song "Wham!". It has been called a "whang bar". Most vibrato systems for guitar are based on one of four basic designs: Bigsby Vibrato Tailpiece, introduced in the late 1940s and used in close to original form on many guitars Fender Synchronized Tremolo or strat trem, introduced on the Fender Stratocaster, which inspired many designs, including: Floyd Rose locking tremolo G&L Dual-fulcrum Vibrato, designed by Leo Fender Fender two-point synchronized tremolo Fender Floating Bridge, which has two main variants: Fender Floating Tremolo or jag trem, introduced on the Fender Jazzmaster Fender Dynamic Vibrato or stang trem, introduced on the Fender Mustang Cam-driven designs based on pedal steel guitar concepts, include: Kahler Tremolo System Washburn Wonderbar Stetsbar tremolo Many other designs exist in smaller numbers, notably several original designs marketed by Gibson under the Vibrola name, which they used for some licensed Bigsby units.
A design patented in 2006 from Trem King uses a fixed bridge with a moving tone block. The world's first patented mechanical vibrato unit was designed by Doc Kauffman; the initial patent was filed in August 1929 and was published in 1932. Between 1920 and 1980 Kauffman collaborated with many pioneering guitar manufacturers including Rickenbacker and Fender. In the late 1930s Rickenbacker produced the first commercial batch of electric Spanish guitars, utilizing the Kauffman "Vib-rol-a" as a stock option, thus setting precedence for electric guitars produced by Fender and Gibson; the Epiphone guitar company first offered the Vibrola as an option on some archtop guitars from 1935 to 1937. Epiphone sold the Vibrola as an aftermarket option as well; this Vibrola was used on some Rickenbacker lap steel guitars at around the same time and was introduced on their six string'Electro Spanish' guitars beginning about 1937. Some early Vibrolas on Rickenbacker guitars were not operated by hand, but rather moved with an electrical mechanism developed by Doc Kauffman to simulate the pitch manipulation available with steel guitars.
The Vibrola distributed as an option with Rickenbacker Electro Spanish guitars was hand operated like the earliest Epiphone Vibrolas. A unit was created and used on Rickenbacker's Capri line of guitars in the 1950s, such as John Lennon's 1958 Rickenbacker 325, it was a side-to-side action vibrato unit, notorious for throwing the guitar out of tune, hence Lennon's replacing his with a Bigsby B5 unit.. The first commercially successful vibrato system for guitar was the Bigsby vibrato tailpiece just called a Bigsby, invented by Paul Bigsby; the exact date of its first availability is uncertain, as Bigsby kept few records, but it was on Bigsby-built guitars photographed in 1952, in what became its standard form. In several interviews, the late Merle Travis