The cimbalom is a type of chordophone composed of a large, trapezoidal box with metal strings stretched across its top. It is a musical instrument found in the group of Central-Eastern European nations and cultures, namely contemporary Hungary, Czech Republic, Romania, Ukraine and Poland, it is popular in Greece and in gypsy music. The cimbalom is played by striking two beaters against the strings; the steel treble strings are tuned in unison. The bass strings which are over-spun with copper, are arranged in groups of 3 and are tuned in unison; the Hornbostel–Sachs musical instrument classification system registers the cimbalom with the number 314.122-4,5. Moreover, the instrument name “cimbalom” denotes earlier, smaller versions of the cimbalom, folk cimbaloms, of different tone groupings, string arrangements, box types. In English, the cimbalom spelling is the most common, followed by the variants, derived from Austria-Hungary’s languages, cimbál, cymbalum, țambal and tsimbl etc. Santur, sandouri and a number of other non Austro-Hungarian names are sometimes applied to this instrument in regions beyond Austria-Hungary which have their own names for related instruments of the struck zither or hammered dulcimer family.
The first representation of a simple struck chordophone can be found in the Assyrian bas-relief in Kyindjuk dated back to 3500 BC. Since that time divergent versions of this percussive stretched-string instrument have developed in many far-flung regions of the world. Struck chordophones are sometimes generically referred to as being in the "hammered dulcimer" family, they are, formally classified as struck zithers under Hornbostel-Sachs. Building on the struck chordophones common to the region, the Hungarian concert cimbalom was designed and created by V. Josef Schunda in 1874 in Budapest; the impetus to create such an elaborate instrument – a more formal "concert" cimbalom – was in part, born out of a broader effort to establish a stronger 18th-century Hungarian national identity. This included a nationwide movement to "break away" from strong associations that confused Hungarian cultural identity with that of the Romany people; this confusion between cultures extended to perceptions abroad that conflated Hungarian traditional musical identity, with that of Romani musicians, who were seen on street corners throughout Budapest playing the more modest cimbaloms that were common.
Schunda began serial production of his concert cimbalom in 1874, manufacturing them in a piano shop located on Hajós utca, across the street from the Budapest Opera House in Pest. Thanks, in part, to attention given at the 1878 World's Fair in Paris, Schunda's concert cimbalom enjoyed a surge in national popularity in Hungary – being performed on by cimbalists of all Hungarian ethnic groups – including folk, Jewish and Romani musicians; the encounter and collaboration between Romani cimbalist Aladár Rácz and composer Igor Stravinsky in Geneva in 1915 gave birth to a global interest in Schunda's concert cimbalom. Folk hammered dulcimers have unique regional names around the globe. Throughout central and eastern Europe they are referred to as "cimbalom"; these instruments can differ from each other in size, number of strings and method of holding and moving the hammers or "beaters". They are more portable than the concert cimbalom. In performance they were carried by a single musician: using a strap around the player's neck and leaning one edge of the instrument against the waist.
Like the concert cimbalom, the folk hammered dulcimer / small cimbalom is played by striking the strings with two beaters. However, these are much shorter than the beaters used with the concert cimbalom, without soft coverings over the area which strikes the string; these instruments lacked damper mechanisms. Tunings are partially chromatic or diatonic rather than the chromatic tuning of the concert cimbalom, they can vary regionally. Construction of these instruments is more related to the particular style of music played on them than is the case with the concert cimbalom. In addition to the emergence of the concert cimbalom in Hungary, some other regions in Eastern Europe further developed their local version of folk dulcimer and more formal schools of playing followed; the concert cimbalom developed by József Schunda in 1874 in Budapest, Hungary was closer in its range of pitch, dynamic projection and weight to the proportions of a small piano than the various folk hammered dulcimers had been.
The Schunda cimbalom was equipped with a heavier frame for dynamic power. It included many more string courses for extended range and incorporated a damper pedal which allowed for more dynamic control. Four detachable legs were added to support this much larger instrument; the concert cimbalom continues to be played with beaters although other playing techniques are used. Concert instruments from Schunda onward are chromatic; the Schunda tuning system established a standard pitch range of four octaves plus a major 3rd. The concert cimbalom found its way to other areas of the Austro-Hungarian empire, such as Romania and Ukraine, as well as Moldova. In Romania, the large cimbalom is known as the țambal mare; the cimbalom has continued its development and modern concert instruments ar
The chelys, was a stringed musical instrument, the common lyre of the ancient Greeks, which had a convex back of tortoiseshell or of wood shaped like the shell. The word chelys was used in allusion to the oldest lyre of the Greeks, said to have been invented by Hermes. According to the Homeric Hymn to Hermes, he came across a tortoise near the threshold of his mother's home and decided to hollow out the shell to make the soundbox of an instrument with seven strings; the word has been applied arbitrarily since classic times to various stringed instruments, some bowed and some plucked owing to the back being much vaulted. Athanasius Kircher applied the name of chelys to a kind of viol with eight strings. Numerous representations of the chelys lyre or testudo occur on Greek vases, in which the actual tortoiseshell is depicted. A good illustration is given in Le Antichità di Ercolano. Propertius calls the instrument the lyra testudinea. Joseph Justus Scaliger was the first writer to draw attention to the difference between the chelys and the kithara.
The acoustics of an authentically reconstructed ancient Greek tortoise-shell lyre, known as chelys, was investigated recently. Modern experimental methods were employed, such as electronic speckle pattern laser interferometry and impulse response, to extract the vibrational behavior of the instrument and its main parts. Additionally, the emitted sound from the instrument was recorded, under controlled conditions, spectrally analyzed. Major findings include the concentration of the emitted sound between 400 Hz and 800 Hz, with an amplitude modified in a manner consistent with the experimentally measured vibrational characteristics of the instrument’s sound box and bridge; the experimental results validate the historical evidence that chelys was used in Greek antiquity as an accompaniment instrument to the human voice. This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Kathleen. "Chelys". In Chisholm, Hugh. Encyclopædia Britannica. 6. Cambridge University Press. P. 26. Chelys-Lyra, Greece, 400 BCE
A mandolin is a stringed musical instrument in the lute family and is plucked with a plectrum or "pick". It has four courses of doubled metal strings tuned in unison, although five and six course versions exist; the courses are tuned in a succession of perfect fifths. It is the soprano member of a family that includes the mandola, octave mandolin and mandobass. There are many styles of mandolin, but three are common, the Neapolitan or round-backed mandolin, the carved-top mandolin and the flat-backed mandolin; the round-back has a deep bottom, constructed of strips of wood, glued together into a bowl. The carved-top or arch-top mandolin has a much shallower, arched back, an arched top—both carved out of wood; the flat-backed mandolin uses thin sheets of wood for the body, braced on the inside for strength in a similar manner to a guitar. Each style of instrument is associated with particular forms of music. Neapolitan mandolins feature prominently in traditional music. Carved-top instruments are common in American folk music and bluegrass music.
Flat-backed instruments are used in Irish and Brazilian folk music. Some modern Brazilian instruments feature an extra fifth course tuned a fifth lower than the standard fourth course. Other mandolin varieties differ in the number of strings and include four-string models such as the Brescian and Cremonese, six-string types such as the Milanese and the Sicilian and 6 course instruments of 12 strings such as the Genoese. There has been a twelve-string type and an instrument with sixteen-strings. Much of mandolin development revolved around the soundboard. Pre-mandolin instruments were quiet instruments, strung with as many as six courses of gut strings, were plucked with the fingers or with a quill. However, modern instruments are louder—using four courses of metal strings, which exert more pressure than the gut strings; the modern soundboard is designed to withstand the pressure of metal strings that would break earlier instruments. The soundboard comes in many shapes—but round or teardrop-shaped, sometimes with scrolls or other projections.
There is one or more sound holes in the soundboard, either round, oval, or shaped like a calligraphic f. A round or oval sound hole may be bordered with decorative rosettes or purfling. Mandolins evolved from the lute family in Italy during the 17th and 18th centuries, the deep bowled mandolin, produced in Naples, became common in the 19th century. Dating to c. 13,000 BC, a cave painting in the Trois Frères cave in France depicts what some believe is a musical bow, a hunting bow used as a single-stringed musical instrument. From the musical bow, families of stringed instruments developed. In turn, this led to being able to play chords. Another innovation occurred when the bow harp was straightened out and a bridge used to lift the strings off the stick-neck, creating the lute; this picture of musical bow to harp bow has been contested. In 1965 Franz Jahnel wrote his criticism stating that the early ancestors of plucked instruments are not known, he felt that the harp bow was a long cry from the sophistication of the 4th-century BC civilization that took the primitive technology and created "technically and artistically well made harps, lyres and lutes."
Musicologists have put forth examples of that 4th-century BC technology, looking at engraved images that have survived. The earliest image showing a lute-like instrument came from Mesopotamia prior to 3000 BC. A cylinder seal from c. 3100 BC or earlier shows. From the surviving images, theororists have categorized the Mesopotamian lutes, showing that they developed into a long variety and a short; the line of long lutes may have developed into pandura. The line of short lutes was further developed to the east of Mesopotamia, in Bactria and Northwest India, shown in sculpture from the 2nd century BC through the 4th or 5th centuries AD. Bactria and Gandhara became part of the Sasanian Empire. Under the Sasanians, a short almond shaped lute from Bactria came to be called the barbat or barbud, developed into the Islamic world's oud or ud; when the Moors conquered Andalusia in 711 AD, they brought their ud along, into a country that had known a lute tradition under the Romans, the pandura. During the 8th and 9th centuries, many musicians and artists from across the Islamic world flocked to Iberia.
Among them was Abu l-Hasan ‘Ali Ibn Nafi‘, a prominent musician who had trained under Ishaq al-Mawsili in Baghdad and was exiled to Andalusia before 833 AD. He taught and has been credited with adding a fifth string to his oud and with establishing one of the first schools of music in Córdoba. By the 11th century, Muslim Iberia had become a center for the manufacture of instruments; these goods spread to Provence, influencing French troubadours and trouvères and reaching the rest of Europe. Beside the introduction of the lute to Spain by the Moors, another important point of transfer of the lute from Arabian to European culture was Sicily, where it was brought either by Byzantine or by Muslim musicians. There were singer-lutenists at the court in Palermo following the N
Zampogna is a generic term for a number of Italian double chantered pipes that can be found as far north as the southern part of the Marche, throughout areas in Abruzzo, Molise, Campania and Sicily. The tradition is now associated with Christmas, the most famous Italian carol, "Tu scendi dalle stelle" is derived from traditional zampogna music. However, there is an ongoing resurgence of the instrument in secular use seen with the increasing number of folk music festivals and folk music ensembles. All chanters and drones are fixed into a single round stock; each chanter is tuned differently, according to the tradition it represents, there are dozens. The double-reeded versions will have a soprano chanter on the right and a bass chanter on the left with an alto drone; the single reed versions consist of the "surdullina" types of the Province of Cosenza and Catanzaro, the ciaramella or ciaramedda of Messina and Catania in Sicily, as well as in Southern Calabria. The surdullina is a short chantered version of the instrument, used to play tarantellas while the ciaramedda can play all of the traditional regional melodies the other types can.
The traditional reeds are made from stalks of the Giant Reed Arundo donax, called "canna marina" in Italian. The double reed versions may be made from plastic; the single reeds are made from a single section of the cane. Traditionally the bags are made from goat hides that are removed from the slaughtered animal in one piece, turned inside out tied off just in front of the rear legs, one of the front legs serving to house the blow pipe with its simple leather valve, the other tied off; the typical round stock into which both chanters and drones are fixed goes into the neck of the skin. The hair is left on, is contained in the inside of the bag. Today, some pipers are substituting the traditional goat and sheep hide bags with a rubber inner tube or wintex, covered with an artificial fleece; this practice of using the synthetic bag is popular among the pipers from Scapoli in the Molise region, those of Atina in Latium. The double reeded version of the Zampogna is played with the piffero, which plays the melody and the zampogna provides chord changes, "vamping" or rhythmic harmony figures or a bass line and a soprano harmony as accompaniment.
This double reed tradition would include the Ciociaria, that of southern Basilicata and nearby areas of Calabria, some areas of Sicily. Single reed versions are played solo in the Calabrian tradition of the surdullina, a version with a plugged chanter called the "surdullina Albanese," and the Sicilian ciaramedda or ciaramèddha; the chanters and drones vary, according to the tradition, from a few inches long to nearly two meters in length, such as used in the cathedral of Monreale and nearly every size in between. The pipes are related to the Sardinian launeddas, a single reed "triple clarinet" comprising two chanters and a drone and played in the mouth by circular breathing; the word "zampogna" is etymologically related to the Greek sumfōnia, meaning "concord or unison of sound" and applied to a type of bagpipe. It cognates to tsampouna, the word for the Greek island bagpipe, itself a reborrowing of zampogna, its Romanian counterpart is cimpoi, which means "symphony" or "many sounds played together" and Georgian čiboni.
There is the Museo della Zampogna in Scapoli, Molise. In 2010 a feature-length documentary about the zampogna was published entitled, Zampogna: The Soul of Southern Italy Bagpipes Music of Sicily Music of Italy Types of bagpipes Documentary film on the Italian bagpipe Zampogna italiana Zampogna page Zampogna page Zampogna audio http://www.suonidellaterra.com https://web.archive.org/web/20090116183633/http://www.zampognari.org:80/ Zampogna page
Phorminx is a genus of cylindrical bark beetles. The phorminx was one of the oldest of the Ancient Greek stringed musical instruments, intermediate between the lyre and the kithara, it consisted of two to richly decorated arms and a crescent-shaped sound box. It probably originated from Mesopotamia. While it seems to have been common in Homer's day, accompanying the rhapsodes, it was supplanted in historical times by the seven-stringed kithara; the term phorminx continued to be used as an archaism in poetry. The term phorminx is sometimes used in both ancient and modern writing to refer to all four instruments of the lyre family collectively: barbitos kithara lyre phorminx Ancient Greek Instruments, Homo Ecumenicus
The Cretan lyra is a Greek pear-shaped, three-stringed bowed musical instrument, central to the traditional music of Crete and other islands in the Dodecanese and the Aegean Archipelago, in Greece. The Cretan lyra is considered to be the most popular surviving form of the medieval Byzantine lyra, an ancestor of most European bowed instruments; the lyra is held vertically on the player's lap, in the same way as a small viol, rather than being placed under the chin of the player like a violin. For normal right-handed playing, the player's right hand holds the bow; the strings are stopped by pressing the fingernails of the player's left hand against the side of the string, rather than by pressing the string against the fingerboard. This gives it a different tone from the violin. Older lyras have one string, not fingered and is used as a drone, playing the same note while tunes are played on the other two strings The Cretan lyra is related to the bowed Byzantine lyra, the ancestor of many European bowed instruments, to the rabāb, found in Islamic empires of that time.
The 9th-century Persian geographer Ibn Khurradadhbih, in his lexicographical discussion of instruments, cited the lyra as a typical instrument of the Byzantines along with the urghun and the salandj. The Byzantine lyra spread westward through Europe with uncertain evolution. Bowed instruments similar to the Cretan lyra and direct descendants of the Byzantine lyra have continued to be played in many post-Byzantine regions until the present day with small changes, for example the Gadulka in Bulgaria, the bowed Calabrian lira in Italy and the Classical Kemenche in Istanbul, Turkey. With regard to the period of introduction of the bowed instrument in the island, there are four schools of thought: The Byzantine lyra was introduced after 961 AD, when the island was reconquered from Arabs by the Byzantine Empire under the command of Nikephoros Phokas. At that time, noble families from Constantinople were sent to settle on Crete to inject new life and replenish the Greek population, who introduced many Byzantine traditions from Constantinople.
The lyra was introduced from the islands of the Dodecanese, entered the island through the eastern town of Sitia, the neighbor of Kassos and Karpathos. The lyra was introduced into the island's traditions as a popular element of the Byzantine music and tradition, in a similar manner that lyra was introduced in other regions. By the local tradition, the Cretan lyra has been spontaneous developed in the island of Crete some time before the year 961 AD and after the Byzantine invasion of Nikephoros Phokas it's been adopted by the Byzantine panspermia among other treasures from Crete, to Istanbul, from there, spread east and west. Over the centuries and during the island's Venetian era, the violin exerted its influence on the music of Crete both under the organological and musical aspect, bringing about profound changes in the instrument's repertory, organology, musical language and performance practice. There are three major types of Cretan lyras: the lyraki, a small model of lyra identical to the Byzantine lyra, used only for the performance of dances the vrontolyra, which has a strong sound, ideal for accompaniment of songs the common lyra, popular in the island today.
The influence of the violin caused the transformation of many features of the old form of Cretan Lyra into the contemporary lyra, including its tuning, performance practice, repertory. In 1920, the viololyra was developed in an effort by local instrument manufacturers to give the sound and the technical possibilities of the violin to the old Byzantine lyraki. Twenty years a new combination of lyraki and violin gave birth to the common lyra. Other types include the four-stringed lyra. In 1990, Ross Daly designed a new type of Cretan lyra which incorporates elements of lyraki, the Byzantine lyra and the Indian sarangi; the result was a lyra with three playing strings of 29 cm in length, 18 sympathetic strings which resonate on Indian-styled jawari bridges. The Lyra has a body with a pear-shaped soundboard, or one, oval in shape, with two small semi-circular soundholes; the body and neck are carved out of one piece of aged wood. Traditionally the body's wood was sourced from trees growing in Crete such as walnut and asfadamos, the local plane tree.
The soundboard is carved with a shallower arch and is made of straight-grained softwood: traditionally the aged wooden beams of buildings and, ideally the 300-year-old wooden beams from Venetian ruins. In the past, the strings were made of the bow of horse-tail hair. In the past, the bow's arc had a series of spherical bells, gerakokoudouna, to provide rhythmic accompaniment to the melody when the bow was moving. Today, most lyras are played with violin bows. A method for the vibration analysis and characterization of the Cretan lyre top plates was reported in 2006; the old model of t
String instruments, stringed instruments, or chordophones are musical instruments that produce sound from vibrating strings when the performer plays or sounds the strings in some manner. Musicians play some string instruments by plucking the strings with their fingers or a plectrum—and others by hitting the strings with a light wooden hammer or by rubbing the strings with a bow. In some keyboard instruments, such as the harpsichord, the musician presses a key that plucks the string. With bowed instruments, the player pulls a rosined horsehair bow across the strings, causing them to vibrate. With a hurdy-gurdy, the musician cranks. Bowed instruments include the string section instruments of the Classical music orchestra and a number of other instruments. All of the bowed string instruments can be plucked with the fingers, a technique called "pizzicato". A wide variety of techniques are used to sound notes on the electric guitar, including plucking with the fingernails or a plectrum, strumming and "tapping" on the fingerboard and using feedback from a loud, distorted guitar amplifier to produce a sustained sound.
Some types of string instrument are plucked, such as the harp and the electric bass. In the Hornbostel-Sachs scheme of musical instrument classification, used in organology, string instruments are called chordophones. Other examples include the sitar, banjo, mandolin and bouzouki. In most string instruments, the vibrations are transmitted to the body of the instrument, which incorporates some sort of hollow or enclosed area; the body of the instrument vibrates, along with the air inside it. The vibration of the body of the instrument and the enclosed hollow or chamber make the vibration of the string more audible to the performer and audience; the body of most string instruments is hollow. Some, however—such as electric guitar and other instruments that rely on electronic amplification—may have a solid wood body. Dating to around c. 13,000 BC, a cave painting in the Trois Frères cave in France depicts what some believe is a musical bow, a hunting bow used as a single-stringed musical instrument.
From the musical bow, families of stringed instruments developed. In turn, this led to being able to play chords. Another innovation occurred when the bow harp was straightened out and a bridge used to lift the strings off the stick-neck, creating the lute; this picture of musical bow to harp bow has been contested. In 1965 Franz Jahnel wrote his criticism stating that the early ancestors of plucked instruments are not known, he felt that the harp bow was a long cry from the sophistication of the 4th-century BC civilization that took the primitive technology and created "technically and artistically well-made harps, lyres and lutes."Archaeological digs have identified some of the earliest stringed instruments in Ancient Mesopotamian sites, like the lyres of Ur, which include artifacts over three thousand years old. The development of lyre instruments required the technology to create a tuning mechanism to tighten and loosen the string tension. Lyres with wooden bodies and strings used for plucking or playing with a bow represent key instruments that point towards harps and violin-type instruments.
Musicologists have put forth examples of that 4th-century BC technology, looking at engraved images that have survived. The earliest image showing a lute-like instrument came from Mesopotamia prior to 3000 BC. A cylinder seal from c. 3100 BC or earlier shows. From the surviving images, theororists have categorized the Mesopotamian lutes, showing that they developed into a long variety and a short; the line of long lutes may have developed into pandura. The line of short lutes was further developed to the east of Mesopotamia, in Bactria and Northwest India, shown in sculpture from the 2nd century BC through the 4th or 5th centuries AD. During the medieval era, instrument development varied from country to country. Middle Eastern rebecs represented breakthroughs in terms of shape and strings, with a half a pear shape using three strings. Early versions of the violin and fiddle, by comparison, emerged in Europe through instruments such as the gittern, a four-stringed precursor to the guitar, basic lutes.
These instruments used catgut and other materials, including silk, for their strings. String instrument design refined during the Renaissance and into the Baroque period of musical history. Violins and guitars became more consistent in design and were similar to what we use in the 2000s and into the present day; the violins of the Renaissance featured intricate woodwork and stringing, while more elaborate bass instruments such as the bandora were produced alongside quill-plucked citterns, Spanish body guitars. In the 19th century, string instruments were made more available through mass production, with wood string instruments a key part of orchestras – cellos and upright basses, for example, were now standard instruments for chamber ensembles and smaller orchestras. At the same time, the 19th-century guitar became more associated with six string models, rather than traditional five string versions. Major changes to string instruments in the 20th century involved innovations in electro