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COM10003 Learning and Communicating Online
Transcript of COM10003 Learning and Communicating Online
Musical Instruments: An online informational resource
The double bass is a string instrument that originated from the bass viol or violone (“Double Bass,” 2005, p. 36). An illustration from 1516 is the first known documentation of the double bass (Slatford, 1980), although it wasn’t until the 18th century that the double bass became more popular and widespread (Slatford, 1980).
This presentation offers a concise insight into selected musical instruments, in regards to their history, construction, noted musicians and classification. Briefly examining the history and construction of the piano, the flute, the double bass and cymbals. The presentation further identifies noted musicians of each instrument and the instrument's classification grouping. Critically reflecting on a number of the criteria identified by Metzger (2007), to assess and evaluate the accuracy, authority and objectivity of each of the research materials. In order to determine the high level of currency, credibility and reliability of the sources used throughout the presentation (Metzger, 2007).
Powers (2000) and Blom (1961, p. 724) consider the invention of the pianoforte to be the first example of the piano. It was created in Italy during the early 18th century and is work of Bartolomeo Cristofori (Powers, 2000). Cristofori's invention of a sophisticated stringed keyboard instrument with a unique hammer mechanism transformed the plucking action of the harpsichord (Powers 2000).
Construction of the Flute
Originally flutes were constructed from woods, silver and metals (Wade-Matthews, 2000). The modern flute invented
by Theobald Boehm, is formed into a cylindrical tube shape using silver, gold or platinum alloys. Boehm reshaped and
re-figured the hole spacing and the mechanism of the keys ("Theobald Boehm," 2014, p. 240) with them working both independently and in combination, with padded covers to assist in creating the precise tones of the instrument
Construction of the Piano
The modern piano as a "triumph of craftsmanship and engineering" and is constructed out of a durable metal frame and wooden casing (Klein, 2012). The piano's complex mechanism of levers within its casing creates and projects sound by transmitting the motion of the keys to pivoted hammers, that strike it's strings and then rebound (Libin, 1989).
Piano - Rohan Furnell
Flute - Tracey Higgins
Double Bass - Kelly Davey
Cymbals - Carrie Withers
The piano inspired and influenced many of the great musicians and composers (Dobney, 2000). The prolific work and achievements of 19th century musicians Frederic Chopin (1810-1849) and Franz Liszt (1811-1886) expanded the piano's technical and artistic potential (Plantinga, 2013) (Searle, 2013).
Chopin developed in his work the 'intimate' fading tones of the piano, recognising the 'artistic value' in what was initially considered a shortfall in the instrument (Blom, 1961 p. 747).
In contrast, Liszt's technique of increasing the force with which he struck the keys Liszt took advantage of the piano's more dynamic capability (Blom, 1961 p. 748).
The Grove's Dictionary of Music and Musicians (Blom, 1961 p. 724) and The Encyclopedia Britannica ("Piano," 2014) recognise the piano as a keyboard instrument of significant influence. Libin (1989) further suggests the piano's classification in he requirement of its keyboard mechanism "to transmit motion from an operator's hands to a remote location"(Libin, 1989). Alternatively the flute belongs to the significantly different classification group of wind instrument.
The Encyclopedia Britannica ("Wind instrument," 2012) considers
the flute a wind instrument and states that a wind instrument is
"any musical instrument that uses air as the primary medium for
the production of sound" ("Wind Instrument," 2012). We will now transition to the double bass, part of the stringed instrument family.
Cymbals are recognised as one of the most ancient instruments (Beck, 2013). Cymbals were used in Israel in 1100BC , in Egypt from 800BC, and appeared in Europe from the thirteenth century (Beck, 2013). Cymbals were used in religious ceremonies at the dawn of Christianity and their continued use in the Western world grew with developments in metal working.
Cymbals are made from alloys of copper and tin. The construction of cymbals is complex requiring rolling, shaping, hammering and lathing to bring each cymbal into its own (TRR56, 2010; Beck, 2013). Cymbals are slim, metal, circular, flat or concave and range in size, up to 18 inches in diameter or larger (Beck, 2013; Cymbals, 2014).
Construction of Cymbals
Throughout the world there are limited noted cymbal players as cymbals are generally one component forming the percussion section. Noted musician Joseph Hayden (1732-1809) used cymbals substantially in his Symphony 100 in G Minor (Military) (Knapp, 2014). Other composers such as Wagner, Mozart and Grieg utilise cymbals for effect in a range of their compositions ("Cymbals," 2014).
(Beck, 2013, pg. 127)
Construction of the Double Bass
The most common construction of the modern double bass is a flat back, sloping shoulder and is approximately 1.8 metres in length (“double bass,” 2005, p. 36). It is made of hollow wood, with an unfretted neck and four strings (Schmidt-Jones, 2012). The bass can be played by plucking with fingers (pizzicato), or by using a bow, which is made out of wood and rosined horsehair (“double bass,” 2013).
The Encyclopaedia Britannica (“double bass,” 2014) identifies the double bass as a string instrument, that is a member of the violin family. It is the largest member of the family, and has the lowest pitch. In comparison, the cymbals are classified as a percussion instrument.
Two prominent solo double bass musicians are Domenico Dragonetti and Gary Karr. Dragonetti (1776-1846) was an Italian double bass musician and composer, who at thirteen years old, played in the Opera Buffa in Venice (Johnson, n.d.). Gary Karr (1961-current) is a worldwide double bass performer, as well as an author, a teacher, a television personality and the founder of the International Society of Bassists (founded in 1967) (Dettmer, n.d.).
Image: Domenico Dragonetti
Image: Gary Karr
(BBC Proms, 2011)
Musical instruments have long and diverse histories, illustrated in the technical development of their construction, the popularisation of their musicians and the unique production of their sounds. This presentation has provided a concise insight into, the piano; a dynamic and versatile keyboard instrument, the flute; a delicate wind instrument, the double bass; one of the largest string instruments and the cymbals; a subtle yet remarkable percussion instrument. Each instrument is representative of sociocultural evolutions and carefully constructed through complex processes, that require the craftsmanship of highly skilled makers. Employed by noted musicians and composers who inspire and connect with their audiences through the virtuosity of their playing.
The flute is possibly one of the oldest musical instruments with the earliest flutes being made from animal bones. The transverse flute dated from the 4th century BC, and were found in tombs and urns of that period. The modern flute evolved through the help of Theobald Boehm who developed the key mechanism and fingering system, which is used today (Wade-Matthews, 2000).
There have been numerous notable flute players of significance throughout history. Charles Nicholson, William Kincaid, Severino Gazzelloni, Jean-Pierre Rampal, James Galway and Harvey Sollberger to name a few (Wade-Matthews, 2000).
Charles Nicholson's flute was built to favor flat keys and he inspired Boehm's modern flute (Wade-Matthews, 2000).
James Galway has played for numerous dignitaries, presidents and prime ministers (Galway, 2014).
Image: Joseph Hayden
Flutes. Retrieved from http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_8S_qifDrJwo/TJB4bAobj21?AAAAAAAAA/WOLfH-8xpFM/s1600/flutes.jpg
BBC Proms. (2011, September 14). BBC Proms 2011: Lang Lang plays Liszt's
Consolation No. 3 [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www. youtube.com/watch?v=NufYa90c1M0&feature=youtu.be
BBC Radio 3. (2012, October 8). A brief history of the pianoforte – Leeds
International Piano Competition 2012. [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www. youtube.com/watch?v=BMxqAKxWMYA&index=14&list=PL_men 8Mkj329O3tGuJPaU4Thu_Axy4Tp-
Beck, J. (2013). Encyclopaedia of Percussion (2nd ed.) Hoboken: Taylor and Francis
Blom, E. (1961). Grove’s Dictionary of Music and Musicians (5th ed.). (Vol.6).
London, England: The MacMillan Press LTD.
Bradetich, J. [Bradetich Foundation]. (2012, March 10). Bach Cello Suite No. 1, I.
Prelude [Video file]. Retrieved from http://www. youtube.com/watch?v=9yjVwRI5aiU
Cymbals. (2014). In Encyclopaedia Britannica. Retrieved from http://
Dettmer, R. (n.d.). Gary Karr. Retrieved from http://www.allmusic.com/artist/gary-
Dobney, J. K. (2000). The Piano: Vinnese Instruments. In The Metropolitan Museum
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Knapp, R. L. (2013). Joseph Haydn. In Encyclopaedia Britannica. Retrieved
Libin, L. (1989). Keyboard Instruments: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Bulletin, v.47, no. 1 Retrieved from http://www.metmuseum.org/research/metpublications/Keyboard_Instruments_ The_Metropolitan_Museum_of_Art_Bulletin_v_47_no_1_Summer_1989
Metzger, M. J. (2007). Making sense of credibility on the Web: Models for
evaluating online information and recommendations for future research.
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Powers, W. (2000). The Piano: The Pianofortes of Bartolomeo Cristofori
(1655– 1731). In The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Retrieved from http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/cris/hd_cris.htm
Schmidt-Jones, C. (2012, September 28).The Double Bass. Retrieved from
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Searle, H. (2013). Franz Liszt. In Encyclopaedia Britannica.
Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/343394/Franz-Liszt
Slatford, R. (1980). History of the Double Bass. Retrieved
Sung, H. (2011, January 30). Jasmine Choi plays Girls
Generation “Hoot” on solo flute [Video file]. Retrieved from http://www. youtube.com/watch?v=iDXfwKZWuss
Theobald Boehm. (2013). In Encyclopaedia Britannica.
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TRR56 (2010, May 29). How it's made: Cymbals [Video
file]. Retrieved from http://www. youtube.com/watch?v=SK8XHULfllo
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Orchestra (B. Britten) [Video file]. Retrieved from http://www. youtube.com/watch?v=FTz_J7rxakg
Wade-Matthews, M. (2000). The World Encyclopedia of
Musical Instruments. New York: Lorenz Books
Cymbals are percussion instruments. There are two groups of percussion instruments: Idiophones and Membranophones. Cymbals are part of the largest group; Idiophones who produce their sound from the body of the instrument. The Cymbals sound is made when struck, brushed or clashed together (Infobase, 2010).