Health and Fitness

The Pucky Sounds of the Classical Harpischord

The harpsichord is related to the organ and the piano, to mention a couple that have been created with the same idea of the harpsichord. The harpsichord was developed around the same time that the clavichord came around, which was sometime during the 16th century. It is a stringed instrument that is played by pressing on the keys. When each key is pressed, it strikes the string and this is what causes the string to vibrate in order to make a sound. For a while, the harpsichord was a popular instrument that was often used during the baroque music period. Its popularity may have been maintained had it not been for the creation of the piano. Once the piano was created, popularity fell from the harpsichord as the piano became the preferred instrument. The harpsichords design is not too different from that of the piano, probably because the basic design of the piano originated from the harpsichord. The sounds produced from the strings of the harpsichord alone are not very loud. In order to enhance the sound, each string is set over a bridge that allowed the string to vibrate freely.

The Unusual 17th Century Instrument the Archlute

Developed sometime during the late 16th century and the beginning of the 17th century, the archlute is a stringed instrument that was played by plucking the strings. It is a necked bowl instrument, named as such because of its shape and design. Before the archlute was created, the theorbo, which was a larger version of the archlute, and the tenor lute were what people played. It is believed that the main reason for the creation of the archlute was to find a compromise between the theorbo and the tenor; the archlute held some characteristics and abilities of both, but it was smaller and easier to carry around. It was the instrument of choice for many soloists during most of the 17th century, though this would change later on as it would be favored over the theorbo. Near the end of the 17th century, the archlute was becoming more popular all the time. During the first part of the 17th century, the archlute was often played alone while the theorbo and tenor lute were played with other instruments, but in the later part of the century the archlute was being used instead of the other two instruments.

The Christmas Sound of the Clavichord

Many will have heard of the clavichord, though there are a good portion of those people who don't really know what a clavichord is. It will often be mentioned in the books that are based in that time, or will have been an instrument mentioned in history class when studying some of the famous musicians and composers of the earlier periods. It was an instrument that was used to practice on and many of the well-known composers during the Classical, Baroque and Renaissance periods often used the clavichord to compose music. It is a string instrument that is played by hitting the strings, which were made out of iron or brass, in order to create a note. When most think of the clavichord, they see it as an instrument that has been around for a very long time. In fact, the clavichord was first constructed during the early 1400s. From then on, it grew in popularity for the next three hundred years until it fell out of favor during the 1700s. During the later half of the 1800s century, some interest in the clavichord grew again and they continue to be constructed and used today.

The Funny and Whimsical Sounds of the Kazoo

Kazoos are one of the easiest instruments to play; even the design is fairly simple. It creates a buzzing sound when a person hums into it. There is nothing on this instrument that will help to change the pitch or the sound; this is done by the person humming into it. As the person changes their humming, the sound through the kazoo will be altered as well. Some people can find it difficult to play this instrument properly because they take the instruction to hum too literally. To get the best sound out of the kazoo, the person has to more or less speak into the instrument, which makes a harder vocalization and makes a stronger sound that will work through the kazoo. This simple little instrument that is a popular toy for many young children has a long history. Many people are unaware of the kazoo's origins. Instruments similar to the kazoo originated from Africa, where it was used for hundreds of years for many different purposes. Not only were the instruments used in many rituals and ceremonies, they were also used when hunting.

The Vibrations of a Tuning Fork

While the tuning fork may not really be considered an instrument, it is a great help in keeping instruments in tune. This simple tuning tool has been around for a fairly long time and has been used to tune just about any kind of instrument. It is an acoustic resonator that will vibrate at a particular pitch. This pitch is what musicians will compare with a note on their instrument to test whether the instrument is in tune or not. The tuning fork has earned its name from its shape, as it is a metal bar that divides into a u-shape; it is this shape that allows the vibrations to be heard after the instrument is struck against something. Tuning forks come in many different sizes. The different sizes or the different lengths of the prongs will create a unique pitch. Larger tuning forks will emit a lower pitch while the smaller tuning forks will emit a higher pitch. First invented in 1711 by John Shore, it is one of the typical ways that a person can keep their instrument in tune, though electronic tuners are preferred by many people today.

The Tragic Story of Buddy Holly

Born in September of 1936, Charles Hardin Holley who later came to be known as Buddy Holly was one of the pioneers of rock and roll. He was mainly a guitarist, composer and singer, but his career would only last for about five years due to a plane crash he was involved in when he was only 22 years of age. He was newly married and had an excellent start to a potentially great music career when he passed away. Referred to as the biggest influence in the start of rock and roll, Buddy Holly would be greatly missed by those who recognized the talent he had, though he would live on through future bands, such as The Beatles and the Rolling Stones, that were largely influenced by him. Buddy Holly was born into a musical family, which would probably explain his musical talent. He was exposed to music at an early age and learned to play a number of instruments, including the guitar, the piano and the violin. Later, in junior high school, he met up with Bob who also had an interest in music.

The Funky Music of the Doors

Formed in 1965, The Doors became a well-known, controversial band that would become one of the many successful rock bands during the late 1960s and early 1970s. The band would have probably continued, but they decided to disband shortly after the death of Jim Morrison. Jim Morrison was the one responsible for bringing the band together in the first place. He was not only a singer and a song writer; he was also the author of a few poetry books and a film director. It was unfortunate that such a talented individual would pass away at the age of 27, but he had apparently become depressed. Exactly how he died has caused much speculation. Coming together in 1965 and staying together until 1971, the band consisted of Jim Morrison, who was the singer, Robby Krieger who was the guitarist, Ray Mazarek, who was the keyboardist and John Densmore, who was the drummer for the band. The Doors covered a few music genres, including hard rock, blues rock, acid rock and basic rock. The group was fairly popular as many enjoyed their music, but the band was the center of much controversy;

The Alternative Music Played by The Cure

The Cure first formed in 1976 and would continue for a few decades afterwards. Much like Fleetwood Mac, The Cure would have a few changes in their lineup, with only one remaining through the entire life of the band. The member who was with the band from the start is Robert Smith, who is the guitarist and main songwriter for the group. The main music genres that The Cure focuses on are post punk, alternative rock, gothic rock and new wave. It is quite a variation that many have enjoyed from listening to The Cure in both the past, present, and more than likely, the future. Despite the other music genres they play, they become one of the most popular alternative rock bands in the world during the 1990s and have sold millions of albums. In fact, a count done in 2004 calculates that The Cure has sold about 27 million albums since it first formed in 1976. Throughout the life of the band, they have been quick in releasing numerous albums. Looking at the fact that The Cure has released a total of 12 albums and 30 singles in the last two years would prove to just about anyone that they are constantly working on their music.

The Tenor Voice of the String Family the Mandola

The mandola is a stringed instrument that has a round shaped body, has eight strings and is played with a pick. There are quite a few similarities between the mandola and the guitar. In fact, the mandola looks like a teardrop-shaped guitar. It can also be acoustic or electric, just like the guitar. It is an instrument that has often found its place in folk music and Irish music, though it has also been used in many other music genres. The mandola is played just like a guitar; it is either strummed or plucked with a pick and the strings are laid over a bridge so that the strings can vibrate freely. Though the mandola was originally acoustic, musicians do have the option of having an electric mandola made. Electric mandolas will sometimes be preferred because they will fit in with the other electric instruments that they will be played with, though acoustic mandolas still remain the more popular out of the two. In the past, the construction of mandolas was fairly basic and plain.

The Skill of Playing a Transposing Instrument

Few will have heard of a transposing instrument, though those who are very involved with music will be familiar with it. A transposing instrument is one that has special music written for it that is at a different pitch than the concert pitch. So, when other music that is written at the concert pitch reads a C, the transposing instrument music will show a different note. Instruments, like the celesta, that are referred to as transposing instruments will play the special music. The difference is not really in the instrument, it is just that the sheet music that is written will read differently than it does for the other instruments involved in the piece. One might wonder why there would be use for a transposing instrument. Transposition at the octave is one reason for having a transposing instrument. Some instruments are too high or too low to write in for a particular piece of music, so to limit the ledger lines used, someone might instead write the part an octave higher or lower for the piece.

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