Questions about an instrument itself, rather than how to play it.

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1
vote
2answers
104 views

How much noise should a trumpet's valves make?

I just got a new trumpet. When I press down on any of the three valves (without blowing through the trumpet) I can hear a small 'pop' kind of noise. It's not coming from the springs or anything, ...
11
votes
1answer
5k views

Is my Yamaha guitar counterfeit?

I bought a new Yamaha Guitar and When you look inside the guitar hole it looks like the model number is written by hand. Can you please tell me if this one is a fake one or not? The number written on ...
5
votes
3answers
307 views

Bass Clarinet: Rubber vs Plastic Mouthpiece?

I play Bass Clarinet for a school band, and may have to buy my own mouthpiece. I'm wondering what the difference in tone quality is between a plastic and rubber mouthpiece, and if a rubber one is more ...
-2
votes
2answers
72 views

who were the first known people to play a reed instrument

I would like to know who the first people to come up with the idea of reed instruments of any kind
1
vote
2answers
146 views

How does instrumentation change the personality of a piece?

I don't understand how a change in instrumentation can make the same sequence of notes feel different if nothing else is changed about the piece. I mean for example if I listen to Symphony no 5 by ...
12
votes
7answers
33k views

Is the sound of a semi-hollowbody guitar significantly different from that of an equivalent solid body?

I'm wondering if the sound of a semi-hollowbody electric guitar (i.e. one that looks hollow but in fact has a solid central block) really differs that much from an equivalent solid-body guitar with ...
3
votes
1answer
61 views

Does valve oil in the lead pipe of a trumpet prevent tarnishing?

Sometimes I've gotten the advice to drip a few drops of valve oil in my trumpet's leadpipe before putting on the mouthpiece and start playing. Allegedly this would help to prevent tarnishing and ...
2
votes
2answers
138 views

Marimba Bars on a Vibraphone Frame

Would it be possible to put marimba bars on a vibraphone frame? I am trying to get a cheap marimba with a damper pedal, but cannot seem to find anything that isn't custom built by the manufacturer or ...
27
votes
3answers
1k views

Can one tell by ear whether a bowed instrument is being played up or down?

I went to a concert the other day and noticed that the bows (violins, cellos, violas) were all coordinated as the orchestra played. It looks neat, but is there an audible difference if they're not in ...
4
votes
2answers
343 views

How to evaluate the quality of sound of a piano?

While looking for a new piano I was wondering how to evaluate the quality of tone and sound of a piano as an instrument? What makes the difference between a good and an even better instrument? What ...
15
votes
17answers
2k views

Instruments that challenge your ear

About a year ago I was curious about how the trumpet works, how could it play the chromatic scale over many octaves with only these three valves!? So I made some research to understand how it works, ...
4
votes
1answer
46 views

Unstable lowest note on Yamaha YRS-302B

I'm trying to learn playing recorder using plastic Yamaha YRS-302B - and there is a somewhat annoying thing: lowest notes C and D are somewhat unstable - they sound properly only when I blow very ...
2
votes
1answer
361 views

What do the clavinova model numbers tell me?

When shopping for a used clavinova I tried to figure out which models are a good choice for me. Doing that, I quickly wondered what the CLP-model numbers are trying to tell me. For the most recent ...
8
votes
2answers
12k views

How to compare clavinova models from different years?

I am looking into buying a used clavinova CLP. A used one because I don't need all the new features and the clavinova models already had a high quality standard in the past years. So for the same ...
7
votes
2answers
358 views

Naming convention for trumpet mouthpiece size

Different brands of mouthpiece manufacturers have different ways of naming the size of their mouthpieces. Is there some kind of common convention, like letters being the depth, small numbers meaning ...
14
votes
2answers
4k views

What are some qualities to consider when purchasing a cello?

My wife is a Suzuki-method violinist but wants to dabble with some cello pieces. I'm a rock guitarist--so I have absolutely no clue what to look for in a cello. It's clearly not a Les Paul so any ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Do vintage guitars really sound better with age? Or is this perception affected by selection bias?

Guitars are often said to sound better with age. How much of it is due to worse-sounding guitars being discarded before they reach vintage age?
2
votes
1answer
2k views

What is the quality of the Ryoji Matsuoka M30 Classical Guitar

I am curious about Ryoji Matsuoka classical guitars, particularly the M30 model. Is this make intended for beginners, intermediate players, or professionals? Are there any known unique qualities or ...
17
votes
4answers
3k views

Why do standard modern pianos have 88 keys?

I know that the piano contains 7 octaves plus a 4th. I also know that it accommodates the full circle of fifths (from C and back to C). But since a fifth contains 7 semitones, it only "needs" 7X12 = ...
4
votes
1answer
222 views

Can a breath controller be used with a keyboard?

I was watching a youtube video and saw a piano like instrument that was new to me, and have had a hard time identifying what it was. I loved the timbre and the idea for it: Eric Clapton Live ...
14
votes
3answers
2k views

Will my wind instrument be damaged if I leave it assembled?

Almost every teacher, expert, and book has informed me that I should disassemble my (clarinet / recorder / saxophone) each time after I practice. However, it is difficult for me to see how this would ...
4
votes
5answers
566 views

Alternative ways to classify Instruments

In Western music there are four classifications of instruments strings, woodwinds, brass, and percussion. This classification works on most instruments, but there are many different instruments around ...
2
votes
0answers
28 views

What are the different ways in which musical instruments are grouped together? [duplicate]

There are of course several ways to organize different kinds of musical instruments, but I wonder what strategies are used by different traditions, especially ethnomusicologists who probably need ...
15
votes
5answers
2k views

Trumpet low C♯ and D

Most trumpets' low C♯ and D are too high, and need correcting by pulling the 1st of 3rd valve. My first understanding was that the distance between tones in the lower register is larger than between ...
0
votes
2answers
103 views

How do archaic instruments affect contemporary music?

Many once-common instruments are now rare or obsolete. For example, some transposing instruments have fewer variants than they used to – the B♭ soprano clarinet has largely supplanted the A and C ...
1
vote
2answers
58 views

Simplifying a complex melody in Finale

I'm arranging some music in Finale. It's written for professional instrumentalists, so many of the notes are fast. However, the underlying melody is less complex. Suppose I wanted to create a ...
8
votes
1answer
354 views

Single reed mouthpieces: How do Facing Lengths, Tip Openings, and Chamber Sizes affect playing?

When buying a new mouthpiece for a clarinet/saxophone - you're faced with a whole table of information on facing lengths, tip openings and chamber sizes. How do all these specifications relate to how ...
14
votes
3answers
3k views

What's the difference between the “smooth” strings and the “rough” strings?

On my acoustic, the first 4 strings are "rough" - that is they are covered in a type of metal corkscrew. The last 2 strings though are completely smooth, and don't have a corkscrew finish. Why are ...
4
votes
1answer
112 views

Is “harpvox” an existing musical instrument?

My digital piano has a "harpvox" voice setting that sounds rather interesting with broad echo and low overtones feeling even for the the middle or high notes. Is it a real instrument or an invention ...
17
votes
6answers
749 views

Music Store Etiquette

A music store that sells high end instruments is faced with a dilemma. It is their responsibility to sell you instruments. But you cannot buy an instrument without trying it out for some period of ...
13
votes
6answers
2k views

What does it mean that a Stratocaster is vintage?

Looking at the lineup of Fender and Squier I see that you can find standard and vintage guitars for about the same price. For example, Squier has both a Standard series and a Vintage Modified series. ...
5
votes
1answer
959 views

Yamaha 300 series v. Aulos 500 series

I'm considering getting a new plastic soprano recorder (a wooden one is a bit out of my budget). I've narrowed it down to the YRS 302b and the Aulos 503b. I realize they are both great plastic ...
1
vote
1answer
58 views

Composing melody for recorder

I learned a bit about composing melody by using piano. But then, when I tried to composing melody for recorder and it didn't sound right. So, what is the things should I aware when composing melody ...
2
votes
3answers
446 views

Switching from a short-scale bass to a 'normal' one - Tips please?

I've been playing bass in my bedroom for a while now. I have a pretty but pretty crappy 1970s Yamaha semi-acoustic (SA70, I think). I've been thinking of branching out into some new styles and ...
5
votes
1answer
73 views

Record Label Instrumentals

Does anyone know if record labels keep a copy of every instrumental of every song produced by their producers? I know that there are places online that have regenerated or reproduced instrumentals of ...
5
votes
2answers
871 views

What kind of bandoneon or concertina is appropriate for playing tango music?

I really love the sound of tango and I'd like to buy a bandoneon. With the relationship but seeming distinct existence from the Concertina, I don't know how to identify which kind of ...
2
votes
3answers
169 views

“Easiest to sound ok” small non-reed woodwinds to learn

Of all the small woodwinds from any culture, which ones are known for having the SHORTEST learning curve (for a veteran of any common woodwind) to achieve clean, controlled tones from 90% of playable ...
-2
votes
1answer
292 views

Travel instruments: what are the smallest and lightest? [closed]

Simple question. I'm trying to get an comprehensive list of names of musical instruments from any cultural background that are very small and light so as to be convenient for backpacking. Wood, ...
12
votes
4answers
6k views

What does the distance between a pickup and strings do for the sound?

What does the distance between a pickup and strings do for the sound? Should active and passive pickups be treated differently?
3
votes
3answers
448 views

Acoustic Yamaha U1: One key sounds too loud

I recently got a Yamaha U1 acoustic piano. It sounds great except the E below middle C (E3) is much too loud. Whenever I play a chord with that key it really stands out and dominates the sound. No ...
8
votes
4answers
1k views

Do music theory books differ per instrument?

I'm an amateur Spanish guitar player, I know Solfège and how to read music sheets (not expert though). I'm looking for a book that teaches me music theory to gain more understanding and maybe try to ...
11
votes
3answers
3k views

Can I split guitar string gauges?

I want to know if I can split guitar string gauges, ie. using 12s on the bottom and 10s on the top, both for standard and drop tunings.
1
vote
1answer
80 views

Name of bell-like instrument [closed]

John Powell in his How to Train Your Dragon 2 soundtrack uses a single instrument multiple times throughout the soundtrack. At about 1:23 of this part is where that instrument gets a very clear solo. ...
3
votes
4answers
559 views

Really Silent Piano

Does anyone have experience with "silent" pianos and knows whether or not there is a properly silent, i.e. neighbor-friendly, piano on the market? Background: for practicing without disturbing the ...
0
votes
2answers
4k views

What is the name of the small accordion type instrument in this picture? [closed]

I would like to know the name of this instrument and may be some suggestions on where I can buy one. http://www.eatmt.org.uk/Dave%20T%20workshop.JPG Thanks :)
6
votes
3answers
636 views

Why do trumpet valves shift down and not up?

I understand how trumpets work - valves open to force the air through crooks, which lengthens the pathway the air must travel, thus decreasing the resonant frequency. The question is, why are ...
7
votes
1answer
191 views

What are the distinguishing features of metalcore?

I'd like to know if there is a common metalcore approach (like the rules between drum kick and bass, bass and guitar, breakdown) in details.
6
votes
3answers
324 views

Why are there transposing instruments that transpose by octave?

Some instruments (for example the guitar, the bass guitar, and the xylophone) have written music in a typical clef, however the note written and the note played are an octave lower or higher depending ...
1
vote
1answer
39 views

What is the instrument at the beginning of “Curtain Tune on a Ground”? [closed]

I recently discovered Purcell for me, and listened to quite a lot of his works. I stumbled across the follwing video: What is the instrument sounding like a rubber ...
10
votes
2answers
669 views

What are the difficulties of playing a musical saw?

I'm interested in playing around with a musical saw, like the theme from One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest. Looking around and watching a few tutorial videos, it looks like a very easy instrument to ...