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

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7
votes
1answer
65 views

Why do almost all modern Classical Guitars use a slotted headstock?

The benefits of a slotted headstock (left picture) over an unslotted one with vertically arranged tuning posts (right picture) seem to be largely subjective (The biggest advantage is problably that ...
3
votes
6answers
255 views

Acoustic piano vs digital piano: is there any solid evidence for one being better than the other?

As someone who'll have to buy a piano soon, I'm at the old question of acoustic vs digital. I've done a fair deal of research on the internet, as well as heard the opinion of a piano teacher, and ...
5
votes
2answers
200 views

How do you choose which acoustic piano to buy?

Which things should one keep in mind when thinking about buying an acoustic piano? Age, wood, brand? What things are high quality or bad quality? What to watch out for?
3
votes
0answers
65 views

What are the technical measures of a tenor recorder?

A friend wants to make a tenor recorder from scratch (he is already a gaita maker), and asked me for the technical measures to do it, I searched through the web but couldn't found any complete ...
4
votes
1answer
158 views

Is a wind-string instrument (such as the one I will explain) acoustically possible?

I've always had this concept of an instrument, but I am wondering is such an instrument is even acoustically possible. The instrument is a tube, like most other woodwinds, but inside of the tube is a ...
2
votes
3answers
70 views

Is it possible to combine a guitar with a theremin cello in the same neck?

For reference, a theremin cello is similar to the classic thermin of 50s sci-fi sound effects fame, but packaged with a neck and played like a cello with the left hand selecting pitch along the neck, ...
1
vote
4answers
96 views

does everyone in the orchestra (or ensemble) play in the same key?

Does everyone have to play in the same key or is the key accustomed to the instrument section? for example, clarinet would use Bb major? What is a transposing instrument?
0
votes
1answer
71 views

Is a white Double Bass okay for practice?

I have been playing double bass for 3 years, and I have been borrowing a bass. However, as I can no longer buy a bass, I am looking to buy/rent one. The best one I have found is this White one. It is ...
4
votes
1answer
69 views

Name for instruments that can only play one octave, vs one that can play many octaves?

Is there a word for instruments that are limited to only one octave, as opposed to instruments that can play multiple octaves? I think this is a matter of classifying instruments with a certain narrow ...
6
votes
3answers
960 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 Concertina/...
17
votes
5answers
4k 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 = ...
9
votes
4answers
711 views

Floyd Rose spring setup

This is a pretty basic question, but I'm struggling to find a concrete answer. I have this tremolo springs setup: However, I have seen many different setups like this one: What is the advantage ...
37
votes
2answers
3k views

Why do instruments have a key?

There are many instruments that have keys other than C. For example: The Eb Alto Saxophone The Bb Clarinet The Horn in F Why do these instruments have a key in the first place? Here's a more ...
2
votes
1answer
50 views

What defines an instrument? [closed]

Can we argue that us stamping our foot on the ground is an instrument? What truly defines an instrument in the theology of music? We know that a piano is a musical instrument, but couldn't anything ...
3
votes
3answers
77 views

How to get used to an F attachment? (trombone)

I have 2 years of experience with a regular school trombone. I'm worried when I get an F attachment trombone, positions like 7th and 6th will mess me up for I am not used to going to 2nd/1st as ...
7
votes
2answers
630 views

Spectrum of brass tones of same fingering

On valve brass instruments, a single fingering may be used to play different notes. For example on the trumpet, leaving all valves open (up) allows the player to play the following notes: C - G - C - ...
2
votes
4answers
1k views

Second hand piano is out of tune by a whole tone

I just recently bought an acoustic piano. Sounded really good when we tested it out at seller's place. Now after playing a bit the keys sound off by one note (middle c would sound like d, d sounds ...
17
votes
9answers
6k views

How to minimize the pain for a beginning guitar student so they won’t give up before they develop callouses?

This is a common problem and solving it will ultimately lead to a much higher success rate for beginning guitar students. So I wanted to share the information here on Music and Theory. Many of my ...
10
votes
3answers
183 views

Which (apparently keyboard) instrument is this?

I discovered this image recently while reading about piano. I discovered this young Portuguese pianist photo, Vianna da Motta, while learning in his early stages. I assume this is some kind of ...
2
votes
1answer
80 views

What is the name of the object on the strings of the violin behind the bridge

I see on some violins there is something on the A and E strings between the tail peace and the bridge. What is it called and what does it do? I found a similar thing on the violins of the soloist ...
3
votes
2answers
71 views

Wind instruments and sharp keys

As far as I know, most of the wind instruments are transposing, and many of them are either in B, in E-flat or in F - these keys make them more suitable for playing in "flat" keys. My question is why ...
1
vote
1answer
44 views

Plastic ring on bow?

Does anyone know why the plastic ring in the photo below would be put on the bow for an instrument? I thought maybe it would be to help shuck off broken strings, or somehow vary the tension, but ...
10
votes
1answer
2k views

What are the touch-pad things that the guitarist and bassist of Muse use?

In concert video footage of Muse, I've seen both the guitarist and bassist use touch-pad devices integrated with their instruments. What are these devices, and what are they designed to do?
7
votes
4answers
3k views

What defines the loudness of an acoustic guitar?

I would like a loud sound without any amplification (purely acoustic sound). Which guitar traits affect it? Do you recommend any particular styles or brands of guitar? I assume that guitars with ...
5
votes
1answer
259 views

What is this trumpet attachment called?

Last night, I was watching a television special featuring American music. I noticed that a trumpet player in the band had something attached to her instrument. It appears that the valves of the ...
1
vote
4answers
143 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 ...
13
votes
1answer
6k 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 ...
11
votes
5answers
8k views

Do weighted keys on a keyboard lead to more expressive playing?

I use an acoustic piano to learn/play classical music. I use a midi keyboard to record/produce own music. My piano has weighted keys while my midi keyboard has a very light touch. I find that I am ...
9
votes
2answers
351 views

Curved windway of a recorder - what is the use for it?

What is the use of curved windway of a recorder? After my first Yamaha YRS-23 I bought YRS-302B and I'm still puzzled about that difference. It feels like the blowing into 302 gives slightly more ...
11
votes
12answers
986 views

instruments you can make at home

Some of the children I teach have expressed an interest in music and learning to play. I am thinking about how I can help them do a sort of arts-and-crafts music day, where we could make some ...
11
votes
4answers
1k views

Why are Clavichords Keys Diagonally Shaped?

Why are the keys on clavichords (as shown below) not all parallel? In fact, only 1 or 2 of the keys go straight back, the others all bend diagonally and then go straight at the end. Why is this? I ...
31
votes
3answers
53k views

What is the difference between a xylophone, a glockenspiel, marimba, a xylorimba and a marimbaphone?

What is the difference between an xylophone and a marimba? And a glockenspiel and a xylophone, its just the material and size of glockenspiel?
0
votes
3answers
222 views

Is this old, possibly Musima classic guitar worth keeping?

I got a 1960-something Musima classic for 40 dollars on a flea market, I believe it is a classic (I can't find any information on the guitar anywhere, but it looks like a musima classic) but the ...
2
votes
2answers
155 views

Why some instruments have binding around the neck and/or body while some do not?

My question is simple: Do bindings around the neck or body of a guitar play any role in the sound that the instrument produces?
8
votes
2answers
15k 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
68 views

What types of hardware am I looking for to use my midi controller with a PC?

I bought a novation Impulse 61 midi keyboard, which I use with Ableton Live 9 to play and record. I am very much just a novice at this and I decided to have this setup, because a friend told me, that ...
16
votes
10answers
29k views

Difference between Baritone and Euphonium

What is the difference between a baritone and a euphonium, and how can you tell? My band director sometimes uses them interchangeably, but I am pretty sure that is not correct. All I know is that this ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

Why are the black keys on some ancient fortepianos now white on modern pianos?

I am wondering what happened in the fortepiano's history that made the keyboard colors switch (why black keys on some ancient pianofortes are now white on modern pianos). Here is a picture of a ...
4
votes
3answers
318 views

Are certain instruments “arpeggio friendly”?

Are there certain instruments that are arpeggio friendly? This might seem arbitrary or subject to opinion but I can imagine a test where musicians of various instrument are asked to play arpeggios of ...
8
votes
4answers
242 views

Is there a more specific name for this instrument than “PVC instrument”?

After hearing a number of covers performed on instruments like the one below, I was wondering if someone has come up with a better name for this instrument than "PVC instrument".
3
votes
4answers
416 views

What instrument can help increase your lung capacity and vocal projection?

I am interested in picking up a musical instrument which can also help increase my lung capacity and vocal projection. Trumpet, trombone, and saxophone are some of the instruments cross my mind, are ...
3
votes
1answer
151 views

Does the typical headstock design of acoustic guitars negatively impact the sound or tone of the strings?

Almost all of my acoustic guitars have the tuning post arranged either in a straight line like this: Or fanned out like this: This design requires the strings to deviate dramatically from a ...
1
vote
4answers
135 views

What instrument gives the sound of artillery?

I am in the midst of composing a piece in which I want the sound of artillery. What musical instrument can give this sound? (I am excluding actual artillery pieces and recordings of shots)
0
votes
1answer
60 views

How would this woodwind's shape affect its sound?

So, hopefully this question doesn't sound too vague, maybe I can completely explain it here. I have been trying to invent a theoretical instrument that has three main parts to it. The middle piece is ...
14
votes
5answers
5k views

Is there any difference between a soprano trombone and a slide trumpet?

Occasionally, I will see people arguing about whether an instrument should be called a "soprano trombone" or a "slide trumpet" yet I have never seen any instrument designated as one as being any ...
28
votes
10answers
85k views

What is the Difference between Maple and Rosewood Fretboards

Is there a difference that's based on feel or sound - why are they the two most widely used choices?
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Can I play a 12 string like a 6 string guitar?

I have a cheap 6-string guitar. I want to get a new one and am considering a 12-string guitar. What are the differences between 12- and 6-string guitars? Can I use a 12-string like a 6-string? Will ...
6
votes
4answers
11k views

What is causing this weird distortion coming from my amp?

Here is the sound I'm talking about. I get this sound, unless I strum ridiculously lightly, on different amp volume settings, with no gain, but is seems to become ...
4
votes
2answers
73 views

What am I doing wrong with my new alto recorder?

I just got a Yamaha YRA-28BIII recorder. I also got a Yamaha YRS24B Soprano Recorder. I have very limited experience using a recorder. on the Soprano recorder I blow fairly strongly without it ...
9
votes
4answers
905 views

Do cold/hot drinks have any effect on woodwinds and brass performers?

Hey, I saw this question and I immediately remembered one or two teachers that kept saying that drinking cold/hot drinks before and/or during playing any woodwind or brass instrument was a bad thing, ...