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

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1
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2answers
120 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
10 views

List of Fourier coefficientes to simulate musical instruments [migrated]

I'm trying to find a list of Fourier Coefficients (frequencies/amplitudes, ie, spectral data) to simulate different musical instruments using additive synthesis. Are these data published somewhere? ...
3
votes
1answer
63 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 ...
12
votes
7answers
23k 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
22 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
64 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
367 views

What should I think about when acquiring a triangle (percussion)?

What should I consider when buying a triangle to use for recording popular music percussion? For example: What are the differences between cheap and expensive ones (the price range is enormous)? ...
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
132 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 ...
14
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, ...
26
votes
7answers
55k 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?
3
votes
1answer
30 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
67 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
4k 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
332 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
72 views

Is it possible to play all melody songs on 10 hole diatonic harmonica?

I know that melody songs can be easily played on a chromatic harmonica. I have horner Chrometta 12 as well as Horner golden melody. However I feel tunes from 10 holes diatonic harmonica are better ...
14
votes
2answers
3k 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 ...
21
votes
2answers
12k 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?
6
votes
3answers
272 views

Does the type of wood on a solid body electric guitar affect its tone or sound?

I know that on an acoustic guitar the sound is produced by the strings vibrating the top or soundboard and that the type wood used on the soundboard and body of an acoustic guitar will be the ...
4
votes
2answers
211 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
1k 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
100 views

MIDI controller keyboard or home keyboard/digital organ for starting playing piano?

I am very very stranger to this world and made research for a week or so.I played instruments with strings in an intermediate level and wanted to learn piano from now on.However it seems to be a piano ...
6
votes
7answers
466 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 ...
16
votes
4answers
2k 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 = ...
3
votes
1answer
81 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 ...
13
votes
3answers
1k 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
346 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
27 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
98 views

Piano getting out of tune and noisy after 6 weeks

I have a 30 year old upright piano withan iron frame. It had been neglected for probably 10 years. 6 months ago it has been repaired and tuned. The action had to be cleaned and pieces of felt and ...
0
votes
2answers
85 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
38 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
175 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
161 views

Are certain instruments “arpeggio friendly”?

I've been listening to Philip Glass today. So my question might be slightly funny. :) Are there certain instruments that are arpeggio friendly? This might seem arbitrary or subject to opinion but ...
14
votes
3answers
2k 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
104 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
541 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
1k 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
666 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
118 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".
1
vote
1answer
44 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 ...
12
votes
8answers
15k 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
389 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
53 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
671 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
127 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 ...
16
votes
5answers
4k views

How do Pre War Martin Guitars Differ From Modern Ones?

Pre-war Martin guitars are revered because of their sound. What differences are there between the construction of pre-war Martin guitars, and Martin guitars made now. And are there any companies ...
-2
votes
1answer
192 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
5k 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
313 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 ...