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11

Early pianos started out with the existing range of harpsichords, having between four and five octaves, usually starting at low C. This stands to reason, because Bartolomeo Cristofori, generally credited with being the inventor of the piano, was an expert harpsichord maker. By the time of Mozart, the range had standardized to five octaves, starting with ...


7

Today we have digital tuners and we agree that all instruments are tuned to A = 440 cycles per second. There were no such standards in those days. I doubt any of them would have perfect pitch in the modern sense of the term, because every church they went into would have a pipe organ tuned to a different reference pitch. Furthermore in that time, pipe ...


6

Go to Wikipedia and look up the articles on each of these composers. At the bottom, under "References" you will find bibliographies of well-regarded printed book biographies of each of these composers, as well as books on music history. Hit the library and look them up and read them. Are you asking about what kind of instruments in general, or about the ...


6

When the piano was invented it did not have 88 keys and did not start on A. As composers such as Beethoven starting composing music that demanded a wider range of available notes, piano makers of the day responded by building piano's with an expanded range. The precursor of the piano was the harpsichord which was not the first keyboard (the organ was ...


4

As Laurence alludes to, when discussing "perfect" pitch, there is a difference between relative pitch and absolute pitch. Relative pitch -- knowing where a pitch falls within the context of a scale, and hearing the purity of intervals (rather than individual pitches) -- can be learned relatively easily, through exposure to music, and most musicians probably ...


3

The fact that a piano can go down to low "A" depended entirely upon the railroad and shipbuilding industries of the 1800s. It had little to do with the wishful thinking of artistic considerations. Read on and I will explain. I had so many comments to make that I decided I needed to add another answer. @RockinCowboy cited one lone source that implied that ...


3

My essential list of organisations to belong to as a musician in the UK includes the PRS and PPL (in order to be paid royalties) and the Musician's Union. The MU provides me not only with instrument insurance as Tim mentioned, but also: £1million public liability insurance (quite important to a band with pyro...) legal and contract advice free hearing ...


2

Don't know about other countries, but in U.K. there's the Musicians' Union. As a member, I was entitled to £2,000 of instrument insurance, topped up if necessary, which was a nice thing to have. The M.U. habitually chased up promoters who still owed money for performances, and warned against bad promoters. On occasions, I could get a pro-forma for contracts ...


2

There are fantastic lectures from prof. Robert Greenberg from I think Berkeley. His lectures on all these giant bigger then life composers on the teaching company website. He goes in depth their life, work, and also their caprices. Very informing and a plus entertaining. About Bach he played on the organs of the noblemen that he was employed by. He wasn't a ...


2

Ars nova simply means "new style"; ars antiqua means "old style". There are Wikipedia articles on ars nova and ars antiqua which explain a bit about the different styles and the composers associated with them. Wikipedia pegs the development of the ars nova movement as being between the years 1310 and 1370 in France and the lowlands of the Netherlands. In ...


1

Pedrell's edition is here. Yes, you can call this the 4th tone. Note the points of imitation on B and E; notice that the dux and comes of the opening point emphasise C & F respectively before falling back to the final. Subsequent points (such as at the start of page 2) have similar incipits. Note also that IV (A major) does not appear in cadences, ...


1

I contacted Dr. Tymoczko and asked for an example. His response was Mozart, piano sonata K310 in A minor, 3rd movement, starting at m.211.


1

First - you should be aware that Tymoczko's usage here is not standard. The term fauxbourdon is usually only used to refer to the late Medieval/early Renaissance technique of almost pervasively harmonizing in this manner. This is all before tonal harmony, and fauxbourdon can be employed in any mode, though care needs to be taken to use B-flat or B as ...


1

A0 is not chosen consciously but is just an arbitrary note as a result of natural selection through the ages of practice by composers, performers and makers. It seems lower A0 stands at the threshold for majority of composers and performers to express themselves comfortably, and for makers to build instruments efficiently. Some points that should be ...


1

If you take a look at the St John's Passion by Bach, it is surprisingly operatic with its use of turba choirs and the kind of introductory chorus and the dying scenes. It is true that Bach was employed by churches for large stretches of his time (as opposed to his time in Köthen, for example), including his final years. But if you take a look at his magnum ...



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