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Questions tagged [instruments]

For questions about generalities about instruments or groups of instruments.

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18
votes
13answers
2k 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
2k 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 ...
2
votes
4answers
9k 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
1answer
3k 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 ...
0
votes
4answers
6k 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
3k 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
185 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

Is it an advantage for the headstock geometry to minimize the string deflection between slot and tuning peg?

Almost all of my 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 straight line ...
4
votes
1answer
1k 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 if such an instrument is even acoustically possible. The instrument is a tube, like most other woodwinds, but inside of the tube is a ...
7
votes
1answer
932 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
1answer
540 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 ...
4
votes
6answers
2k 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)
8
votes
5answers
42k 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
474 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
805 views

What's the qualitative difference between wooden and plastic recorders?

Are wooden recorders better than plastic recorders? Do they have better tone or are more playable? Are these differences noticeable for cheap recorders? What are the advantages of plastic recorders? ...
4
votes
1answer
693 views

learning the Kora

Are there any written methods for learning the Kora, a West African instrument which traditionally is taught only by example and whose repertoire is not notated?
2
votes
3answers
49k views

It's really hard to press my acoustic guitar strings and I can't figure out why

I recently bought a Seagull entourage rustic, after trying it out in a store. It was really easy to play. The one I ordered (2nd hand), however, is really hard to play. I can't play a barre F chord in ...
10
votes
11answers
3k views

Instruments that are easy on left pinkie fingers

I am interested in learning an instrument but have limited mobility in my left pinkie/little finger due to an old injury. What instruments are least demanding on that finger?
0
votes
1answer
95 views

What type of instruments are these? [closed]

My husband's uncle passed away a couple of days ago and he left these instruments behind; I was hoping maybe someone could tell me what they are! Please help me, and how to tune them.
1
vote
4answers
1k views

Is there a lightweight keyboard piano that doesn't require any energy supply?

Is there a type of keyboard that doesn't require batteries or any electricity of any kind? also one that is extremely portable like a guitar? It should also sound like a normal piano without any ...
6
votes
4answers
2k views

In classical music scores we often find French horns of different pitches. Why is that?

For example, in many pieces, there are two horns in F and two in E flat. What is the reason? Divide the horns to be able to give each group the better matching parts concerning intonation? For pitch ...
9
votes
4answers
11k 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 of ...
3
votes
1answer
191 views

Symphony deconstructed by instruments

does anyone know if this has been done before? I'm interested in listening to a symphony deconstructed by the instruments. Preferably if I can turn them on or off to listen to the whole piece without ...
4
votes
3answers
929 views

Why are there no instruments made from rocks?

Sorry if this is a silly question, but I happened to notice that while there are instruments made out of wood and/or metal and even plastic or glass, there are no rock-based instruments. It seems that ...
4
votes
3answers
5k views

Why are some/most B♭-clarinets tuned to A=442 Hz?

I want to buy a B♭-clarinet, but I don't know a lot about clarinets. I noticed that most clarinets are tuned to A=442Hz, while more expensive clarinets sometimes can be found with A=440Hz. I don't ...
4
votes
1answer
162 views

It's there a diference between a MIDI instrument and an analogue one?

I'm new to music recordings, and I would love to get a simple midi keyboard for practicing and composing basic stuff. I guess a MIDI keyboard is much better than using the computer keyboard, but I've ...
5
votes
1answer
485 views

Are there any other common names for what I've heard called a “Crossover Guitar”

That is to say, a nylon (or gut, I guess) guitar that has certain features usually associated with a steel stringed acoustic. I'm talking about Spanish guitars with a thin neck, often with an ...
1
vote
3answers
14k views

Ranking of Difficulty of Instruments [closed]

I was recently notified of a ranking of languages by the Defense Language Institute (for a native English speaker). It can be found here or here. The summary is that languages can be divided into ...
2
votes
2answers
780 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, ...
-2
votes
2answers
114 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
2
votes
1answer
431 views

How to tie knot for adjustable string strumstick strap

I have a strumstick and part of the requirement to hold it comfortably for playing is to have the string that's used for a strap adjusted to the correct length. The way they do this is with a special ...
3
votes
3answers
339 views

Extended range electric basses versus extended range electric guitars

The differences between standard electric basses (four strings) and standard electric guitars (six strings) are very clear: in addition to have a different number of strings, they also differ in their ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

Which wind instruments are a problem with braces?

Which wind instruments are a problem with braces? Please make a list showing the relative difficulties. Clarification: I am also interested in what most people would consider minor inconveniences. ...
4
votes
2answers
453 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
2k 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)? ...
9
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
31
votes
3answers
2k 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
3k 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
132 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
4k 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
488 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
5k 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
552 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 ...
11
votes
4answers
4k 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 ...
9
votes
5answers
20k 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?
37
votes
17answers
68k 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
969 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
34 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 ...
0
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
1
vote
4answers
296 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 ...