Archive for the ‘Science’ Category

Electronic instruments. Electronics are so fused in today’s music world, we hardly notice their presence anymore.  The process of amplifying and recording music on it’s own has cemented electronics as a cornerstone of music-making in the 20th century. But how do electronics fit into an exploration of different types of instruments?

Simple answer: not very easily!

December is upon us! Walking down the street, buildings are covered in twinkly lights, the wandering crowds are filled with cheer, and the air is ringing with that sound we all know – the holiday bells. Bells are a classically religious instrument in Christianity, Shinto, Hinduism, and Buddhism. Bells have always had strong association with

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The wide world of strings! From screaming electric guitars to the most delicate of violins, string instruments are among the most-loved sounds in the musical buffet. So, how exactly do stringed instruments work?
 Actually, a lot like drums! Like drums, string instruments have two essential parts: the material held in tension (which will create the

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Couldn’t resist. So if that’s not the sort of pipe (or not-pipe, as the case may be), what is the sort of pipe we’re talking about? Or, not-pipe we’re talking about. Or… pipe we’re not-talking about?

 Ok, enough semiotics for today. As per our last article about types of instruments, we’ll call any instrument a

In our last Music Monday, we wrapped up our time with Pythagoras, and finished looking at the work he did with a monochord to create a theoretical foundation of note notations. We discovered his notions of whole tones and semi tones, two different intervals between notes that can exist. We saw how these whole tones

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Why do we dance? Music and dance are integral factors of every human culture known, contemporary or historical. With such ubiquity, the question of nature versus nurture is bound to arise. That is – do we all dance simply out of social norms? Does every culture we know of include dance simply due to common

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When last we left our intrepid hero, Pythagoras was in the midst of manifesting a revolutionary bound in Western music – by plucking a single string at points along its length. Let’s revisit the basics of the four string-lengths he was focusing his attention on. Pythagoras would be using a monochord, or single string of

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While you live, shine, Have no grief at all; Life exists only for a short while, And time demands its toll. This piece of music, the first complete musical manuscript for which we have a living record today, was carved into a tombstone somewhere between 200 BC and 100 AD. The song, written in honor

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“I begin to sing of rich-haired Demeter, awful goddess…” – Homer, Hymn to Demeter This hymn, written for the yearly initiation ceremonies of the Eleusinian Mysteries would have literally been sung and accompanied by a lyre. The Eleusinian Mysteries probably developed in Mycenae around 1600 BC and existed in unbroken tradition until 170 AD, when

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All those letters and symbols… The musical alphabet, from ‘A’ to ‘G’… a continuous loop, speckled with some #’s and b’s nudging the sound up and down. A historical riddle for the most studied musicians to explore, and an agonizing point of memorization between many fidgeting students and their erudite tutors. Today, we explore the