Category Archives: Western

Musical Keyboard

musical keyboards

A keyboard instrument is a musical instrument played using a keyboard. The most common of these is the piano. Some other types of keyboard instruments include celestas, which are struck idiophones operated by a keyboard, carillons, which are usually housed in bell towers or belfries of churches or other municipal buildings, and other non-acoustic instruments, such as various electronic organs, synthesizers, and keyboards designed to imitate other musical sounds.

Today, the term “keyboard” is most commonly used to refer to keyboard-style synthesizers. Under the fingers of a sensitive performer, the keyboard may also be used to control dynamics, phrasing, shading, articulation, and other elements of expression, depending on the design and inherent capabilities of the instrument.

Among the earliest keyboard instruments are the pipe organ, hurdy gurdy, clavichord and harpsichord. The organ is without doubt the oldest of these, appearing in the third century BC, though this early instrument, called hydraulis, did not use a keyboard in the modern sense. From its invention until the fourteenth century, the organ remained the only keyboard instrument. Often, the organ did not feature a keyboard at all, but rather buttons or large levers operated by a whole hand. Almost every keyboard until the fifteenth century had seven naturals to each octave.

The clavichord and the harpsichord appeared during the 14th century, the clavichord probably being the earlier. The harpsichord and the clavichord were both common until the widespread adoption of the piano in the 18th century, after which their popularity decreased. The piano was revolutionary because a pianist could vary the volume (or dynamics) of the sound by varying the vigor with which each key was struck. The piano’s full name is gravic√®mbalo con piano e forte meaning harpsichord with soft and loud but can be shortened to piano-forte, which means soft-loud in Italian. In its current form, the piano is a product of the 20th century, and is far removed in both sound and appearance from the “pianos” known to Mozart, Haydn, and Beethoven. In fact, the modern piano is significantly different from even the 19th-century pianos used by Liszt, Chopin, and Brahms.

Keyboard instruments were further developed in the early twentieth century. Early electromechanical instruments, such as the Ondes Martenot, appeared early in the century. This was a very important contribution to the keyboard’s history.

Much effort has gone into creating an instrument that sounds like the piano but lacks its size and weight. The electric piano and electronic piano were early efforts that, while useful instruments in their own right, were not successful in convincingly reproducing the timbre of the piano. Electric and electronic organs were developed during the same period.

Guitar

guitar musical instrument

The guitar is a popular musical instrument classified as a string instrument with anywhere from 4 to 18 strings, usually having 6. The sound is projected either acoustically or through electrical amplification (for an acoustic guitar or an electric guitar, respectively). It is typically played by strumming or plucking the strings with the right hand while fretting (or pressing against the fret) the strings with the left hand.

The guitar is a type of chordophone, traditionally constructed from wood and strung with either gut, nylon or steel strings and distinguished from other chordophones by its construction and tuning. The modern guitar was preceded by the gittern, the vihuela, the four-course Renaissance guitar, and the five-course baroque guitar, all of which contributed to the development of the modern six-string instrument.

There are three main types of modern acoustic guitar: the classical guitar (nylon-string guitar), the steel-string acoustic guitar, and the archtop guitar. The tone of an acoustic guitar is produced by the strings’ vibration, amplified by the body of the guitar, which acts as a resonating chamber. The classical guitar is often played as a solo instrument using a comprehensive fingerpicking technique. The term fingerpicking can also refer to a specific tradition of folk, blues, bluegrass, and country guitar playing in the US.

Electric guitars, introduced in the 1930s, use an amplifier that can electronically manipulate and shape the tone. Early amplified guitars employed a hollow body, but a solid body was eventually found more suitable, as it was less prone to feedback. Electric guitars have had a continuing profound influence on popular culture.

The guitar is used in a wide variety of musical genres worldwide. It is recognized as a primary instrument in genres such as blues, bluegrass, country, flamenco, folk, jazz, jota, mariachi, metal, punk, reggae, rock, soul, and many forms of pop.