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Exploring Music Introduction 8. by Prof. Lydia Ayers. Chordophones: Strings. A vibrating string produces sound. Important elements are the string and a rigid frame to hold it tight. Plucked Struck Bowed Air. North American Folk Music.

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By prof lydia ayers l.jpg

Exploring Music

Introduction 8

by Prof. Lydia Ayers

Chordophones strings l.jpg
Chordophones: Strings

  • A vibrating string produces sound.

  • Important elements are the string and a rigid frame to hold it tight.

  • Plucked

  • Struck

  • Bowed

  • Air

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North American Folk Music

  • Where was the farmer who wanted to win the Nobel prize?

  • Out standing in his field….

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African Bow Harp

  • <8:07> lullaby

    • accompanied by bow harp with gourd resonator, struck with stick

    • Zulu people, Republic of South Africa

  • African myth about the origin of the bow harp:

Swazi man plays a musical bow

A young girl went out for a walk. She knelt down and drank water with cupped hands at a stream. At the very moment when she had satisfied her thirst, a man dealt her a strong blow on the nape of the neck. As she died, she immediately transformed into a musical bow; her body became the wood, her limbs the cord, her head the sound box, and her spirit the melancholy and sentimental music.

Berimbau l.jpg

  • bow and arrow-like instrument

  • folk ritual

  • from African jungles of Angola to Bahia, Brazil

  • played by striking the string with a stick while stopping the string with a coin and holding a shaker

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  • How to build and play the berimbau probably came to Brazil from Africa

  • Often compared to the moans of slaves longing for their African homeland

  • African musical bow primarily a solo instrument

  • Brazilian bow developed into an ensemble instrument, employed in public performances of capoeira and samba

  • The word berimbau is Portuguese

8 08 capoeira l.jpg
<8:08> Capoeira

  • Brazilian dance from martial arts

  • accompanied by berimbau

    • high note produced by coin pressed against string (stopped)

    • low note on open string (unstopped)

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  • Bengal folk instrument

  • Spherical resonator made of dried pumpkin, wood or coconut

  • Split bamboo cane neck

  • String attached through skin membrane on the bottom of the resonator

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One String Phono Fiddle

  • A web search for “one string instrument” produced a picture of the phono fiddle

    • The bell amplifies the sound!!

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Monochord: Đàn bầu

  • Vietnamese

  • Wood box resonator, with a flexible vertical stick (neck), to which one end of its string is tied

  • Uses mostly harmonic overtones

  • Subtle ornamentations, glissandi and imitation of the human voice produced by simultaneously plucking the string and pulling the vertical stick

  • [iii:38]Hanh van from Tieng Đàn bầu

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<7:8> Bow Harp

  • man singing and playing 2 bow harps

  • Baule people, Ivory Coast

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<7:9> Kora

  • body half a large gourd

  • thick center pole with 10 strings on one side, and 11 on the other

kora maker

kora player

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<5:5> Kulibit

  • Bamboo tube zither from the Philippines

Zheng l.jpg

  • popular during the Warring States period

  • 12 to 21 strings, with movable bridges like flying wild geese

  • plucking techniques

  • pressing techniques

  • <3:13> shaking techniques

Zheng15 l.jpg

  • [iii:8]<3:14> The Lotus is in Blossom Above the Water

    • The beginning of the music, like the red lotus blossom out of the water, symbolizes the prettiness and tenderness of the lotus blossom

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  • the most ancient Chinese string instrument used today

  • playing was cultivated as a literary pastime and for spiritual elevation

  • Typical performing environment

    • privacy and intimate surroundings of a gentleman-scholar’s study

  • Programmatic titles dominate

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Qin / Guqin

  • 7-string zither

  • an instrument that has survived more than 2,500 years

  • an indigenous musical instrument (not imported)

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  • The sound of the instrument is extremely soft

    • dynamic variations are confined to a small range

  • Minute differences in finger techniques produce many shades of musical timbre

    • e.g. many kinds of vibratos, glissandi, harmonics, etc.

  • <3:15> video of qin on No 17 Cotton Mill Shanghai Blues, Music in China

Qanoun l.jpg

  • zither

    • groups of three strings, like the piano, but is plucked

    • tremolo technique

    • tuning levers

Umut Yesilmen

Iv 37 whoopie ti yi yo get along little doggies l.jpg
[iv:37]Whoopie Ti-Yi-Yo,Get Along Little Doggies

  • Appalachian Mountain Dulcimer accompanied by guitar and violin

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Foday Musa Suso

Listening Practice

  • [11] Samma means raining in Mandinka

  • Rain is a blessing that helps new life to grow and a hindrance that prevents a man from visiting his girlfriend.

  • Foday Musa Suso, Kora

  • Pharoah Sanders, Tenor Saxophone

  • M1831.M36 J35 CD3510

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  • Books

    • Nettl, Capwell, Bohlman, Wong and Turino: Excursions in World Music

    • Willoughby: The World of Music

    • Mickey Hart & Fredric Lieberman: Planet Drum

    • Jeff Todd Titon, ed.: Worlds of Music (3rd edition)

  • Web





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Sources: Videos & CDs

  • Videos

    • The Nature of Music, RM Arts [ML2790 N478 1988]

    • Exploring the World of Music, vols. 1, 4[MT7 E97 1998 v.4]

    • Dizzy Gillespie: an all-star tribute to the jazz master[M1366 .G555 1989]

    • JVC video anthology of world music and dance; v.29 [M1627 .J4 1991 v. 19, 29]

    • Personal videos from Bali, Korea and Vietnam