Music Appreciation-Mr. Renchen's Section

Below, you will find a brief history and description of each instrument.  Using these descriptions, along with your in-class notes, will help you become more knowledgeable about musical instruments. 
 
Trumpet
Brass instrument
Soprano voice
Just over 4 ft of tubing
Reads transposed music in the key of B-flat. (Trumpet plays a C on the page, a Bb will sound)
3 piston valves, sometimes rotary valves
Uses a metal mouthpiece into which a player buzzes their lips.
In medieval times (500-1300), trumpet was used mainly for signaling in the military and playing it was highly guarded.
Renaissance (1300-1600)- natural trumpet was made (no valves)  
Trumpet-cylindrical=brighter sound
Cornet-conical=more mellow (dark) sound
The key to high notes is FAST air (not more air).
Jazz trumpeters, such as Maynard Ferguson, are known for their extremely high notes and fast playing.

Notable players - Adolph Herseth, Chris Martin, Maynard Ferguson, Niklas Eklund, Timofei Dokschitzer
 
 
Horn
Brass instrument
Alto voice
About 12 ft of tubing
Reads transposed music in the key of F. (Horn plays a C on the page, an F will sound)
3 rotary valves, sometimes piston valves
First used as a hunting horn.
Horn actually originates from Germany.
Americans are really the only people that call it "French" Horn.  Rest of the world calls it the "Horn".
The horn we use today resembles the hunting horn the French used to use.  The name stuck.
Different horns we learned about include: natural horn, single horn, double horn, triple horn, & mellophone.

Notable players - Dale Clevenger, Phil Farkas, Tom Bacon, Barry Tuckwell

 
Trombone
Brass instrument
Tenor voice
About 9 ft of tubing. (slide all the way out=13 ft)
The trombone, itself, is in the key of B-flat.
Reads concert pitch music. (Trombone plays a C on the page, a C will sound)
Italian word tromba (trumpet) and one (suffix meaning large).  Trombone = large trumpet
Some have a trigger (or 2) that enable the player to use extra tubing.  Able to play lower notes & use alternate positions.
Unlike other brass, it uses a slide to change pitch instead of valves.
1300-1600s-trombone was made to smaller dimensions & produced a lighter sound.
Because of its light sound, it was used frequently in church & other indoor settings.
1700s-trombone solo repertoire grew and famous composers like Haydn, Beethoven, & Mozart began using trombone in their works.
Beethoven was the first to use trombone in symphonies, but Mahler made greater use of the trombones.
Trombone is about the only instrument that can always play in tune.  The tuning slide is in your hand!

Notable players - Joe Alessi, Jay Friedman, Doug Yeo, Christian Lindberg, Denis Wick, Wycliffe Gordon

 
Euphonium/Baritone
Brass instrument
Tenor voice
About 9 ft of tubing
Evolved from the ophicleide (tall, brass instrument that looks similar to a bassoon)
The baritone, itself, is in the key of B-flat.
Reads concert pitch music. (Baritone plays a C on the page, a C will sound) 
Name comes from Greek word euphonosEu = well/good, phonos = of sound
Euphonium = of good sound
Baritone-cylindrical=brighter sound
Euphonium-
conical=more mellow (dark) sound
Developed after the tuba.  Euphonium is basically a little tuba.

Notable players - Brian Bowman, Adam Frey, Phil Franke, Nicholas Childs, Jason Ham

 
Tuba
Brass instrument
Bass voice
About 18 ft of tubing
Evolved from the ophicleide (tall, brass instrument that looks similar to a bassoon)
The tuba, itself, is in the key of B-flat.
Reads concert pitch music. (Tuba plays a C on the page, a C will sound)
Latin word tuba really means trumpet
Tuba was developed after the ophicleide. (a type of metal "bassoon" that used a brass mouthpiece)
First tuba made around 1835.
Comes in different sizes like 3/4, 4/4, 5/4, & 6/4.
Marching tuba is a sousaphone.

Notable players - Arnold Jacobs, Patrick Sheridan, Rex Martin, Nat McIntosh
 
 
Percussion
Percussion-any object that produces a sound when struck, shaken, rubbed, scraped, or by any other action which sets the object into vibration.
Every single object ever made could (if necessary) be used as a percussion instrument.
Latin word percussio means to beat or strike
First musical devices created
Mainly used for rhythm, but they can play the melody or harmony too.
Although one of the oldest instruments, composers even in the 1600s & 1700s barely wrote parts for percussion.  Percussion was there mainly to keep the pulse.
1800s-composers began using percussion to give the music "color".  (ex. cymbals, triangle, tambourine)
1900s-percussion instrument selection grew rapidly

Idiophone - instrument that creates sound by vibrating without the use of strings or membranes
Ex. Cabasa, Chimes, Cowbell, Cymbals, Marimba, Bells, Temple Blocks, Triangle, Vibraphone, Wood Block, Xylophone

Membranophone - instrument that produces sound through a vibrating stretched membrane
Ex. Bass drum, Bongos, Conga, Djembe, Mridangam, Octoban, Snare Drum, Tabla, Timpani, Tom-tom

Notable players - Vic Firth, Cynthia Yeh
, Chris Lamb, Terry Gibbs, Neil Peart, John Bonham


Flute
Woodwind instrument
Soprano voice
The only reedless woodwind.  Most other woodwinds use a reed.
A woodwind instrument is one that produces sound when air is blown against a sharp edge (edge usually made of metal or wood)
Reads concert pitch music. (Flute plays a C on the page, a C will sound)
Along with percussion & the voice, the flute is among the oldest of instruments.  40,000+ years BC around central Europe.
First made from large animal bones, then later wood and much later metal.

Fippled flutes - designed with a precisely formed windway that compresses and channels the air to the sharp edge.
These types of flutes have very limited options for sound.  It either makes sound or it doesn't.

Non-fipple flutes - designed so the airstream is shaped & directed by the player's lips (embouchure) and the airstream is cut on the sharp edge of the tonehole.  These types of flutes offer a wide range of expression in pitch, volume, and tone quality (timbre).

Notable players - James Galway, Greg Patillo, Mathieu Dufour, Robert Langevin, Jean-Pierre Rampal
 

Clarinet
Woodwind instrument
Alto voice
Reads transposed music in the key of Bb. (Clarinet plays a C on the page, a Bb will sound)
Italian word clarino (a type of trumpet) & suffix -et (little) combine to make clarinet (little type of trumpet
First clarinets had a very strident (bright) tone similar to a trumpet.
Clarinet developed from the chalumeau.
1700s-chalumeau was modified by converting one of its keys into a register (octave) key, thus creating the first modern clarinet.
This new instrument had a significantly larger range of notes & its design is attributed to Johann Denner (Germany).
Early 1800s-pads were used to help cover holes & prevent air leaks.  Pads made from leather or fish bladder.
Mid 1800s-final development to modern clarinet: fingering system
Changed from Oehler system to the Boehm system.
Every country uses the Boehm fingering system today, except Germany & Austria who use the Oehler system.

Most clarinets are made from grenadilla wood.  Student models made from resonite plastic. 
Mouthpiece is made from very hard rubber or plastic.
Ligature holds the reed on to the mouthpiece.  Ligature made of metal or plastic.

Notable players - Benny Goodman, Richard Stolzman, Anthony McGill, Sabine Meyer

 
Saxophone
Woodwind instrument
Alto (& tenor) voice
Large family of saxophones used in modern bands. 
Most frequently used are Alto, Tenor, & Baritone saxophones.
They all read transposed music.
Soprano sax, Tenor sax, & Bass sax in the key of Bb. (Sax plays a C on the page, a Bb will sound)

Alto sax & Baritone sax in the key of Eb.
(Sax plays a C on the page, a Eb will sound)
Invented by Belgian clarinetist Adolph Sax in 1846.
Mr. Sax wanted an instrument that had the projection (loudness) of a brass, but the agility (quickness) of a woodwind.
Saxophones started in outdoor military bands, moved to indoor concert bands, and then really gained popularity through jazz bands.
Fingering system is very similar to the clarinet and flute.

Most saxophones are made from metal.
Mouthpiece is made from very hard rubber or plastic.
Ligature holds the reed on to the mouthpiece.  Ligature is made of metal or plastic.

Notable players - Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins, Joshua Redman, Eugene Rousseau
 

Oboe
Woodwind instrument
Soprano voice
Uses a double reed.  Most other woodwinds use a single reed (clarinet, saxophone)
Reads concert pitch music. (Oboe plays a C on the page, a C will sound)
In Europe, prior to 1770, the oboe was called "hautbois" (oh-bwah)
Haut=high, Bois=wood, Oboe=high wood
The spelling "oboe" was adopted in English from the Italian translation.
Predecessor to the oboe was the shawm.
1800s-Mr. Triebert used the Boehm fingering system as a source of ideas for the keywork.
Modern professional oboes made from grenadilla wood.  Student models made from plastic.
A frequently used cousin to the oboe is the English Horn.  It is similar to the oboe, but is longer and therefore plays lower.

Notable players - Ray Still, Alex Klein, Liang Wang, Sherry Sylar, Allan Vogel


Bassoon
Woodwind instrument
Bass voice
Uses a double reed.  Most other woodwinds use a single reed (clarinet, saxophone)
Reads concert pitch music. (Bassoon plays a C on the page, a C will sound)
Predecessor to the bassoon was the dulcian.
The man most likely to have developed the bassoon was Martin Hotteterre in 1650s.
Started with only a few keys.
Keys were slowly added until around 1900s.  Most modern bassoons have about 17 keys.
Modern bassoon has 2 forms: Heckel (German) system or the Buffet (French) system.
Almost the entire world plays on Heckel system bassoons.  France and Belgium use Buffet system bassoons.
The Heckel system started from scratch.
The Buffet system made incremental improvements on the dulcian.
Main differences: Buffet bassoons have a narrower bore, simpler mechanics, a "reedier" sound, & greater facility in the upper register.
First used in orchestras to reinforce the bass line.
Didn't become standard instruments until late 1600s. Antonio Vivaldi popularized it.
Modern bands/orchestras call for 2 bassoons, with a 3rd playing contrabassoon.

Notable players - Judith LeClair, Willard Elliott, David McGill, Jeffrey Lyman