четвъртък, 23 септември 2010 г.

The talking piano

Peter Ablinger was born in Austria, in 1959. He’s a graphic artist and a student of jazz, and he is a fairly prolific composer. Peter has made it his mission to question the nature of sound, time, and space – the components usually thought central to music.
Now, Peter has done something quite amazing with a piano. He goes beyond notes, beyond noise, beyond composition – he can make the piano talk. Yes, talk.
What he’s managed to do is pretty incredible. Peter analyzed the frequency spectrum of a child’s voice using fourier analysis, and then transferred this frequency spectrum of the child’s voice into his own software on his computer.
He then created a mechanical “auto-player” for his piano that plays the piano keys via midi computer control. His software then assigns keys to the various frequency components of the resulting fourier transform, and uses the piano’s notes to re-assemble the spectrum.
The result is amazing – the piano actually ‘plays’ the voice, much like a vocoder. It obviously isn’t perfect, but if you follow the captions, it’s clear that the piano is ‘speaking’.
The voice is courtesy of Miro Markus, an elementary school student from Berlin, who narrated the text for the performance: “Youth as a hope for the older generation.”

Peter says:
I break down this phonography, meaning a recording of something the voice, in this case, in individual pixels, one can say. And if I have the possibility of a rendering in a fairly high resolution (and that I only get with a mechanical piano), then I in fact restore some kind of continuity. Therefore, with a little practice, or help or subtitling, we actually can hear a human voice in a piano sound.
The material from www.synthgear.com

сряда, 22 септември 2010 г.

Glass Armonica

We've known about the 'wet-finger-around-the-wine-glass' idea since Renaissance times—one of the first people to write about that phenomenon was Galileo. Sets of water-tuned glasses on which you can play tunes were popularized in England by Pockridge and Gluck in the early 1700's.
In 1761 Benjamin Franklin was in London representing the Pennsylvania Legislature to Parliament. Franklin was very interested in music: he was a capable amateur musician, attended concerts regularly, and even wrote a string quartet! One of the concerts Franklin attended was by Deleval, a colleague of his in the Royal Academy, who performed on a set of water tuned wineglasses patterned after Pockridge's instrument. Franklin was enchanted, and determined to invent and build 'a more convenient' arrangement.
Franklin's new invention premiered in early 1762, played by Marianne Davies—a well known musician in London who learned to play Franklin's new invention. Initially Franklin named it the 'glassychord', but soon settled on 'armonica' as the name for his new invention—after the Italian word for harmony "armonia". Apparently Franklin built a second instrument for Ms. Davies, as she toured Europe with hers, while Franklin returned to Philadelphia with his own.
The armonica made quite a hit, particularly in Germany. Mozart was introduced to it by Franz Mesmer, who used his to 'mesmerize' his patients, and later Mozart wrote two works for it (a solo armonica piece, and a larger quintet for armonica, flute, oboe, viola and cello). Beethoven also wrote a little piece for amonica and narrator (!), and many of their colleagues of the day composed for it as well—some 200 pieces for armonica (solo, or with other instruments) survive from that era.
But musical fashions changed. Music was moving out of the relatively small aristocratic halls of Mozart's day into the large public concert halls of the 19th century, and without amplification it simply couldn't be heard. During this period, musical instruments in general were significantly redesigned to make them louder to be heard in the larger public concert halls—the piano went through a major transformation from a "quiet little harpsichord with hammers" of Mozart's day to the massive instrument we know today, and instruments of the orchestra—strings, winds, brass—were all modified to increase their volume. But there really wasn't any way to make the armonica louder. Concert reviews from the period bemoan the fact that the armonica sounded wonderful—when it could be heard. So, alas, Franklin's marvelous invention was ultimately abandoned.
Amplification is of course no longer a problem, but even today there are only a dozen or so glass armonica performers worldwide.

The original text from www.glassarmonica.com

петък, 17 септември 2010 г.

Hurdy Gurdy

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The hurdy gurdy or hurdy-gurdy (also known as a wheel fiddle) is a stringed musical instrument that produces sound by a crank-turned rosined wheel rubbing against the strings. The wheel functions much like a violin bow, and single notes played on the instrument sound similar to a violin. Melodies are played on a keyboard that presses tangents (small wedges, usually made of wood) against one or more of the strings to change their pitch. Like most other acoustic string instruments, it has a soundboard to make the vibration of the strings audible.
Most hurdy gurdies have multiple "drone strings," which provide a constant pitch accompaniment to the melody, resulting in a sound similar to that of bagpipes. For this reason, the hurdy gurdy is often used interchangeably with or along with bagpipes, particularly in French and contemporary Hungarian folk music.


неделя, 12 септември 2010 г.


Created in 2000, the Hang (pronounced "hung") is one of the younger musical instruments. It comes from Bern, Switzerland, and was created by Felix Rohner and Sabina Schärer OF THE PANArt Company. It was the result of many years of research on the steel pan and many other resonating percussion instruments from around the world: Gong, Gamelan, Ghatam, drums, cowbells, MUSICAL Saw...
In the Bernese language, Hang refers to the human hand, as in "hand-drum." This percussion instrument is comprised of two metal hemispheres bonded together: the DING side and the GU side.
The DING side CONTAINS 8 tone fields which together form the "tone circle" (scale or mode). This circle surrounds a central dome, called the DING (which sounds like a Gong).
On the GU side, there is a hand size hole (called the GU) for sound resonance. The GU can be played like an udu, or used to modulate the sound of the DING.

More about HANG please click Here

Hang playng virtuosso. :)))

петък, 10 септември 2010 г.


The theremin is one of the earliest electronic musical instruments, and the first musical instrument played without being touched (originally pronounced [ˈteremin] but often anglicized as IPA: /ˈθɛrəmɪn/[1], theramin,[2] or thereminvox, it is also known as an aetherphone.) It was invented by Russian inventor Léon Theremin (Russian: Лев Сергеевич Термен) in 1919[3]. The controlling section usually consists of two metal antennas which sense the position of the player's hands and control radio frequency oscillator(s) for frequency with one hand, and volume with the other. The electric signals from the theremin are amplified and sent to a loudspeaker. The theremin is an electrophone, a subset of the quintephone family.
To play, the player moves his hands around the antennas, controlling frequency (pitch) and amplitude (volume). The theremin is associated with "alien", surreal, and eerie-sounding portamento, glissando, tremolo, and vibrato sounds, due to its use in soundtracks such as Spellbound, The Lost Weekend, and The Day the Earth Stood Still. Theremins are also used in art music (especially avant-garde and 20th century "new music") and in popular music genres such as rock and pop. John Otway regularly uses a Theremin in his performances, as does Claudio Sanchez of Coheed and Cambria while playing guitar. Jean Michel Jarre also used it on his album Oxygène.
Leon Theremin playing his own instrument