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The technical aspect of musical instruments


Got to Be Crazy
I find it to be quite fascinating. I've been a strings player over half my life (violin at age seven, cello in middle school, guitar and bass from high school on), and even within that category I've seen many interesting things. Strings and tuning pegs even have some interesting properties, and I've marveled many times at the genius of something as simple as a guitar's fret, altering the string's vibrating length and rate so easily.

Recently I've been more interested in other types of instruments. Keyboards are all very interesting, with their wide range of mechanisms. I once attended a lecture by a professional harpsichordist ("The striking thing about pianos" was one of the best puns I had heard in a very long time) and was absolutely mesmerised. I opened up my piano once and observed the way the hammers and dampers moved. I read articles about Mellotrons and Hammond organs, which I find to be the most interesting of all instruments.

Wind instruments are nice to hear and observe, with the valves opening and closing in such a manner to alter the flow of air so precisely. Percussion is also such a broad category with such diverse instruments; it's amazing how altering the thickness of a cymbal can change its sound so much, or how bells have such a unique harmonic series. Miscellaneous others are almost uncategorizable, such as a Jewish harp or a theremin. I review all my knowledge of as many musical instruments as I can, and I think:

Will all the possible mechanical inventions of musical instruments ever be exhausted? Or has it already happened?

Also, it's really funny to watch a pianist attempt dynamic contrast on a harpsichord.


Wof Wof Wof Wof Wof
Everything is an instrument~

Kiko The Freako

New Member
well said I ma surpised you didnt mention the xylophone and mirumba with the way the wood is hallowed out on the botom over the pipes and suspendded with the chord so that teh wood bibrates with every stroke to create a resonating sound in the pipe below or more amazingly how to tune one of those instrumetns with a plug in the pipe that you can move to lengthen or shorten the space that the air has to flow and liek a wind instrument by changing air flow creates different specific pitches. you seem like the sort of person who would enjoy AP music theory as well.


New Member
Basically....if your a music tech-head like me, your gonna wanna work in a music store...even if it's just for a summer or so...you learn so much about the instruments by fixing them, it's insane....Personally, i think percussion instruments are the most interesting of all instruments, and not just because I'm a drummer. Basically, most of what makes other instruments what they are is the search of pitch....tone quality comes as a secondary idea while being constructed...saxes could be dark or bright, but it's not the defining factor of which sax you buy (Unless your an invested musician)...for drums, from the very beginning, different equipment means different things...I tried to construct the perfect set for myself one time, and it too me about an hour just to think of all the little details...and I still had to pick the color!


Even more intriguing than the tech aspects behind -constructing- an instrument are those behind -playing- an instrument. I'm learning to play the cello and it's surprising how many things have to be happening at once for you to maintain a good sound - allowing gravity to do most of your playing, keeping the bow at a proper angle, your posture.