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Vivaldis Orchestra

1720 was far from modern, so they did not have instruments such as the saxophone in
those days. But several instrument families were already in existence and well developed.
n example would !e the violin family. "any instruments in this #roup were invented
and widely used !ac$ then. Other families had existin# mem!ers !ut were still
developin#, replacin# the old models with new ones. n interestin# case would !e the
harpsichord. %his instrument loo$ed somewhat similar to a piano, and was played in a
similar way. &owever, in its early sta#es, the harpsichord was all white $eys and only one
!lac$ one, or all !lac$ $eys with one white one''' %he harpsichords desi#n was still in
turmoil until (ohann )e!astian Bach set it strai#ht. )ome instruments had their desi#n
experimented on !i*arrely then. (ohann )e!astian Bach had set the desi#n strai#ht, so the
instrument was not so cra*y any more. &e was around durin# Vivaldis time and + would
not !e very surprised at all if they met at some point in their lives. )ome instrument
families had no existin# mem!ers !ut came into existence very shortly, and yet others
had some time to wait until they were invented. n instrument that was invented way
after that time is the saxophone. + learnt ,uic$ly that some +nternet sources arent relia!le
at all, since one informed me that ntonio Vivaldi had made pieces for the saxophone,
!ut could not have, !ecause "r. &oward soon told me that the saxophone was invented
one hundred years or more after Vivaldis time'''
-hat Vivaldi most certainly did have were violins, and their si!lin#s, the cellos. Vivaldi
was a violinist, and #ot into hi#h places !ecause he was so #ood at playin# the violin.
Violas were around that time too, as well as the enormous dou!le !ass. %his monster
instrument was so !i#. you had to stand up to play it, often on tiptoe''' +t had a small
spi$e to prevent the !ottom of the instrument #ettin# scraped while playin#. ll classical
mem!ers of the violin family were in existence at that time, and are still widely used
today.
nother old instrument family that existed then. +t was the woodwind family, a family
that is still widely used today. lot of people are familiar with this diverse family. %he
hu#e !assoon was played in the orchestra in those days, and is still in use today. %his
#iant stic$ of an instrument is too lon# to play in the same posture as the clarinet, and is
too lon# to hold sideways li$e a flute. chances are youll turn around and smash it, an
o!/ect, or accidentally whac$ a person in the face. +t is also too heavy to play in either of
these postures. "r. &oward informed me that you at to play it in an unusual posture.
sittin# down, playin# a little dia#onally so your thi#h can help support it. lternatively,
you could play standin# usin# a nec$ strap, or you could use a spi$e to support it while
you sit down and play, rather similar to a cello. +t was also $ept in a way similar to a flute
or clarinet. in a case, which is shorter !ut wider than the !assoon, so you have to
disassem!le it and put it in the case.
Vivaldi also used the lute. %his instrument loo$ed a little similar to a !an/o or #uitar.
0utes are also similar to !an/os and #uitars 1!ut not electric varieties2, !ecause it was
made almost entirely out of wood. +t was also played in a similar way to #uitars and
!an/os. you can strum the strin#s, or pluc$ them.