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MENC: The National Association for Music Education
The In Harmony With Education Program
In this packet, you will find five masters, labeled with letters a-e, to be duplicated for use ® as you teach the lessons outlined in the In Harmony With Education program Teacher’s Guide. The remaining, numbered masters can be duplicated by you or your students as a source of ideas for the task of building musical instruments. These masters are not, however, the only possibilities that you or your students should explore. They are included here because they are instruments that are: • relatively inexpensive (most of the parts can be purchased at either a hardware store or, in the case of strings for some instruments, at a neighborhood music store). • likely to work well together. • well-suited to teaching important aspects of the production of musical sound. Your students may elect to make instruments that are much simpler than those described here. If limited by time or resources, for example, students may produce: • an Indian jaltarang, a percussion instrument consisting of a series of bowls tuned by the level of water in each bowl. • a zither consisting of a series of rubber bands stretched over a resonant cavity (large Styrofoam cups work well). • percussion instruments such as spoons (clappers) or shakers—or even an “instrument of defined body-percussion methods. Whenever students produce instruments with definite pitch, you will want to make certain that the pitches used will work in the context of the In Harmony With Education program. This means that the instruments should produce pitches from the pentatonic scale, G, A, B, D, E. (Note that some of the instruments defined in the Black Line Masters produce a plagal version of this scale, D, E, G, A, B). Whatever the students’ approach, you should encourage them to think through the cultural background of their instruments, the best musical uses of their instruments, and the scientific implications of the ways that they can use their instruments to control sound. The printed black line masters have notes on these aspects; the blank master gives students a place to spell out this information, as well. You should ask that all students submit plans for their instruments before making them. This will give you the chance to make certain that the students are thinking logically about the dimensions of sound to be controlled and the musical effects to be gained. It will also help parents who are involved enough to accompany the students on trips to buy (inexpensive) supplies—because the Black Line Masters used in planning contain parts lists. Finally, you should demand that students follow all appropriate safety procedures when making their instruments. Insist that students adhere strictly to all manufacturers’ instructions regarding ventilation for adhesives and safety glasses or other items for tools—and insist that they use common sense in their work.
Making a Nail Violin/Nail Piano
MENC: The National Association for Music Education
On the plywood, mark out an arc by using a compass set to 5" (or do it freehand).
Tune the instrument: raise the pitch of any nail by hammering it in; lower the pitch by carefully pulling out a little with the hammer's claws. Tune to: D, E, G, A, B
Starting 1" from the edge of the wood, pound in nails every 1-1/2" along the arc–putting the largest nails at the top and the smallest at the bottom. Don’t hammer them too deep.
❑ piece of 1/2" plywood, 12" x 6" or larger ❑ 5 nails: 3 12d, 1 10d, 1 8d ❑ violin or cello bow, or general instrument bow (see Master #2)
The Nail Violin in Science and Culture
Playing the Nail Violin
Hold it in your left hand, with the arc of nails facing in front of you and the bottom resting on your left knee. Then, either: • bow the nails near the nail heads, or • strike the nails with a stick near the board
The first nail violin that we know of was invented in 1740 by a German violinist, Johann Wilde. The nails vibrate in much the same way as the bars on the xylophone and, like the xylophone bars, will give a pitch that gets progressively lower as the nails get longer and heavier. That is why the nail violin can be tuned by pounding the nails more to make them higher in pitch. [Note that, just as you can strike the nails on a nail violin, you can bow the bars of a xylophone or metallophone.]
Making a Multi-Purpose Bow
MENC: The National Association for Music Education
Notch each end so that the notches go about 1/8" into the wood.
Run a loop of dental floss to a chair about 30" away from you, back to your hand, and back to the chair— until you have a pretty good size bundle.
Run the strings over the rosin until they are well coated.
Tie the other end around the stick about 1/2" short of the lower notches. Then, slide the knot down (bending the stick as you do so) and pull tight.
Tie one end of the bundle off to the upper notches and pull tight.
the Arabic rebab. over and over—many times a second. about 24" long (in a pinch. the fiber that is rubbed across the strings of an instrument are made from animal hairs—the best known being the long hairs from the tails of horses. On many bows. If the bow is still moving. Using those fingers. to name a few. the Chinese er hu. When the elastic force of the string (the way the string “wants” to go back to being straight) gets strong enough. . a relatively straight stick from a tree will do) ❑ 1 roll unwaxed dental floss ❑ 1 cake violin. On modern violin bows. it pulls it to the side again. Rosin (made from the sap of certain trees) is rubbed on the bow hairs to add to the friction that makes the bow work. In playing with any bow. Bows for stringed instruments are used by cultures throughout the world—the European viol and violin families. it springs back again. it springs back. When the bow is rubbed across the string. or bass rosin The Bow in Science and Culture Tools ❑ knife Playing with the Bow Grab the stick at the lower end (traditionally. this is done with a screw mechanism. friction helps it pull the string to one side. with the right hand).Materials ❑ 1 flexible wood lath. cello. or 1/4" diameter dowel. and insert the ring and middle fingers between the stick and the fibers. on many other bows. this tightness is regulated with the thumb. hold the fibers away from the stick and run them over the string to make it vibrate. a musician needs to be able to control the tightness of the bow fibers. and so on. about 1/4" x 1/2".
... 6 Insert into the 13/16" pipe. 2 2 Holding the sandpaper flat on the table.. leaving about 1/4" free space between them.. . round off the diagonal cut so that it is convex. the flat side should be against the pipe.MASTER #3 Making a Slide Clarinet MENC: The National Association for Music Education 1 1 Make an acute diagonal cut in one end of the 1/2" diameter pipe with the hacksaw.. 3 On the other end of the pipe. 4 Roll the O-rings into place between the bands of tape.. and coat with Vaseline.. wrap two bands of electrician’s tape about five or six layers deep. .. 11" 3 5 Tape the reed in place so that its tip is just even with the top of the pipe... . 4 O- ..
Place it against your lower lip and blow hard. The closed cylindrical shape of the air column gives it a distinctive sound (with only every other overtone). Buffet (who followed the principals introduced on flutes by T. Klose and L. G to B. single-reed instruments—in many cultures. the player can effectively shorten the clarinet and produce higher pitches. opening and closing many times a second and setting up a vibration in the air inside the instrument. • Holding the top of the 1/2" pipe with your left hand.Materials ❑ 1 piece 1/2" inside diameter PVC pipe. which allow players of the whole family of instruments to play very low and very high notes and to play conveniently in many keys. You should be able to get a range of about a Major 3rd. One type was called the chalumeau— and the lower. fuller part of the modern clarinet’s range is still called the “chalumeau register. 11" long ❑ 1 roll electrician’s (black) tape ❑ 2 rubber O-rings ( 3/4 x 9/16 x 3/32). Boehm). you can get them in the plumbing section of a hardware store ❑ Vaseline ❑ 1 clarinet reed (#2) The Clarinet in Science and Culture The clarinet is technically a blown instrument with a cylindrical (straight) tube and a single reed. There are early clarinets— that is. by opening holes in the side of the instrument. The fingering system was greatly improved in about 1840 by H.” The modern European clarinet was developed by Johann Christoph Denner in about 1710. . slide the 3/4" pipe in and out with your right hand. Tools ❑ hacksaw ❑ 100 grit sandpaper Playing the Slide Clarinet • Dampen the reed with saliva. Clarinets exist in many sizes. 13" long ❑ 1 piece 13/16" inside diameter PVC pipe. The reed is held in the player’s mouth in such a way that it “flaps” against the end of the clarinet.
use a can opener to make openings across from one another in the base near the intact end. . 2. Run the guitar string through the small hole in the can and loop it several times so that it doesn’t slip—through the two small holes in the other end of the board. 6 Taking the empty can with one end removed. 4 Drill a 1/8" hole in the center of the intact end of the can. 3 5 Insert the dowel through the triangular openings in the can and then through the 1/4" hole in the board. 1. drill two 1/8" holes.MASTER #4 Making a Dan Bau MENC: The National Association for Music Education 1 Drill a 1/4" hole in the center of the plywood. 3. about 2" from one end. wrap tape around the dowel beneath the board to keep it from slipping back through the hole. About 2" from the lower end of the dowel. 2 About 5" from the other end. 4.
The result is a high-pitched. Experiment with plucking the string with the index finger of the left hand while hitting the string at one point with the thumb—which you have to locate at a point 1/4.014 gauge ❑ tape (such as electrician's or masking tape) The Dan Bau in Science and Culture Tools ❑ ❑ ❑ ❑ saw. The dan bau is native to Vietnam. and the higher the pitch. to cut wood parts to size 1/4" drill 1/8" drill can opener Playing the Dan Bau • Squatting on the floor. 2/3. about 8" long ❑ tin can (such as a soup can) ❑ steel guitar string. Playing the dan bau shows the interaction between string tension and pitch—the tighter the string. . It also shows the interesting sound quality that can come with harmonics. about 6" x 30" ❑ dowel 1/4" diameter or larger. only the “harmonic” that is still at that point can vibrate. Normally. hold the dowel in the right hand with the other end of the board to your left. It takes practice to find the exact point for a “harmonic node. In that country. strings vibrate simultaneously with many harmonics.” but the sound is worth it. • Raise the can off the board by about 3" and pull the string tight. Hold down the far left end of the board with one foot. pure sound. you must play harmonics. but is also played by itself. It is often used to accompany the reciting of epics. it is usually more elaborate— and the technique for producing harmonics is more elaborate than that given here.Materials ❑ sheet of 1/8" plywood. the faster it vibrates. When the string is touched at a “node. about . • Pluck the string with the left hand while pulling on the dowel to adjust tension with the right.” located at a point that cuts the string into lengths that form a simple ratio. or another simple ratio along the length of the string. • To get the real dan bau sound.
MASTER #5 Make a Tunable Drum MENC: The National Association for Music Education 1 Place the cloth tightly over the inner circle of the embroidery hoop. Fold about 1" of the remaining bottle material inside. 2 Run a thin line of glue around the place where the cloth disappears into the space between the hoops and let it dry. Make a thin “varnish” of watered-down glue and coat the entire cloth surface. Place the outer hoop around it and tighten. 3 Cut the bottom 2" or 3" out of the soda bottle. .
The mechanism on these instruments is worked with a foot pedal or a hand crank. In any drum. This effect is used by players of the dunsdun of the Yoruba people. have a mechanism to accomplish this same effect. or timpani. who press on the strings that hold the heads of their hourglass-shaped instruments to vary the head tension while they play. tightening the head gives a higher pitch (though the pitch may be too complex to be heard as a single pitch). about 8" x 8" ❑ white glue ❑ 2-liter plastic soda bottle ❑ pencil or mallet The Drum in Science and Culture Tools ❑ knife ❑ scissors Playing the Tunable Drum Hold the soda bottle neck down. grab the bottle between your legs. use a pencil end or other small stick to strike the head. extremely complex.Materials ❑ 1 embroidery hoop (6") ❑ 1 square of linen or other cloth. The difficulty in identifying exact pitches of many drums comes from the fact that the drum head can vibrate in many. ways—and not all of these ways of vibration give frequencies that line up according to the orderly overtone series produced by instruments of exact pitch. Holding the edges of the hoop down with the left hand. Place the hoopand-cloth “drum head” over the wide opening. Drums—membranes stretched over a resonant cavity—appear in almost all cultures. Pressing down on the hoop will raise the pitch—and you can experiment with dampening the cloth of the head to tighten it and get a better sound. . Modern orchestral kettledrums.
MASTER #6 Making a Hoseaphone MENC: The National Association for Music Education 1 Insert the mouthpiece into one end of the tubing. Test the tuning again. using the same embouchure as on any brass instrument. and determine the note (which should be a little flat from G). Blow into it. 3 4 Coil the tube and tape the coils together. . 2 Using the knife. it may be necessary to trim the tube a little more. Repeat as necessary until the fundamental note sounds as G. Insert the funnel into the free end. cut off a little of the free end of the hose and test again.
C. in uses by Assyrian. First. Cornets. large animal bones are hollowed out and blown in this way.” By increasing the pressure of your blowing and the tension of your lips. Egyptian. and G an octave higher). you will be able to play some of the overtones available on your instrument (you should be able to get at least G. the tube can be curled around without any appreciable effect on the pitch or tone color—but the shape of the tube has a great effect. and the use of metal to make these “brass” instruments dates back at least to the first millennium B.E. One of the most interesting aspects of the science of trumpet-making is the effect of the shape of the tube on the sound. Tools ❑ knife Playing the Hoseaphone You can hold the coiled tube in any way you want—keeping the funnel to the front will project more sound to your audience. it is equivalent to any one of a number of “lip-vibrated aerophones” (instruments into which the player blows. giving them a “softer” tone color with weaker upper overtones. In Oceania. D. shells have holes cut into them that act as mouthpieces. Keeping your lips loosely compressed. For example. in Tibet. put the mouthpiece to the center of your mouth and blow. on the other hand. . some cultures made “trumpets” out of pottery.Materials ❑ 1 brass instrument mouthpiece ❑ 3/8" inside diameter plastic tubing (about 5' 4") ❑ kitchen funnel ❑ electrician’s tape The Hoseaphone in Science and Culture The hoseaphone is a fanciful instrument played by some musicians as a joke—but. creating vibrations with his or her lips). in principle. and Hebrew cultures. in the northwestern corner of South America. have a more conical tube. modern orchestral trumpets are basically cylindrical (straight) tubes. allowing the lips to “buzz.
7" and 6". B. Sand the ends smooth. and E. 2 Align the top ends of the tubes and tape them together.7 1/2". 3 . A. 8 1/2". and tune the tubes to G. a little at a time. Pushing the corks in will make the pitch higher—pushing out with a dowel or other stick will make the pitch lower. D. Insert a “cork” of rolled up plastic wrap into the lower ends.MASTER #7 Making Panpipes MENC: The National Association for Music Education 1 Cut the PVC into the following lengths (in inches): 9 1/2".
The air tends to alternate passing over the top and into the tube. the notes of their two paired instruments can musicians play their relatively complex and very exciting pieces. the slower the vibration. The speed of the vibration is set by the length of the tube—the longer the tube. They were even specified as the instrument for the character Papageno in Mozart’s opera.Materials ❑ 1/2" diameter PVC tubing (about 37" total) ❑ duct tape ❑ plastic kitchen wrap Panpipes in Science and Culture Tools ❑ hacksaw ❑ 100 grit sandpaper Playing the Panpipes Hold the pipes with the longest tube on your left. . blowing over the tops of the tubes causes turbulence in the air stream. are distinctive in that they are made in pairs. Blow strongly across the top. The Magic Flute. Practice doing this with each tube in scale order and jumping from note to note. or interlocking. Also called raft pipes (because they look somewhat like a raft of logs). When panpipes are played. they are used by many cultures including the Aymara of the South American Andes and the Basque of Spain and France. The notes of any given melody are divided between the players of each panpipe in the pair—and only by alternating. The sikuri (singular siku). and the lower the pitch. setting up a vibration inside the tube. the pipes of the Aymara. saying something like “doo” to get a definite beginning to the sound.
stick the 3/8" dowel through the 1" dowel. drill a 3/8" hole 2" from one end. Make two holes with the nail or awl on opposite sides near closed end of can. On the 3/8" dowel. over the small piece of wood (the bridge) placed against the can.MASTER #8 Making an Erhu MENC: The National Association for Music Education 1 Open one end of can. . Tape around jagged edges of holes. and an 1/8" hole at other end. 2 Widen each hole with metal shears to 1" diameter. On the 1" dowel. Twist the little dowel to tune. 5 Run the guitar string through the 1/8" hole in the big dowel. drill an 1/8" hole near one end. and through the 1/8" hole in the little dowel. 3 4 Stick the 1" dowel through the tube.
about 20" long ❑ 3/8" wooden dowel. Don’t try to push the strings all the way down to the spike. and hold a bow in the right hand. tomato sauce) ❑ 1" wooden dowel. While drawing the bow across the strings. Instruments of this type show up in many cultures and are possibly at the basis of modern Western bowed string instruments. about 3" x 1/2" x 1/4" ❑ metal guitar string (about . with the bow passed between them.010 gauge) ❑ electrician’s or duct tape The Erhu in Science and Culture Tools ❑ ❑ ❑ ❑ ❑ 1" drill 3/8" drill 1/8" drill metal shears (tin snips) nail or awl The name “erhu” means two-stringed barbarian [fiddle]—it was introduced into China in a period of expanding foreign influence. about 4" long ❑ piece of wood. Playing the Erhu Hold the upright spike of the instrument between the thumb and palm of the left hand. such as 28 oz. . you can lightly touch the strings with the fingers of the left hand to get new pitches. The real erhu has two strings. is driven through a resonator. The erhu fits into the general classification of “spike fiddle” or string instrument in which a single spike.Materials ❑ can (large. Place the lower spike against the right thigh. which holds the string or strings.
MASTER #9 Making a Maraca MENC: The National Association for Music Education 1 Put the rattling medium in the box or can. . 2 Tape or seal it shut.
or strike it. but in the generic form of shakers. popcorn. or stones. like rice. beans. Maracas are best known to most residents of the United States in the context of music from South America. small stones Maracas in Science & Culture Playing the Maraca Rattle.Materials ❑ Anything that can hold things. seeds. they are used in many musics. like an old coffee can. Try to hold it so that it does not inhibit the vibration of the box. Folk instruments are often gourds (large seed-pods of various plants) filled with beads. cardboard box (such as a one-serving cereal box) ❑ Anything that rattles. notably those of Native Americans. . swirl. juice can.
Coat it with a few layers of white glue. use a plastic tube or thick wooden dowel. . 2 Cut a series of slits on one side of the tube. Alternatively.MASTER #10 Making a Güiro MENC: The National Association for Music Education 1 Take a cardboard paper towel tube.
• For a louder sound. guachara in Panama and Colombia. Experiment with moving the stick more or less rapidly. or plastic tube ❑ 1 thin stick as scraper The Güiro in Science and Culture Playing the Güiro • Hold the instrument cupped in the left hand. the güiro is specified as a possible substitution for another instrument—the cheese grater. In Ravel’s opera. • Holding the stick in the right hand. hold one end of the güiro against a desk. accented effects. it has the advantage of allowing very short.” The güiro is called for in some very large orchestral scores. . wood. box.Materials ❑ 1 cardboard. like Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring. it goes by many other names: rascador in Cuba. It is usually a piece of wood or a gourd (plant) with serrations (rough spots) in one side. The Child and the Sorcerers. scrape it along the serrations. or other resonator. or (by scraping more slowly) longer held “notes. The player slides a scraper over the serrations. An instrument most often found in the music of Central America and the Caribbean. leaving as much of the tube free to vibrate as possible. As a percussion instrument.
Note: you can also try preparing an autoharp. Again. Try moving it for different sounds. try moving it for different sounds. 2 Try placing a rubber eraser between string pairs. 3 Try weaving a piece of paper over and under the strings about 5" in front of the hammers.MASTER #11 Making a Prepared Piano MENC: The National Association for Music Education 1 Using great care not to drop or mar anything. . screw a wood screw between one of the pairs of strings in the tenor register of the piano.
If it is placed at a point that is not a node. you should think of each key as actuating a separate percussion instrument rather than a note on one instrument. and bits of rubber in the strings. Bacchanale. . erasers. So in writing for prepared piano. it will tend to reinforce that overtone. he directed the performer to “prepare” a piano by placing screws. it will tend to deaden the string and make the pitch less definite (harder to identify as a single note). American composer John Cage developed the prepared piano as a way to get the variety of sounds offered by a large group of percussion instruments—without having to cart around a large group of percussion instruments. The material is also important. it tends to deaden the string’s vibration. In his 1940 composition.Materials ❑ 1 piano (preferably a grand rather than an upright) ❑ several wood screws. if it is softer. paper The Prepared Piano in Science and Culture Playing the Prepared Piano Play just as you would any piano—but you will find that the pitches aren’t necessarily in order any more. The exact placement of the items is essential—if a preparation is put at a “node” of one of the string’s overtones. bolts.
5 6 4 6 Press the string against the tube to find the notes E. and D. 1 4 Saw a shallow notch perpindicular to the axis of the tube about 1/2" from the small hole. . twisting to bring it up to a “d”. use the nail or awl to poke a small hole in the other end. The notches should be deep enough that a Pospsicle stick placed in each one just clears the top of the tube Re-tighten the string. 8 3/4". Place a Popsicle stick in it. A. thread it through and around the eye bolt. 7 1/4".MASTER #12 Making a Tube Vina MENC: The National Association for Music Education 3 1 Drill a 1/4" hole about 1" from one end of the tube. 2 2 3 Thread a nut and washer up to the top of the eye bolt. poke guitar string through the small hole. run it over the Popsicle stick bridge. 5 3/4". 5 Working from inside out. Put the other washer and nut inside and tighten finger tight. G. B. insert in the 1/4" hole. 10 3/4" from the screw. 7 Loosen the string and cut notches at the marked positions. Mark the positions of each note. They will be about 2 1/2".
pluck the string close to the bridge. with 2 nuts and washers) ❑ 6 Popsicle sticks ❑ 1 guitar string (D or 4th for nylon-string guitar) The Vina in Science and Culture Tools ❑ saw (preferably a keyhole saw) ❑ 1/4" drill ❑ nail or awl The earliest references to the vina are about 3. Plucking the string gives energy for vibration.000 years old—and various related instruments are still played today in India and in Southeast Asia. In addition. • With the left hand. in the guitar.Materials ❑ 1 cardboard mailing tube (about 3" diameter. . place a finger just behind one of the Popsicle stick frets. and the speed of vibration is directly proportional to the length of the string. • With the right hand. That is why the fret for the octave D in this instrument ends up exactly half way between the bridge and the tuning bolt. about 24" long)—must be thick cardboard ❑ 1 eye bolt (1/4" x 2". Playing the Vina • Hold the instrument upright. resting on your left knee. The bin and the sitar are perhaps the best known such instruments. the basic idea of a stretched string running over frets appears in many cultures—closest to home in the United States.
B. Separate each hole by 1/2". A. The sticks should project over the glued-down stick. . 3 Put a screw in each hole and insert a Popsicle stick between each pair of screws. Pull in and push out to tune to G. D. 2 1 About 1/2" back from the stick. 4 Tighten the screws a little— still allowing some movement of the sticks. E. make holes for 6 screws.MASTER #13 Making a Mbira MENC: The National Association for Music Education 2 1 Glue down one Popsicle stick near one edge of the block of wood.
• You can also make a bass mbira by using larger screws and wooden (not plastic) rulers in the place of Popsicle sticks. flick down on the Popsicle sticks with the right hand. as they can vary considerably in thickness and flexibility) ❑ 1 block of 3/4" wood. • To make the mbira self-contained. metal. In some cases. mount it on a permanent resonator such as a box. likembe.Materials ❑ 6 Popsicle sticks (better to have more. kalimba. as among the Nsenga people. or another material). The resonator cavity for the instrument is sometimes a wooden box (often with soundholes that can be covered or uncovered by the player to alter the tone). and sometimes a gourd. a longer lamella will produce a lower note. agidigbo. and sansa. . If the material is uniform. lamellaphones are used as important instruments to accompany song. factors such as weight and flexibility come into play to complicate matters. or other hollow body. Mbira is only one word for a “lamellaphone”: an instrument that makes sound with lamella (thin plates of wood. If it is not uniform. a discarded one-gallon milk container. about 5" x 3" ❑ 6 screws (flathead #6 sheet metal screws) The Mbira in Science and Culture Tools ❑ glue ❑ screwdriver Playing the Mbira • Place on a resonant surface (such as a desk or table) and hold in place with the left hand. Other names for it are malimba. the music is purely instrumental. In several parts of Africa.
A.] 3 Hold up each length of tubing by a string tied around its center point and strike to tune by filing a little off either end. Note: you can use wooden dowels (at least 3/4" diameter) in place of the conduit to make a marimba—but you will have to experiment with the proper length to produce the pitches you want because lengths will vary depending on the type of wood and thickness. Color the “G” red—it is the “home” note of the scale. This way. G.MASTER #14 Making a Metallophone MENC: The National Association for Music Education 3" 4" 1 Cut the cardboard as shown and tape together to form a box. . For the best sound. if you file off too much. 4 2 3" 8" Cut the conduit to the following lengths: 13 5/8". 11 5/8". and D. You can also experiment with other materials—even paper towel rolls will give a soft note (of less definite pitch) when struck in this way. 12 3/4". 11". When you find the best (most resonant) point for each bar. the pitch rises). 9 5/8" [Hint: cut the longest length first and use the file to tune (as you file a little off. they should be supported by the cardboard at points 1/4 of the way in from each end. you can still use that length for a higher pitch. 3" 12" 11 3/4" Place the bars in order along the resonator cavity. B. 10 5/8". You should be able to get the notes D. E. mark the spot and cut shallow notches in the cardboard to keep the bars in place.
The marimba (the same instrument. in Western music. they are prominent in the music of Indonesia and. The shape and size of the resonant cavity in a metallophone is critical: that is why the vibraphone can get a pulsating effect by using a motor to close off and open up the resonating tubes that hang below each key. Metallophones first show up in Chinese tombs from around 700 C. • Experiment with different beaters— metal. Today. . pencil eraser ends. with wooden keys) shows up around the world—notably in Africa and as an African import into South America.E. wood.Materials ❑ corrugated cardboard (from an old packing box) ❑ packing tape ❑ 3/4" electrical conduit (about 70" total) The Metallophone in Science and Culture Tools ❑ hacksaw ❑ metal file ❑ knife Playing the Metallophone • Strike the bars near the center. and so on. in the form of the Glockenspiel and Vibraphone.
tie it to the screw eyes on the right. Insert the blocks under the strings. 7 Fasten the two wooden slats below the long sides of the plywood. about halfway between the holes and the screw eyes. 3 With the angle formed by the lines on the plywood facing away from you. 6 Run nylon twine through the holes on the left. 5 . insert the screw eyes in the holes to the right. 4 Sand the small wood blocks to make a peak on the top of each one.MASTER #15 Making a Koto MENC: The National Association for Music Education 1 Mark out on the plywood two lines running up from the two lower corners (at about a 45 degree angle). and twist the screw eyes to tighten. Fold the sandpaper and sand a notch across each peak. 2 Drill a series of five 1/8" holes about every 2" along the lines. using glue and nails.
it is a member of a large family of instruments across eastern Asia such as the zheng of China or the kayagum of Korea. This technique is called. about 3/4" ❑ 5 wooden blocks. and in Burundi. Tuning and playing the koto demonstrates the interdependence between length and tension in setting the pitch of a stringed instrument. Tuning the strings tighter (raising the tension) raises the pitch—but so does moving the bridge (adjusting the length). and B by turning the eyes and moving the woodblock “bridges” to the left or right.Materials ❑ 1 sheet 1/8" plywood.” . When playing. A. E. As such. about 9" x 30" ❑ 2 1/2" wooden slats. you can get notes in between the tuned pitches by pressing down with the fingers of your left hand on the segment of each string to the left. musicians play an inanga. Pluck the segment of string to the right. For example. And the ko technique of increasing string tension while playing also changes the pitch. Zithers are also important to many other musical traditions. about 3/4" x 3/4" x 3/8" ❑ thin nylon twine ❑ 6 small nails (brads) The Koto in Science and Culture Tools ❑ glue (white glue or carpenter’s glue) ❑ 1/8" drill ❑ hammer ❑ coarse sandpaper The koto is basically a zither with moveable bridges. “ko. Playing the Koto Tune the instrument to D. the Latvians play a kokle. about 1" x 30" ❑ 5 screw eyes. on the Japanese koto. G.
MASTER #16 Making a ______________ MENC: The National Association for Music Education (Create your own musical instrument) .
Materials ❑ ❑ ❑ ❑ Tools ❑ ❑ ❑ Playing a ______________ .
Draw a continuous line for each of the four dimensions of musical sound. loud 0:00 0:27 1:38 2:12 1:03 Dynamics soft high Pitch Brahms Hungarian Dance #5 low rich Tone Color less rich long Duration Master a short Melody A Melody B Melody C Melodies A & B . The first section of “dynamics” has been completed for you.
MASTER b Rondo Planning Sheet MENC: The National Association for Music Education A Section: Identify the instrument type for each instrumental part. and write them in the space provided. Instruments________________________ Description___________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ Rhythm or melody . Then decide if specific pitches are to be used. Melody Part 1 type_________ Part 2 type_________ Part 3 type_________ Part 4 type_________ Pitches? Pitches? Pitches? – –– –– –– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –– – – – – – – – Pitches? – – B Section: Identify the specific instruments to be used. add a melody (if desired). describe the character of the music to be played. Finally. and specify and rythmic or melodic ideas.
MASTER #1 C Section: Instruments________________________ Description___________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ Rhythm or melody D Section: Instruments________________________ Description___________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ Rhythm or melody E Section: Instruments________________________ Description___________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ Rhythm or melody .
their “envelopes” CD Track 1 intensity (loudness) CD Track 2 time .) • Musical Sounds .MASTER c Sound. (It is the same sound as that used on CD track 12. Overtones. with one difference. and Instruments MENC: The National Association for Music Education violin clarinet piano trumpet 1 2 3 4 56 7 12345 67 1 2 3 4 56 7 1 2 34 5 flute sin wave sawtooth wave 1 2 3 4 1 1 2 3 4 56 7 Part 2 Listen. and identify the sound used on CD Track 11.
MASTER #1 Part 3 Listen to the “envelopes” for a series of sounds on the same instrument. • CD track 13 a b c d e Identify the characteristics of your instrument Instrument name:__________________________________ Method of playing:_________________________________ Instrument richness (place a mark along the scale): ve wa t ne ari cl t pe m tru no pia lin vio h ot to saw ve wa •s in • te flu • • • • • ➜ less rich richer ➜ Instrument “envelope” intensity (loudness) time .
The newer instruments. Studio Arranger Arrangers can be freelance or affiliated with a particular studio. You will also need a strong sense of what is currently popular and an instinct for future trends. Manufacturers of brass and some woodwind instruments have positions for die casters.) . If you want to become an arranger. You have the necessary personal attributes if you are good at working as part of a team toward a well-defined. There is a need in all phases. and Math MENC: The National Association for Music Education If you are considering a career in music. and tuners. Since electronic instruments contain chips to handle a variety of functions. or work fulltime at arranging. Arrangers’ fees are set by union contracts based on number of score pages: the more scores an arranger prepares. sanders. likely to be in demand. in practice. engravers. Once in college. it is very important that you have a working knowledge of each instrument for which you might be scoring. consequently. Electronic Design Engineer The market for audio electronics—both for consumer and for professional applications—is very large. it is important to read music quickly and write neatly. This means. require the talents of engineers who understand microcircuitry and computer technology. such as synthesizers. you will need a four-year Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering to start design work. Salary range in this field for a graduate with a Bachelor’s degree is in the $40. The arranger may be a songwriter scoring his or her own works. They score songs for the group and the instruments used in the recording session. The engineers who design the equipment that supplies this market are. buffers. engineers must understand not only the functions of the components but their musical potential as well. or manufacturing/process engineering. the life science of psychoacoustics). valve makers. however. circuit design. With some vocational education. (See the section on Design Engineers. and ranges. this would allow you to work as a technician. of course. there are several careers that can call on an individual’s talents and knowledge in the areas introduced in the Bose® In Harmony With Education® program. daytime hours are spent answering inquiries and sometimes conducting. Science. temperaments. Many arrangers work nights. assemblers. If you want to be an electronic design engineer you will need a high level of math proficiency and knowledge of the sciences (particularly the physical sciences and. taking as much math and science as you can in high school. solderers. power engineering. technical goal. and others skilled in assembling various elements as the instruments near completion. or broadcast.MASTER d Careers That Combine Music. While you do not have to play any instruments well. you may not be aware of the variety of music professions available to you and the opportunities they hold. or it could allow you to get into engineering school. And. Income as an arranger is usually based on commissions when music is sold for publication. In particular. platers. the higher the fee. perhaps. screw machine operators. lacquerers.000 range to start. be a member of a performing group. for tool and die makers. a love of music can help as a motivator. Instrument Production Worker Different skills are required for the manufacture of different instruments. Further study (useful in moving forward in the profession) generally includes specialization in fields such as programming. recording. including their timbres.
you must meet age requirements of various states as well as labor and insurance laws. or music performance. sousaphone. For a career in instrument manufacturing. dynamics. Laurens Hammond. studios are extremely selective in hiring. Harold Rhodes. have created new instruments that have led to the development of new industries. actions. Likewise. rhythm. there are few shortcuts in the manufacture of quality guitars. knowing how to play the instrument is an important asset. Try to get a studio job to learn more about the capabilities of the equipment. read the trade magazines. enroll in a college that offers specific courses in sound engineering. Highly refined woodworking skills are necessary for the production of a good stringed instrument and its decorative carving or inlay. centering the head. hardware. Skilled craftsmanship is necessary for gluing joints. Often. To prepare yourself. such as electronics and engineering. The finished drum. and tuning. and John Chowning of Stanford University. After completion. Salaries in this field can vary widely. each instrument is evaluated by a tester before it leaves the plant. sanding. electric piano. and reproduction equipment. In many instances it will be helpful in progressing to a more skilled. If you are interested in a career in musical instrument manufacturing. depending especially on the size and success of the studio. amplification equipment. and adapters that have broadened the capabilities of instruments or have made them easier to play. Influential musical instrument inventors have included John Philip Sousa. violins. including a studio floor plan showing instrumental groupings.MASTER #1 Pianos. The final assembly of any instrument. Some firms also have apprenticeship programs for the more skilled craft jobs. and visit recording studios. Hundreds of others have made refinements in basic instruments or created accessory items. Modern production methods may be used to manufacture metal interior pieces and for primary woodworking. The producer may give presession instructions to the engineer. electric organ. trimming. strings. and other stringed instruments. The supply industries. digital synthesizer. Plastics have replaced animal skins as drumheads and are widely used for the bodies. Robert Moog and RCA engineers Harry Olson and Herbert Belar. synthesizer. familiar with the instrument and its musical capabilities and able to make minor adjustments or pinpoint problems for adjustment by others on the production line. tuning pins. variety. Among traditional musical instruments. the recording medium. According to one manufacturer. are basically the same instruments they have always been. The engineer must be able to compensate for studio limitations. learn to operate all technical machines. You do not need any basic skills for a beginning job other than the ability to learn. and the acoustical baffles to be used. and mill operations. you can find job opportunities around the United States. Inventor Another possibility for a career in instrument manufacturing lies in design and development. specialists in other fields. veneering. Recording Engineer or Mixer The engineer sets up microphones and operates equipment necessary to record the session. Testers must be musicians as well as craftsmen. Since engineering is one of the most popular career areas in recording. in fact. still requires handwork. those making cast-iron plates. While some production functions can be handled by a person without musical training. but the final product is the result of handcrafting and skilled artisanship. is reserved for the best trained and most highly skilled members of the production staff. drums have perhaps benefited most from the development of new materials. better paying job. The engineer is concerned with five areas: musical range. and mouthpieces are generally located near the manufacturing site. computer software. however. knowing how to play an instrument might be compared to having a college degree in another field. and spectral control. . despite changes in style and appearance. microphone placement. Salaries vary widely according to the wage and salary scale of each industry. since most manufacturers have on-the-job training programs. keyboards.
It can be done for a live performance that must be amplified or for a recording. Digital: Refers to the recording of sound not as an analog trace (such as the peaks and valleys of a phonograph record) but as a series of binary digits (numbers in a counting system that use only 0 and 1). More sophisticated equalizers are generally “graphic equalizers. however. For example. the area behind the microphone (the “notch” at the top of a heart shape) picks up very little sound. give a recognizable musical sound. A digital recording of the loudness of a sound that starts piano and increases to forte. It is done by making copies of the sound and combining them back with the original signal—but a little later. intentionally use more or less controlled distortion for musical and dramatic effect. each larger than the one before. It is usually done so that the signal does not exceed the headroom of a recorder. with this technique. for example. It is best done with a recorder that offers many tracks (standard for professional studios is 24 tracks). In its simplest form. and heard as a musical sound. overload distortion results. and so on. work on a recording “together”—but on separate days. In a cardioid microphone. an equalizer can be the device controlled by the “tone” knob on a radio. Cardioid: A type of microphone that exhibits a heart-shaped pattern of sensitivity. If the signal being recorded exceeds the headroom. Mixing: The process of combining the signals from different sound sources to achieve a well-balanced final sound.” in which both the strength of a range and the frequency of that range are subject to control. but can be done with only two tracks by recording track a. a phonograph record contains grooves that vary in width and depth according to the sounds they represent. or “parametric equalizers. Chorusing: A type of sound effects processing that makes a single voice sound or instrument sound like a chorus. with amplification. . The musicians providing individual tracks can. the method of recording and transmitting sound that was used until a few years ago. They are usually unwanted errors that lead to a lack of clarity in the sound. Limiting: The setting of a limit on the intensity of a signal. and engineers have designed devices such as limiters to avoid distortion. converted to vibrations in the air by a transducer. Some styles of rock. look like a smooth line going up but would be recorded as a series of numbers. mixing that combined recording with a new signal back onto track a. the sides and front are quite sensitive. Distortion: “Errors” introduced in the recording or transmission of sound.” which have one control for the relative strength every one of several fixed frequency ranges. Layering: The process of combining several tracks to produce a complete recording. so a needle in a spinning record’s groove vibrates in a way that can. A magnetic analog tape (like a cassette) contains particles of material that are magnetized more or less strongly—like the record groove’s higher or lower depth—in a way that can be amplified. It involves transforming the changes in sound intensity directly into changes in another medium (and back again). Headroom: The extent to which a recorder can accept strong signals. Equalizer: A device that can be used to alter the relative strength of various frequencies in a sound.MASTER e Glossary MENC: The National Association for Music Education Analog: In sound. mixing the recording from a with a new signal on to track b.
The sample can be stored in a computer’s memory and played back (in its original form or altered) at will. A speaker can even function as a microphone—and some microphones can function as speakers (but don’t try the experiment unless you know what you’re doing or don’t mind destroying your microphone). Dolby C. for example.” . for example. changing electrical variations into the mechanical vibration of air that is sound. Panning: The process of distributing a signal between two stereo tracks in the mixing process. that of a large. and Dolby S are used on many recorders.MASTER #1 MIDI: An acronym for Musical Instrument Digital Interface. It was developed as a way to allow electronic instruments to communicate with one another by means of a “code” of digital numbers representing aspects of a musical performance. the first 1/2 of a second or so of a sound’s “envelope. so a variety of noise reduction techniques have been developed to minimize noise. Because of its importance in coloring the way we hear sounds. A single piano note. It has a technical meaning. that changes sound waves to waves of variation in an electrical signal. could have 50 percent of its signal to the left and 50 percent to the right. recording engineers will often add reverberation by means of electronic devices. and then turned off. a studio engineer can make it sound like the piano player just picked up the piano and moved it to the right. recorders. too. All rooms (except for specially-built anechoic chambers) have some reverberation. By changing the panning to 10 percent left and 90 percent right. A speaker does the reverse. especially one set up by means of “patch cords. MIDI has become especially useful with computer programs that store these signals in much the same way that a word processing program stores the letters typed on a computer keyboard. Noise: This can simply mean unwanted sound—such as noise that someone makes in the next room when you are trying to record a song. as is a technique known as DBX. Track: One “line” of information that goes into a recording. Omnidirectional: A type of microphone that picks up sound equally from all directions. A microphone is a transducer. for example. that a middle C is turned on with an intensity of 100 (on a scale of 1 to 128). This is particularly a problem with analog tape recorders. stone cathedral is almost enough to overwhelm sounds produced in the room. sound that contains all frequencies (rather than the few overtones found in pitched sounds). Sampling: The process of taking a digital sample—a sort of audio snapshot—of a sound. Transient: A part of a sound that changes quickly in loudness and often in frequency content—especially. however. Noise reduction: All transducers. and then the pitch is “bent” up by 40 percent. making it sound as though the piano player was sitting in the middle of the sound field. Transducer: A device that changes sound to or from another medium—such as electricity.” Reverberation: The quality of echoes in a room. or other devices used to store and reproduce sound introduce some noise. A series of techniques labeled Dolby A. Patch: An electrical circuit set up to route a signal. Dolby B. Often. A signal in MIDI “code” might say. that of a small room with a lot of cloth furniture is relatively minimal. a track is the recording of one instrument that will be combined with other instrument parts in layering the final mix.
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