The Oxford Companion to Musical Instruments

The Oxford Companion to Musical Instruments

Book - 1992
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Baker & Taylor
Arranged alphabetically, this volume discusses popular and unusual instruments throughout the world

Book News
A comprehensive, alphabetical guide to the astonishing variety of Western and non-Western acoustic musical instruments, many of the entries either less or more extensively revised from their appearance in the New Oxford Companion to Music (1983). Individual entries encapsulate substantial information about the instrument considered, frequently accompanied by illustrations in the form of drawings, photographs, and notation. Annotation copyright Book News, Inc. Portland, Or.

Blackwell North Amer
Musical instruments, from the simplest pipes and drums to those of the utmost complexity, have formed an integral part of the cultures of all peoples of the world from the beginning of time. Their range and diversity have inspired the skill and genius of maker, composer, and player. This book is a celebration of that achievement, examining in one alphabetical sequence the astonishing variety of Western and non-Western acoustic musical instruments.
Individual entries encapsulate the essential information about the instrument considered. Each entry offers a concise description and, with the aid of numerous line drawings, illustrates details of its construction. Playing techniques are also discussed and major entries draw attention to significant developments in the history of the instrument. Dr Baines also deftly conveys the sound of the instrument and highlights characteristic examples of its use within the orchestral repertoire or, for ethnomusicological instruments, within rites of passage. Musical examples elucidate these points and the whole text is beautifully illustrated with over one hundred photographs.
There are general articles on the instruments of specific periods, such as the Renaissance or Baroque, and the instruments of individual continents are considered as an entity. Instruments are also treated by family (woodwind, etc.) and by other common groupings, such as orchestra, brass band. In addition the book deals with a whole range of related subjects, for example acoustics, pitch, chord symbols; methods of playing, such as harmonics, circular breathing; and also such topics as fakes and forgeries and oddities like walking-stick instruments.
There is an Appendix of makers mentioned within the text and full bibliographical details are provided for the books and other sources cited. In all, this book bears witness to the author's lifelong passion for musical instruments in all their splendid variety and is distinguished by his elegant prose and scholarship.

Baker
& Taylor

Concise descriptions of an astonishing variety of Western and non-Western musical instruments include information on such subjects as playing techniques, harmonics, the sound of an instrument, acoustics, pitch, and historical development.

Oxford University Press
From panpipes, to the agogo bell, to the tuba, musical instruments have formed an integral part of the cultures of the world. Their range and diversity--including the simplest of spoons as well as the complex pressure systems of a pipe organ--have inspired the skill and genius of maker, composer, and player. Now, in The Oxford Companion to Musical Instruments, Anthony C. Baines provides a comprehensive guide to the astonishing variety of Western and non-Western musical instruments.
Each entry in this lavishly illustrated book offers a concise description of the instrument, as well as a wealth of information on such subjects as playing techniques, harmonics and circular breathing, the sound of an instrument, acoustics, pitch, an instrument's use within the orchestral repertoire or, for ethnomusicological instruments, within ritual, and significant developments in its history. Baines covers a vast array of instruments, from the common cowbell, to the Red-hot fountain pen (a novelty instrument of the 1930s), to the Celtic harp. For instance, he discusses how the bladder pipe (a relative of the bagpipe) uses a pig's bladder, and tells how it is deodorized (with ammonia) and kept pliable (with brine). And in his entry on Antonio Stradivari's violins, he attributes the success of these prized instruments, not to age, or to choice of materials, but to good fortune. (Stradivari arched the body of his violins less than was common at the time, and when he later altered their necks, the Strads luckily responded well to the change.) Baines also includes general articles on the instruments of specific periods, such as the Renaissance or Baroque, as well as the instruments of individual continents. We learn, for example, that the countries from Burma through Thailand, Kampuchea, and Vietnam, to the Philippines, North Borneo, and Indonesia, are grouped musically as gong-chime cultures from the variety of gongs and gong chimes used over most of the area. And we even find separate entries on fakes and forgeries, walking stick instruments, and scrapers such as the domestic washboard.
With numerous illustrations, musical examples, an appendix of makers mentioned within the text, and full bibliographical details, The Oxford Companion to Musical Instruments is an invaluable source on the splendid variety of musical instruments, based on a lifetime of scholarship.

Publisher: Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 1992
ISBN: 9780193113343
0193113341
Branch Call Number: R 784.1903 OXF
Characteristics: xii, 404 p. : ill. ; 25 cm
Additional Contributors: Baines, Anthony
Alternative Title: Musical instruments

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