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History of Musical Instruments
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Music — Instruction and Study
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1.

Percussion Instruments [electronic resource]

This program presents the wide range of instruments found in the percussion section of an orchestra-timpani, side drum, bass drum, cymbal, tam-tam, tubular bells, and xylophone-in performance. Works by composers from Mozart to Stravinsky illustrate the special effects achieved by using the various instruments.
Online
2007; 1997
2.

The Clarinet [electronic resource]

This program shows how the German-system clarinet's unique sound and wide range of musical expression assured it a place in chamber music ensembles and in the orchestra itself. Beginning at the 18th-century workshop where it was created, we see how it was constructed, and how it has evolved over time. Its musical history is illustrated through extracts from works by several famous composers, including Beethoven, Brahms, and Mozart.
Online
2007; 1997
3.

The Flute [electronic resource]

This program deals with the history and development of the metal instrument we know today as the transverse flute. We learn how the flute was popularized by French flautist Jacques Hotterre, son of its creator, Jean Hotterre, at the court of Louis XIV. We see how continuing improvements to the instrument over time increased its use, until it became a key instrument in modern orchestras. Flute performances from works by Lully, Frederick the Great, Beethoven, and Debussy are interspersed throughout the program, along with concertos for recorders by Vivaldi and Telemann.
Online
2007; 1997
4.

The Guitar [electronic resource]

The guitar is the national instrument of Spain, so it is appropriate that this program begins with the playing of the traditional vihuela. The story of the instrument's development over the next 400 years includes its replacement of that universal Renaissance instrument, the lute, in both Spain and Italy. Both guitar solo performances and guitar performances with voice appear throughout the program, including one of the last public performances of famed classical Spanish guitarist Andres Segovia.
Online
2007; 1997
5.

The Harp [electronic resource]

This program discusses the development of this ethereal instrument in 8th-century Ireland. We see how Irish monks introduced the harp to Europe, and follow its growth from a small, hand-held instrument into the standard 75-pound, 46-string instrument played today. Works by Handel, Mozart, Liszt, and Debussy, as well as music from Ireland and Switzerland, illustrate the harp's use through time.
Online
2007; 1997
6.

The Oboe [electronic resource]

The modern version of the oboe and the many forms it has taken during its evolution are the subject of this program. We see the oboe's ancient Egyptian ancestor-an unrecognizable prototype of the instrument played today. The more familiar-looking oboe, developed in the 17th century, is discussed within the context of its predecessors-the English horn, the heckelphone, and the contra bassoon. Works from Lully to Strauss illustrate the oboe's versatility in musical composition.
Online
2007; 1997
7.

The Organ [electronic resource]

Pipe organs are the most majestic of musical instruments, and each one is a unique work of art named after its designer. This program studies the painstaking craftsmanship in wood and metal that goes into pipe organ construction and illustrates the function of the instrument's many parts. The voicing process, in which the volume and tonal quality of a pipe organ is adjusted to suit the acoustics of its location, is also explained. Generous musical samples, included to illustrate the range and effects of pipe organs, are performed on both historical and modern instruments.
Online
2007; 1997
8.

The Piano [electronic resource]

In 1701, Bartolomeo Christofori, a musician employed by the Medicis, invented the first piano by modifying a harpsichord. This program discusses how this popular instrument has changed over the years (except for its hammers), and how its flexibility and expressiveness have inspired composers such as Beethoven, Schumann, Liszt, and Bartok.
Online
2007; 1997
9.

The Saxophone [electronic resource]

This program traces the saxophone from its early use in French military bands, to orchestrations by 20th-century Impressionist composers, to American jazz bands. It also looks at the fascinating character of its creator, Adolphe Sax, whose genius is evident in a series of other absurd wind instruments that he dreamed up. Film footage of live jazz performances by the Duke Ellington Band and the World Saxophone Quartet illustrates the instrument's use in that musical genre.
Online
2007; 1997
10.

The Synthesizer [electronic resource]

This program discusses the history and evolution of electronic music. The synthesizer's roots are traced from the 1920s to the invention of the "Trautonium"-a prototype of the modern synthesizer. Its acceptance in European music circles is discussed. Performances that include the synthesizer show how the development of the modern Moog synthesizer in the 1970s revolutionized contemporary music both in America and abroad.
Online
2007; 1997
11.

The Trumpet [electronic resource]

The story of the trumpet begins with the trumpeters' guilds of the Renaissance. We see how improvements in its construction led to its use in the Baroque period, and how Vivaldi began to use a more refined version in his compositions. Later flexibility made it popular with dance bands and jazz musicians. Combining computer graphics with music, a trumpeter demonstrates how the sound of the instrument developed over time, and how new playing techniques were introduced.
Online
2007; 1997
12.

The Violin [electronic resource]

This program traces the history of four violins made at the workshop of master craftsman Andrea Amati-an original Amati made in 1566; a violin made by Nicolo Amati, an instructor to Stradivarius; and two 18th-century violins. We visit the Venice workshops of other violin master craftsmen, and see how the craft spread from there to Switzerland, where a workshop established in the 17th century still thrives today.
Online
2007; 1997
13.

Bass Instruments [electronic resource]

This program discusses the instruments in the bass section of an orchestra-particularly the double bass. We see how the double bass, originally developed as an accompanying instrument, was used more prominently by such musical notables as double bass virtuoso and conductor Serge Kussevitzky-mentor of the late Leonard Bernstein. Music by Haydn and others illustrates the use of other bass instruments, including the tuba, bass cornet, serpent, ophicleide, bass saxophone, and bass horn.
Online
2007; 1997