o When the sound waves produced by the vibrating strings are transmitted to the body of the instrument, they not only gain in amplitude (volume); they become considerably more complex as well. o violin’s timbre depends, on the distinctive f-shaped sound holes and on the strings, which may be made out of gut (as was typical until fairly recently), gut wound round with metal wire (which produces a “bigger” sound), various types of metal, or even synthetic materials. o The design of the bow also contributes, and it, too, has changed over time. 2
o So have such subtle factors as the height of the bridge (the wooden piece over which the strings are stretched) and the size of the sound post inside the body of the instrument. o violin makers like Antonio Stradivari (1644-1737) o the timbre of the violin is affected by the player, who draws the bow across the strings to produce the sound. o The pressure needs to be even, but not monotonously so. o The fingers of the player’s left hand, which “stop” the strings at different points along their length, frequently oscillate back and forth to produce a trembling quality known as vibrato . The production of vibrato may also involve the wrist and the arm. The vibration may be wide or narrow, fast or slow. Voice: The First Musical Instrument • sounds are produced by the vocal cords, and are amplified and enriched by resonating through the singer's throat and mouth. • singer can vary the pitch and change the timbre of the sound in a variety of ways. • As you speak them, you will notice your tongue moving to progressively lower positions, altering the shape of the space in which the sounds resonate. • You have learned to change the structure of your "instrument" to produce these sounds without giving the process much conscious thought. Singers do the same. Singers speak of three distinct modes of vocal production: • chest voice , o in which the resonance begins in the chest and is supported by the full power of the singer's lungs, • head voice o in which the resonance occurs primarily in the singer's head • middle voice o which lies in between these two extremes. • Pitches produced using head voice are higher than those produced using chest voice. • A singer who yodels moves back and forth between these two ranges. • In modern classical vocal technique, though, singers are usually taught to blend all three registers so that the transition between them is as seamless as possible. singing styles • Popular singers often "croon," or rely to some extent on the microphone to amplify their voices while singing in a more flexible, speech-like manner. • Arena rock singers often use a powerful chest voice through a wide part of their register. • Classical singers need to be able to project their voices over the powerful competition of a full orchestra when singing opera, but also perform in more intimate styles like the art song.
- Spring '08
- Music, Hector Berlioz, Listen Guide