Tuesday, April 22, 2008
What blog on non-western instruments can be complete without discussion of the Hebrew shofar? The shofar, similar to the previously mentioned Kudu, is made from the horn of the Ibex it is still in use as part of Jewish ceremonies. Although it is on the fringe of Western culture, it is still exotic religious enough to most Americans that I thought it should have some mention here. There are many versions of the instrument of different sizes and designs is use today(many now have finger holes), but the original instrument was the unaltered horn of the Ibex. You can read more about them here.
This website has a lot of resources for people interested in world music. I have used it to find pictures and information for a few of my posts. ASZA is a performing chamber group that specializes in learning world music from many different cultures. Their website has profiles of major world music groups, recording for purchase, instruments for purchase, a calendar of major world music events, instrument picture gallery, and much more. You can visit their site here.
I can't believe I forgot about Jeff Agrell's kudu horns. Pictured is a Kudu, a type of Gazelle, and the instruments made from their horns. The set Jeff has is pitched in E pentatonic (each horn plays one note). The highest pitched horn has a finger hole so that it will play two notes. These horns are played all over Africa and are usually used in a rhythmic hocket texture often accompanying a marimba. You can read more about them as well as some other African instruments here.
Thursday, April 17, 2008
The University of South Dakota houses the National Music Museum. Their website is home to more information on instruments than you would ever want or need to know including an index by location and manufacturer. I highly recommend taking a look.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
The Gangbe` Brass Ensemble is a fusion brass ensemble that combines jazz with the traditional folk music of Benin (a small country in Africa in between Nigeria and Togo). It was founded in 1994 by 8 jazz musicians who wanted to experiment was traditional folk music. The music incorporates brass, vocals, and percussion. They have released 3 albums and have toured worldwide. You can read more about them here and here.
Every year a small villiage in Serbia holds a brass festival. You can read more about it here. The music on the website is quite amazing. This year the festival is August 6 through the 10th. This is a video of some of the festivities from the festival in 2007.
Monday, April 14, 2008
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
When I was originally researching Tibetan m montanous usic for my historical perspectives paper, I came across some other instruments that were not involved in the Tantric ceremonies I was interested in. this brass conch shell, or Dung, is one such example. What I find very interesting about this instrument is that it meant to resemble a conch shell......and tibet is a land locked mountainous region.