Tag: musical string instrument

Guzheng Facts: Shop for Instruments, Accessories, Gifts

Guzheng Facts

Guzheng Facts

The guzheng or Gu Zheng is a Chinese string instrument. Sometimes the name is shortened to zheng. No matter what you call it, the large, slender instrument functions as a plucked zither with 18 or more strings and movable bridges.

According to musicologists, the guzheng was inspired by early bamboo tube zithers. Today’s guzheng is quite different from the instruments made centuries ago. Modern players use picks–called DaiMao–which are often made from hawksbill turtle shells. Ancient picks were carved from ivory or tortoise shells.

Western musical styles have inspired a more modern playing technique where the left hand is used to provide harmony and bass notes. This allows for greater flexibility in the instrument’s musical range, but tends to limit subtle ornamentations provided by the left hand in more traditional music. Students at the Beijing Conservatory are required to learn a repertoire of both traditional and modern pieces.

Here are a few more interesting guzheng facts. Centuries ago the strings were made from silk. Today they’re nearly always metal-nylon, which increases the instrument’s capabilities, volume, and timbre. The strings are capable of creating graceful sounds that mimic a cascading waterfall, or stronger sounds like thunder and trotting horses.

Guzheng Music

Indeed, well known pieces for the guzheng suggest a connection to nature. For example, Yu Zhou Chang Wan (Songs of Fishing Boats at Dusk), Gao Shan Liu Shui (High Mountains Flowing Water), and Han Gong Qiu Yue (Autumn Moon Over the Han Palace).

More Guzheng Facts

Fun Fact
A person who performs on this string instrument is called a guzhengist or Chinese harpist.

Notable guzhengists include Bei Bei He, Shirley Wang, Melody Yan, and Wang Zhongshan.

Chinese Girl Playing Guzheng

Hand Painted Oil Painting on Canvas

Hand Painted Beautiful Young Chinese Girl Playing Guzheng (Zither)Hand Painted Beautiful Young Chinese Girl Playing Guzheng (Zither)Hand Painted Beautiful Young Chinese Girl Playing Guzheng (Zither)

Listen to the Guzheng

Performed by Wang Zhongshan

The musical piece is called “Fishermen’s Song at Eventide.”

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Guzheng Facts

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Dunhuang Burmese Rosewood Guzheng with Master Signature

Product details:

  • Single-piece professional grade paulownia soundboard and backboard
  • Frame is made by Burmese rosewood with wood carving in the famous Banana Panel Night Rain design
  • Professional grade rosewood bridges
  • Accessories include guzheng picks and tape, tuning wrench, soundboard cleaning brush, soft carrying case
  • Professional Guzheng chromatic tuner
  • Two-piece matching stands
  • English and Chinese manual included
  • Dunhuang’s professional model is top seller in the market

Dunhuang 694KK Burmese Rosewood Guzheng with Master SignatureDunhuang 694KK Burmese Rosewood Guzheng with Master SignatureDunhuang 694KK Burmese Rosewood Guzheng with Master SignatureIncludes Everything You Need to Learn and Play this Beautiful Chinese String InstrumentIncludes Everything You Need to Learn and Play this Beautiful Chinese String InstrumentIncludes Everything You Need to Learn and Play this Beautiful Chinese String Instrument

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Guzheng Facts

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Guitar Facts: Shop for Instruments, Accessories, Gifts

Guitar Facts

Guitar Facts

The guitar is a string instrument that plays a critical role in many music genres including bluegrass, blues, country, flamenco, folk, jazz, jota, mariachi, metal, pop, punk, reggae, rock, and soul. Electric guitars, introduced in the 1930s, have had a lasting impact on popular culture.

More Guitar Facts

Fun Fact
A person who performs on this string instrument is called a guitarist.

Notable guitarists are far too numerous to name here, though Jimi Hendrix is often singled out as the greatest ever.

A Visual Compendium of Guitars

Guitar Infographic Printed on Archival Stock

A Visual Compendium of GuitarsA Visual Compendium of GuitarsA Visual Compendium of GuitarsPoster Print (16 x 20 inches)Poster Print (16 x 20 inches)Poster Print (16 x 20 inches)

Listen to the Guitar

Oscar Castro-Neves

Brazilian guitarist, arranger, and composer Oscar Castro-Neves plays the Antonio Carlos Jobim classic Waters of March (Águas de Março) on the Ramsey Lewis Legends of Jazz series on PBS. Born in Rio de Janeiro, Oscar is considered a founding figure in the Bossa Nova music style. He was just 16 when his song Chora Tua Tristeza became a national hit.

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Wood Acoustic Guitar Starter Package

Product details:

  • Acoustic guitar is all wood construction with nylon strings
  • Guitar Dimensions: 38″(L) x 16.5″(W) x 4.2″(H)
  • Sunburst color shown here (more colors available)
  • Nylon guitar carrying case with storage pocket
  • Starter kit includes guitar picks and strings, electronic tuner, capo, shoulder strap, polishing cloth
  • Right-handed guitar with accessory package is ideal for kids and beginners
  • Ready to use right out of the box!
  • Amazon #1 Best Seller

All Wood Construction Guitar Shown in Sunburst Color (More Colors Available)All Wood Construction Guitar Shown in Sunburst Color (More Colors Available)All Wood Construction Guitar Shown in Sunburst Color (More Colors Available)Package Includes Guitar Case and Accessories - Great Gift for BeginnersPackage Includes Guitar Case and Accessories – Great Gift for BeginnersPackage Includes Guitar Case and Accessories - Great Gift for Beginners

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Dulcimer Facts: Shop for Instruments, Accessories, Gifts

Dulcimer Facts

Dulcimer Facts

The dulcimer is a musical string instrument in the zither family. Unlike the zither, the dulcimer is typically characterized by three or four strings. There are several common styles, though the Appalachian and mountain styles are considered the most popular.

Here’s one of our favorite dulcimer facts. Over the years, the dulcimer has acquired a number of nicknames including “harmonium,” “hog fiddle,” “music box,” “harmony box,” and “mountain zither.”

The dulcimer first appeared in the early 19th century among Scotch-Irish immigrant communities in the Appalachian Mountains of the United States. Historians speculate that early settlers were unable to craft the more complex, dramatically curved violin. This was due to a lack of tools and time. Once dulcimers were mass-produced, design changes resulted in an instrument that was easier to build and play. The body was made larger, and geared tuners replaced traditional wooden pegs, making tuning easier and more reliable.

With just three or four strings and a simple diatonic fret pattern, the Appalachian dulcimer is considered one of the easiest string instruments to learn. It’s a wonderful introduction to the world of stringed instruments, and an excellent choice for folk song accompaniment.

More Dulcimer Facts

Fun Fact
A person who performs on this string instrument is called a dulcimerist. However, this term is rarely used. Most artists refer to themselves as dulcimer players.

Does the instrument look familiar to you? Songstress Joni Mitchell played one on her 1971 album “Blue” and is credited with popularizing the instrument outside of United States folk music circles. Her live performances sometimes include an entire set devoted to the instrument.

Other big-name musicians have also been known to play the instrument. Brian Jones of The Rolling Stones featured an Appalachian dulcimer on the songs “Lady Jane” and “I Am Waiting.” Pop star Cyndi Lauper also played one on her songs “A Night to Remember” and “Sisters of Avalon.”

Play the Mountain Dulcimer

by Michael Alan Wood

A Dulcimer Hymn Collection: Traditional Hymns and Spirituals for Mountain Dulcimer in D-A-D TuningA Dulcimer Hymn Collection: Traditional Hymns and Spirituals for Mountain Dulcimer in D-A-D TuningA Dulcimer Hymn Collection: Traditional Hymns and Spirituals for Mountain Dulcimer in D-A-D TuningDulcimer on the Backroads: Old Time and Celtic Tunes for Mountain Dulcimer in D-A-D TuningDulcimer on the Backroads: Old Time and Celtic Tunes for Mountain Dulcimer in D-A-D TuningDulcimer on the Backroads: Old Time and Celtic Tunes for Mountain Dulcimer in D-A-D Tuning

Listen to the Dulcimer

Performed by Stephen Seifert

Nashville-based musician Stephen Seifert plays “Whiskey Before Breakfast” on a mountain dulcimer. If you’d like to learn to play, Stephen has a series of videos that you can find on his Dulcimer School website. He is widely recognized as one of the most versatile and talented contemporary players, and is a frequent performer at American folk music festivals. Stephen has also performed with a number of classical symphonies throughout the United States.

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Applecreek Dulcimer Deluxe Pack

Product details:

  • Handcrafted in Europe using the finest material
  • Applecreek Dulcimer is the best student model you will find
  • Durable nylon dulcimer case with accessory pocket, handle and shoulder strap to carry like suitcase or backpack
  • Dulcimer Instruction Book with 19 all-time favorite songs
  • One of the most popular and easiest musical instruments to play

Applecreek Dulcimer, Known as the Appalachian or Mountain DulcimerApplecreek Dulcimer, Known as the Appalachian or Mountain DulcimerApplecreek Dulcimer, Known as the Appalachian or Mountain DulcimerDeluxe Pack Includes Durable Nylon Dulcimer Case with Strap, Dulcimer Music BookDeluxe Pack Includes Durable Nylon Dulcimer Case with Strap, Dulcimer Music BookDeluxe Pack Includes Durable Nylon Dulcimer Case with Strap, Dulcimer Music Book

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Cello Facts: Shop for Instruments, Accessories, Gifts

Cello Facts

Cello Facts

The cello is a string instrument. It is a member of the violin family, which includes double bass, viola, and violin. Cellos play a critical role in orchestral music, but are also suited to solo works.

More Cello Facts

Fun Fact
A person who performs on this string instrument is called a cellist.

Famed contemporary cellist Yo-Yo Ma plays the Davidov Stradivarius, which was made in Italy in 1712 by the most celebrated luthier of all time, Antonio Stradivari. The instrument was previously owned and played by British cellist Jacqueline du Pré. Her phenomenal career was cut short by multiple sclerosis when she was just 28 years old.

More recently, a classically trained Croatian duo, Stjepan Hauser and Luka Šulić (2Cellos) have introduced the instrument to fans of rock and pop. In 2012, the pair performed an arrangement of Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal” on the television show Glee.

Other notable cellists of the 20th century include “The Godfather of the Modern Cello” Pablo Casals, Beatrice Harrison, Emanuel Feuermann, Pierre Fournier, Zara Nelsova, János Starker, Paul Tortelier, Mstislav Rostropovich, and Anner Bylsma.

All Women Are Created Equal

Watercolor Poster Print

All Women Are Created Equal - Only The Coolest Play CelloAll Women Are Created Equal – Only The Coolest Play CelloAll Women Are Created Equal - Only The Coolest Play CelloHome Decor Canvas Watercolor Poster Print (12 x 18 inches)Home Decor Canvas Watercolor Poster Print (12 x 18 inches)Home Decor Canvas Watercolor Poster Print (12 x 18 inches)

Listen to the Cello

Solo by Yo-Yo Ma

Cellist Yo-Yo Ma and trumpeter Chris Botti perform the hauntingly beautiful love theme from Cinema Paradiso. The music was written by Italian composer Ennio Morricone for the 1988 film. You’ll definitely want to keep a box of tissues handy as you watch this Italian drama written and directed by Giuseppe Tornatore.

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Business Cards for Performers and Teachers

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Cello Facts

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Cecilio Size 4/4 (Full Size) High-Luster Varnish Cello

Product details:

  • Crack-proof spruce top with maple neck, back and sides
  • Alloy tailpiece with four integrated fine tuners
  • Padded lightweight carrying case with pockets and adjustable backpack straps
  • Brazilwood bow with unbleached genuine Mongolian horsehair
  • Rosin, bridge, cello stand, extra set of strings
  • 1 Year warranty against manufacturer’s defects
  • Please note that the bridge will not be setup before shipment to avoid damage to the cello body during transit.

Cecilio CCO-100 Student Cello, Size 4/4 (Full Size) High Luster Varnish CelloCecilio CCO-100 Student Cello, Size 4/4 (Full Size) High Luster Varnish CelloCecilio CCO-100 Student Cello, Size 4/4 (Full Size) High Luster Varnish CelloIncludes Soft Case, Instrument Stand, Bow, Rosin, Bridge and Extra Set of StringsIncludes Soft Case, Instrument Stand, Bow, Rosin, Bridge and Extra Set of StringsIncludes Soft Case, Instrument Stand, Bow, Rosin, Bridge and Extra Set of Strings

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Bouzouki Facts: Shop for Instruments, Accessories, Gifts

Bouzouki Facts

Bouzouki Facts

The bouzouki is a string instrument in the same family as the mandolin and lute. It is a mainstay of modern Greek music and was brought to Greece by immigrants fleeing Asia Minor after the 1919-1922 war. The Irish bouzouki is based on the Greek instrument, and has been popular in traditional Irish folk music since the 1960s. It’s a simple yet beautiful instrument. The flat fronted body is often inlaid with elaborate mother-of-pearl designs.

The instrument is played with a plectrum, a small flat tool used for plucking or strumming. A plectrum is similar to a guitar pick, and is held in the player’s hand. The bouzouki’s sharp metallic sound is reminiscent of a mandolin, but pitched a bit lower. There are two main types: trichordo, with three pairs of strings (known as courses), and tetrachordo, with four pairs of strings.

Related musical string instruments include baglamas (saz), Byzantine lyra, pandura, and tambouras.

More Bouzouki Facts

Fun Fact
A person who performs on this string instrument is called a bouzoukist.

Notable bouzoukists include Andreas Karantinis, Ioannis Papaioannou, Michalis Terzis, Vasilis Tsitsanis, and Márkos Vamvakáris.

Greek Musician Playing Bouzouki

Poster Print

Greek Musician Playing Bouzouki PosterGreek Musician Playing Bouzouki Poster

Listen to the Bouzouki

Solo by Andreas Karantinis

AKTINA’s Greek Music Journey featured Greek singer Melina Aslanidou with Andreas Karantinis on the bouzouki. The concert was held at the Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College in Manhattan on June 6, 2013 in honor of AKTINA FM Radio’s 20th year anniversary.

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Arabic Kurdish Bouzouki

Product details:

  • Originally a folk instrument from the Eastern Mediterranean (Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria) that’s usually played solo
  • Spruce Top, Cherry Wood Body, Hornbeam Neck and Fingerboard
  • Bridge and upper-nut set up for 6 strings / 3 courses, 28 frets
  • Body length is 15 inches, neck length 19 inches, body width 11 inches (all approximate)
  • Mandolin tuning machines with 8 pegs
  • Includes soft carrying case with shoulder strap

Sazalisveris Bouzouki Eastern Mediterranean Folk InstrumentSazalisveris Bouzouki Eastern Mediterranean Folk InstrumentSazalisveris Bouzouki Eastern Mediterranean Folk InstrumentSpruce Top, Cherry Wood Body, Hornbeam Neck and FingerboardSpruce Top, Cherry Wood Body, Hornbeam Neck and FingerboardSpruce Top, Cherry Wood Body, Hornbeam Neck and Fingerboard

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Bass Guitar Facts: Shop for Instruments, Accessories, Gifts

Bass Guitar Facts

Bass Guitar Facts

The bass guitar is a string instrument that establishes the beat for many styles of music. Blues, country, funk, fusion, gospel, jazz, Latin, metal, pop, punk rock, reggae, and rock all feature the beat of the bass guitar. The popular string instrument is known by many names including bass, electric bass, and electric bass guitar.

More Bass Guitar Facts

Fun Fact
A person who performs on this string instrument is called a bassist.

Notable bassists include Sheryl Crow, Maurice Gibb (Bee Gees), Julian Lennon, Paul McCartney (The Beatles, Wings), John Patitucci (Chick Corea), Prince, Kenny Rogers (Kenny Rogers and The First Edition), Gene Simmons (Kiss), Esperanza Spalding, Peter Tork (The Monkees), Eddie Van Halen (Van Halen, Sammy Hagar), Wolfgang Van Halen (Van Halen), Sid Vicious (Sex Pistols), and Stevie Wonder.

Jiandan Eric Clapton

Canvas Art Print

Legendary Guitarist Eric ClaptonLegendary Guitarist Eric ClaptonLegendary Guitarist Eric ClaptonCanvas Art Poster (24 x 36 inches)Canvas Art Poster (24 x 36 inches)Canvas Art Poster (24 x 36 inches)

Listen to the Bass Guitar

Chick Corea Elektric Band

John Patitucci, Frank Gambale, and Dave Weckl perform solos with the Chick Corea Elektric Band at the Blue Note in New York City on November 25, 2011. The piece is called “Got a Match?”

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Polar Aurora Electric Bass Guitar Package

Product details:

  • Full-scale 39-inch laminated and solid wood electric guitar
  • Durable bass guitar is designed to be stylish, affordable, and of good quality
  • Instrument is lightweight and easy to carry
  • Fixed bridge for rock-solid tuning stability, precise intonation, and increased sustain
  • Smooth tone is ideal for playing rock music and the blues
  • Accessories bundle includes gig bag, shoulder strap, guitar pick, and amp cord
  • Durable guitar can withstand years of wear and tear
  • Combo is perfect for beginners and would make a great gift

Polar Aurora Full Size 4 Strings Blue and White Electric Bass GuitarPolar Aurora Full Size 4 Strings Blue and White Electric Bass GuitarPolar Aurora Full Size 4 Strings Blue and White Electric Bass GuitarIncludes All Accessories You Need to Start Playing the Bass Guitar Right AwayIncludes All Accessories You Need to Start Playing the Bass Guitar Right AwayIncludes All Accessories You Need to Start Playing the Bass Guitar Right Away

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Autoharp Facts: Shop for Instruments, Accessories, Gifts

Autoharp Facts

Autoharp Facts

Here’s one of the most interesting autoharp facts. Despite the name, an autoharp isn’t a harp at all. It’s actually a chorded zither.

How does it work? A series of chord bars are attached to dampers. When the chord bars are depressed during play, strings are muted to form the desired chord. Modern autoharps usually have 36 or 37 strings. Some have as many as 47 strings, and a rare 48-string model also exists.

In the United States, the autoharp often provides rhythm in bluegrass and country music. However, skilled chromatic players can perform a range of melodies on the instrument.

More Autoharp Facts

Fun Fact
Did you know … a person who performs on this string instrument is called an autoharpist.

Notable autoharpists include Neriah McCubbins “Mr. Cub” Benfield and his son Kenneth Benfield, Bryan Bowers, Basia Bulat, Billy Corgan (The Smashing Pumpkins), Sheryl Crow, Brian Jones (The Rolling Stones), Janis Joplin, Linda McCartney, Dolly Parton, John Sebastian (The Lovin’ Spoonful), Kilby Snow and his son Jim Snow, Ernest V. Stoneman, and Joni Mitchell.

Mother Maybelle and the Carter Family

The autoharp was a favorite with the historic Carter Family, including Maybelle Carter, her cousin Sara Carter, and her daughters Helen Carter and June Carter Cash. The Carter Family adopted an upright style for playing that was developed by Grand Ole Opry star Cecil Null.

Maybelle Carter’s granddaughter Carlene carries on the family tradition today, performing onstage as well as on her recordings. Carlene’s 1990 song “Me and the Wildwood Rose” was dedicated to her grandmother Maybelle Carter.

Maybelle Carter

Wildwood Pickin’
Listen with Unlimited Streaming

Wildwood Pickin' Maybelle CarterWildwood Pickin’ Maybelle CarterWildwood Pickin' Maybelle Carter

Listen to the Autoharp

Solo by “Mother” Maybelle Carter

The legendary Johnny Cash introduces his mother-in-law Maybelle Carter on the February 25, 1970 episode of “The Johnny Cash Show.” The musical piece is called “Black Mountain Rag.”

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Autoharp Facts

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Oscar Schmidt 21-Chord Classic Autoharp

Product details:

  • 21-chord autoharp with select maple body
  • Tobacco sunburst finish
  • Chromatic 21-chord bar with three rows of buttons
  • Maple body, 21 chords
  • Rock maple pin block for strength and solid tuning
  • Oscar Schmidt’s most popular autoharp model
  • Fun for the whole family

Oscar Schmidt 21 Chord AutoharpOscar Schmidt 21 Chord AutoharpOscar Schmidt 21 Chord AutoharpOscar Schmidt Autoharp Gig BagOscar Schmidt Autoharp Gig BagOscar Schmidt Autoharp Gig Bag

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