A wide variety of instruments are used in African music. Drums are among the more popular instruments and are made in a variety of shapes and sizes (see Musical Instruments: Membranophones). Materials such as wood, gourds, and clay are used to construct drum bodies. … Continue reading
Amati is a family of celebrated Italian violin makers of Cremona.
(died about 1578), founder of the Cremona school of violin makers. His model was a small violin with high back and belly, amber varnish, and a clear although weak tone.
(circa 1550-c. 1638) and Girolamo Amati (c. 1556-c. 1630), sons of Andrea Amati. They worked together and followed their father’s style. Girolamo also developed a larger violin with an altered sound hole.
(1596-1684), son of Girolamo Amati. He became the most eminent craftsman of the family. His model is extremely elegant, with the backs and bellies arched and made of beautiful grained wood. The sound holes are graceful and bold, the scroll is exquisitely cut, and the varnish is transparent and of a deep, rich hue. As a rule, Nicolò used a small pattern, although he produced some large violins, which are now called grand Amatis and are highly valued. He also made a number of beautiful violas and violoncellos. The great Italian violin makers Antonio Stradivari and Andrea Guarneri were his pupils.
(1649-1740), son of Nicolò Amati, ended the leadership of the Amati name in the craft of violin making.
Alphorn is a Swiss long wooden horn with a cupped mouthpiece and a conical bore ending in a bell, or flare. The tubing is about 1.5 to 3 m (about 5 to 10 ft) long and is typically straight with an upturned bell; the tubing may also be completely straight, S-shaped, or coiled like a trumpet. The notes are the natural harmonics of the tube’s fundamental pitch (like the notes of a bugle). Known since antiquity, the alphorn is primarily used for signaling, although Swiss cowherders’ songs (ranz des vaches) and other music can be played on alphorns in three- and four-part harmonies. Similar instruments are found in the Carpathians and Pyrenees.