Elders Playing an Organistrum, Santiago de Compostela, Spain. [ 1 ]
The organistrum, an early, larger form of the hurdy-gurdy (possibly inspired by the fiddle), shaped like a guitar but with a long, wide neck for keys, requiring two players (one pulled keys in an upward motion to change the pitch of the melody string while the other cranked a small wheel to produce a continuous sound on two drone strings). Thought to be the first use of the principle of a keyboard. A 13th century treatise on the construction of an organistrum, describes an instrument having eight tangents set at intervals based on Pythagorean principles.
Organistrum Played by the People at Lisberg. [ 2 ]
Organistrum Concert in the Church of Santa Maria, Albarracín, Teruel, Spain. [ 3 ]
Haynes, Richard. "Organistrum Clip." Online Video Clip. YouTube. YouTube, 7 April 2012. Web. 14 Oct. 2015. Standard YouTube License.
rotamundi1953. "Organistrum." Online Video Clip. YouTube. YouTube, 5 March 2009. Web. 14 Oct. 2015. Standard YouTube License.
Hurdy Gurdy, Germanic National Museum in Nuremberg, 1700. [ 1 ]
Hurdy-gurdy, (organistrum), a medieval stringed instrument comprised of melody and drone strings, a keyboard (made of tangents), and a resin-coated wheel (performing much like a bow), refined with many variants throughout Europe to be performed by a single player, producing a constant drone and capable of sounding two or more simultaneous notes.
Omen - Guilhem Desq (Hurdy Gurdy). [ 2 ]
Hurdy Gurdy - Demonstrated & Played by Matthias Loibner. [ 3 ]
Anagoria. "Hurdy Gurdy, 1700." Photograph. Original in the Germanic National Museum, Nuremberg. Commons Wikimedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 1 May 2013. Web. 18 June 2015. GFDL, and CC BY 3.0.
HudryGuigui. "'Omen' – Guilhem Desq (Hurdy Gurdy)." Online Video Clip. YouTube. YouTube, 23 June 2013. Web. 14 Oct. 2015. Standard YouTube License.
rayjayvids. "HURDY GURDY Demonstrated & Played by Matthias Loibner." Online Video Clip. YouTube. YouTube, 8 July 2011. Standard YouTube License.
HurdyGuigi. "'Break Your Crank' – Guilhem Desq (Electric Hurdy Gurdy)." Online Video Clip. YouTube. YouTube, 19 June 2015. Web. 14 Oct. 2015. Standard YouTube License.
Detail of The Queen Melisende Psalter, c.1139. [ 1 ]
As with many early representations of instruments, the dulcimer may be first seen in The Queen Melisende Psalter, c.1139, a “12th century carved ivory book-cover made in Byzantium for Melisende, the wife of Fulk V of Anjou, King of Jerusalem.” [ 2 ] There is some doubt regarding the claim, as no mention of the instrument is recorded for another 300 years.
California - Joni Mitchell & Dulcimer Detail. [ 3 ]
Led Zeppelin: 'Whole Lotta Love'
- On Dulcimer. [ 4 ]
Medieval Manuscripts. "Psalter (The ‘Melisende Psalter’)." Scan/Photograph from Egerton MS 1139. The British Library Board. The British Library Board, 12 Aug 2013. Web. 21 Aug 2015. No Known Copyright Issues.
Blanton, Nicholas. "The Origin of the Hammered Dulcimer Finally Not Explained." Dulcimer Players News. Vol. 27 No. 2. Spring 2001. issuu. Web. 14 Sept. 2015.
Siquomb1. "Joni Mitchell & Dulcimer Detail – California." Online Video Clip. YouTube. YouTube, 12 June 2010. Web. 14 Oct. 2015. Standard YouTube License.
ContemporaryDulcimer. "Led Zeppelin – 'Whole Lotta Love' – on Dulcimer." Online Video Clip. YouTube. YouTube, 10 May 2014. Web. 14 Oct. 2015. Standard YouTube License.
The keyed monochord, an evolution of the ancient teaching instrument, requiring the performer to either touch, pluck, hammer or bow on a single string while manipulating keys.
Playing a Keyed Monochord. [ 2 ]
Keyed Monochord (Monocorde de Poussot), Musical Instrument Museum of Phoenix, 1883. [ 1 ]
Michautable. "Chifonie Médiévale." Online Video Clip. YouTube. YouTube, 17 March 2014. Web. 14 Oct. 2015. Standard YouTube License.
English Citole, c. 1300, Remodelled as a Violin in the 16th Century. [ 1 ]
Unlike the psaltery and dulcimer, the citole was played with fingers instead of a plectrum. Carved from a single piece of wood and shaped like a ‘holly-leaf,’ the British Museum houses the only surviving instrument.
Romainbehar. "English Citole, c. 1300, Remodeled as a violin in the 16th C." Photograph. Original in the British Museum, London. Commons Wikimedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 19 May 2008. Web. 5 Oct. 2015. Public Domain.
Before the emergence of the clavichord, a small oblong box called a clavicytherium appeared (the earliest surviving example of this stringed keyboard instrument arguably originated from Ulm and was adorned with elaborate decorations and carvings, c1480). Comprised of catgut strings configured in the shape of a half-triangle, it produced sounds by the use of quill-plectra crudely attached to the keys.
Scarlatti, 'Sonata in G, K. 260,' Played by Ryan Layne Whitney on a Sørli Clavicytherium. [ 2 ]
Clavicytherium by Albert Delin in the Musical Instruments Museum, Brussels, 1751. [ 1 ]
teafruitbat. “Ryan Layne Whitney: Sacrlatti, Sonata in G, K. 260, on Sørli Clavicytherium.” Online Video Clip. YouTube. YouTube, 13 Oct. 2010. Web. 14 Sept. 2015. Standard YouTube License.
Wells, Elizabeth. "Museum of Instruments: Catalogue, Part II Keyboard Instruments." Center for Performance History. Royal College of Music, 2005 – 2007. Web. 14 Sept. 2015.
The 'Lépante' Clavichord - Musée de la Musique - Paris. [ 1 ]
From the monochord comes the small, delicate-sounding keyboard called the clavichord, or clavicordium, at first comprised of no more than 10 fretted strings serving multiple keys (with non-fretted models arriving later). Highly portable but unable to project sound effectively, it was used as an intimate private or practice instrument.
From the Clavichord to the Modern Piano - Part 1 of 2. [ 2 ]
To produce a tone, each key, when depressed, caused a tangent to strike a pair of strings, which determined the pitch based on their distance from the bridge. Since more than one tangent might utilize a pair of strings, only one note could be played at a time. Known for its soft tone, the instrument’s dynamic range offered the performer exquisite control and expressiveness of sound.
BaroqueBand. "From the Clavichord to the Modern Piano – Part 1 of 2." Online Video Clip. YouTube. YouTube, 8 March 2010. Web. 14 Sept. 2015. Standard YouTube License.
Clavicymbalum a Martelli. [ 1 ]
Another of the earliest ancestors of the harpsichord, the clavicymbalum had attached keys but no dampers. It was referred to as a monochordium by Johanness de Muris in a latin treatise, Musica Speculativa, as having the familiar triangular form with one curved side.
"List of Romantic-Era Composers." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 15 Sept. 2015. Web. 18 Sept. 2015.
Duchen, Jessica. "Top 20: The World’s Greatest Pianists." Sinfini Music. Sinfini Music, 23 April 2014. Web. 18 June 2015.
Solomon, Jon. "The Ten Best Jazz Pianists of All Time." Westword. Denver Westword, LLC., 27 Aug. 2013. 18 June 2015.
Sturm, Connie Arrau, Debra Brubaker Burs, and Anita Jackson, eds. "Annotated Bibliography of Sources on the History of Piano Technique and Piano Pedagogy." Piano Technique. Piano Technique.Net, n.d. Web. 18 June 2015.
Groves Music Online for Music Research. Oxford Music Online. Oxford University Press, 2007 – 2015. Web. June – December 2015.