Musical Instruments

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Maracas, sometimes referred to as rumba shakers, are percussion instruments traditionally made out of a hollow gourd and filled with pebbles, beans, seeds, beads or other, similar, objects.

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  • How do tuning forks work?

    Q: How do tuning forks work?

    A: Tuning forks are manufactured to vibrate at specific frequencies. According to The Physics Classroom, when a fork’s tines stretch after being struck, they compress air molecules into a small space and then release them as the tines return to their original positions. These areas of compression and refraction form a sound wave that transmits the pitch of the tuning fork through the air or through a solid, such as wood.
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  • What is a glockenspiel made of?

    Q: What is a glockenspiel made of?

    A: A glockenspiel is made out of metal. This is in contrast to the very similar instrument called a xylophone, which is made out of wood.
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  • Who invented the first cello?

    Q: Who invented the first cello?

    A: The first cello was produced by Andrea Amati of Cremona, Italy in the middle of the 16th century, according to The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Amati was a luthier in the violin family, crafting violins, violas and violoncellos, also known as cellos.
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  • How do you play the G chord on a guitar?

    Q: How do you play the G chord on a guitar?

    A: To play the G major chord on a guitar, place your index finger on the second fret of the fifth string. Place your middle finger on the third fret of the sixth string. Place your ring finger on the third fret of the first string, and strum all the strings.
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  • How many inches is a full size guitar?

    Q: How many inches is a full size guitar?

    A: A grand concert guitar measures 19 3/8 inches long, 4 3/4 inches deep and 8 3/8 inches wide at the waist, according to CB Guitars. An auditorium-size guitar measures the same length, but is 4 1/8 inches deep and 9 3/16 inches wide at the waist.
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  • What are some instruments traditionally used in Mexico?

    Q: What are some instruments traditionally used in Mexico?

    A: According to the Los Cenzontles Cultural Arts Academy, instruments traditionally used in Mexico include string instruments that resemble guitars, such as the jarana, huapanguera, vihuela, guitarron, Quinta de golpe, tololoche and guitarra de son. Many of these come in a variety of sizes. Other instruments traditionally used in Mexico include a harp-like instrument called the arpa and percussive instruments, such as the quijada and zapateado.
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  • What materials are used to make a trombone?

    Q: What materials are used to make a trombone?

    A: Though the trombone is known as a brass instrument, brass is not always used in its manufacture; in fact, different models of trombones use different materials in the manufacturing process, including plastic and metals, such as brass, silver and nickel. Brass itself is a metal alloy combination of copper and zinc. Yellow brass, which is 70 percent copper and 30 percent zinc, is the most common metal used to manufacture trombones and gives the instrument its characteristic warm metallic color, but other types of brass such as rose brass and red brass, which each use higher levels of copper than zinc, can also be used.
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  • How can you make your own vuvuzela?

    Q: How can you make your own vuvuzela?

    A: A homemade vuvuzela may be created using a cheap plastic baseball bat, the plastic portion of an inexpensive Fourth of July party horn, scissors, a plastic cup with the bottom cut off and colored electrical tape. All of these items may be purchased at a local dollar or thrift store.
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  • How long does it take to learn the piano?

    Q: How long does it take to learn the piano?

    A: The time it takes to learn the piano differs from one person to another. Factors that tend to play a role in the difference include the time dedicated to studying and practicing the piano, the age of the learner, experience of the teacher, the learner's passion and their natural abilities.
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  • Who invented the clarinet?

    Q: Who invented the clarinet?

    A: Johann Christoper Denner is credited with inventing the clarinet. Basic instruments resembling the clarinet, however, date back to Ancient Greece.
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  • How does a trumpet produce sound?

    Q: How does a trumpet produce sound?

    A: A trumpet makes sound when the musician makes a buzzing sound while blowing air through closed lips and into the mouthpiece. The air causes a standing wave vibration in the air column inside of the trumpet, which travels down the instrument and is then manipulated by the pressing of the keys.
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  • How much does a tuba weigh?

    Q: How much does a tuba weigh?

    A: A typical full-size orchestral tuba weighs 25 to 35 pounds. The player does not need to hold up the heavy instrument without assistance. The chair the musician sits in supports the tuba's weight.
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  • What are piano keys made from?

    Q: What are piano keys made from?

    A: The black and white keys of the piano are made of wood covered with veneer. Most pianos that were made before 1960 have white keys with thin ivory tops. The black keys are traditionally made with ebony.
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  • How do you play the bagpipes?

    Q: How do you play the bagpipes?

    A: To play the bagpipes, a musician blows air into the pipe. The musician needs a lot of lung power to fill the bag with air and maintain it. With bellows-blown bagpipes, the musician plays different notes by using the finger holes and moving the bellows with the arms. With mouth-blown bagpipes, the musician plays a melody by making different fingerings on the chanter.
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  • What are maracas?

    Q: What are maracas?

    A: Maracas, sometimes referred to as rumba shakers, are percussion instruments traditionally made out of a hollow gourd and filled with pebbles, beans, seeds, beads or other, similar, objects.
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  • What are examples of woodwind instruments?

    Q: What are examples of woodwind instruments?

    A: Examples of woodwind instruments are bassoons, piccolos, flutes, clarinets, oboes, panpipes, recorders, flageolets and shawms. They get their name because they are aerophones, which make music through the vibration of air or wind and because they all used to be made of wood. In modern times, they can be made out of many materials, but they're still referred to as woodwinds.
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  • Who invented the oboe?

    Q: Who invented the oboe?

    A: Jean Hotteterre and Michel Danican Philidor invented the oboe by modifying the double-reeded shawm in the 17th century. The oboe originated in France, becoming established through its use at the court of Louis XIV. Variations in design developed in different countries during the 1800s and persist to this day.
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  • What is the history of the guitar?

    Q: What is the history of the guitar?

    A: Different forms of the guitar date back over 3,000 years. Though no civilization has been credited with the development of the instrument, historians have found carvings of an instrument resembling the guitar done by the Hittites.
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  • How many guitars are sold a year?

    Q: How many guitars are sold a year?

    A: According to The Music Trades website's industry census of the United States guitar market, between 2005 and 2013 anywhere between 1.6 million to 2.5 million guitars were sold each year. In 2013, around 2,472,000 guitars were sold at an average price of $433 each.
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  • In what year was the banjo invented?

    Q: In what year was the banjo invented?

    A: No one is exactly sure when the banjo was invented, but its earliest mention was in 1620. Banjos are thought to have been invented by African slaves.
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  • How many notes are there on a piano?

    Q: How many notes are there on a piano?

    A: The modern standard-sized piano has 88 keys, which equals 88 notes and covers a range of seven octaves plus a minor third. A few pianos are specially made with an extend bass range, such as the Imperial Bosendorfer, which has 97 keys and covers a range of eight full octaves.
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