Home Page About Us Concert Info Sample Sounds Mailing List Contact Us Press Kit

 


 
   
ABOUT THE INSTRUMENTS
 
   
 
   
Dizi or D'Tzu is a traditional Chinese transverse flute made with six holes and tuned to a diatonic major scale. A tone hole covered with a rice paper membrane gives this instrument its characteristic buzzing sound.

The penny whistle, also called the tin whistle is a very ancient instrument going back to prehistoric times with surviving instruments made of bone. These instruments are very popular in the British Isles. They have a fipple like a recorder and are very easy to play.

The Lapp flute is an overtone flute which means that the different pitches are executed with the varying degrees of air pressure provided by the performer. Overtone flutes are popular in Scandinavia and Eastern Europe.

Gemshorn is a renaissance (1400's) instrument and the precursor to the recorder. Hence, the fingerings resemble the recorder although traditionally gemshorns were made from the horn of a gems. The gems was an animal which is now extinct, but it was related to the African antelope. Many gemshorns today are made from cow horns.

Legend states the Native American Indian Flute holds the power for attraction and was used to enhance courtship. Throughout the wedding night the flute could be heard playing. Cedar wood was traditionally used to carve the flutes. Cedar trees hold a special meaning. These trees have a shallow root system and in order to grow strong, their roots must intertwine with other cedar tree roots for support. This support system was meaningful to Native Americans. Just as the cedar tree has a network of family support, so did the Indian Tribe. The cedar tree has always represented the family, and like a cedar tree, one was never alone.

The mandolin emerged from the medieval-Renaissance mandola possibly as early as the 15th century but remained obscure until the 18th century, when it was used by Handel in England, by Mozart in Vienna, by Hummel in Germany, by Gretry and Auber in France, and by various Italians, including Vivaldi. The fashion subsided in the 19th century but again appeared in Verdi's Otello and was used by Mahler and others. By the turn of the century it had become a popular folk instrument in Germany and America. The mandolin has been used for vocal accompaniment as well as for classical composition since the 18th century. Developed in Italy from the mandola, the modern mandolin has four pairs of strings tuned to violin pitch and produces a clear, bright tone.

The flamenco guitar is slightly smaller than the classical guitar and has wooden, violin-style tuning pegs. It has evolved to serve flamenco music, which is the distillation of five distinct musical traditions. The Arab culture found within Spain, combined with Jewish, African, East Indian and Western European traditions, form this unique and richly varied music. While today's flamenco guitarists retain a deep respect for its timeless traditions, they take liberty to incorporate their own ideas, often drawing from other musical styles. The result is dramatic and passionate music that overflows with energy and unpredictable mood changes.

The classical guitar, now heard in concert halls, is the product of centuries of development. In the 16th century, the guitar had only four strings with an additional string added at the beginning of the 17th century. It was not until the end of the 18th century that the six-string guitar emerged. Innovations in the guitar's design are still a frequent occurrence. Guitar makers regularly experiment with the guitar's size and overall design in order to satisfy the concert performer's need to project the guitar's sound, while still maintaining its warm, intimate tone.

 
 
   
Home Page About Us Concert Info Sample Sounds Mailing List Contact Us Press Kit