Unusual / Rare Instruments

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kkrell
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Re: Unusual / Rare Instruments

Post by kkrell »

trill wrote:
chas wrote:My absolute favorite is the rackett. . . I'm gonna make one one of these days.
Speaking of making:

If I read the narrative correctly, one of them uses a single narrow bore coiled 9 times in the *small* wooden cylindrical body.

Just think: a Low-D coiled into a little can, shorter than a soprano D ! :D

trill
Not quite a single bore. 9 parallel, cylindrical bores (sort of like a revolver cylinder), connected via caps on both ends, to direct the air into a long continuous path, within a compact shape.
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Re: Unusual / Rare Instruments

Post by stiofan »

Mr.Gumby wrote:Not totally obscure, I thought. Mozart wrote for it.
Right you are. I'd seen that mentioned in one of the articles. Interesting connection between Mozart and Ben Franklin. Wonder if it had anything to do with the latter's escapades in Paris.
Peter Duggan wrote:The flute obbligato in the 'mad scene' from Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor was also originally written for it and is increasingly performed on it again now.
Whoa. Better save that one for the music category at trivia night.
Nanohedron wrote:53 valve tuba

My first instrument was the trumpet. That tuba...to paraphrase Mr. Gumby, "hurts my brain."
PB+J wrote:I had no idea Strohs were use in ITM!
Nor did I. But I had a suspicion that there's a subculture of Stroh players out there in the margins. This guy made a set of Stroh instruments for Kronos Quartet, to play a Terry Riley composition: http://kitundu.com/strohs-for-kronos
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Re: Unusual / Rare Instruments

Post by PB+J »

Mr.Gumby wrote:
PB+J wrote:I had no idea Strohs were use in ITM!
Well, they were a necessity for the early recordings, Coleman and other fiddlers hated them. Julia Clifford was the outlier if you like. She played it 'out' when she felt she needed the extra volume. There's a lovely photo of her sister Bridie with her's in Jill Friedman's book. Gerry Harrington used it for some tunes on the CD with Julia's son Blilly. I took the snap in the RnaG mobile studion when they were launching it.
A few people have them but they're not exactly common.

If you really want tinny, go for the brass fiddles. :P

(Michael Kelleher playing one below:)

Image

I've played an aluminum double bass--they were made during WWII, apparently for military bands though I'm skeptical of that explanation. They mostly came with fake wood finishes, and polish up very nicely if that's removed. They sound like a double bass, at least the one I tried did.

Why would Coleman have needed a Stroh violin? It was just himself and a piano most of the time and in the "acoustic recording era" before microphones and amplification they controlled the mix by positioning people relative to the "horn" they recorded into. The relatively few instances of photos of that process show both regular and stroh style violins in use. Sometimes you see ordinary violins and one guy with a stroh, maybe the soloist.

I wonder if he was doing other recording work in larger ensembles, and we just don't know about it? Interesting stuff!
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Re: Unusual / Rare Instruments

Post by Mr.Gumby »

Why would Coleman have needed a Stroh violin?
They were, apparently, the standard for recording before the electric processes came in. See Bradshaw's litttle booklet, he discusses that point (on pp 51-52).

He quotes Hughie Gllespie speakiong about Coleman and the Stroh:
'I nearly broke it in two' Coleman said, 'the roars of it' It was the biggest curse in the studio, that Stroh fiddle'
My brain hurts

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Re: Unusual / Rare Instruments

Post by daveboling »

Right (as John Cleese would say).
If you want to descend into the truly obscure, you need to enter the world and creations of Harry Partch. Partch was an American composer who carried just intonation to the realm of microtonalism with a scale which used 43 steps. In order to realize his music, he invented new instruments and radically modified existing instruments (some shown here). Here's one - the Crychord Image
I had a clarinet professor at university who had performed in one of Partch's performances while at, if I remember, the University of Indiana. He had no idea the performance was recorded until we found an LP of the performance, with my instructor visible in the ensemble picture on the album jacket. He said he spend three hours learning Partch's scale by having Partch play a note, any my instructor trying alternate fingerings to make a clarinet capable of playing this microtonal scale.

While it looks, from distance, to be a fairly common instrument, upon closer examination, another of Partch's creations is one of the better named instruments: The Marimba Eroica
Image

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Re: Unusual / Rare Instruments

Post by PB+J »

Harry Partch did those cloud chamber bowls. He seems like a good example of how music theory could possibly drive one mad, although I've enjoyed what I've listened to
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Re: Unusual / Rare Instruments

Post by oleorezinator »

“For Duty & Humanity!”
The logical bassoon.
http://staging.forums.chiffandfipple.co ... n#p1236435
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Re: Unusual / Rare Instruments

Post by trill »

kkrell,
kkrell wrote: . . . 9 parallel, cylindrical bores (sort of like a revolver cylinder), connected via caps on both ends, to direct the air into a long continuous path, within a compact shape.
Thank you for the "revolver" visual.

FWIW, my original interpretation came from the Unholyackett website: ". . . The bore is coiled nine times within the body of the instrument, emerging . . ."

For sure, the "revolver + end-caps" would be easier to make.

trill
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Re: Unusual / Rare Instruments

Post by kkrell »

trill wrote:kkrell,
kkrell wrote: . . . 9 parallel, cylindrical bores (sort of like a revolver cylinder), connected via caps on both ends, to direct the air into a long continuous path, within a compact shape.
Thank you for the "revolver" visual.

FWIW, my original interpretation came from the Unholyackett website: ". . . The bore is coiled nine times within the body of the instrument, emerging . . ."

For sure, the "revolver + end-caps" would be easier to make.

trill
Here's another approach (with plugs). I imagine builders have different techniques (plugs, cross-bore connections, trenched end caps) to achieve good tuning & acceptable finger reach.
https://www.willandbeki.org/construction.html

Oooooh - here's one made via 3D printing:
http://www.musicbylu.com/causing-a-rackett.html


I played bassoon for awhile in college, so I was fascinated with these. A bassoon is not a treat to carry around across campus between classes.
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Re: Unusual / Rare Instruments

Post by oleorezinator »

chas wrote:My absolute favorite is the rackett:

https://unholyrackett.com/2017/09/12/al ... -racketts/

It's a predecessor to the bassoon. It's not long, but there are nine bores in the main body. I'm gonna make one one of these days.
https://youtu.be/TFfXS59UQs4
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Re: Unusual / Rare Instruments

Post by oleorezinator »

daveboling wrote:Right (as John Cleese would say).
If you want to descend into the truly obscure, you need to enter the world and creations of Harry Partch. Partch was an American composer who carried just intonation to the realm of microtonalism with a scale which used 43 steps. In ord
dave boling
I spoke with one of Partch’s students a few years back
when I learned that the instrument collection was practically in
my back yard at Montclair State University in N.J.
He wasn’t very pleased with
that situation nor with their current home at the
University of Washington School of Music.
He also had a lot to say about this attempt:
https://www.musikfabrik.eu/en/sound-ima ... tual-dream
He said that the reproduction of the instruments was spot on
but it all ended there. He felt that the performances
fell far below the ones he’d played on with Harry and company.
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Re: Unusual / Rare Instruments

Post by Sedi »

Not really rare but I am a fan of the noseflute, because it was the first instrument I ever played at the age of 8. And I still have that original one. The instrument is easy to start on but incredibly hard to really play well and in tune. So far I have only found two channels on youtube where the instrument is played in any serious fashion and not just for comical effect. Both are Japanese (go figure). I have a small collection of them. And some brands have an interesting history. I have one of the so-called "Schwan"-noseflutes. They are called that because the company had a swan as a logo. I have one of the original "Made in Germany" ones. The interesting thing -- the molds for making them were later sold to China where they are still made (in not so great quality, as the molds are worn-out) -- and strangely enough, still with the original "Made in Germany" logo, even though the original company doesn't exist anymore.
These are the two channels that I think are really good:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyBKew ... I8IW2wAKow
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCX-vl0 ... HodzLHmn_Q
And an interesting homepage with tons of info.
http://nose-flute.blogspot.com/
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Re: Unusual / Rare Instruments

Post by Nanohedron »

Because it's hypothetical, this doesn't really qualify (as if that would stop me):

Image

The Ailurophone? Felitron? Catatonium?

Among its many faults, the keyboard far exceeds the notes (?) available.
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Re: Unusual / Rare Instruments

Post by Katharine »

Nanohedron wrote:Because it's hypothetical, this doesn't really qualify (as if that would stop me):

Image

The Ailurophone? Felitron? Catatonium?

Among its many faults, the keyboard far exceeds the notes (?) available.
It's okay... there's this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GxEHi6Mlzmk
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Re: Unusual / Rare Instruments

Post by Nanohedron »

An absurdity most sublime. :thumbsup:

Here's a perennial favorite of mine, played on the innovative Kazookeylele:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XAg5KjnAhuU
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