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THE FUNDAMENTALS:
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Musical Instruments ...


Instrument accompaniment is a big part of singing. Most of the time when a singer performs, he or she is accompanied by one or more musicians playing musical instruments. As a singer it is important to have basic knowledge about musical instruments even if you are not an instrumentalist.

There are several ways to divide the different types of musical instruments. For our purpose here, I shall divide them by the way they generate sound.

  • Wind instruments - generate a sound when a column of air is made to vibrate inside them.The frequency of the wave generated is related to the length of the column of air and the shape of the instrument, while the tone quality of the sound generated is affected by the construction of the instrument and method of tone production. 

  • Percussion instruments - create sound, with or without pitch, when struck. The shape and material of the part of the instrument to be struck and the shape of the resonating cavity, if any, determine the sound of the instrument.

  • String instruments - generate a sound when the string is plucked, strummed, slapped, etc. The frequency of the wave generated (and therefore the note produced) usually depends on the length of the vibrating portion of the string, its mass, the tension of each string and the point at which the string is excited; the tone quality varies with the construction of the resonating cavity.

  • Electronic instruments generate sound through electronic means. They often mimic other instruments in their design, particularly keyboards.




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