Instruments

Musical instruments are more often than not collections of timbers and other materials, engineered to produce a lovely noise. Here's a place that gathers them all, assembled, fashioned to fit the whole. Record and explore how the woods in your instrument work together, to flag up and find makers and sellers, repairs and maintenance, courses and collections, pictures and plans. Click on a heading, post a new topic, or reply to an existing topic. Post a new topic at any level to suggest others we can explore.
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  • Bagpipes
    Great Highland, Small, Border, Northumbrian, Uilleann, Biniou, Gaida, Tulum. With long and ingenious variety, pipers have blown into the skins of animals to make the sounds of their joy and passing. Many a modern design has been wrought from the mists of our histories. Chanters, drones, blowpipes and stocks are made with trees, local and exotic, given voice by reeds and the odd sliver of non-biodegradeable yoghurt pot.
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  • Bowed strings & Bows
    Violin, viola, cello, double bass, viola da gamba, rebec, crwth, - strings from scroll to tail, backs, ribs and bellies combined. Such beauitiful beasts made to sing by sticks, hair and frogs under tension. How do these primitive parts give such sophisticate sounds? Woods, work and much scraping...
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  • Brass, keys, pick-ups, pins etc
    Why leave out whole sections of the musical community, just because they don't grow on trees? Brassy tubes have spoken for all of our communities world-wide; metal-worked and electrical jiggery pokery has put the most ingenious technonogical advances in the hands of players and ears of their audiences. Herewith we nod to marching, fanfares and feedback
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  • Drums & Sticks
    Kits and conga, tabla and timps, djembe, sabar, bougarabou, tam tam, bongo, bata; the multitude of struck skins is here. Yet, which wood might we find in their shells? If not by hand, struck with sticks, beaters and brushes.
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  • Free reeds
    Accordion, concertina, melodeon, harmonica, harmonium - stretchy, squeezy, buttoned, bluesy and wheezy. Where would you fit a tree into one of these musical marvels?
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  • Hurdy Gurdy and Misc
    What genius knew that a circular bow on strings stopped with keys could make such a gripping sound? And what drunkard named it? Here too clave, vibraclap, shakers and bones and any other quirks of unclassifiable musical inventiveness ... with wood in.
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  • Keyboards
    Piano, harpsichord, clavichord, spinet, virginal, organ. Hammered, plucked, and mechanically blown, casework and carpentry, fine art and fancy; some of the most intricate, musical devices seeming to sound by manual labours alone.
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  • Pitched & Tuned Percussion
    Xylophone, marimba, wood block, slit drum, log drum, agogo, rango - plain speaking wood, vibrating laths and shells, some given volume with resonators and buzzers.
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  • Plucked strings
    Harp, guitar, bass guitar, mandolin, mandola, banjo, lute, oud, sitar, bouzouki, cittern, gittern, zither, psaltery, balalaika, ukulele, kora, tres, koto. Strings across soundboards on boxes, some with necks; what a world of plucky strummers out there!
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  • Woodwind
    clarinet, recorder, flute, oboe, bassoon, whistle, bombarde, shawm, crumhorn, curtal, dulcian, pibgorn. Containers for vibrating columns of air, holes and keys to shift pitch, vessels of musical breath. Turned round, bored hollow, drilled and tapped, then given to musicians to blow down. Some of the more robust timbers here.
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