Study questions and videos

  1. Whydoeseverysoundhave a distinctivetimbre?

    Every sound has a distinctive timbre because all objects have a set of frequencies or a natural frequency at which they vibrate. The timbre of the quality of the produced sound by the vibrating object depends on the natural frequencies of the vibrations produced by the objects. There are several objects that produce vibrations at a single frequency. The tone produced by these objects is always expected to be a pure tone. For instance, a flute produces a pure tone by vibrating at a single frequency. On the other hand, some objects vibrate at complex waves, which make them produce different sounds. Thus, every sound has a distinctive timbre due to the different frequencies the sound is produced.

    2. What factors besides the overtone series affect the timbre of an instrument?

    The timbre of an instrument is affected by several factors. For example, for the bowed instruments, timber is affected based on the place the bow string is placed, how quickly one draws across the string, and how hard one presses the bow against the string. These three parameters affect the timbre of the instrument through the entire possibilities of the instrument. For a wind instrument, timbre is affected on how one shapes his or her mouth and how hard one blows.

    3. What give each sound its distinctive timbre?

    Timbre of a sound can be defined as the distinctive quality of a tone found in a singing voice. For one to determine the timbre of a specific sound, he or she must first determine the overtone series of the sound. It is important to note that every individual has his or her distinctive sound, which is known as vocal timbre. Each sound is given its distinctive timbre by the acoustical phenomenon of the series. In this case, the series happens to be the overtone. The acoustical phenomenon can be described as the physical phenomenon that is associated with how sound is produced or transmitted.

    4. What three things are necessary in order to produce a sound?

    There are three things that are needed for a sound to be produced. The first thing is that there must be some vibrations coming from the vocal cords. The second important thing for a sound to be produced is a medium where the vibrations, which are the sound waves, can travel. A good example of a medium that the sound waves can easily travel is air. The third thing needed for a sound to be produced a medium that should be used to correct the vibrations. A good example of such a medium is the ears. When the vibrations are collected, they are known as the sound.

    5. What are the major sections of the contemporary symphony orchestra?

    A symphony orchestra has four major sections. These are the strings, brass, woodwind, and percussion. The major components of the strings include violin, viola, cello, and double bass. On the other hand, the main components of the brass include trumpet, trombone, and tuba. The woodwind has four major parts, which are both, flute, clarinet, and bassoon. Lastly, the percussion is made up of three main parts, which are timpani, triangle, and cymbal. However, one can add individual instruments to each section according to how the performed music was composed.

    6. What factors affect the production of vocal timbre?

    There are several factors that affect the production of vocal timbre. For example, what an ear can term as quality or color is a gestalt impression of the head voice, which reflects the entire sound. The heard voice does not function as the separate or analytical components of the entire sound. The production and perception of vocal timbre can also be affected by physical characteristics such as envelope and spectrum. The spectrum can be defined as the richness of a tone, which is at times described using overtones or distinct frequencies. Envelope is the amplitude structure of a sound.

    7. What are the ways in which musical sound can be produced?

    Musical sound can be defined as any tone with musical characteristics, for example, timbre and pitch. Musical sounds can be produced by instruments where the performer can control the periodic vibrations produced by the instruments. Musical sound can be produced by the use of vibrations produced by several instruments. For instance, the vibration produced by a violin, a trumpet player, a xylophone, and a saxophone can be used to produce a musical sound. For the sound to be made musical, the pitch, timbre, and volume have to be controlled. The controlling can be made by making the sound vibrate at certain frequencies.

    8. What are the five categories of instruments in the Sachs-Hornbostel system?

    There are five major instrument categories in the Sachs-Hornbostel system, which are defined using the physical components of a sound. The first category is the chordophones, which are instruments with strings, where the strings are tied between the fixed points. The second category is the aerophones, which use air as the major source of vibration. Meta phones vibrate using the stretched skins as the major medium of vibration. Ideophones are the Sachs-Hornbostel instruments, which are mainly surrounded by the instrument. Electrophones are the last category, with the main medium of sound being technology.

    Part B



    In the video Pete Seeger Family Short Films: How to Make a Steel Drum the drum is made of steel drum container. The sound produced from the steel drum,is not in a pure tune,but it can be described or labeled in liner notes. Besides,It is always played at celebrations like weddings as well as street parades. The good thing with the drumis that, it provides bands which are over.


Hifumi_Hachigaesh, It is included in this chapter, simply because it forms a basis for introduction to Koten for beginning students. It also contains many high notes ,which are then utilized, and hence expanding the performance of the beginning student. Those note which are higher, they demand more stamina, breath control, and lip, on the part of the musician.

Japanese musical instruments

The Biwa

The biwa is described as a lute.The true ancestors of this musical instrument are the Arabic UD.These ancestors are known to have reached China from The Central Asia.They have a body which is pear shaped,with five strings and wooden frets.These strings,are then plucked with a large wooden plectrum,known as the bachi.The bachi,is always held on the plam of the rich hand

The Koto

Since the date of its introduction,this type of an instrument ,has been one of those types,praised and most liked by the Japanese court, as well as the rising commercial class.The koto,is mostly played by those girls who are well educated.

The Shamisen

The shamisen is known to be a three-stringed lutes with a box covered by a dog skin or a cow skin3-stringed .It was bought by Japanese in the centuries 1562,from a place called Okinawa.This traditional instrument was used at the Okinawan court.

Description of Shakuhachi and how to make it

Shakuhachi is described as an end-blown flute,with six holes.To make this instrument,it involves selecting the type of bamboo to be used,you cut it and drill the holes as well.Then the finger holes are also drilled ,to enlarge the holes to a better diameter.

How different timbres that can be achieved on the Ud

The different timbres achieved on the ud include the softer and the harsher timbre. The softer timbre is played further away y from the bridge. While the harsher timbre is played closer to or further away from the bridge

How the Ud resembles other instruments

Ud resembles other instruments by the sound it produces from the vibrating strings.The vibrations are then transmitted to the body of the instrument ,enhancing vibrations be produced along with the air inside it.


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