Topic: instruments

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Music in Objects: Bicycles, paper, & oats make new songs

By recording the sounds from everyday objects—a light switch, a microwave, jellybeans falling into a bowl, ice in a glass, oats, a bicycle—and then tweaking those sounds with digital effects, sound designer Matthew Si...

Selections from Image: 20 Children’s Songs for Marimba

Vic Firth is "a stick company" that specializes in drum sticks, brushes, wands, mallets, and more. Their promotional performance videos, a growing set of their Marimba Literature Library videos, feature products and m...

That Cello Guy: The multi-screen performances of Cremaine Booker

First performed by Arturo Toscanini and the NBC Symphony Orchestra in a 1938 radio broadcast, and now beautifully arranged for this multi-screen video performance from 2016: Adagio for Strings (1936) by Samuel Barber,...

John Coltrane’s Giant Steps animated

When I listen to music I see colors and shapes and when I watch visual art I hear sounds. I wanted to express my sensing of shapes, colors and music in this short animation. I chose this piece because I’ve struggle...

Playing Against Type: The Typewriter Orchestra

For pre-digital natives, there's nothing quite as nostalgia-inducing as the manual "click," "clack" and "ding" sounds of an old mechanical typewriter. That's why The Boston Typewriter Orchestra is making these old mac...

Electromechanical instruments + rocks: Rock Band

Listen to The Beatles' Here Comes the Sun played with rocks that are being thrown, slapped, and vibrated by electromechanical instruments. This is Rock Band, a project created by Neil Mendoza as a part of Autodesk's a...

How a Bach Stradivarius trumpet is made

In this video series from musical instrument manufacturer Conn-Selmer, we see how a Bach Stradivarius trumpet is made. The mouthpiece above is shaped to the tune of Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov's Flight of the Bumblebee. T...

How to practice effectively…for just about anything

Mastering any physical skill takes practice. Practice is the repetition of an action with the goal of improvement, and it helps us perform with more ease, speed, and confidence. But what does practice actually do to m...

Dance of Harmony, an animated synesthetic voyage

One day when I was sixteen, I realized that I could see music. The saxophone I played and the jazz I loved listening to came to life before my eyes, or perhaps behind my eyes, in shape and color — little animated char...

Ice music made on hand-carved ice instruments

Tim Linhart was an ice sculptor in Colorado. One day he carved an upright string bass from ice and was astonished at the beautiful sound it made. Now he is the founder of Ice Music, based in Luleå, Swedish Lapland. Ic...

Alike, an animated short film

Copi is a father who's trying to teach his daily way of life to Paste, his son. Watch as they head off to their work and school routines in a bustling city, and see what they discover along the way. Alike is an animat...

A tiny balloon-powered organ made from paper & cardboard

With the exception of a piece of plastic that allows a peek at its inner workings, and a large balloon that provides required wind through its pipes, this tiny pipe organ is made out of paper and cardboard. It was des...

Talkin’ Scat with Hoots the Owl and Gordon – Sesame Street

Learn how to scat sing -- to sing using your voice like an instrument in an improvisational jazz style -- with Hoots the Owl, Gordon, and some "hip kittens" (a group of kids) in this classic Sesame Street clip from 19...

Jazz Fundamentals: What Is Improvisation? What Are the Blues?

What Is Improvisation? In this smart Jazz Academy series by Jazz at Lincoln Center, we learn Jazz Fundamentals, the building blocks of jazz as explained by drummer Bryan Carter, and demonstrated by his accompanying ba...

A sonata played on the earliest known surviving piano

What does the earliest known surviving piano sound like? Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, listen to the 'Giga' of Sonata number 6 in B flat major, played by professional keyboard player and music producer D...

Conveyor Belt Hero

Different sizes and colors of wooden blocks travel along a conveyor belt, placed in a melodious order by eight helpers on the Conveyor Belt Hero team. Mystery Guitar Man Joe Penna plays the blocks all in order with hi...

Aretha Franklin sings Won’t Be Long (1964)

Singer, songwriter, and musician Aretha Franklin was just 22 years old when she sang 'Won't Be Long' on The Steve Allen show in 1964. Today, of course, she's known as The Queen of Soul: Franklin has won a total of...

The Waterphone

Invented by Richard Waters in the late 1960s, the waterphone is an unusual instrument that often contains a bit of water to help create its signature sound. Used in a variety of movies and albums, the instrument is of...

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