Friday, August 27, 2004

Idio-what?

Idiophones are any instruments that make sounds through the vibration of their own material. (The New Harvard Dictionary of Music 4th ed. Editor: Don Randel. Article: Idiophone.) Many instruments fall under the category of idiophone including castanets (concussion idiophone), bells (percussion idiophone), maracas (rattle), the washboard (scraper), music boxes (plucked), and the musical saw (friction). Since these instruments include some of the forerunners to many of our modern ones, I would hypothesize that idiophones are the originators of many if not all of our modern instruments.

Update: Sorry, I wasn't clear when I said that Idiophones make sound through the vibration of their own material. Idiophones create sound through the vibration of their primary material. In other words, not through the vibration of secondary parts such as strings and also not through vibrating air.