The piano was invented around 1700 in Italy by harpsichord maker Bartolomeo di Francesco Cristofori, who worked with the Florentine Court of the Grand Prince Ferdinando de’ Medici. Cristofori named his invention gravicèmbalo col piano e forte, which means “harpsichord with loud and soft.” It was later shortened to “fortepiano” and finally to just “piano.” […]
A brief history of banjos The banjo derives from various African instruments that arrived here via the West Indies in slavery days. The original five-string banjo had no frets, the horizontal position markers that tell the player where to place his/her left hand fingers. There are reports of slaves playing banjos on Thomas Jefferson’s plantation, […]
Do you know the history of this song, made famous by the movie Deliverance? “Dueling banjos,” (the banjo tune from the movie Deliverance) is probably the most famous and definitely one of the most popular instrumental banjo tunes ever written. It is also the most requested banjo tune by students to learn how to play. […]
Since its introduction to Hawai‘i in 1879, the ‘ukulele has been many things: a symbol of an island paradise; a tool of political protest; an instrument central to a rich musical culture; a musical joke; a highly sought-after collectible; a cheap airport souvenir; a lucrative industry; and the product of a remarkable synthesis of western […]
Here we look at a brief history of drums, starting back in 1876 with “double drumming,” through the first drum kits of the 1930s to today’s modern drums.
Due to the global Covid-19 pandemic, the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum has been closed to the public for over a month. In an effort to continue reaching bluegrass fans all over the world, the Hall of Fame has produced a virtual tour led by Executive Director Chris Joslin. Within the Hall of […]
A Making Music exclusive An unknown, never-performed, and never-recorded work for string quartet composed by Leonard Bernstein — perhaps the most talented and successful classical musician in American history — later this year will have its world premiere at Tanglewood, the music venue that had a 50-year association/connection to the famed conductor, composer, musician, and […]