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Inventors Music History and the History behind Musical Instruments

Charles Wheatstone invented the accordion in 1829.

In the 1820s, Louis Spohr introduced the conductor's baton.

Bells may be categorized as idiophones, instruments sounding by the vibration of resonant solid material, and more broadly as percussion instruments.
Bells on Ships
Brief history of bells on ships.

Double Bass
History of the Double Bass
The earliest known illustration of a double bass type of instrument dates from 1516.
A Brief History of the Double Bass by Lawrence Hurst
Domenico Dragonetti (1763-1846) was the first great virtuoso of the instrument, he was largely responsible for its permanent place in the orchestra.

The clarinet's predecessor was the chalumeau, the first true single reed instrument. Because of his improvements of the chalumeau, Johann Christoph Denner is accredited as the inventor of the clarinet.

Hammer Dulcimer
Hammer Dulcimer: History and Playing
The name dulcimer comes from the Latin and Greek works dulce and melos, which combine to mean "sweet tune."


French Horn - See Horn

The history behind the universally popular string instrument played by plucking or strumming.

History of the Harpsichord
The trouble with the harpsichord, since its appearance over 500 years ago, it has been the lack of dynamic range, an inescapable product of the plucked-string mechanism of the instrument.

Horn - French Horn
The modern orchestral brass French horn was an invention based on early hunting horns. Horns were first used as musical instruments during 16th century operas. German Fritz Kruspe, who has been credited most often as being the inventor of the modern double French horn, combined the pitches of the horn in F with the horn in B Flat in 1900.

Giuseppe Donati invented the modern 10-hole ocarina.

Oboe - History of Oboe
The oboe (hautbois in French) was invented in the 17th century by the French musicians Jean Hotteterre and Michel Danican Philidor. The oboe evolved from the shawm, a double-reed instrument.
History Oboe

Electric Organ
Morse Robb of Belleville, Ontario, patented the world's first electric organ in 1928.

History of the Piano
The piano first known as the pianoforte developed from the harpsichord around 1720, by Bartolomeo Cristofori of Padua, Italy.

Saxophone - Adolphe Sax (1814 - 1894)
The saxophone was invented by a Belgian manufacturer, Adolphe Sax and exhibited to the world for the first time at the 1841 Brussels exhibition.

Canadian, Hugh Le Caine not only built the world's first voltage controlled music synthesizer (1945), touch sensitive keyboard, and variable speed multi-track tape recorder, he also composed unique works that helped to popularize electronic music.
LE CAINE An Inventor's Notebook
Hugh Le Caine (1914-1977), Canadian electronic music pioneer, designed over twenty analogue musical instruments. Material on this website includes content from the National Science and Technology museum and the personal reflections of the friends and family of Hugh Le Caine.
Robert Moog
Robert Moog designed his first synthesizers in collaboration with the composers Herbert A. Deutsch, and Walter Carlos.
Timeline of Synthesizer

History of the Trombone

History of the Trumpet
The trumpet is the instrument that Mozart's father Leopold, and Haydn's brother Michael, wrote concertos for in the second half of the eighteenth century. The first trumpet was a very different instrument from the modern valve trumpet. The trumpet has evolved more than any other instrument known to modern day society. Its long history began with ancient people using hollow materials such as animal horns and sea. A conch shell was one of the first brass family instruments produced, mostly resembling a trumpet.

History of the Tuba

Early Music FAQ
The largest reference for European Medieval and Renaissance music on the web.

A Short History of the Metronome
The pages of history recording attempts at invention and construction of metronomes, like those for automatic page-turners, are filled with failure and impractical ideas but they do indicate a few successes. Why such a small field should attract so many inventors is a mystery.

Music and Copyrights
Three kinds of intellectual property-patents, trademarks, and copyrights-work in harmony to protect the works of innovators and artists who give us listening pleasure.

Instrument Enclyclopedia
Information and general reference material on different instruments. (choose browse)
Percussion (Idiophones, Membranophones)
String (Chordophones)
Wind (Aerophones)
Electronic (Electronophones)
Early History of Orchestras and Orchestration
Orchestra Instruments and the History of Music

History of Musical Instruments
Large resource from Silver Burdett's Making Music.

More instruments to come...

Related Innovations
Sound Recording History

©Mary Bellis

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