Monochord


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Monochord

 

(1) An ancient Greek one-stringed instrument played by plucking.

(2) A device for determining the tone of a string and its parts. It consists of a string stretched between two bridges at the ends of an oblong wooden resonator; a movable bridge divides the string into two separately sounding parts. A scale of measurement is marked on the surface of the resonator. (Called also manichord, sonometer.)

(3) The una corda (in Russian, monokhord ); the device in a piano that enables the keyboard mechanism to shift to the side, allowing the hammer to strike not two or three strings of one chord simultaneously, but only one string. In the modern piano, the “soft” left pedal.

(4) Until the 18th century, the widely used term for the clavichord (Italian, monacordo, manicordo; French, manicorde, manichordion).

References in periodicals archive ?
The first disc is much more interesting, combining the monochord with improvisations from Stan Sulzmann and Paul Clarvis among others.
The second volume (`Acustica, in VII libros digesta') of Caspar Schott's Magia universalis naturae et artis (Wurzburg, 1657-9) is entirely dedicated to music; he describes and illustrates a monochord and two `monochords' of three strings with moveable bridges for measuring intervals in just intonation (pp.
The second book briefly discusses the hexachords arid the third addresses the ratios of the intervals via the monochord.
The next section begins (the creaking monochord is unrelenting), and the clearly intelligible spoken voice enters and is closely echoed.
The House of Life sequence is replete with terminology related to musical performance, including references to instruments (hautboy, harp, lute, monochord), performers (minstrel, daughters of the daybreak, bird, sirens), techniques (modulation, choral consonancy, wave, echoes, silence), and compositions (voluntary, air, tune, strain, song, ditties, dirges, vesper-song) in addition to musical titles ("Broken Music," "The Song-Throe," "The Monochord," "Death's Songsters").
Following the Pythagorean divisions of the monochord discussed by Boethius and Jacques Le Febvre, Bermudo includes a detailed description of how to divide the fingerboard precisely with the help of the compass.
There was now available to the West a practical method of notating music that was fully diastematic, whose intervals represented precise numerical ratios that could be converted directly into sound via the monochord.
The absolute music of God's harmonious monochord has been reduced to the absolute drivel of the self-sufficient subjective ego.
In the Micrologus, the preferred method of memorizing intervals was through the use of the traditional monochord, but by the time Guido wrote his letter to Michael, he had developed a technique of reference syllables using the hymn Ut queant laxis.
To mention just one instance, Ptolemy used the monochord to mediate between reason (mathematical ratio, a Pythagorean criterion) and hearing (sense perception, a non-Pythagorean criterion), thus reconciling or balancing the two criteria; Boethius, on the other hand, used it to "legislate" or govern hearing, so that mathematical reason controls sense perception, a view more in line with Pythagorean t radition.
The second modal treatise, provided with a melody indicated by letter notation, treats several topics - common and indifferent modes and the monochord - not discussed in the first.
James gives us the musical cosmology of a seminal source, the Timaeus of Plato, almost word for word from Francis Cornford's confusing, outmoded, and unmusical interpretation (Plato's Cosmology, The Timaeus of Plato [New York: Humanities Press, 1952]); his introduction of the monochord is much too cursory and muddled for the uninitiated, mixing up the relationship of part to part and part to whole without explanation; Kepler's "Venus ratio" of 24:25, which is the semitonal difference between a major and a minor third, he calls "barely equivalent to the Pythagorean comma", too small by a factor of three.