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 ?
In the Musurgia universalis (Rome, 1650) Kircher presents different divisions (arithmetical and geometric) of the monochord, reproduces drawings of keyboards with octave divisions of more than 12, describes (superficially) the temperament with the octave divided into 12 equal parts, and considers the use of logarithms for the measurement of intervals (although he only applies them to the octave).
He also deals with the pantometer and the reductional compasses (pp.770-84), saying of the latter that `it is used for the division of the tetrachord and the monochord'.
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.277-87); he also deals with the pantometer, providing an engraving with three musical lines corresponding with the diatonic, chromatic and enharmonic genera, following Kircher's system (pp.288-92).