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Encyclopedia > Vibrato

Vibrato is a musical effect where the pitch or frequency of a note or sound is quickly and repeatedly raised and lowered over a small distance for the duration of that note or sound. Vibrato is naturally present in the human voice, and is used to add expression and vocal-like qualities to instrumental notes. Music is an art, entertainment, or other human activity that involves organized and audible sounds and silence. ... In music, pitch is the psychological correlate of the fundamental frequency of a note. ... Sine waves of various frequencies; the lower waves have higher frequencies than those above. ... Human voice consists of sound made by a person using the vocal folds for talking, singing, laughing, screaming or crying. ...

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Vocal vibrato

The human voice has a natural vibrato. This vibrato is often absent in untrained singers—appearing only during training—but it is natural in the sense that it emerges without being explicitly taught and is not caused by deliberate variation of pitch, and also in the sense that singing without the natural vibrato is relatively tiring to the voice (causing hoarseness). A trained vocalist may deliberately alter or suppress the natural vibrato for artistic reasons.

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Instrumental vibrato

The extent of the variation in pitch in instrumental vibrato is decided by the performer, but does not usually exceed a semitone either way from the note itself. Many string players vary the pitch from below, only up to the nominal note and not above it. The effect is intended to add warmth to a note, and in the case of bowed strings, adds a shimmer to the sound, as the sound pattern emitted by a well-made instrument virtually "points" in different directions with slight variations in pitch. This effect interacts with the room acoustics to add interest to the sound, in much the same way as an acoustic guitarist may swing the box around on a final sustain, or the rotating baffle of a Leslie speaker will spin the sound around the room. A semitone (also known in the USA as a half step) is a musical interval. ... A string instrument (or stringed instrument) is a musical instrument that produces sound by means of vibrating strings. ... The Leslie speaker is a specially constructed amplifier/loudspeaker used to create special audio effects. ...


Not all instruments can produce vibrato, as some have fixed pitches which can not be varied by sufficiently small degrees. Most percussion instruments are examples of this, such as the piano. Some types of organ however, can produce the effect by altering the pressure of the air passing through the pipes, or by various mechanical devices (see the Hammond or Wurlitzer Organs for example). A grand piano, with the lid up. ... Organ in Katharinenkirche, Frankfurt am Main, Germany Modern style pipe organ at the concert hall of Aletheia University in Matou, Taiwan The organ is a keyboard instrument with one or more manuals, and usually a pedalboard. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Hammond B3. ... The Rudolph Wurlitzer Company is a brand of organ, and Jukeboxes and was first famous for manufacturing the finest quality band organs with self arranged music rolls which played at amusments such as carousels and skating rinks. ...


The method of producing vibrato on other instruments varies. On string instruments, for example, the finger used to stop the string can be wobbled on the fingerboard, or actually moved up and down the string for a wider vibrato. On flutes, as in singing, vibrato is created by air passing through an open throat; moving of the jaw is popular for saxophone vibrato. The mouth can also be used, in addition to being used for clarinet, although clarinet vibrato is not usually used. Brass instrument players produce a vibrato by varying the pressure of the mouthpiece against the lip, by gently shaking the horn. Alternatively, the embouchure can be rapidly altered, essentially repeatedly "bending" the note. A string instrument (or stringed instrument) is a musical instrument that produces sound by means of vibrating strings. ... The examples and perspective in this article or section may not represent a worldwide view. ... Image of a trumpet. ...


Vibrato in woodwind instruments can be achieved in several ways: by modulating the air flow through the instrument using the diaphragm, and by rapid variations in embouchure. The clarinetist Reginald Kell is said to have been one of the first orchestral clarinetists to adopt vibrato in orchestral playing. Reginald Kell (born York, England 1906, died 5 Aug 1981, Frankfort, Kentucky, USA) was a British clarinettist. ...


Some instruments can only be played with constant, mechanical vibrato (or none at all), notably the vibraphone and the Leslie speaker used by many electric organists. Vibrato on the theremin, which is a continuously variable-pitch instrument with no "stops", can range from delicate to extravagant, and often serves to mask the small pitch adjustments that instrument requires. A typical Ludwig-Musser vibraphone. ... The Leslie speaker is a specially constructed amplifier/loudspeaker used to create special audio effects. ... Léon Theremin playing an early theremin The theremin or thereminvox (originally pronounced but often anglicized as [1]) is one of the earliest fully electronic musical instruments. ...


In pop music the effect is sometimes heard on the guitar and some, but not all, singers use it (in some pop ballads, the vibrato can be so wide as to be a pronounced wobble). The use of vibrato in some folk musics is rare, or at least less pronounced than in other forms of music, although in Eastern European gypsy music, for example, it can be very wide. For popular music (music produced commercially rather than art or folk music), see Popular music. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Folk music, in the original sense of the term, is music by and for the common people. ...


Wide vibrato (as wide as a whole-tone) is commonly used among electric guitar players and adds a vocal-like expressiveness to the sound. Although difficult to master, a well-played guitar vibrato can essentially make the instrument really 'sing'. Left: Rosa Hurricane, a heavy metal-style solid body guitar. ...


Confusingly, vibrato is sometimes referred to as tremolo, notably in the context of a tremolo arm of an electric guitar, which produces variations of pitch although true tremolo is a periodic fluctuation in the amplitude (rather than the frequency) of a sound. Conversely, the so-called vibrato unit built in to many guitar amplifiers produces what is known as tremolo in all other contexts. See vibrato unit for a detailed discussion of this terminology reversal. Tremolo is a musical term with two meanings: A rapid repetition of the same note, a rapid variation in the amplitude of a single note, or an alternation between two or more notes. ... A tremolo arm, tremolo bar or whammy bar is a lever attached to the bridge and/or the tailpiece of an electric guitar to enable the player to quickly vary the tension and sometimes the length of the strings temporarily, changing the pitch to create a vibrato, portamento or pitch... Left: Rosa Hurricane, a heavy metal-style solid body guitar. ... In music, pitch is the psychological correlate of the fundamental frequency of a note. ... Amplitude is a nonnegative scalar measure of a waves magnitude of oscillation, that is, magnitude of the maximum disturbance in the medium during one wave cycle. ... A vibrato unit is an effects unit used to modify the sound of an electric guitar by producing a regular variation in the amplitude of the sound. ... This page is about amplifiers for musical instruments. ... Tremolo is a musical term with two meanings: A rapid repetition of the same note, a rapid variation in the amplitude of a single note, or an alternation between two or more notes. ... A vibrato unit is an effects unit used to modify the sound of an electric guitar by producing a regular variation in the amplitude of the sound. ...


Most jazz players through the 20th century and up to the present day have used vibrato more or less continuously. From around the 1950s, however, some players in more avant garde styles, many following the example of Miles Davis, began to use it more selectively, playing without vibrato as a rule. Davis, however, frequently used a mute, which also alters the tone of the instrument. Jazz is an original American musical art form originating around the start of the 20th century in New Orleans, rooted in Western music technique and theory and marked by the profound cultural contributions of African Americans. ... (19th century - 20th century - 21st century - more centuries) Decades: 1900s 1910s 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s As a means of recording the passage of time, the 20th century was that century which lasted from 1901–2000 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar (1900–1999... The 1950s was the decade spanning the years 1950 to 1959. ... Miles Davis, 1952 Miles Dewey Davis III (May 26, 1926 – September 28, 1991) was one of the most influential and innovative musicians of the 20th century. ... A mute is a device which alters the timbre and/or reduces the volume of a musical instrument. ...


Vibrato is sometimes thought of as an effect added onto the note itself, but in some cases it is so fully a part of the style of the music that it can be very difficult for some performers to play without it. The jazz tenor sax player Coleman Hawkins found he had this difficulty when requested to play a passage both with and without vibrato by the producer of a children's jazz album to demonstrate the difference between the two. Despite his otherwise exemplary technique, he was unable to play without vibrato. A symphony saxophonist was brought in to play the part. Jazz is an original American musical art form originating around the start of the 20th century in New Orleans, rooted in Western music technique and theory and marked by the profound cultural contributions of African Americans. ... Saxophones of different sizes play in different registers. ... Coleman Hawkins Coleman Randolph Hawkins, nicknamed Hawk and sometimes Bean, (November 21, 1901 or 1904 - May 19, 1969) was a prominent jazz tenor saxophone musician. ...


Many classical musicians, especially singers and string players have a similar problem. The violinist and teacher Leopold Auer, writing in his book Violin Playing as I Teach It (1920), advised violinists to practice playing completely without vibrato, and to stop playing for a few minutes as soon as they noticed themselves playing with vibrato in order for them to gain complete control over their technique. A string instrument (or stringed instrument) is a musical instrument that produces sound by means of vibrating strings. ... Leopold Auer Leopold Auer (June 7, 1845 – July 15, 1930) was a Hungarian violinist, teacher, conductor and composer. ...

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Vibrato in classical music

The use of vibrato in classical music is a matter of some contention. For much of the 20th century it was used almost continuously in the performance of pieces from all eras from the baroque onwards, especially by singers and string players. This began to change somewhat towards the end of the century, with the rise of historically accurate ("period") performances, and as one travels further back in music history, the use of vibrato appears to become increasingly rarer. (19th century - 20th century - 21st century - more centuries) Decades: 1900s 1910s 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s As a means of recording the passage of time, the 20th century was that century which lasted from 1901–2000 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar (1900–1999... Baroque music describes an era and a set of styles of European classical music which were in widespread use between approximately 1600 to 1750 (see Dates of classical music eras for a discussion of the problems inherent in defining the beginning and end points). ...


Vocal music of the renaissance is almost never sung with vibrato as a rule, and it seems unlikely it ever was. There are only a few texts from the period on vocal production, but they all condemn the use of vibrato. Renaissance music is European classical music written during the Renaissance, approximately 1400 to 1600. ...


Leopold Mozart's Versuch einer gründlichen Violinschule (1756) provides an indication of the state of vibrato in string playing at the end of the baroque period. In it, he concedes that "Performers there are who tremble consistently on each note as if they had the palsy", but condemns the practice, suggesting instead that vibrato should be used only on sustained notes and at the ends of phrases. Johann Georg Leopold Mozart Johann Georg Leopold Mozart (November 14, 1719 – May 28, 1787) was a composer, music teacher and violinist. ...


In wind playing too, it seems that vibrato in music up to the 19th century was seen as an ornament to be used selectively. Martin Agricola writing in his Musica instrumentalis deudch (1529) writes of vibrato in this way. Occasionally, composers up to the baroque period indicated vibrato with a wavy line in the sheet music, which strongly suggests it was not desired for the rest of the piece. In music, ornaments are musical flourishes that are not necessary to the overall melodic (or harmonic) line, but serve to decorate or ornament that line. ... Martin Agricola (January 6, 1486 – June 10, 1556) was a German composer of Renaissance music and a music theorist. ... Sheet music is written representation of music. ...


It was towards the end of the 19th century that vibrato in classical music began to be used more or less continuously throughout a performance. This increase in the popularity of vibrato was helped by changes in the design of string instruments, specifically the invention of the chin rest on the violin and viola, and of the endpin on the cello. These inventions made wider and more sustained vibrato possible. Alternative meaning: Nineteenth Century (periodical) (18th century — 19th century — 20th century — more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 19th century was that century which lasted from 1801-1900 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar. ... This article does not cite its references or sources. ... The viola (in French, alto; in German Bratsche) is a stringed musical instrument played with a bow which serves as the middle voice of the violin family, between the upper lines played by the violin and the lower lines played by the cello and double bass. ... A cello The violoncello, almost always abbreviated to cello (the c is pronounced as the ch in cheese), is a stringed instrument and a member of the violin family. ...


Music by late Romantic composers such as Richard Wagner and Johannes Brahms is now played with a fairly continuous vibrato. However, some musicians specialising in historically informed performances such as the conductor Roger Norrington argue that it is unlikely that Brahms, Wagner, and their contemporaries, would have expected it to be played in this way. This is a somewhat controversial view, although Arnold Schoenberg, a considerably later composer, seems to have disliked vibrato as well, likening it to the bleating of a goat. The era of Romantic music is defined as the period of European classical music that runs roughly from the early 1800s to the first decade of the 20th century, as well as music written according to the norms and styles of that period. ... Richard Wagner Wilhelm Richard Wagner (May 22, 1813 – February 13, 1883) was an influential German composer, conductor, music theorist, and essayist, primarily known for his operas (or music dramas as he later came to call them). ... Johannes Brahms. ... Sir Roger Arthur Carver Norrington (born March 16, 1934) is a British conductor best known for performances of Baroque, Classical and Romantic music using period instruments and period style. ... Arnold Schoenberg, Los Angeles, 1938 Schoenberg redirects here. ...


The growth of vibrato in 20th century orchestral playing has been traced by Norrington by studying early recordings. He claims that vibrato in the earliest recordings is used only selectively, as an expressive device; the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra were not recorded using vibrato comparable to modern vibrato until 1935, and the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra not until 1940. French orchestras seem to have played with continuous vibrato somewhat earlier, from the 1920s. A philharmonic orchestra An orchestra is a musical ensemble used most often in classical music. ... The Berlin Philharmonic rehearsing in the Berliner Philharmonie. ... The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra (in German: Wiener Philharmoniker) is the principal orchestra in Austria and one of the finest in the world. ... ...


Despite this, the use of indiscriminate vibrato in late Romantic music goes largely uncontested (although performances of Beethoven with limited vibrato are now not uncommon). Many people take the view that even though it may not be what the composer envisioned, vibrato adds an emotional depth which improves the sound of the music. Others feel that the leaner sound of vibratoless playing is preferable. 1820 portrait by Karl Stieler Ludwig van Beethoven (pronounced ) (baptized December 17, 1770[1] – March 26, 1827) was a German composer and pianist. ...


In 20th century classical music, written at a time when the use of vibrato was widespread, there is sometimes a specific instruction not to use it (in some of the string quartets of Béla Bartók for example). Furthermore, some modern classical composers, especially minimalist composers, are against the use of vibrato at all times. In the 21st century some orchestras are now playing with noticeably less vibrato. 20th century classical music, the classical music of the 20th century, was extremely diverse, beginning with the late Romantic style of Sergei Rachmaninoff and the Impressionism of Claude Debussy, and ranging to such distant sound-worlds as the complete serialism of Pierre Boulez, the simple triadic harmonies of minimalist composers... The resident string quartet of the Library of Congress in 1963 A string quartet (French: quatuor à cordes, German: Streichquartett, Italian: quartetto di corde or quartetto darchi, Spanish: cuarteto de cuerdas) is a musical ensemble of four string instruments—usually two violins, a viola and cello—or a piece written... Béla Bartók in 1927 For other uses, see Bartok (disambiguation). ... Minimalism describes movements in various forms of art and design, especially visual art and music, where the work is stripped down to its most fundamental features and core self expression. ... The 21st century is the present century of the Gregorian calendar. ...

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Pop/rock artists

Yngwie Malmsteen, Marty Friedman and several other virtuoso guitar players heavily utilize vibrato. AC/DC guitar player Angus Young is known for his trademark vibrato. Yngwie J. Malmsteen (born Lars Johan Yngve Lannerbäck, June 30, 1963) is a guitarist from Sweden who achieved widespread acclaim in the 1980s due to his technical proficiency and fusion of classical music elements with heavy rock guitar. ... Marty Friedman Martin Adam Friedman (born December 8, 1962 in Washington, D.C.) has become recognized worldwide as a guitarist and composer of consummate skill and a unique style of playing that is instantly recognizable. ... AC/DC is a hard rock band formed in Sydney, Australia in 1973 by brothers Angus and Malcolm Young. ... Angus McKinnon Young (born March 31, 1955 in Glasgow, Scotland) is a rock guitarist and songwriter who has been the lead guitarist of Australian hard rock band AC/DC since the group was formed in 1973. ...

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See also

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Seventh release by Manchester indie rock group, James. ... Finger vibrato is vibrato produced on a string instrument by cyclic hand movements. ... A vibrato unit is an effects unit used to modify the sound of an electric guitar by producing a regular variation in the amplitude of the sound. ...

External links

  • Vibrato or tremolo? technical treatment, but accessible to laypersons
  • The Vibrato Page - collection of opinions and quotes against vibrato
  • Roger Norrington writing on vibrato

  Results from FactBites:
 
The Vibrato Page (489 words)
A constant vibrato is the hallmark of the modern classical violinist.
The debate rages on at the Flute Vibrato Forum, which also has a number of flute links.
This is the style of music which is frequently played with vibrato by modern performers, although, at the time it was composed, vibrato was used only as a type of ornament.
Vibrato - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1379 words)
Vibrato is a musical effect where the pitch or frequency of a note or sound is quickly and repeatedly raised and lowered over a small distance for the duration of that note or sound.
Confusingly, vibrato is sometimes referred to as tremolo, notably in the context of a tremolo arm of an electric guitar, although true tremolo is a periodic fluctuation in the amplitude (rather than the frequency) of a sound.
A precursor to vibrato was the trillo (not to be confused with a trill), used in vocal music in the early 17th century, where a singer would rapidly repeat the same note on one syllable.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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