Humans are ingenious when it comes to making music. From blowing on a reed of grass, or through a sheep’s horn to pounding on a hollow log – we’ve always found a way to express our natural rhythm.
What do you think makes an instrument popular? Is it the player or the instrument itself? After all, since music is everywhere and I propose, in everything, it’s a matter of coaxing it out for all to hear. It’s in the player. Good performers often elevate the quality of an instrument with their skill, talent and ability.
When you go to a concert you expect the artists will be playing with their favorite instruments to give their finest performance. Hiring a company like St Louis Limousine Services to bring in an enthusiastic audience doesn’t hurt the musicians’ chances either, but it’s more about how they deliver using the tools of their trade.Three of the coolest instruments used by generations of musicians have recently become contemporary favorites.
The mouth organ has been around since ancient times, first showing up in China then much later towards the beginning of the 19th century in Europe and the Americas. Also, known as the French Harp it was originally used in classical music pieces. It has since been featured in Country, Blues and Rock and Roll. Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones, Neil Young to name a few re-introduced this little reed instrument back into the mainstream musical genre.
Perhaps the best known and most versatile harmonica player to influence our more contemporary artists was Chicago’s Little Walter Jacobs. Jacobs had 14 top ten hits on the Billboard R&B charts throughout the 1950’s, including 2 number-one hits. Sadly, his lifestyle got the best of him and he died young, but not before leaving a legacy to be picked up later by some of our most popular musicians.
Another very cool instrument that has taken center stage more in recent decades is the saxophone. Now with more women musicians playing this very sexy instrument, it is no longer reserved for their male counterparts. Invented in 1840 by a fellow named Sax – quite appropriate – Adolphe Sax wanted to bridge the musical gap between woodwinds and brass instruments within an orchestra. The saxophone is actually a combination of both brass and woodwind aspects.
Not relegated to Classical, Jazz and marching bands, the saxophone can be heard played by notable legends as Stan Getz, Charlie Parker and John Coltrain. Coletrain made the sax the focal point with his mesmerizing jazz melodies. While Charlie Parker introduced the instrument to the B-bop scene.
The most immediate thought that comes to mind after the word ‘cello’ is Classical or chamber music, but move over Yo-Yo Ma and Johann Sebastian Bach. This very versatile instrument has been given a modern lease on life when it recently appeared in hip-hop and R&B performances with singers Ne-Yo and Rihanna at the American Music Awards. Finland’s Apocalyptica have made the cello the star of their heavy metal performances sending sounds deep into the souls of their fans. Also, keep an ear open for the music of Rasputina – very unique use of this old stringed friend.
With a plethora of musical instruments, these are just three the music world doesn’t want to live without. What are three that have come to age in the last century of two that you want to tell us about? Leave a comment below.