[NetBehaviour] Pictures of Instruments and Planets:

Alan Sondheim sondheim at panix.com
Tue Nov 9 00:54:14 CET 2010

Pictures of Instruments and Planets:

For anyone who might be interested, (very rough but clear) photographs of
the instruments I've been recording with recently -

http://www.alansondheim.org/insts01.jpg - Guzheng, 16 strings with movable
bridges. This is a folk instrument; apparently in 1961, the guzheng was
changed - more strings were added, and the end block was set curved, not
straight. It's really a beautiful instrument.

http://www.alansondheim.org/insts02.jpg - Pipa, weighing 8+ pounds, most
likely rosewood body with black oxhorn frets and pegs. Tuning is Adea.

http://www.alansondheim.org/insts04.jpg - Violin, with a fairly wide
to back) body.

http://www.alansondheim.org/insts06.jpg - Viola, John Juzek, formerly
Czech, now German, sounds really good on the low strings (I think unusual
for a viola). I play this and the violin vertically; this is tuned CGcg
and the violin, GDgd.

http://www.alansondheim.org/insts08.jpg - Small Hausa raft zither, woven
reed with seeds inside the back.

http://www.alansondheim.org/insts10.jpg - Larger Hausa raft zither, with a
much deeper tone. Both instruments are plucked with both hands; both are
somewhat old and delicate. I'll record with them, then put them aside. The
weaving on both is amazing.

http://www.alansondheim.org/insts11.jpg - 'Bass' zither, or elegie concert
zither. This is an anomaly; it's not that well constructed and the frets
are crude, as is the purfling around the upper soundhole and the overall
shape.  I'm not sure of the date; the purfling seems to be Washburn-style
so I'm assuming it's American-made, but the ornate tuner cover (nickel or
silver-plated) seems European. It might be English. There are 23 usable
open strings and five playing strings; I'm using an odd tuning of my own
devising, which also keeps the instrument from further cracking. It has a
range of about five octaves.


Plates of Mars and Venus from Elements of Astronomy, Illustrated with
Plates, for the use of Schools and Academies, with Questions, by John
Wilkins, Boston, 1832. Volumes could be written about visual interpre-
tation (including the reading of 'canals' several decades later), about
real and virtual phenomena in relation to optical technology, and so
forth. Apparently this is the first American book to use 'Uranus' as the
standard name for the planet, which had, until then, been known as


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