Organology is the study of how instruments were made and how we classify them based on five elements; solid, liquid, gas (air), plasma, and idea. (See Example 1 below) These people will read and study different materials and history to understand how the instruments were made in the past. These people will figure out what wood was needed for a violin, or the right bamboo for the Clark etc reed, or the design for how the piano was supposed to be designed. There are people who currently try to replicate or draw the original patents of the instruments. This is important to the music society because it gives more information on why or how certain things were performed or made because of the materials available back then. Something I think about often, as a future choir director, is that everything is different from the past. If you take the voice, for example, regardless of the piece, is going to sound different simply because our diet is different from singers in the past. There is different technique, healthier technique so that the singers stay healthy and can sing longer than back then. We, as educators, need to keep that in mind when expecting our students to perform a certain way due to the history of the piece. I’m getting off point though. While this is something I think about often, what this reading has taught me is that it is important to realize where we came from to know where we are going. Organology gives insight on how things were done and can hopefully give us ideas and facts on how the music was supposed to be performed.
Examples of “plasmaphone” and “quintephone” above: (First is controlled by the contact of blood in the skin, so, plasma. Second, is a Theremin which is controlled by sound waves in the air. There is no touching involved.)
“Organology.” Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. Oxford University Press, accessed January 24, 2017, http://0-www.oxfordmusiconline.com.lib.utep.edu/subscriber/article/grove/music/20441..
“organology.” The Oxford Companion to Music. Oxford Music Online. Oxford University Press, accessed January 24, 2017, http://0-www.oxfordmusiconline.com.lib.utep.edu/subscriber/article/opr/t114/e4880.
“Musicology.” Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. Oxford University Press, accessed January 24, 2017, http://0-www.oxfordmusiconline.com.lib.utep.edu/subscriber/article/grove/music/46710., et al.