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Monochord

Definitions

  • Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Monochord (Mus) An instrument for experimenting upon the mathematical relations of musical sounds. It consists of a single string stretched between two bridges, one or both of which are movable, and which stand upon a graduated rule for the purpose of readily changing and measuring the length of the part of the string between them.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n monochord An acoustical instrument, invented at a very early date in Egypt or Greece, consisting of a long resonance-box over which a single string of gut or wire is stretched, the vibrating length, and thus the pitch, of which is fixed by a movable bridge. The position of the bridge required to produce particular intervals may be mathematically determined, and marked on the body of the instrument. The monochord has been much used in acoustical demonstration and in teaching pure intonation. In the middle ages smaller instruments with several strings were made, and were often permanently tuned to give certain intervals. (See helicon .) The notion of a primitive keyboard-instrument doubtless sprang from some such beginning.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Monochord mon′ō-kord a musical instrument of one chord or string.
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Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. monochordon, Gr., fr. with but one string; only, single + string: cf. F. monocorde,. See Chord, and cf. Mainchord

Usage

In literature:

He invented a curious monochord, which was not less accurate than his clocks in the mensuration of time.
"Men of Invention and Industry" by Samuel Smiles
Associated Words: polychord, monochord.
"Putnam's Word Book" by Louis A. Flemming
After the tenth century the development of the monochord seems to have begun in earnest.
"For Every Music Lover" by Aubertine Woodward Moore
In the eleventh century, when musical notation came into being, a monochord was used to teach singing.
"Chats on Household Curios" by Fred W. Burgess
The monochord originally was used much as we use a tuning fork, to determine true musical pitch.
"How to Appreciate Music" by Gustav Kobbé
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