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All great art begins with imitation. - Jean Luc-Goddard   In 1985 fusion or non-fusion of eastern and western musical elements may not have yet altered the course of musical history, but a musical partnership between East and West certainly continues to flourish, and the following statements illustrate this across-the-world musical continuum and some of its various blendings. Chou Wen-chung cites the confucianist Record of Music to the effect that "The greatness in music lies not in perfection of artistry but in the attainment of te . . .'that by which things are what they are.'" In other words, the...

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The Musical Hormone Music and Science Information Computer ArchiveVolume IV, Issue 2, Fall, 1997MuSICA RESEARCH NOTESEditor: Dr. Norman M. Weinberger, Scientific Director MuSICA   Music has well established psychological effects, including the induction and modification of cognitive states, moods and emotions. Were it not so, then marches would be played as readily at bedtime as at the half time of football games, dirges would grace weddings, lullabies would be heard at parades and Gregorian chant would bombard our ears in supermarkets. Many people think that psychology is one thing but physiology is another thing. There is the mind and there...

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by David Brown History One of the most ancient forms of lute is the family of long-neck lutes, which today includes the Greek (and Irish) Bouzouki, the Arab Buzuk, the many sizes of Turkish Saz, the Persian Setar, the Armenian-Persian-Central Asian Tar, the Afghan Tumbur, Dambura and Dutar, and even the North Indian Sitar. By definition any lute with a neck longer than the body is a long-neck lute, so even the American Banjo is technically in this extended family! Three ancient instruments seem to be the earliest long-neck lutes in use. These are the Tanbur-e-Khorosan of eastern Iran and...

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Ouds by David Brown   Originally ouds were strung with gut strings (although it is possible for silk to have been employed near the Persian-Chinese border) but today nylon has all but replaced gut. I have never played a gut strung instrument; there may still be some but almost all players use some type of synthetic compounds. D'Addario (my preference) and La Bella (a close second) make fine oud strings, using high quality nylon like that used for guitar strings. I have seen many sets from the Middle East; the Turkish strings are of good quality but I am under...

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Oriental Oboes and Shawms by David Brown   The ancestor of the modern oboe is the baroque oboe; it is descended from the Renaissance shawm. All of these double-reed woodwinds share several characteristics; a conical bore, double reed, and a common ultimate ancestor- the folk oboe of the Orient. These instruments are known under many names, often each region having its own terms, and come in three main types, namely the Middle Eastern, Chinese and Indian versions. All of these folk oboes use a flattened grass stalk reed, not a hard cane reed like the Renaissance shawm or the Highland...

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