Musical Instruments & Musicians

Wheeler Matthews, Steel Drum Maker | 27:Fifty (1991)
Episode 3

Video

When someone thinks of steel drums, they think of the Caribbean. Wheeler Matthews is a steel drum maker from Beaufort, S.C. He discusses his inspirations for wanting to create steel drums, and how...
Conway, Part 6
Episode 6

Video

One of Conway’s many fascinating shops is Jennings Chestnut’s shop, where he makes mandolins, and other musical instruments. Jennings discusses making instruments, and the inspirations behind his...
Violin Family I | A Minute with Miles
Episode 1

Audio

Have you ever wondered how the violin came to play such an important role in the history of classical music? Well, it starts with singing. The invention of opera, in late 16th century Florence, marks...
Oboe | A Minute with Miles

Audio

The modern oboe most likely originated in France in the 1600's. The word oboe, which is the instrument’s name in both English and Italian, comes from the French name, hautbois, meaning “high wood,” or...
Rise of Violin | A Minute with Miles

Audio

Have you ever wondered how the violin came to play such an important role in the history of classical music? Well, it starts with singing. The invention of opera, in late 16th century Florence, marks...
Violin Family II | A Minute with Miles
Episode 2

Audio

The members of the modern violin family are the violin, viola, cello, and double bass. These instruments are descendants of various kinds of medieval fiddles—fiddle, by the way, being an older word...
The Rumba, Cuba and the Congas | Periscope
The Rumba, Cuba and the Congas | Periscope
Episode 41

Photo

During the 1920s, the sound of "rumba" music took over Cuba. Rumba was great to dance to, as it was played with many types of percussion instruments. The congas stood out as rumba's major percussion...
Campana | Periscope
Campana | Periscope
Episode 39

Photo

Campana: A cowbell used in Cuban music. It is sometimes attached to another instrument called the "timbales."
Claves | Periscope
Claves | Periscope
Episode 38

Photo

Claves: Two sticks used to make a simple rhythm in Cuban music such as rumba. It is used in many other forms of Latin American music as well.
Guiro | Periscope
Guiro | Periscope
Episode 36

Photo

Guiro: A scraper sometimes used in Latin jazz. The Cuban and Puerto Rican form is made from a notched gourd and played with a stick.