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Popular Mechanics hoax


Jim Stewart

IUCV in VMCMS
when i was an undergraduate ... i had done a lot of fastpath stuff to get...

You bet. Though trombone slides, which accomplish very much the same sort of thing, have been around since the 15th century or so.

high speed network, crossover from sci.crypt
ref: and and .... even more drift ... my wife and I had done this high-speed backbone for...

By the way, it's not clear that having the valves is a an unalloyed (so to speak) blessing for the instrument. To a certain extent you trade off the charactaristic tonal quality of the old instruments for the technical ease of producing the full scale on the new ones. In the case of the horn, you can get a complete scale without the valves anyway, by manipulating the hand in the bell of the instrument in various ways, though the tone color of each note will change to a greater or lesser extend depending on how it's manipulated. But this can be a musical virtue -- when you play, e.g., a Mozart concerto on a valveless ("natural" or "hand horn") and the key changes or an interesting "foreign" chord occurs, you get a corresponding color change that one rather misses on the modern instrument.

Block I Apollo Guidance Computer 49
It may be both. The most economical (in terms of energy, and thus $$$) way of making large amounts of O2 is to chill air, and destill it in the process...

Consider also that the characteristic sound of the horn is due in large measure to its conical bore -- the tubing expands gradually throught the length of the instrument (and of course rather dramatically at the bell end). But a valve, when depressed, has to introduce an extra bit of tubing that has to match the diameters at both ends of where it's being "spliced in" to the instrument. So you get varying proportions of cylindrical and conical tubing depending on how many and which valves are depressed. It's amazing that the thing works and can be played in tune at all -- there are lots of subtle compromises in the design (which I do not pretend to understand and some of which, I am sure, are zealously guarded trade secrets).

At any rate, the sound qualities of the older instruments have come to be appreciated more and more in recent decades, and there had been a great revival of the art of playing them (and making them) during the past forty years or more. It's not hard to find them nowadays in both live performances and recordings of the older music that does, after all, consbreastute much of the core of our concert music tradition. We now have players who can do (for example) the 4th-horn solo in Beethoven's ninth symphony, which departs so far from the "natural" notes of the instrument that for a long time it actually invited speculation that it had been written for a very early valved horn -- but 't ain't so: apparently it's in a style that very accomplished hand-horn players routinely mastered in the early 19th century; one sees similar things in the method books that some of them published.

Bach, however, does pre-date the development of the elaborate hand-horn technique, and he writes much more in the manner of, as you observed, a hunting-horn sort of style -- though in a very accomplished way, needless to say, what with his being Bach and all...

I can warmly recommend the group rec.music.early for anyone with an interest in, or curiosity about, these things.

-- Roland Hutchinson╩╩╩╩╩╩╩╩╩╩╩╩╩╩Will╩play╩viola╩da╩gamba╩for╩food.

NB mail to my.spamtrap at verizon.net is heavily filtered to remove spam.╩╩If╩your╩message╩looks╩like╩spam╩I╩may╩not╩see╩it.


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