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    Good News For Travelling Musicians


    In a time when seats are getting smaller, we’re getting charged more for checking in our baggage and meals are no longer offered, it seems like travellers can never gain a victory with the airline industry.


    Now, we—especially musicians—finally have a reason to celebrate! The U.S. Department of Transportation recently ruled that musical instruments are considered carry-on luggage, which means that they can be stored in the overhead bin. Those who play a large instrument, such as a cello, now have the option of storing it in the seat next to them if they are willing to pay for the second seat.


    The policy change—which takes effect on March 6—means a lot to musicians who previously had to check-in their instruments. Given the throwing and banging that happens to all luggage, using the check-in option seemed like a risky proposition. Just ask musician Dave Carroll whose guitar was broken after a United Airlines flight in 2009. He spent a year without success trying to get reimbursed for his damaged instrument.  Carroll was finally compensated after his viral music video called “United breaks guitars” became popular and embarrassed United Airlines.


    More information can be found on here. Happy travels!


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    A New Musical Instrument That Sounds Like A Digital Synthesizer

    The Internet has been abuzz with a new musical instrument that has an interesting name and packs a serious sound.

    Turkish musician Görkem Şen created the Yaybahar and demonstrated its sound on a video that has since gone viral. The instrument is impossibly large and looks deceptively simple. It seems to be made of sticks and drum covers and just when you’re ready to disregard its ability to produce any sound, Şen brings out his bow and starts playing.

    The sound is deep, full and incredibly moody and futuristic yet also beautiful. It’s been dubbed the acoustic version of a digital synthesizer and we’re still stunned about the sounds that came out of that instrument.

    We’re interested to see what becomes of the Yaybahar, if it can be reproduced and mainstreamed into orchestras, experimental music, even pop music. We’re thinking the size will be a major factor in its long-term success but we hope to hear more of the Yaybahar’s sound!

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    Watch Junji Play an Apple!

    Japanese school teacher Junji Koyama has become world-famous for making musical instruments out of fruits and vegetables and posting YouTube performances of his work.  Junji has performed on every kind of fruit or vegetable you can think of – apples, pineapples, strawberries, limes, cactus, carrots, radishes, broccoli, cucumbers – a full orchestra of edible instruments.

    Originally, Junji’s work was exclusive to vegetables, until the world’s largest self-serve frozen yogurt brand, Tutti Frutti, approached him to do a commercial campaign using instruments made out of fruit.  This video is from that campaign.  Junji plays an apple, accompanied by a mechanical monkey on cymbals.  The monkey has a rhythm of his own, slowing down halfway through the song, and Junji lets the monkey be the band leader, following it’s varying tempos in this cute clip.

    Mr. Koyama is basically a very clever flute maker – his fruits and vegetables are all various forms of flutes.   A flute makes sound when breath is sent into the flute, and the air stream travels down the piping. The air stream hits against the side of the flute, which makes the stream move and create a sound. To change the pitch of the flute, you simply lift up fingers or cover more finger holes. This changes the frequency of the sound waves, creating a different pitch.  If a flute has no holes, which is the case with some of Junji’s instruments, then it will always play the same pitch.  With those types of flutes, Junji sometimes creates multiple replicas of the instrument that each have a different pitch, so that he can blow on them in varying order to create different melodies.

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