The Calabrian Bagpipe or Zampogna is a rudely carved instrument of the eighteenth century. It has four drones attached to one stock, hanging downwards from the end of the bag: two of them are furnished with finger-holes. The reeds are double like those of the oboe and bassoon. The bag is large; it is inflated by the mouth and pressed by the left arm against the chest of the performer. The Zampogna is chiefly used as an accompaniment to a small reed melody pipe called by the same name, and played by another performer. The quality of the tone produced is not unpleasing. It has five holes only, and consequently the seventh of the scale is absent, but this can be easily got by octaving the open note of the pipe and covering part of the lower opening of the chanter with the little finger.
The Musette, Zampogna, and Cornemuse here shown are from specimens belonging to Messrs. J. & R. Glen, Edinburgh.
Beautiful horns of hammered and embossed bronze belonging to the Corporations of Canterbury and Dover. The right-hand one is from Dover, where it was formerly used for the calling together of the Corporation at the order of the mayor. The minutes of the town proceedings were constantly headed "At a common Horn blowing" (comyne Horne Blowying). This practice continued until the year 1670, and is not yet entirely done away with, as it is still blown on the occasion of certain Municipal ceremonies. The motto on this horn is:—
JOHANNES DE · ALLEMAINE · ME · FECIT ·
preceded by the talismanic letters A·G·L·A, which stand for the Hebrew
אַתָּה גִּבּוֹר לְעוֹלָם אֲדֹנָי
and mean, "Thou art mighty for ever, O Lord!" The horn, which is 31¾ inches long, with a circumference at the larger end of 15½ inches, is of brass, and is deeply chased with a spiral scrollwork of foliage chiefly on a hatched ground. The inscription is on a band that starts four inches from the mouth and continues spirally. The maker's name is now nearly effaced, but the inscription shows that he was a German, and the date is assigned to the thirteenth century.
The Jewish Shophar, a simple ram's horn, a woodcut of which, drawn from an interesting example preserved at the great Synagogue, Aldgate, London, figures at the end of this Introduction, is the oldest wind instrument in present use in the world. It is first named in the Bible as sounding when the Lord descended upon Mount Sinai, and there seems to be little doubt that it has been continuously used in the Mosaic Service from the time it was established until now. It is sounded in the synagogues at the New Year and on the Fast of the Day of Atonement. The Talmud gives ten reasons for sounding the Shophar at the New Year, which may be summed up as reminding those who hear it of the Creation, Penitence, and the Law, of the Prophets, who were as watchmen blowing trumpets, of the Temple and the Binding of Isaac, of Humility, the gathering together of Israel, the Resurrection, and the day of Judgment, when the trumpet shall sound for all. The embouchure of the Shophar is very difficult, and but three proper tones are usually obtained from it, although in some instances-xiii- higher notes can be got. The short rhythmic flourishes are common, with unimportant differences, to both the German and Portuguese Jews, and consequently date from before their separation.
A. Continuous bent rim.
B. Wooden struts.
C. Iron shoe holding struts and connecting with iron plate.
D. Main beam.
Back view of upright pianoforte, Knabe patents, showing ribbing of sound-board and construction of back framing.
Sketch of iron plate for concert grand, showing general arrangement of braces, belly-bridges and system of bolts for fastening to case.
A—B. Hammer line.
1. Body of plate.
2. Bass bridge.
3. Continuous treble bridge.
5. Capo d’astro bar.
Plate is cast in one piece and scale is overstrung.
Upright action showing lost-motion device, metallic regulating rail support, capstan screw, jack regulating rail and metallic action brackets.
34. Hammer-rail lifter-wire.
35. Hammer-rail swing-lever.
36. Hammer-rail lifter rod.
37. Lifter-rod lever.
40. Rail for limiting return movement of jack.
41. Metallic regulating rail support.
The Saw Ou, or Chinese fiddle, used in Siam, is suggestive of a modern croquet mallet, with pegs stuck in the handle, and has only two strings, fastened from the pegs to the head. It is played with a bow which the performer cleverly inserts between the strings.
A very curious instrument is known as the Ta'khay, or Alligator: a glance at its form will readily account for its name. There seems a sort of satire in making one of the most silent of savage monsters a medium for the conveyance of sweet sounds. The Ta'khay is a stringed instrument of considerable power, and in tone is not unlike a violoncello. The three strings pass over eleven frets or wide movable bridges, and the shape of the body is rather like that of a guitar. It is placed on the ground, raised on low feet, and the player squats beside it. The strings are sounded by a plectrum, or plucker, shaped like an ivory tooth, fastened to the fingers, and drawn backwards and forwards so rapidly that it produces an almost continuous sweet dreamy sound.
The Saw Tai is the real Siamese violin, and is frequently of most elaborate construction. The upper neck of the one shown in the illustration is of gold, beautifully enamelled, while the lower neck is of ivory, richly carved. The back of the instrument is made of cocoa-nut shell, ornamented with jewels. The membrane stretched on the sounding-board, which gives the effect of a pair of bellows, is made of parchment, and has often, as in this special instrument, a jewelled ornament inserted in one corner. The Saw Tai has three strings of silk cord, which, passing over a bridge on the sounding-board, run up to the neck, being bound tightly to it below the pegs. The player sitting cross-legged on the ground holds the fiddle in a sloping posture, and touches the strings with a curiously curved bow.
Another form of Marimba is popular amongst the natives of Guatemala, in Central America. Its construction is much that of a rough table, the top being formed of twenty-eight wooden bars or keys, from each of which hangs a hollow piece of wood, varying in size; these take the place of the resonating shells of the Zulu Marimba. The instrument is usually about six and a half feet long, by two and a half wide, and the keys are struck by hammers topped with rubber. Three performers often play together with great skill. This form of Marimba is also met with amongst the natives of Costa Rica.
The Zulus, or more correctly the Amazulus, take the front `rank` amongst the native tribes of the African continent. Their code of laws, military arrangements, and orderly settlements resemble those of civilised nations at many points.
Their dances are a national feature, and a great company of young warriors performing a solemn war dance is a most impressive sight. One of their chief instruments is the 'Marimba' or 'Tyanbilo,' a form of harmonium. The keys are bars of wood called Intyari, of graduated size. These are suspended by strings from a light wooden frame, either resting on the ground, or hung round the neck of the player. Between every two keys is a wooden bar crossing the centre bar to which the keys are attached. On each key two shells of the fruit known as the Strychnos McKenzie, or Kaffir Orange, are placed as resonators, one large and one small. The use of resonators is to increase and deepen the sound. The Marimba is played with drum-sticks of rubber, and the tone is good and powerful.
Another curious Chinese instrument is the 'ou,' which is made of wood, and fashioned like a crouching tiger. It is hollow, and along its back run metal teeth, which are played with a small stick or brush. The 'ou' stands on a hollow pedestal, also of wood, which serves as a sounding board and increases the tone.
See also 449 visits
The idea of forming of a number of bells a musical instrument such as the carillon is said by some to have suggested itself first to the English and Dutch; but what we have seen in Asiatic countries sufficiently refutes this. Moreover, not only the Romans employed variously arranged and attuned bells, but also among the Etruscan antiquities an instrument has been discovered which is constructed of a number of bronze vessels placed in a row on a metal rod. Numerous bells, varying in size and tone, have also been found in Etruscan tombs. Among the later contrivances of this kind in European countries the sets of bells suspended in a wooden frame, which we find in mediæval illuminations, deserve notice. In the British museum is a manuscript of the fourteenth century in which king David is depicted holding in each hand a hammer with which he strikes upon bells of different dimensions, suspended on a wooden stand.
The woodcut represents a very beautiful vielle; French, of about 1550, with monograms of Henry II. This is at South Kensington.
The contrivance of placing a string or two at the side of the finger-board is evidently very old, and was also gradually adopted on other instruments of the violin class of a somewhat later period than that of the vielle; for instance, on the lira di braccio of the Italians. It was likewise adopted on the lute, to obtain a fuller power in the bass; and hence arose the theorbo, the archlute, and other varieties of the old lute.
The minstrels’ gallery of Exeter cathedral dates from the fourteenth century. The front is divided into twelve niches, each of which contains a winged figure or an angel playing on an instrument of music. The instruments are so much dilapidated that some of them cannot be clearly recognized; but, as far as may be ascertained, they appear to be as follows:—1. The cittern. 2. The bagpipe. 3. The clarion, a small trumpet having a shrill sound. 4. The rebec. 5. The psaltery. 6. The syrinx. 7. The sackbut. 8. The regals. 9. The gittern, a small guitar strung with catgut. 10. The shalm. 11. The timbrel; resembling our present tambourine, with a double row of gingles. 12. Cymbals.
The shalm, or shawm, was a pipe with a reed in the mouth-hole. The wait was an English wind instrument of the same construction. If it differed in any respect from the shalm, the difference consisted probably in the size only. The wait obtained its name from being used principally by watchmen, or waights, to proclaim the time of night. Such were the poor ancestors of our fine oboe and clarinet.
The bagpipe appears to have been from time immemorial a special favourite instrument with the Celtic races; but it was perhaps quite as much admired by the Slavonic nations. In Poland, and in the Ukraine, it used to be made of the whole skin of the goat in which the shape of the animal, whenever the bagpipe was expanded with air, appeared fully retained, exhibiting even the head with the horns; hence the bagpipe was called kosa, which signifies a goat. The woodcut represents a Scotch bagpipe of the eighteenth century.
Of the little portable organ, known as the regal or regals, often tastefully shaped and embellished, some interesting sculptured representations are still extant in the old ecclesiastical edifices of England and Scotland. There is, for instance, in Beverley minster a figure of a man playing on a single regal, or a regal provided with only one set of pipes; and in Melrose abbey the figure of an angel holding in his arms a double regal, the pipes of which are in two sets. The regal generally had keys like those of the organ but smaller. A painting in the national Gallery, by Melozzo da Forli who lived in the fifteenth century, contains a regal which has keys of a peculiar shape, rather resembling the pistons of certain brass instruments. The illustration has been drawn from that painting. To avoid misapprehension, it is necessary to mention that the name regal (or regals, rigols) was also applied to an instrument of percussion with sonorous slabs of wood.
That there was, in the time of Shakespeare, a musical instrument called recorder is undoubtedly known to most readers from the stage direction in Hamlet: Re-enter players with recorders. But not many are likely to have ever seen a recorder, as it has now become very scarce: we therefore give an illustration of this old instrument, which is copied from “The Genteel Companion; Being exact Directions for the Recorder: etc.” London, 1683.
The pneumatic organ is sculptured on an obelisk which was erected in Constantinople under Theodosius the great, towards the end of the fourth century. The bellows were pressed by men standing on them: see page 103. This interesting monument also exhibits performers on the double flute. The hydraulic organ, which is recorded to have been already known about two hundred years before the Christian era, was according to some statements occasionally employed in churches during the earlier centuries of the middle ages. Probably it was more frequently heard in secular entertainments for which it was more suitable; and at the beginning of the fourteenth century appears to have been entirely supplanted by the pneumatic organ. The earliest organs had only about a dozen pipes.
The monochord was mounted with a single string stretched over two bridges which were fixed on an oblong box. The string could be tightened or slackened by means of a turning screw inserted into one end of the box. The intervals of the scale were marked on the side, and were regulated by a sort of movable bridge placed beneath the string when required. As might be expected, the monochord was chiefly used by theorists; for any musical performance it was but little suitable. About a thousand years ago when this monochord was in use the musical scale was diatonic, with the exception of the interval of the seventh, which was chromatic inasmuch as both b-flat and b-natural formed part of the scale. The notation on the preceding page exhibits the compass as well as the order of intervals adhered to about the tenth century.
The bagpipe is of high antiquity in Ireland, and is alluded to in Irish poetry and prose said to date from the tenth century. A pig gravely engaged in playing the bagpipe is represented in an illuminated Irish manuscript, of the year 1300: and we give a copy of a woodcut from “The Image of Ireland,” a book printed in London in 1581.
The player on the viola da gamba, shown in the engraving, is a reduced copy of an illustration in “The Division Violist,” London, 1659. It shows exactly how the frets were regulated, and how the bow was held. The most popular instruments played with a bow, at that time, were the treble-viol, the tenor-viol, and the bass-viol. It was usual for viol players to have “a chest of viols,” a case containing four or more viols, of different sizes. Thus, Thomas Mace in his directions for the use of the viol, “Musick’s Monument” 1676, remarks, “Your best provision, and most complete, will be a good chest of viols, six in number, viz., two basses, two tenors, and two trebles, all truly and proportionably suited.” The violist, to be properly furnished with his requirements, had therefore 119to supply himself with a larger stock of instruments than the violinist of the present day.
Of the syrinx there are extant some illustrations of the ninth and tenth centuries, which exhibit the instrument with a number of tubes tied together, just like the Pandean pipe still in use. In one specimen engraved from a manuscript of the eleventh century the tubes were inserted into a bowl-shaped box. This is probably the frestele, fretel, or fretiau, which in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries was in favour with the French ménétriers.
The construction of the organistrum requires but little explanation. A glance at the finger-board reveals at once that the different tones were obtained by raising the keys placed on the neck under the strings, and that the keys were raised by means of the handles at the side of the neck. Of the two bridges shown on the body, the one situated nearest the middle was formed by a wheel in the inside, which projected through the sound-board. The wheel which slightly touched the strings vibrated them by friction when turned by the handle at the end. The order of intervals was c, d, e, f, g, a, b-flat, b-natural, c, and were obtainable on the highest string. There is reason to suppose that the other two strings were generally tuned a fifth and an octave below the highest. The organistrum may be regarded as the predecessor of the hurdy-gurdy, and was a rather cumbrous contrivance. Two persons seem to have been required to sound it, one to turn the handle and the other to manage the keys. Thus it is generally represented in mediæval concerts.
A German fiddle of the ninth century, called lyra, copied by Gerbert from the manuscript of St. Blasius, has only one string.
An interesting drawing of an Anglo-saxon fiddle—or fithele, as it was called—is given in a manuscript of the eleventh century in the British museum (Cotton, Tiberius, c. 6). The instrument is of a pear shape, with four strings, and the bridge is not indicated.
Copy of an illumination from a manuscript in the Bibliothèque royale at Paris of the eleventh century. The player wears a crown on his head; and in the original some musicians placed at his side are performing on the psalterium and other instruments. These last are figured with uncovered heads; whence M. de Coussemaker concludes that the crout was considered 95by the artist who drew the figures as the noblest instrument. It was probably identical with the rotta of the same century on the continent.
A player on the crwth or crowd (a crowder) from a bas-relief on the under part of the seats of the choir in Worcester cathedral dates from the twelfth or thirteenth century
Howbeit, the Welsh crwth (Anglo-saxon, crudh; English, crowd) is only known as a species of fiddle closely resembling the rotta, but having a finger-board in the middle of the open frame and being strung with only a few strings; while the rotta had sometimes above twenty strings. As it may interest the reader to examine the form of the modern crwth we give a woodcut of it. Edward Jones, in his “Musical and poetical relicks of the Welsh bards,” records that the Welsh had before this kind of crwth a three-stringed one called “Crwth Trithant,” which was, he says, “a sort of violin, or more properly a rebeck.” The three-stringed crwth was chiefly used by the inferior class of bards; and was probably the Moorish fiddle which is still the favourite instrument of the itinerant bards of the Bretons in France, who call it rébek. The Bretons, it will be remembered, are close kinsmen of the Welsh.
Basset Horn: a wood-wind instrument, not a "horn," member of the clarinet family, of which it is the tenor. The basset horn consists of a nearly cylindrical tube of wood (generally cocus or box-wood), having a cylindrical bore and terminating in a metal bell wider than that of the clarinet.
Bassoon, a woodwind instrument with double reed mouthpiece, a member of the oboe (q.v.) family, of which it is the bass. The German and Italian names of the instrument were bestowed from a fancied resemblance to a bundle of sticks, the bassoon being the first instrument of the kind to be doubled back upon itself; its direct ancestor, the bass pommer, 6 ft. in length, was quite straight. The English and French names refer to the pitch of the instrument as the bass of the wood-wind.
The next step in the evolution produced the double curtail, a converted bass pommer an octave below the single curtail and therefore identical in pitch as in construction with the early fagotto in C. The instrument is shown the figure, the reproduction of a drawing in the MS. of The Academy of Armoury by Randle Holme, written some time before 1688.
Large stationary barrel-organ worked by hydraulic power, from Solomon de Caus, Les Raisons des forces mouvantes (Frankfort-on-Main, 1615).
The origin of the barrel-organ is now clearly established, and many will doubtless be surprised to find that it must be sought in the Netherlands as early as the middle of the 15th century, and that accurate and detailed diagrams of every part of the mechanism for a large stationary barrel-organ worked by hydraulic power were published in 1615
Barbiton , an ancient stringed instrument known to us from the Greek and Roman classics, but derived from Persia.
Although in use in Asia Minor, Italy, Sicily, and Greece, it is evident that the barbiton never won for itself a place in the affections of the Greeks of Hellas; it was regarded as a barbarian instrument affected by those only whose tastes in matters of art were unorthodox. It had fallen into disuse in the days of Aristotle, but reappeared under the Romans.
Another favourite instrument is the 'kimmori.' This also derives its sounding powers from gourds, of which three are usually slung from the tube forming the body. It is said by the natives to have been invented by one of the singers of the 'Brahma Loka,' or heaven of the Brahmins. The 'kimmori' is made of a pipe of bamboo or blackwood, with frets or screws, which should be fashioned of the scales of the pangolin, or scaly ant-eater, though more often they are made of bone or metal. It has only two strings, one touching the frets, the other carried above them. The tail-piece is always carved like the breast of a kite, and the instrument is frequently found sculptured on ancient temples and shrines, especially in Mysore, in the south of Hindustan.
A kind of dulcimer. Wood inlaid with mother-of-pearl. It contains twenty-five sets of wire strings, each set consisting of four strings which are tuned in unison.
The body consists of a wooden frame, over which a parchment is stretched. One string of white horse-hair.
The case is in the shape of a fork, and is intended to rest on the ground.
A kind of Lute, Wood, painted. Ten strings, of which nine are ctgut, and one of silk covered with thin wire.
A species of kobsa with eight strings is an old popular instrument of the Russians.
Case of deal, black japanned; with internal ornaments of flowers painted, and inscriptions in gold.
Made by Andrea Ruckers, of Antwerp, 1651
A therbo. Wood, inlaid with ebony, ivory, and coloured woods. Two sets of wooden tuning-pegs, the lower containing twelve, and the higher eight. The instrument had wire strings.
Containing 17 pipes of small bamboo reeds, arranged in five sets, each having pipes of equal length.
A kind of lute. The body is of wood, lacquered black, and ornamented with a band of Japanese design in gold lacquer. Four strings and two very small soundholes.
The instruments has mtal strings, one for each tone, whiched are twanged by means of small portions of quill, attached to slips of wood called "jacks" and provided with thin metal springs. German. About 1600
Viola di Bardone
The finger-board is carved in open fret-work terminating in three lions' heads; above the bridge are two figures of negrose, carved and gilt. German 1686
Bamboo, with 13 strings of silk neatly twisted. The body ornamented with embroidered work, and painted with inscriptions, flowers and foliage ; in the center is carved an open fan.
Wood, inlaid with ivory and tortoise-shell, engraved. Two sets of tuning pegs, the lower containing fourteen, and the higher, ten.
On the middle of the neck is an ovl plate of mother-of-pearl, bering the German inscription, Gott der Herr ist Sonne und Schield ("God, the Lord, is sun and shield.") About 1700
Negro Trumpet. Ivory. From the regions of the White Nile
The large ivory trumpet is used by the Niam-Niams, and other negro tribes, for transmitting signals in times of war.
Negro harp of the NiamNiams a tribe in the vicinity of the Bahr-el-Abiad.
The body is of hollowed wood covered with skin, and the wooden neck terminates in a carved head with two horns.
Kissar Round body of wood and skin, Five strings
Length 1 foot 9 1/2 inches.
Small kettle drum
The name tabl shamee, signifying 'Syrian drum', indicates that this kind of drum was probably introduced into Egypt from Western Asia. It is usually made from tinned copper, with a parchment face.
The Egyptians use the Tabl shamee especially in bridal processions, and on similar festive occasions. The performer carries it suspended from his neck and beats it with two slender sticks.
The Rebab, an Arab instrument of the violin class, is especially used for accompanying the voice.
Ornamented with precious stones
Made by Annibale Dei Rossi, of Milan in the year 1577
Olifant, or Hunting-horn, in Ivory (Fourteenth Century).--From an Original existing in England.
Cithara or Phorminx, from a Greek vase vase in the British Museum.
The organ, already introduced into divine service, became, under the hands of St. Dunstan, a large and important instrument. William of Malmesbury says that Dunstan gave many to churches which had pipes of brass and were inflated with bellows. In a MS. psalter in Trinity College, Cambridge, is a picture of one of considerable size, which has no less than four bellows played by four men.
[Comment on the same picture in book Musical Instruments, by Carl Engel Published in 1875 and Available from gutenberg.org]
Some progress in the construction of the organ is exhibited in an illustration dating from the twelfth century, in a psalter of Eadwine, in the library of Trinity college, Cambridge. The instrument has ten pipes, or perhaps fourteen, as four of them appear to be double pipes. It required four men exerting all their power to produce the necessary wind, and two men to play the instrument. Moreover, both players seem also to be busily engaged in directing the blowers about the proper supply of wind. Six men and only fourteen pipes! It must be admitted that since the twelfth century some progress has been made, at all events, in the construction of the organ.