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ANCIENT EGYPTIAN MUSIC.                23
the most attention; paintings, and fragments of harps have been found, in the so-called " Harpers' Tomb," which caused Bruce to exclaim that no modern maker could manufacture a more beau­tiful piece of workmanship.
The ancient Egyptian harps look very modern indeed, except for the fact that they have no front board or "Pole," and it seems strange that they could bear the tension without its support; the pitch could not have been at all high. There was a species of harp, of the compass of about two octaves, with catgut strings, (wire strings the Egyptians had not), found in a tomb hewn in the solid rock at Thebes, so entirely preserved that it was played upon by the discoverer, and gave out its tones after being buried 3000 years. Of course the strings perished after exposure to the air.
Fetis, to whom musical history owes so much, has here fallen into a singular mistake. He says "it would scarcely be believed that the ancient Egyptians with whom the cat was a sacred animal, should have used cat-gut strings on their instru­ments, but the fact is proved beyond a doubt." This is all very true, but M. Fetis seems not to have known the fact that cat-gut has not its origin in the cat, but is almost always, in reality sheep-gut.
The list of instruments of ancient Egypt em­braces harps of various numbers of strings, Nabla, from which come the Roman Nablium and He­brew Nebel, a sort of Guitar; Flutes, single and double, (a flute player often headed the sacred

E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III