MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS - online book

The History And Development Of Musical Instruments From The Earliest Times.

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MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS.
11
faithful transcripts from life. Moreover, if there remained any doubt respecting the accuracy of the representations of the musical instruments it might be dispelled by existing evidence. Several specimens have been discovered in tombs preserved in a more or less periect condition.
The Egyptians possessed various kinds of harps, some of which were elegantly shaped and tastefully ornamented. The largest were about six and a half feet high ; and the small ones frequently had some sort of stand which enabled the performer to play upon the instrument while standing. The name of the harp was bum. Its frame had no front pillar; the tension of the strings therefore cannot have been anything like so strong as on our present harp.
The Egyptian harps most remarkable for elegance of form and elaborate decoration are the two which were first noticed by Bruce, who found them painted in fresco on the wall of a sepulchre at Thebes, supposed to be the tomb of Rameses III. who reigned about 1250 B.C. Bruce's discovery created sensation among the musicians. The fact that at so remote an age the Egyptians should have possessed harps which vie with our own in elegance and beauty of form appeared to some so incredible that the correctness of Bruce's representations, as engraved in his "Travels," was greatly doubted. Sketches of the same harps, taken subse­quently and at different times from the frescoes, have since been published, but they differ more or less from each other in appear­ance and in the number of strings. A kind of triangular harp of the Egyptians was discovered in a well-preserved condition and is now deposited in the Louvre. It has twenty-one strings; a greater number than is generally represented on the monuments. All these instruments, however much they differed from each other in form, had one peculiarity in common, namely the absence of the fore pillar.
The nofre, a kind of guitar, was almost identical in construction with the Tamboura at the present day in use among several eastern nations. It was evidently a great favourite with the
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