MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS - online book

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

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MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS.
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four of whom are playing upon harps, while one is blowing a double-pipe and another is beating a small hand-drum covered only at the top. Close behind the instrumental performers are the singers, consisting of a chorus of females and children. They are clapping their hands in time with the music, and some of the musicians are dancing to the measure. One of the female singers is holding her hand to her throat in the same manner as the women in Syria, Arabia, and Persia are in the habit of doing at the present day when producing, on festive occasions, those pecu­liarly shrill sounds of rejoicing which have been repeatedly noticed by travellers.
The dulcimer is in too imperfect a state on the bas-relief to familiarize us with its construction. The slab representing the procession in which it occurs has been injured ; the defect which extended over a portion of the dulcimer has been repaired, and it cannot be said that in repairing it much musical knowledge has been evinced.
The instrument of the Trigonon species was held horizontally, and was twanged with a rather long plectrum slightly bent at the end at which it was held by the performer. It is of frequent occurrence on the bas-reliefs. A number of them appear to have been generally played together. At any rate, we find almost invariably on the monuments two together, evidently implying " more than one," " a number." The left hand of the performer seems to have been occupied in checking the vibration of the strings when its discontinuance was required. From the position of the strings the performer could not have struck them as those of the dulcimer are struck. If he did not twang them, he may have drawn the plectrum across them. Indeed, for twanging, a short plectrum would have been more practical, considering that the strings are placed horizontally one above the other at regular distances. It is therefore by no means improbable that we have here a rude prototype of the violin bow.
The Lyre occurs in three different forms, and is held horizon-
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