MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS - online book

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

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MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS.
in the British museum; some are of silver, and the others of copper. On three of them are lyres with three strings, another has one with five, and another one with six strings. The two sides of the frame appear to have been made of the horns of animals, or they may have been of wood formed in imitation of two horns which originally were used. Lyres thus constructed are still found in Abyssinia. The Hebrew square-shaped lyre of the time of Simon Maccabeus is probably identical with the psalterion. The kinnor, the favourite instrument of king David, was most likely a lyre if not a small triangular harp. The lyre was evidently an universally known and favoured instrument among ancient eastern nations. Being more simple in construc­tion than most other stringed instruments it undoubtedly pre­ceded them in antiquity. The kinnor is mentioned in the Bible as the oldest stringed instrument, and as the invention of Jubal. Even if the name of one particular stringed instrument is here used for stringed instruments in general, which may possibly be the case, it is only reasonable to suppose that the oldest and most universally known stringed instrument would be mentioned as a representative of the whole class rather than any other. Besides, the kinnor was a light and easily portable instrument; king David, according to the Rabbinic records, used to suspend it during the night over his pillow. All its uses mentioned in the Bible are especially applicable to the lyre. And the resemblance of the word kinnor to kitkara, kissar, and similar names known,to denote the lyre, also tends to confirm the supposition that it refers to this instrument. It is, however, not likely that the instruments of the Hebrews—indeed their music altogether—should have remained entirely unchanged during a period of many centuries. Some modifications were likely to occur even from accidental causes; such, for instance, as the influence of neighbouring nations when the Hebrews came into closer contact with them. Thus may be explained why the accounts of the Hebrew instru­ments given by Josephus, who lived in the first century of the
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