MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS - online book

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

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MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS.
bells, which were certainly known to the Mexicans who called them yotl. It is noteworthy that these yotl are found figured in the picture-writings representing the various objects which the Aztecs used to pay as tribute to their sovereigns. The collection of Mexican antiquities in the British museum contains a cluster of yotl-bells. Being nearly round, they closely resemble the Schellen which the Germans are in the habit of affixing to their horses, particularly in the winter when they arc driving their noiseless sledges.
Again, in south America sonorous stones are not unknown, and were used in olden time for musical purposes. The traveller G. T. Vigne saw among the Indian antiqui­ties preserved in the town of Cuzco, in Peru, " a musical instrument of green sonor­ous stone, about a foot long, and an inch and a half wide, flat-sided, pointed at both ends, and arched at the back, where it was about a quarter of an inch thick, whence it diminished to an edge, like the blade of a knife ..... In the middle of the back was a small hole, through which a piece of string was passed; and when suspended and struck by any hard substance a singularly musical note was produced." Humboldt mentions the Amazon-stone, which on being struck by a hard substance yields a metallic sound. It was formerly cut by the American Indians into very thin plates, perforated in the centre and suspended by a string. These plates were remarkably sonorous. This kind of stone is not, as might be conjectured from its name, found exclusively near the Amazon. The name was given to it as well as to the river by the first European visitors to America, in allusion to the female warriors respecting whom strange stories are told. The natives pretending,
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III