MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS - online book

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

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CHAPTER X.
POST-.MEDIJEVAL MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS.
Attention must now be drawn to some instruments which originated during the middle ages, but which attained their highest popularity at a somewhat later period.
Among the best known of these was the virginal, of which we give an engraving from a specimen of the time of Elizabeth at South Kensington. Another was the lute, which
about three hundred years ago was almost as popular as is at the present day the pianoforte. Originally it had eight thin catgut strings arranged in four pairs, each pair being tuned in unison ; so that its open strings pro­duced four tones; but in the course of time more strings were added. Until the sixteenth century twelve was the largest number or, rather, six pairs. Eleven appear for some centuries to have been the most usual number of strings: these produced six tones, since they were arranged in five pairs and a single string. The latter, called the chanterelle, was the highest. According to Thomas Mace, the English lute in common use during the seventeenth century had twenty-four strings, arranged in twelve pairs, of which six. pairs ran over the finger-board and the other six by the side of
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