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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lt. This lute was therefore, more properly speaking, a theorbo. The neck of the lute, and also of the theorbo, had frets consisting of catgut strings tightly fastened round it at the proper distances required for ensuring a chromatic succession of intervals. The illustration on the next page represents a lute-player of the sixteenth century. The frets are not indicated in the old engraving from which the illustration has been taken. The order of tones adopted for the open strings varied in different centuries and countries : and this was also the case with the notation of lute music. The most common practice was to write the music on six lines, the upper line representing the first string; the second line, the second string, &c, and to mark with letters on the lines the frets at which the fingers ought to be placedóa indicating the open string, b the first fret, c the second fret, and so on.
The lute was made of various sizes according to the purpose for which it was intended in performance. The treble-lute was of the smallest dimensions, and the bass-lute of the largest. The theorbo, or double-necked lute which appears to have come into use during the sixteenth century, had in addition to the strings situated over the finger-board a number of others running at the left side of the finger-board which could not be shortened by the fingers, and which produced the bass tones. The largest kinds of theorbo were the at dilute and the chitarrone.
It is unnecessary to enter here into a detailed description of some other instruments which have been popular during the last three centuries, for the museum at Kensington contains specimens of many of them of which an account is given in the large cata≠logue of that collection. It must suffice to refer the reader to the illustrations there of the cither, virginal, spinet, clavichord, harpsichord, and other antiquated instruments much esteemed by our forefathers.
Students who examine these old relics will probably wish to know something about their quality of tone. "How do the> sound ? Might they still be made effective in our present state o
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