MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS - online book

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

Home Main Menu Singing & Playing Order & Order Info Support Search Voucher Codes



Share page  Visit Us On FB



Previous Contents Next
MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS.
123
is constructed of a number of bronze vessels placed in a row on a metal rod. Numerous bells, varying in size and tone, have also been found in Etruscan tombs. Among the later contrivances of this kind in European countries the sets of bells suspended in a wooden frame, which we find in mediaeval illuminations, deserve notice. In the British museum is a manuscript of the fourteenth century in which king David is depicted holding in each hand a hammer with which he strikes upon bells of different dimensions, suspended on a wooden stand.
It may be supposed that the device of playing tunes by means of bells merely swung by the hand is also of ancient date. In Lancashire each of the ringers manages two bells, holding one in either hand. Thus, an assemblage of seven ringers insures fourteen different tones; and as each ringer may change his two notes by substituting two other bells if required, even composi­tions with various modulations, and of a somewhat intricate character, may be executed,— provided the ringers are good timeists ; for each has, of course, to take care to fall in with his note, just as a member of the Russian horn band contributes his single note whenever it occurs.
Peal-ringing is another pastime of the kind which may be regarded as pre-eminently national to England. The bells con­stituting a peal are frequently of the number of eight, attuned to the diatonic scale. Also peals of ten bells, and even of twelve, are occasionally formed. A peculiar feature of peal-ringing is that the bells, which are provided with clappers, are generally swung so forcibly as to raise the mouth completely upwards. The largest peal, and one of the finest, is at Exeter cathedral: another celebrated one is that of St. Margaret's, Leicester, which consists of ten bells. Peal-ringing is of an early date in England ; Egelric, abbot of Croyland, is recorded to have cast about the year 960 a set of six bells.
The carillon (engraved on the opposite page) is especially popular in the Netherlands and Belgium, but is also found in
Previous Contents Next
>






E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III