MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS - online book

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

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MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS.
Germany, Italy, and some other European countries. It is gene­rally placed in the church tower and also sometimes in other public edifices. The statement repeated by several writers that the first carillon was invented in the year 1481 in the town of Alost is not to be trusted, for the town of Bruges claims to have possessed similar chimes in the year 1300. There are two kinds of carillons in use on the continent, viz.: clock chimes, which are moved by machinery, like a self-acting barrel-organ; and such as are provided with a set of keys, by means of which the tunes are played by a musician. The carillon in the ' Parochial-Kirche' at Berlin, which is one of the finest in Germany, contains thirty-seven bells; and is provided with a key-board for the hands and with a pedal, which together place at the disposal of the performer a compass of rather more than three octaves. The keys of the manual are metal rods' somewhat above a foot in length ; and are pressed down with the palms of the hand. The keys of the pedal are of wood; the instrument requires not only great dexterity but also a consider­able physical power. It is astonishing how rapidly passages can be executed upon it by the player, who is generally the organist of the church in which he acts as carilloneur. When engaged in the last-named capacity he usually wears leathern gloves to pro­tect his fingers, as they are otherwise apt to become ill fit for the more delicate treatment of the organ.
The want of a contrivance in the carillon for stopping the vibration has the effect of making rapid passages, if heard near, sound as a confused noise; only at some distance are they tolerable. It must he remembered that the carillon is intended especially to be heard from a distance. Successions of tones which form a consonant chord, and which have some duration, are evidently the most suitable for this instrument.
Indeed, every musical instrument possesses certain character­istics which render it especially suitable for the production of some particular effects. The invention of a new instrument of music has, therefore, not unfrequently led to the adoption of new
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