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The Assyrians. Our acquaintance with the Assyrian instruments has been derived almost entirely from the famous bas-reliefs which have been excavated from the mounds of Nimroud, Khorsabad, and Kouyunjik, situated near the river Tigris in the vicinity of the town of Mosul in Asiatic Turkey.
The Assyrian harp was about four feet high, and appears of larger size than it actually was on account of the ornamental appendages which were affixed to the lower part of its frame. It must have been but light in weight, since we find it not unfre-quently represented in the hands of persons who are playing upon it while they are dancing. Like all the Oriental harps, modem as well as ancient, it was not provided with a front pillar. The upper portion of the frame contained the sound-holes, somewhat in the shape of an hour-glass. Below them were the screws, or tuning-pegs, arranged in regular order. The strings wrere perhaps made of silk, like those which the Burmese use at the present time on their harps ; or they may have been of catgut, which was used by the ancient Egyptians.
The largest assemblage of Assyrian musicians which has been discovered on any monument consists of eleven performers upon instruments, besides a chorus of singers. The first musician— probably the leader of the band, as he marches alone at the head of the procession—is playing upon a harp. Behind him are two men; one with a dulcimer and the other with a double-pipe : then follow two men with harps. Next come six female musicians,