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Respecting the orchestras, or musical bands, represented on monuments of the middle ages, there can hardly be a doubt that the artists who sculptured them were not unfrequently led by their imagination rather than by an adherence to actual fact. It is, however, not likely that they introduced into such representations instruments that were never admitted in the orchestras, and which would have appeared inappropriate to the contemporaries of the artists. An examination of one or two of the orchestras may therefore find a place here, especially as they throw some additional light upon the characteristics of the instrumental music of mediaeval time.
A very interesting group of music performers dating, it is said, from the end of the eleventh century is preserved in a bas-relief which formerly ornamented the abbey of St. Georges de Boscher-ville and which is now removed to the museum of Rouen. The orchestra comprises twelve performers, most of whom wear a crown. The first of them plays upon a viol, which he holds between his knees as the violoncello is held. His instrument is scarcely as large as the smallest viola da gamba. By his side are a royal lady and her attendant, the former playing on an organist rum of which the latter is turning the wheel. Next to these is represented a performer on a syrinx ot the kind shown in the engraving p. 112; and next to him a performer on a stringed instrument resembling a lute, which, however, is too much dilapidated to be recognisable. Then we have a musician with a small stringed instrument resembling the nablum, p. 87. The next musician, also represented as a royal