|Visit Us On FB
personage, plays on a small species of harp. Then follows a crowned musician playing the viol which he holds in almost precisely the same manner as the violin is held. Again, another, likewise crowned, plays upon a harp, using with the right hand a plectrum and with the left hand merely his fingers. The last two performers, apparently a gentleman and a gentlewoman, are engaged in striking the tintinnabuiwn, —a set of bells in a frame.
In this group of crowned minstrels the sculptor has introduced a tumbler standing on his head, perhaps the vocalist of the company, as he has no instrument to play upon. Possibly the sculptor desired to symbolise the hilarious effects which music is capable of producing, as well as its elevating influence upon the devotional feelings.
The two positions in which we find the viol held is worthy of notice, inasmuch as it refers the inquirer further back than might be expected for the origin of our peculiar method of holding the violin, and the violoncello, in playing. There were several kinds of the viol in use differing in size and in compass of sound. The most common number of strings was