A Dissertation On The History And Development Of Musical Instruments In Various Cultures From The Earliest Times.

By Carl Engel published For The Committee Of Council On Education Chapman And Hall, Ltd., London. Circa 1875

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About This Book

Music, in however primitive a stage of development it may be with some nations, is universally appreciated as one of the Fine Arts. The origin of vocal music may have been coeval with that of language; and the construction of musical instruments evidently dates with the earliest inventions which suggested themselves to human ingenuity. There exist even at the present day some savage tribes in Australia and South America who, although they have no more than the five first numerals in their language and are thereby unable to count the fingers of both hands together, nevertheless possess musical instruments of their own contrivance, with which they accompany their songs and dances. Wood, metal, and the hide of animals, are the most common substances used in the construction of musical instruments. In tropical countries bamboo or some similar kind of cane and gourds are especially made use of for this purpose. The ingenuity of man has contrived to employ in producing music, horn, bone, glass, pottery, slabs of sonorous stone,—in fact, almost all vibrating matter. The strings of instruments have been made of the hair of animals, of silk, the runners of creeping plants, the fibrous roots of certain trees, of cane, catgut (which absurdly referred to the cat, is from the sheep, goat, lamb, camel, and some other animals), metal, &c. This book will explore all these and much more.

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