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Article

Buccina  

James W. McKinnon

A curved Roman brass instrument (an Aerophone). It is less easily definable than its contemporaries owing to the scarcity of iconographic evidence and the ambiguity of the literary references, some of which confuse it with the Cornu. The majority of evidence, nevertheless, points to a distinct instrument. Originally it was a curved animal’s horn but it came to be covered with brass and even to be fashioned entirely from brass. Its musical capability seems to have been limited to a few pitches of the overtone series; this would agree with the literary references, which consistently attributed to it a signalling function....

Article

Calamus  

A term used in antiquity for various wind instruments, including the Aulos. For the use of the plural calami to describe the syrinx or its separate pipes see Theocritus, and Virgil; Isis.

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Sassanian cymbals. See Iran, §I, 5.

Article

Sassanian clappers. See Iran, §I, 5.

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Chang  

Sassanian vertical angular harp; see Iran. See also Pakistan, Islamic Republic of, §5, (iii).

Article

Chants sung on certain feasts at Mass in the Mozarabic rite; see Mozarabic chant, §4, (vi).

Article

Cloch  

Peter Crossley-Holland

Clapper-bell of ancient and medieval Wales. Several types were known, all with suspension loops. They include one quadrangular and one circular bell of Romano-British (La Tène) type, found in the Vale of Neath, and Celtic ‘saints’ bells’, including a long quadrangular bell now in the National Museum of Wales. Historical references to the cloch date from the 12th century, but the traditional performing practice has not survived....

Article

A synonym for Sistrum. See also Cybele.

Article

Crotala  

James W. McKinnon and Robert Anderson

A term for an instrument resembling slapsticks, although sometimes described by scholars as castanets (it is classified as an Idiophone). Crotala were probably the most common percussion instrument of classical antiquity and can be traced back at least as far as the Mesilim or Early Dynastic I period in Mesopotamia. Consisting of two pieces of wood, bone or bronze hinged with leather, they were held in one hand and struck together by the action of fingers and thumb. Normally a pair was held in each hand....

Article

Warren Anderson and Thomas J. Mathiesen

(fl Alexandria, 3rd century bce). Greek inventor. According to earlier scholarship, he was active during the reign of Ptolemy Euergetes I (246–221 bce). A review of the evidence by Perrot, however, supports the conclusion that he was active about 270 bce, the period of Ptolemy Philadelphus. He enjoyed wide fame in antiquity for his mechanical devices operated by the pressure of water or air. Often these were elaborate toys created to amuse the court: one such was a water-clock, with sounding trumpets among its ingenious fittings, made for Ptolemy's queen Arsinoë....

Article

James W. McKinnon and Robert Anderson

Term, usually appearing in the plural (cymbala) and designating two related musical instruments, a type of ancient cymbals and a medieval set of bells.

Ancient cymbala were a pair of small, plate-shaped or more often cup-shaped bronze cymbals. They were associated in Greco-Roman culture with orgiastic religious rites, where they played ecstasy-inducing music together with the tympanum and the ...

Article

Alastair Dick

The most ancient known drum name of India, found in Sanskrit texts from the late 2nd millennium bce to about the 13th century ce. Its type has not been identified with certainty, but references throughout the period indicate a loud drum connected especially but not exclusively with war. The name is doubtless onomatopoeic....

Article

Fidicen  

A Kithara player.

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Halil  

Ancient Jewish reed instrument, analogous to the Greek aulos. See Jewish music, §I, 4(iii) .

Biblical instruments, §3(ii): Ḥalil

Article

Ancient Jewish trumpets. SeeJewish music, §I, 4(iii).

Biblical instruments, §3(iii): Ḥaṣoṣerah

Article

James W. McKinnon

The ancient water organ (an Aerophone, an important musical instrument of later classical antiquity and the direct ancestor of the modern pipe organ. It is to be distinguished from the hydraulic or Water organ. In the latter the wind supply comes from air compressed by continuously flowing water. The hydraulis is bellows blown (by hand or by windmill), but water is used to stabilize the wind pressure....

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Ancient Jewish instrument, possibly a kithara, mentioned in Daniel. See Jewish music, §I, 4(iv).

Article

Kalamos  

A term used in antiquity for various wind instruments, including the Aulos. For the use of the plural kalamoi to describe the syrinx or its separate pipes see Theocritus, and Virgil; see also Isis.

Article

Alastair Dick

Sanskrit term that appears in the earlier Vedic literature of India (Ṛg- and Atharvaveda, c1000 bce). It has been translated by Indologists as ‘lute’, but without justification; it might have been a musical bow played by scratching and resonated by a bottle-gourd or a pot (a later available meaning of ...

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Kinnor  

Ancient Jewish Iyre. See Biblical instruments, §3, (iv) and Lyre.