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Zalzal  

H.G. Farmer

(d after 842). Arab musician . He was a famous instrumentalist (hence the name ‘al-Ḍārib’: ‘the player’) during the early Abbasid period. Isḥāq al-Mawṣilī testified that he had no equal as a lutenist, and in the ‘Iqd al-farīd (‘The unique necklace’) (10th century) it was stated that he was ‘the most pleasant of the string instrumentalists’. He is also known as the inventor of a ‘perfect lute’, the ...

Article

Ziryāb  

Eckhard Neubauer

(b Iraq; d Córdoba, Spain, Aug 852). Arab musician . A mawlā (‘freedman’) of Caliph al-Mahdī (775–85) at Baghdad, he was a pupil of Ibrāhīm al-Mawṣilī and a rival of Isḥāq al-Mawṣilī at the court of Hārūn al-Rashīd (786–809). He left Baghdad for Syria, served the Aghlabid ruler Ziyādat Allāh (...

Article

A type of chant used in Russian church music. See Russian and Slavonic church music, §2.

Article

(b Panopolis [now Ahmīm], Egypt; fl Alexandria, 3rd or 4th century ce). Greco-Egyptian alchemist and philosopher. He composed allegories, and 28 books, in the form of letters, on alchemy; only fragments survive. A musical treatise has been attributed to him, but should be considered anonymous and of the 8th or 9th century, although it represents a compilation of the ideas of alchemists of the 3rd and 4th centuries, among whom Zosimus was the most prominent figure....

Article

Zvans  

Valdis Muktupāvels

Cast and forged metal bells of Latvia. Small cast bronze bells are known from the 7th century, found by archaeologists attached to shawls, belts, and other parts of female costume, usually grouped in threes. The diameter of the opening is 15 to 30 mm, and the clapper in a form of a lamella is attached inside. Cast church bells are known in Latvia from the 12th century. The bell was hung in a church tower or a separate bell tower and rung for ecclesiastic rites, for special events such as weddings and funerals, and also to sound alarms. The church bells were thought to offer protection from evil influences....