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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 Historical references to the cloch date from the 12th century, but the traditional performing practice has not survived....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

James W. McKinnon and Robert Anderson

(Lat., from Gk. kymbalon)

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 aulos. They became particularly prominent in Rome after the introduction of the Magna Mater, Cybele, from Asia Minor in 204 bce. They appear on numerous vases and in murals and reliefs: a typical literary reference is that of Catullus who had a young votary of the goddess exclaim: ‘Come follow me to the Phrygian house of Cybele, to the Phrygian grove of the goddess, where the voice of the cymbalum sounds, where the tympanum echoes, where the Phrygian tibia player sings on his deep-toned curved reed, where they celebrate the sacred rites with shrill cries, where the milling crowd of her worshippers rushes to and fro.’ Roman conquests in the East and increasing luxury among the ruling classes brought many foreign artists to the capital in the early days of the empire. Exotic dances in taverns and in the streets were executed to the accompaniment of crotala, cymbala, tympana, and foreign wind instruments....

Article

Alastair Dick

Medieval double-headed cylindrical drum of India. In the 13th-century Sa ṅgītaratnākara it is described as about 48 cm long and 25 cm in diameter. The heads are stretched on creeper hoops which have seven holes for tension cords. The drum is carried on a shoulder strap and played on the left side with the hand and on the right with a crook-stick. As the description is very similar to that of the medieval Arab ...

Article

Djnar  

Article

Alastair Dick

(from Sanskrit gharsa: ‘rubbing’). Medieval barrel drum of India, played partly by friction. It is described as similar to the hu ḍukkā. It was played with much ‘booming’ (go ṃkāra): the thumb and middle fingertips of the right hand, smeared with beeswax, rubbed the skin; the left-hand fingers struck the skin and the thumb pressed it. The modern ...

Article

Ghanon  

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Kamrā  

Alastair Dick

[kamrikā]

Paired wooden or bamboo clappers described in Sanskrit texts of medieval India. They are of acacia wood or thick bamboo, about 24 cm long and 4 cm wide, and taper slightly at the end. They are played either with a pair in each hand, held loosely by the root of the thumb and middle finger and clapped by shaking the wrists, or with one pair held between the thumb and ring finger of the right hand and struck against the left thumb and fist. The diminutive ...

Article

Alastair Dick

Medieval double-headed drum of India, probably cylindrical. It is described as having been about 42 to 48 cm long, 24 to 28 cm in diameter, and 5 mm thick in the shell, which was made of citrus wood. The close-fitting heads were attached with thread and skin to iron hoops which had 14 holes; the threads passed through every second hole to form a net lacing (...

Article

Kurt von Fischer

revised by Gianluca D’Agostino

[Landino, Franciscus; Magister Franciscus de Florentia; Magister Franciscus Coecus Horghanista de Florentia; Francesco degli orghani; Cechus de Florentia]

(b ? Fiesole or Florence, c1325; d Florence, Sept 2, 1397). Italian composer, poet, organist, singer and instrument maker of the second generation of Italian Trecento composers.

Only a few dates relating to Landini’s life can be established with any certainty. There is no record of his date of birth, which Fétis gave as c1325 and Pirrotta as c1335. Fiesole was stated as his place of birth, but by only one authority: the Florentine humanist Cristoforo Landino (1429–98), Landini’s great-nephew, in his Elogia de suis maioribus. Most of the available biographical information derives from Filippo Villani’s Liber de origine civitatis Florentiae et eiusdem famosis civibus: the chapter that concerns certain of the Trecento composers (Bartholus, Giovanni, Lorenzo and Jacopo) was written after 1381 but still within Landini’s lifetime (see Villani, Filippo). The name Landini (Landino), according to Pirrotta, descends from Francesco’s grandfather, Landino di Manno, who can be traced in Pratovecchio (Casentino) from ...

Article

Alastair Dick

The name of an oboe mentioned or described in medieval Sanskrit texts of India. Both the 12th-century Mānasollāsa (muhurī) and the 13th-century Saṅgītaratnākara (madhukarī) describe it as being 28 Hindu inches (perhaps 21 English inches, about 53 cm) long, made of wood or horn (which probably means all of wood, or with a horn bell), and similar in shape to the kāhalā metal trumpet, with a similar bore (about 3.75 cm at the lower end and almost certainly conical). The mouthpiece is clearly described: it consisted of a copper staple about 7.5 cm long carrying a lip-disc of shell or ivory, and had a reed of devanala reed (or possibly kāśa grass), previously softened by boiling in milk, and tied around the end. There were seven fingerholes, and a thumbhole was positioned midway between the upper end and the first of these, on the underside. The ‘sweet tone’ is attributed to the staple. A passage later attributed to an earlier writer, Mataṅga (perhaps 10th-century), somewhat garbled but possibly authentic, describes the instrument (...

Article

Alastair Dick

Old south Indian Tamil name for a clay pot drum with a narrow neck covered with skin and found in texts of the 1st millennium ce. It was sounded as a ceremonial instrument together with the cankam (conch) and kombu (trumpet) and presented as a prize by the king to warriors; it also appeared in the dance orchestra....

Article

Muracu  

Alastair Dick

Old South Indian Tamil name for a large cylindrical drum of state, sacred to kings, in texts of the 1st millennium ce. It was kept in the palace on its own cot and carried out on an elephant to announce proclamations, battles, and the dawn. Its sound is compared to thunder. The Sanskrit ...

Article

Alastair Dick

Article

Alastair Dick

Elongated barrel drum of ancient and medieval India. The name occurs in Sanskrit from epic and classical times, and is probably of non-Aryan origin. Ancient references are to a loud drum, in contexts of war, public announcements, and so on, often compared to thunder by the classical poets, and also used in palaces and in temple worship. The dramaturgic treatise Nātyaśāstra (early centuries ce) classes the paṭaha among the secondary (pratyaṅga) drums of the theatre, not precisely tuned, and used for their sound effects and associations.

By medieval times, however, though still of this loud nature, the paṭaha had clearly become of greater musical importance; the encyclopedic Sangītaratnakara (early 13th century) gives it first place among drums, and by far the greatest space to its techniques and repertory. This work discusses two types of this drum, the larger mārga paṭaha and the smaller deśī, or regional, one. The former name connotes the ‘high tradition’ (it is used both in recital music, ...

Article

Alastair Dick

Friction idiophone, with jingles, described in Sanskrit works of medieval India. The name means literally ‘plank-instrument’, and the instrument was a rectangular wooden board about 60 cm long and 40 cm wide. It had rows of metal rings—threaded, perhaps, through plaited metal wires—at the top and bottom; the board was coated with resin and rubbed with the fingertips. It was held either against the chest or between the knees....

Article

Anne Beetem Acker

(b Vienna, Austria, 1370; d Nuremberg, Germany, 1401). Viennese physician, medical astrologer, organist, and presumed harpsichord maker. The earliest dated reference to what might be a harpsichord is in a letter from Padua of 1397 that names Hermann Poll as its inventor. Poll earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Vienna between 1388 and 1395. In 1397 Poll went to the University of Pavia to study medicine (MD, 1398), and en route met the Paduan jurist Giovanni Lodovico Lambertacci, who asked Poll to deliver a cup to his son-in-law in Pavia. In the letter, Lambertacci wrote to his son-in-law describing Poll as ‘a very ingenious young man and inventor of an instrument called the clavicembalum.’ At the age of 31, Poll was discovered in a plot to poison the Elector Palatine of the Rhine, and died on the wheel.

R. Strohm: ‘Die private Kunst und das öffentliche Schicksal von Hermann Poll, dem Erfinder des Cembalos’, ...

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Saltïr  

Article

Alastair Dick

Medieval cylindrical double-headed drum of India. It is described as made of citrus-wood and about 52 cm long and 20 cm in diameter. The heads were stretched on hoops of creeper ‘as thick as the forefinger’ and laced with ropes through six holes. It was held sideways, the left head played by the hand and the right with a crooked stick (...

Article

Alastair Dick

Late medieval fretless stick zither of north India. It is described in the Ā’īn-ī-akbarī as ‘similar to the bīṅ’, but without frets. It had two gourds and three strings and was possibly stopped with a sliding block. The amṛī or ambirti of the same text appears to be a smaller version but with one gourd and a single iron string. These instruments might represent a historical link between the sliding-block ...