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Martin Kirnbauer


A designation for an instrument, known only from a stage direction in Peri’s Euridice (Florence, 1600): ‘Tirsi Viene in scena sonando la presente Zinfonia con un Triflauto, e canta la seguente stanza’. The score at this point comprises a ritornello on three staves, all with soprano clefs. The top two parts (e′–e′′) are written predominantly in parallel thirds, while the lowest is a drone alternating between only four notes.

The direction may simply refer to a stage-prop, perhaps an instrument comparable to the flauto harmonico or armonia di flauto. The latter was a kind of recorder with five pipes (four of which served only as a drone) made by Manfredo Settala about 1650; the only surviving instrument is in the Civico Museo Bibliografico Musicale, Bologna. The music could have been played on recorders, as prescribed by Francesca Caccini for a very similar ritornello in her opera La liberazione di Ruggiero...