Show Summary Details

Page of

Printed from Grove Music Online. Grove is a registered trademark. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a single article for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy).

date: 22 October 2019

Mahvarīlocked

  • Alastair Dick

Extract

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 (...

You do not currently have access to this article

Login

Please login to access the full content.

Subscribe

Please subscribe to access the full content.

Ethnomusicology
Galpin Society Journal