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date: 24 February 2021

Colonna, Fabio [called Linceo]locked

  • Howard Mayer Brown


[called Linceo]

(b Naples, c1580; d Naples, c1650). Italian instrument maker. He was the inventor of an enharmonic harpsichord or Arcicembalo with eight keyboards. The instrument, called ‘Sambuca lincea’ by its inventor but ‘Pentecontachordon’ (because of its 50 strings) by lexicographers, divided the octave into 17 parts. It is described and illustrated in Colonna’s La sambuca lincea overo dell’istromento musico perfetto (Naples, 1618), which includes samples of enharmonic music by Colonna, an explanation of his division of the monochord, and a brief description of the hydraulic organ. Colonna’s system of temperament is summarized in J.M. Barbour: Tuning and Temperament (East Lansing, MI, 1951, 2/1953/R, 153ff). Colonna probably owed his sobriquet, which he bestowed on his invention, to the fact that he was a member, and perhaps one of the founders, of the Accademia dei Lincei in Rome.

F. Colonna and S. Stella: La sambuca lincea, overo dell’istromento musico perfetto...

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Journal of the American Musical Instrument Society