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powerful. In almost all cases it is the leading instrument in an orchestra, and the perfection of its intonations is not equalled by any other stringed instrument.

It has been doubted by many writers, whether any instrument played by the bow was known to the ancients. Others, however, have entertained a different opinion, founded on the fact, that a little figure of Apollo playing on a kind of violin, in the collection of the Grand Duke at Florence, had something in his hand like a bow. This figure, which Mr. Addison supposed to be ancient, has been proved to be of modern workmanship, and it is therefore now almost unanimously allowed by all recent writers, that the ancients were unacquainted with the use of the bow.

We are informed by Burney, in his "History of Music," that on the largest Egyptian obelisk brought from Egypt by Augustus, and fixed in the Campus Martius, there is a sculpture of a stringed instrument which deserves notice. When the ancient city was sacked and burned in the year 1527, by the Duke of Bourbon, general of Charles the Fifth's army, this column was thrown down and broken, and still lies, it is said, in the Campus Martius, and is known among the inhabitants as the guglia rotta, or broken pillar. Upon this, Dr. Burney observed the representation of a musical instrument of two strings, with a neck resembling the calascione, an instrument still used in the kingdom of Naples.

From this figure it may be supposed that the Egyptians had made some advance in musical performances, for, although the instrument had only two strings, many notes might be obtained from it. Dr. Burney says, that he has never been able to find, in any remains of Grecian sculpture, an instru

INVENTION OF THE VIOLIN.

85

ment with a neck, and quotes the observation of Montfaucon, who, after examining the representation of nearly five hundred ancient lyres, harps, and cytheras, had not found one, in which there was any contrivance for the shortening of the strings during the time of performance by a neck and finger-board, as there must have been in the Egyptian instrument.

The French writers say that the violin was invented about the ninth or tenth century, but by whom or where they cannot determine. "To this opinion we should have subscribed," says a modern author*, "had not some ancient monuments remained with an exact representation of its form. In the pictures of Philostratus in an ancient grotto, may be seen many violins, which are represented much like those of the present times, except that the neck is shorter. Amphion is there represented playing upon a viol or a violin, with five strings and with a bow like ours, and quite different from the plectrum of the ancients. It is believed that Athenæus means the bow, when he says the sceptre is one thing and the plectrum another.' It is imagined that by the sceptre he means the bow, which is very probable, especially after the ancient monuments, of which we have preserved the figures. The pit or grotto, on the walls of which we see violins like the present, is found on silver medals, which were struck by order of Scribonius Libo, a very considerable personage at Rome. An account of these may be seen in Pierre Valerien, author of the Hieroglyphics."

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Galileo says, that "both the violin and bass, or violoncello, were invented by the Italians, perhaps by the Neapolitans."

Rees's Encyclopædia.

This opinion may be accurate, but upon what evidence it can be proved we do not know: The rebec, an instrument of three strings used by the romancers and troubadours of the middle ages, was the first kind of violin used in France. We believe that a figure of Colin Muset, the minstrel, playing on this instrument, is still preserved in the entrance of the church of St. Julien de Menestriers at Paris. The three stringed instruments are still used in Turkey, and other eastern countries; and when the fourth string was added, cannot be determined. It appears, however, that the oldest violins are those made by Amati, at Cremona, in the reign of Charles the Ninth, which are to the present time most highly esteemed, and considered to be the finest instruments. Corelli's violin was made in the year 1573.

This prince established a

The violin was introduced into the French and Italian courts some time before it was known in England. In the reign of Charles the Second it came into use, but chiefly for the performance of light music. band of twenty-four violins, tenors, and basses; and from that time the violin has held the most important place in every band, except those strictly military. Soon after this the Italian music was introduced, and a more cultivated taste was excited.

In the last century, Giardini, the first violinist of his day, visited England, and formed a school which supplied us with a greater number, to use the words of a modern writer, of able performers than can be found in the capital of any other country in Europe.

The violin is especially adapted for the performance of light airs, and might be considered, when in the hands of

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a moderately good performer, as suited only to the simplest music, and to dances in particular. It is, however, well known to those who have had an opportunity of hearing the best performers, that no music is too difficult; and its power and variety of intonation is so great, that it is as fitted for the grave as the lively, and the most solemn church music may be played on it with full force of expression.

It has been already remarked that the violin is tuned to fifths; the second string is tuned to a fifth below the first, the third a fifth below the second, the fourth, a fifth below the third.

It is not necessary that we should, after what has been said concerning the violin, make many observations on the violoncello, an instrument which is a natural bass to the violin and tenor. It is at the present time much used by musical performers, and is remarkable for the sweetness of its tones, its

power, and compass. The bass-viol, a six-stringed instrument, was once commonly introduced in concerts; but it was so defective in execution, and the nasal quality of its tones were so unpleasant, that it never became a favourite, although Abel," by his exquisite taste, prodigious execution, genius, and profound knowledge of composition, delighted all hearers, and made them forget, or at least forgive,” the defects of the instrument. As the viol lost favour with the English public, the violoncello was introduced; and Cervetto the elder and younger, Caporale, Gordon, Paxton, and Crosdil, have been in their times celebrated performers; but none, perhaps, have excelled Lindley, who as early as the year 1804 was pronounced a wonderful player, and is still unequalled.

The violone, or double-bass, is an instrument similar in form to the violoncello, but nearly twice as large, and having strings larger and longer in proportion. It is tuned to an octave below the violoncello. In the method of tuning, however, there is a considerable difference, for some performers use three, and others, four strings. The violone is an exceedingly useful and important instrument when used judiciously; it should be introduced to sustain the harmony. "Divided basses are improper for it, the strings not answering immediately to the percussion of the bow: these can only be executed with good effect on the violoncello, the sounds of which are more articulate and distinct."

The harp is a stringed instrument of some antiquity, but its precise origin cannot be determined. Philologists have disputed about the derivation of the name, each supporting that analogy which best suits his own theory. Some writers are of opinion that the word harp is derived from the Latin carpo, because touched with the fingers; some attribute the invention to the Arpii, an Italian tribe, who are by these persons supposed to have invented it; while others trace it from the Anglo-Saxon word harpa. Many other opinions have been expressed, but what dependence can be placed on them, we do not pretend to determine.

The harp in its many different forms has been a favourite instrument among almost all ancient as well as modern nations, and especially among our forefathers.

"A harpe well playde on shewythe swete melody;
A harper with his wrest may tune the harp wrong,
Mystuning of an instrument shal hurte a true song."
SHELTON.

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