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24 Şubat 2016 Çarşamba

History of Musical instruments











... Early Greek artist borrowed technique style and ideas from the older Mediterranean nations.



... The pipes on vases and reliefs, Greek and Roman, are not flutes, but double oboes of oriental shape, the sound of which could be as shrill and exciting as the sound of their relatives, the bagpipes of modern Scotch regiments.




...  The origin of the bagpipe is unknown. On a relief from the thirteenth century BC, belonging to the Hittete palace at Eyük (Alacahöyük), all too eager students have imagined they detected the earliest bagpipe; in reality, the bag is an animal offering, and the two 'pipes' are ribbons hanging down from the two strings of a lute carried before it. It was also an error to see a bagpipe in the Aramaic word sumponiah of the Book of Daniel, as we have shown on page 84. Again, we have explained on page 121 that such an instrument did not exist either in Israel or in classic Greece.






The first bagpipe of which one can be sure existed in the first century AD. Suetonius, the historian of the Roman Caesars, relates of Nero that "towards the end of his life he had publicly vowed that if he retained his power he would at the games in celebration of his victory give a performance on the water-organ, the choraulam et utricularium". This latter name, meaning a leather bag, can hardly be explained otherwise than as a bagpipe. All doubts are silenced by the following passage, in Suetonius's Greek contemporary, "Dio Chrysostom, narrating that Nero "knew how to play the pipe with his mouth and the bag thrust under his arms." And still a third author of the same time, Martial speaks of an ascaules, or 'bagpiper', using the Greek word in a Latin epigram. The instrument, then must have been recently imported from Asia and, like modern South Asiatic bagpipes, was probably provided either with a single or a double clarinet.



... In sharp contrast to the fine arts, Greek music was almost entirely imported. The Phyrgian and Lydian tonalities were reminiscent of Asia Minor; Olympus, the patriarch of Greek music, was said to have been a son of the Phrygian Marsyas; and his disciple, Thaletas, was a Cretan. No instrument originated in Greece.


The geographer Strabo writes: "One writer says 'striking the Asiatic cithara'; another calls auloi 'Berecyntian' and 'Phrygian'; and some of the instruments have been called by barbarian names, 'Nablas', 'Sambyke', 'Barbitos', 'Magadis' and several others."




... Instruments with a single beating reed, or clarinets, have no importance in the Far East. The only type found today is a plain bamboo clarinet with six fingerholes, under the names 'ch'un kuan' or 'la pa' in Chinese, which is a 'child'd toy'; sometimes two of them are joined to form a double clarinet, 'tui hsiao'.


In earlier centuries the Chinese used a clarinet, the two ends of which were covered with caps of ox-horn. The one at the outer end served as a bell, and the other as an air chamber that enclosed the beating reed and forced the player to blow without grasping the reed with his mouth. According to Chinse tradition, this clarinet was Tataric.



... Cymbals (Chinese po) were said to have been brought from India; another Chinese source enumerates them among the instruments of an East Turkestanic orchestra which was established at the imperial court after the conquest of the Kingdom of Kutcha in 384 AD. This statement is corroborated by the important fact that the Korean name of the Cymbals, 'tjapara' is obviously derived from a Turkish word; in modern Turkish cymbals are called 'Çal-para'*. Moreover, Central Europe first acquired cymbals when Avars and Huns-that is, Turkish peoples- invaded the continent in the middle ages. Turks were expert metal workers.


Most Far Eastern cymbals have a large boss, and the ritm is either flat or curving slightly upwards. Their size varies greatly; beside small specimens one finds very large ones in lama temples; the Crosby Brown Collection in the Metropolitan Museum in New York owns a pair twenty-two to twenty-three inches wide. But these Chinese lama cymbals are not as large aas some gigantic cymbals in Mongolian temples which measure one meter.


About three hundred years after the first mention of cymbals, a 'metallophone (Chinese fang hiang)' is  said to have been introduced. It was an imitation in iron or  steel of the old Chinese stone chime, a set of sicteen slabs about eight inches long suspended in an upright frame. The new instrument was first brought to China by the orchestra of a 'barbarian' people - that is, either Turkish or Tungus- in the seventh century AD. As there were probably no Tungus orchestras, the reference apparently indicates a Turkish origin, and this is the more likely because some of the Turkish tribes, the Tu-kiu for instance, were skillful workers in iron at the time of this orchestra.



... Later, at a time that we cannot as yet ascertain, another instrument, the 'fiddle' (that is a bowed lute), became popular all over the east, the usual name of which, 'hu ch'in', hints to a Central Asiatic origin, as 'hu' is one of the names that the Chinese gave to the Turkish Uighurs.


The body is formed by a tiny cylinder, a few inches long, one end of which, covered by a lizard-or snakeskin, serves as a soundboard, the other end being left open. The body, usually made of bamboo, or sometimes of a hexagonal piece of wood or of a coconut, the top of which has been removed, is diametrically pierced by the handle in the manner of a spit. The two strings are generally tuned to a fifth, and there is no fingerboard. The player, holding the fiddle down in a vertical position, stops the strings with the fleshy part of the fingers. The bow cannot be removed from the instrument, as its hair passes between the strings; it rubs the underside of one string and the upperside of the other. The bow is grasped with the palm facing upward so that the tumb is above the bow and the fingers below. Because of the constant vibrato and glissando of the left hand, the sound is rather whimpering.



... Kettledrums are open receptacles which, in the majorrity of cases, are egg-shaped or hemispherical with a skin stretched over the opening. Clay was the original material which afterwards was replaced by metal. 


The first evidence of Arabian kettledrums is in the tneth century encyclopedia of the Ihwan al-Şafa. The book enumerates the bowl drum, 'qasa' (a name which it shared with the bulging body of the lute, 'üd), and the deeper kettledrums, 'tabl al-markab' (the naqqara) and küs.


Dr.Henry George Farmer believes that the küs was an earlier drum. He writes that an İndian "is credited with having played the kettledrum küs in the Prophet's military expeditions." This would hint of an İndian origin. Farmer's source, however, is neither contemporary nor Arabian; the statement is taken from the narrative of a Turkish travler who wrote in the seventeenth century, a thousand years after the Prophet's expeditions. It is likely that the Turks called the drum by the name which was familiar to him.



...Short lutes, carved out ofa single piece of wood with no distinct neck and tapering towards the pegbox, are found first in Iran, the same country which afterwards became their center; Elamic (an Agglutinative language, to be claim Turkic-SB) clay figures attributed to the eight century BC show them in rough outlines; the strings and their attachment are not distinguishable.


There is no further evidence of the short lute until, many centuries later, it reappeared in the Islamci Near East; its pegbox was bent backwards in a scikle shape and contained lateral pegs; the stringholder was not frontal but on the lower end of the body, and a skin served as the soundboard. Islamic migrations and conquests carried this lute eastwards from Persia as far as the Celebes, and southwards to Madagascar. In all these countries it has been called by a name probably of Turkish origin, and variously spelled as 'gambus', 'kabosa' or 'qüpüz'. Arabic literature adopted this name at the end of the Abbassidic Dynasty, in the beginning of the eleventh century AD, in Egypt it was introduced at about 1200 AD. (Mamluk Kipchak Turks period-SB). Today this lute is extinct in the Near East.


Nevertheless, the Turkish name 'qüpüz' seems to have been unknown in South and West Europe, though it was used in the central and eastern parts of the continent. In apoem written in the early fourteenth century, Gottes Zukunft by Heinrich von der Neuen Stadt, verse 4672 mentions 'die kobus mit der luten.' This word had probably entered through Hungary, where it can be traced back to the middle ages as 'koboz' ; and it certainly had come to Hungary from Byzantium, since a Greek tractate on alchemy, written about 800, metions a 'kobuz' or 'pandurion' with seven frets and three, four or five strings.


The Christian Spaniards, on the contrary, seem to have called the same instrument a Moorish guitar; in his poem, El libro de buen amor (fourteenth century), Juan Ruiz, archpriest of Hita mentions it immediately before the lute: "Ally sale gritando la guitara morisca, de las bozes aguda e de los puntos arisca..." - "There the moorish guitar emerges with its shrill and harsh notes".


The Moorish guitar was more and more influenced by the instrument which we call a lute today. In the sicteenth century it was given a new name, mandola or mandora, a thin pear-shaped body composed of slender staves or 'ribs', a frontal stringholder, a soundhole with a carved rose, a short neck and double strings; only the sickle-shaped pegbox of the older instrument was preserved.



... The spike-fiddle, found all over the İslamic world, including Siam and Cambodia, is a 'pierced fiddle'; the round handle projects through the body and protrudes at the lower end, forming a foot similar to the spike of a cello, on which the instrument is rested. The pegs are lateral, and a piece of skin froms the soundboard. While east of India the spike is of wood or ivory, it is made of iron in the west.


At the western and the eastern extremities of its area of disctribution the spike-fiddle is rather primitive; the Malayan as well as the Egyptian fiddles have only one or two strings. Egypt has several species, the 'kamanga a'güz' or 'old fiddle', tuned to a and e; and the 'kamanga farh' or 'sogair' or 'part of a fiddle', tuned to e and b, both having a samll coconut body and two hair strings. Besides the two kamanga, there is a related fiddle, rabab, with a quadrilateral frame, the upper and lower sides of which are parallel, and two skins closing it from the front and the back, forming a kind of frame drum which replaces the coconut body. With one string this instrument is called 'rababa assair' or 'poet's fiddle'. As such, it accompanies the endless recitations of public narrators. With two strings it is called 'rabab al-moganni' or 'singer's fiddle', and accompanies songs.


In southwestern Asia the kamanga a'güz has sometimes three or even four strings, and in some countries- Turkestan and Kasmir, for instance- a set of sympathetic wire strings is stretched behind the bowed strings. The accodatura for three (bowed) wire strings is usually the ground tone, its fifth and its octave or ninth.


The spike-fiddle is mentioned as early as the tenth century AD by the great theorist Al-Farabi who, althouh he wrote in Arabic, was a Turk.


The long lute, in Arabic 'tanbur', has a full metallic timbre, but can also be played very delicately. The player can shake the lute at the end of a melodic period and make the sound fade away with a vibrato that resembles the Bebung of a clavichord.


The long lute has a small, pear-shaped body and a long neck without a pegbox, many gut frets, a few thin wire strings and a plectron made of tortoise shell. It has faithfully preserved the outer appearance of the ancient lutes of Babylonia and Egypt; its pegs, however, are curious in form and position. Shaped like the letter T, they are inserted, some from the front, some from the side; their position is mixed, as we shall call it, thus possibly testifying to a mixed origin of this frecent form of the long lute, from the Arabo-Persian area of lateral pegs as well as from the Turkish area of rear pegs. The Arabs, indeed, call its largest variety 'tanbur kabir turki' or 'large Turkish lute'.  The Persian however, do not use the word tanbur; they designate the instrument by the word tar or 'string', combined with a numerical prefix indicating the number of strings-the dutar has two strings, the setar three, the cartar four, the panctar five strings.








The Turkish music; from the conquest of İstanbul by the Turks, in 1453, till the beginning of the eighteenth century, eastern Europe was continuously in contact with the Turkish armies; over and over again the occidental soldiers were exposed to the wild music that intoxicated the Turkish regiments, with the shrill tones of oboes and triangles accented by clanging cymbals and rumbling drums. About 1700, after the military power of the Turkish Empire was broken, the victorious European armies began to imitate Ottoman Bands. The Poles were the first to adopt Turkish music, or 'janissaries' music', a name taken from the sultan's life guards. Following this example, the elector of Saxony, Augustus the Strong, who was king of Poland as well, organized a Saxon band with four cymbalists. The Aurstrians had their first 'janissaries' in 1741, and the other countries followed. In a narrower sense, the Europeans called Turkish Music a combination of bass drum, cymbals and triangle, as for instance, in Joseph Haydn's Military Symphony (1794). In the bands a jingling crescent was also included.


The indroduction of Turkish instruments was accompanied by a predilection for Turkish motifs in the western arts. Examples of this mode can be found in the subjects of numerous comic operas, such as Gluck's Cadi dupe (1761) and La rencontre imprevue (1764), Mozart's Seraglio (1781) and Gretry's Caravane du Caire (1783)....


There was a similar increase in the importance given to percussion instruments; in L'historie du soldat we waw the unusual proportion of six melodic and six percussion intruments. Alarmists who fear that modern music is receding into a 'savage, oriental' stage, because of its interest in percussion, should remember that this is only an advanced stage of a tendency which already manifested itself in the nineteenth century. It differed only by degrees from Haydn's use of 'Turkish Music' in his Military Symphony, from Beethoven's melodic kettledrums in octace tuning in the Scherzo of the Ninth Symphony, from Berlioz's shime of sicteen kettledrums in his Requim. These classic passages were related to Turkish and Indian practice rather than to European tradition, and the alarmists could have dismissed them, too, as 'savage and oriental'.





read more from:
The History of Musical Instruments (1940-reprint 2006)
Curt Sachs, Musicologist. (1881-1959)  









* Çalpara; Halk arasında şakrak; parmaklara takılan, dört veya iki parça (genellikle abanoz) ağaçtan yapılmış, zil gibi olup tok ses çıkaran, dizde veya elde şaklatılarak kullanılan müzik aleti. İspanyollar acaba kimden almıştır?

* Chou (MÖ.1122-255); Çin'in devlet haline gelmesine vesile olan Türk Boyu. Hsiongnu (Hunlar) Türkleri ile karıştıkları da söylenir.