Selected and rare materials, excerpts and observations from ancient, medieval and contemporary authors, travelers and researchers about Cyprus.
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Museum. The arghool is of cylindrical bore, pierced with lateral holes, like the Pompeian flute. The latter is of Greek origin, the Greeks, again, having borrowed the greater number of their instruments from Egypt. M. Mahillon therefore chose the reed of the arghool flute, which is a striking reed, with which to make his experiment; and, after one or two trials as to the dimensions to be given to it, he succeeded in making the pipe speak as he desired. The problem seemed to him to be solved, for the following reasons:—The double-reed (hautboy and bassoon) is, it is stated, always connected with conical pipes, never with cylindrical. The striking reed makes the cylindrical pipe of the clarionet vibrate. It was, therefore, the sort of reed which ought to be selected. The mouthpiece of the clarionet was unknown to the ancients, therefore it was necessary to find a different mode of application, which M. Mahillon discovered in the arghool, the reed of which is let entirely into the mouth, the lips being applied on the pipe where it is introduced. When 'blown into, the tongue of the reed vibrates, and provokes the vibration of the column of air. Admitting that the chromatic scale was known to the ancients, and the division of the tube by thirteen rings being given, it was permissible, therefore, to believe that the right reed was found if the thirteenth sound was the octave of the first. This M.Mahillon found to be the case when he had discovered the correct length of which to make the reed. By this means, he gives B second line in bass clef as the grave note of the instrument; and, by the opening of the successive lateral holes, the following sounds are produced:—C sharp, D, E, F, F sharp, G, G sharp, G sharp, A, B fiat, B natural. The absence of C and of D sharp is accounted for by the fact that the second and fifth of the rings are not bored. The hole of which the opening gives B flat is on the other side of the instrument, and is closed by the thumb of the left hand. When the ring which opens the A is turned to the other side, it puts in communication with the air a lateral hole pierced in the ivory tube, a little above that which gives G sharp, and which produces a second G sharp, a little higher in pitch than the preceding one. The second G sharp establishes two quarters of a tone between G and A. The G is too low by nearly a quarter of a tone. The defect M. Mahillon thought it necessary to reproduce, in order to make the copy exact; and he thinks that possibly the cause of it may be a restoration which has been visibly made in the model at the exact place of this hole. To produce the sound, the performer introduces the reed and a part of the ivory mouthpiece into the mouth, so that the lips rest on the widest part of the mouthpiece. When blown into in this position, the side holes being closed, the lowest sound is obtained. It is curious that the tone of this instrument corresponds exactly with that of an instrument of which M. Gavaert, Director of the Conservatoire at Brussels, in his researches, was led to conjecture the existence, but of which he could find no precise indications in the ancient authors. Its compass he imagined to be from D, third line in bass clef, to F, second space in treble clef, corresponding (with allowance for the elevation of pitch), to a range from D in the great octave to D in the small octave. M.. Gavaert requested M. Mahillon to construct an instrument of this compass, which was practicable, and confirmed the former's suppositions as to the tibia plus que parfaite of the ancients. This was done in the summer of 1877; and in the following October, M. Gavaert and M. Mahillon went together to Naples, where they had occasion to study the Pompeian flutes, with the interesting results which are here described. Since then, M. Mahillon has reconstructed the most perfect of the . four flutes, applying again the striking reed of the arghool in connection with the cylindrical pipe, and has got the following sounds from B, second line in bass clef: C, C sharp, D, D sharp, E, F, F sharp, G, G sharp, A, B flat, B natural, C, C sharp. It may be interesting to know that M. Mahillon has also made an exact copy of the Roman trumpets in the museum at Naples, and has found them to have the following compass, starting from G below the line in treble clef:—B, E, G, B flat, C, D, E, F sharp, G, of which the real effect is just a quarter lower than the note written. Another remarkable bronze relic is a very ancient serrula (fig. 68), or spoon-saw, its slightly concave body being furnished with a serrated edge, and intended to be employed for ladling the blood of sacrifices, and cutting through the stronger tissues of the small creatures that so frequently perished at the altars of the many deities who were venerated at Salamis. It was found in a tomb at Kitium. A small box, or étui, of bronze (fig. 69), was found, containing a pin and needles, formed of an alloy of copper and tin, or silver. The latter are about two-and-a-half inches long, made with eyes perfect in form, and carefully pointed. With these were discovered some fragments of linen thread, so that this curious relic remains almost as the owner left it many hundreds of years ago at Salamis. A similar étui, which has not yet been opened, exists in this collection with the above. A large armlet of bronze (fig. 70), in the shape of a snake, the eyes

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