A Dictionary of Music and Musicians/Calascione

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CALASCIONE or COLASCIONE (Ital.; Fr. Colachon). The name of a fingerboard instrument of the lute kind belonging to Lower Italy. The calascione is strung with two catgut strings tuned a fifth apart. The body of it is like that of an ordinary lute, but it is relatively smaller towards the neck. Of all fingerboard instruments the calascione is most like the NFR (vocalised by different interpreters as nofre, nefru, or nefer) of the old Egyptian monuments; but it would be a bold hypothesis to derive the modern instrument from one used in such remote antiquity, the long-necked Egyptian lute having been depicted as early as the fourth dynasty—according to Heir Lepsius anterior to 3000 B.C. The strings of the calascione are touched with a plectrum, rarely by the fingers. The fingerboard has frets of ivory. About 1767 the brothers Cola [App. p.575 "Colæ"] were noted performers on it. [See Bandora.]

[ A. J. H. ]