A Dictionary of Music and Musicians/Crwth
CRWTH (i.e. Crooth) or CROWD, as far as we know the oldest stringed instrument played with the bow; probably at home in India, but in its European use apparently limited to England, and especially to Wales. It is first mentioned in some elegiacs, written about 609, by Venantius Fortunatus, Bishop of Poitiers, running thus:
Graecus achilliaca, chrotta Brittanna canat.'
Its oldest form was probably the 'crwth trithant,' or with three strings, pictures of which are found in manuscripts of the nth century. We first hear it mentioned again by Daines Barrington, a Welsh judge and archæologist, who relates that he knew one John Morgan, born 1711 in the isle of Anglesey, who still played the crwth. Bingley also heard it played at Carnarvon as late as 1801; but it is now entirely out of use. In its later form it was mounted with six strings, four stretched over the finger-board and played with the bow, and two, lying at the side of the finger-board, pinched with the thumb of the left hand. The strings were tuned either as (a)—according to Edward Jones, the celebrated Welsh harp-player—
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