A Dictionary of Music and Musicians/Orchestrina di Camera

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ORCHESTRINA DI CAMERA. The title of a series of little instruments of the harmonium tribe. They were invented and are made by W. E. Evans, of London, and represent the orchestral clarinet, oboe, flute, French horn, and bassoon. They imitate the timbre of the respective instruments after which they are called, and have the same compass of notes. The clarinet and French horn are furnished with shifting keyboards, in order to arrange for the mechanical transposition of the parts when these are not written in the key of C. The different qualities of tone are obtained by making the vibrating reeds of varying dimensions, and by the peculiar shape of the channels conveying the wind to them. The orchestrinas are chiefly intended to be employed as convenient substitutes for the real instruments at performances where players of the orchestral instruments cannot be obtained. Dr. Hullah, in his 'Music in the House,' recommends them as valuable for the practice of concerted music, as well as for the purpose of supplying obbligato accompaniments.

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