Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 4.djvu/289

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.


dently been applied to the ' Fidicula' or ' Crwth.' The instrument is altered precisely as might have been expected. The crosspiece and uprights have disappeared. Their place is taken by a neck and head, the latter forming a peg-box ; and the bulg- ing lower part of the instrument is modified to suit the change. It may well be, however, that this primitive bowed instrument was the direct descendant of the lute-shaped fidicula which the Girgenti sarcophagus (p. 267) proves to have existed before the Christian era, and that it is identical with the 'Fidula' of Ottfried.

Sometimes the crosspiece and uprights, placed somewhat closer together, were retained side by side with the new features, the neck and finger- FIG. 3.



���board. The above cut, from Worcester Cathedral, serves to illustrate the coalition of the Crwth and Rebec, the upper part of the instrument being in- termediate between the two. The instrument thus produced is the bowed Crwth, to which, fol- lowing Mr. Engel, it may be convenient to assign the name of Crowd, leaving the original word Crwth to designate the primitive fidicula plucked with the fingers. In point of tone and execution the Crowd and the Rebec were identical. The Crowd was the Crwth with the addition of a bridge and a fingerboard : the Rebec was the Crowd minus its uprights and crosspiece, and having a pear-shaped body. The name Fidel, the decayed form of ' Fidicula,' probably indifferently applied to both, and was afterwards used for the larger instrument presently mentioned.

The ' Geige,' which some authorities have treated as an independent instrument, appears to be practically identical with the Rebec. In the Nibelungenlied the instrument played by the

  • Videlar ' is called the Glge,' though the bow

is always called 'Videlbogen.' Mediaeval sculp- ture, painting, manuscripts and heraldry yield numberless illustrations of the * Geige.' If there was any marked difference between it and the Rebec it amounted to this, that the Rebec had a narrower pear-shaped body, like the lute, while the Geige had a short neck fitted to an oval or circular resonant box. VOL. iv. PT. 3.

��The accompanying woodcut is taken from Cologne Cathedral, and shows the Geige of the 1 3th century.

FIG. 4.

���The next, from the Kreuz-Capelle in Burg Carl- stein in Bohemia, shows the improved one of FIG. g. the 1 4th century. The

name ' Geige ' probably contains the root ' jog ' or 'jig,' the connection lying in the jogging or jigging motion of the fiddler's right arm.

A writer of the 13th century gives instructions both for this small fiddle, which he calls 'Rubeba,' and for the larger Fidel, then just coming into use, which he calls 'Viella.' 1 The Rubeba or Rebec, according to him, had two strings only, which were tuned by the interval of a fifth, the lower being C, the upper G. ' Hold it close to the head,' he writes, 'between the thumb and forefinger of the left hand.' He then minutely describes the fingering, which is as follows :

���2nd String.

��1st String.


��It will at once strike the reader that we practi- cally have here the second and third strings of the violin. A third string was soon added : and we know from Agricola that the highest string of the three-stringed Rebec was tuned a fifth higher, thus :

��We have here practically the three highest strings of the violin : and it is thus clear that the violin, in everything except the ultimate shape of the resonant box and the fourth string, is at least as old as the isth century, and probably very

Jerome of Moravia (a Dominican monk of Paris), 'Speculum Muslces,' printed in Ooussemaker. Scriptores de Muslca Medll Aevl. Tom. L The original MS. is in the Bibliotheqne Rationale ; Fonds de la Sorbonne, No. 1817. A French translation, with notes by M. Perne,:appeared in Fetis'i Kevue Muslcale for 1827.

�� �