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: CHAMBER MUSIC

TRIOS-PRESENT AND PAST
THE WIRELESS TRIO
THE old Viols, the family of stringed instruments that preceded the Violin, Viola,
'Cello and Double Bass of today, had a somewhat smaller tone than these, and were both shaped and played rather differently. They had five, six, or seven strings, against the four of their modern counterparts. Their names were the Treble (or Discant). the Tenor, Bass and Double Bass Viols. The charmingly named Viola d'Amore was a Tenor Viol which had sympathetic strings ; that is, seven (usually) strings of gut, with seven, or fourteen, others of fine metal stretched beneath. These vibrate in sympathy with those above, and produce an uncommon and beautiful tone.
(Picture on page 219.)
THE Spinet was our early Piano, but instead of its strings, being at a high tension on an iron frame, struck by hammers, they were
. at but a low tension and were plucked by quills, or spines (hence ' Spinet '), that stuck out from projections on the back ends of the keys. The names Spinet and Virginals mean practically the same instrument. The difference was merely that of shape. The Virginal was oblong. The Spinet, harp-shaped, was sometimes known as the ' couched harp.'
THE Viola da Gamba (' leg viol '), the predecessor of the 'Cello, was very popular until about the middle of the eighteenth century. It had at first six, later seven strings. In Twelfth Night we are told that Sir Andrew Aguecheek could' play o' the viol-de-gamboys.'
(Picture on page 218.)

Contributors

Unknown: Double Bass
Unknown: Sir Andrew Aguecheek








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