Symphonia

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This article is about an ancient musical instrument. For other uses, see Symphonia (disambiguation).

Symphonia (Greek συμφωνία) is a much-discussed word, applied at different times to the bagpipe, the drum, the hurdy-gurdy, and finally a kind of clavichord. The sixth of the musical instruments enumerated in Book of Daniel, Daniel 3 (verses 5, 10 and 15), is erroneously translated "dulcimer"; in all probability it refers to the bagpipe.[1]

The symphonia, signifying drum, is mentioned in Isidore of Seville's Etymologiae under the entries for tympanum and sambuca.[1] The reference comparing the tympanum (kettledrum) to half a pearl is borrowed from Pliny.[2]

"Symphonia" or chifonie was applied during the 13th and 14th centuries, in the Latin countries more especially, to the hurdy-gurdy. "Symphonia" is applied by Praetorius to an instrument which he classed with the clavichord,[3] spinet, regal and virginals, but without giving any clue to its distinctive characteristics.[1]

References[edit]

Notes

  1. ^ a b c Schlesinger 1911, p. 289.
  2. ^ Schlesinger 1911, p. 289 cites Pliny Nat. hist. IX. 35, 23.
  3. ^ Schlesinger 1911, p. 289 cites Praetorius 1618, pp. 72, 73, 179

Sources