Journal of the Irish Folk Song Society, Volume 1, Issue 1, Page 42

Journal of the Irish Folk Song Society, Volume 1, Issue 1, Page 42
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Irish Folk Song Society
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Journal of the Irish Folk Song Society
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7071projected beyoxid the finger board, one of these being touched by the thumb; the bridgewas perfectly fiat, so that all the strings were necessarily struck at the same time, andafforded a perpetual succession of chords. The bow resembled that of a tenor fiddle.The instrument was then almost extinct, there being but one person in the Princi-pality of Wales, John Morgan, of Newburgh, in Anglesea, who could play upon it. TheCrwth described by Sir John Hawkins in his Hi8tory of Yifugic differs in many respectsfrom the one just mentioned. According to Sir John Hawkins account, this instrumentWas twenty-two inches in length, and one inch and a half in thickness; it had the samenumber of strings as the one described by Dames Barringtrjn; the bridge is also placedin an oblique direction; but one of its feet goes through one of the sound holes, whichare circular and rests on the inside of the back of the body of the instrument; the otherfoot, which is proportionately shorter, resting on the belly before the other sound hole.Four of the strings pass down the finger board and under the end.board; but the fifthand sixth, which are about an inch longer than the others, do not pass over the finger-board, but are carried outside it about an inch, so that they could be freely struck throughthe apertures for the hand, by the thumb or finger armed with a quill. All the stringspass under the end-board, and are wound up by wooden T pegs, or by iron pins, turnedby a wrest like those of a harp.In the Welsh laws I have been able to find but one reference to the Crud, andthat in what are called the Anomalous Laws. The passage, which is as follows, occurs,however, in a MS. of the twelfth century: Every chief of song whom the Lord shallinvest with office is to be provided by the king with an instrument, to wit, a harp(Telyn) to one, a Crud to another, and pipes (Pybe ) to a third, to each according to hisusage; and when they die they are to leave them to the king.It is singular that Giraldus makes no mention of the Crud being used in his owncountry, though he mentions that a very similar instrument was in use in Ireland, underthe name of Timpan, Lor the evidence given in the Lectures fully proves that one kind ofTzrnpau was a bowed instrument. it may be objected that he has not mentioned thebagpipe in Ireland, although we know from the poem on the Fair of Carman that itwas in use in the eighth century, in what may be called the British or Welsh part ofIreland; or at all events at the beginning of the twelfth century, when the manuscriptin which the poem is found was written. The bagpipe at that period was, however, avulgar, instrument, while the Crud, like the Tirapan, belonged to the higher classes. Wecan easily understand how he may have omitted to notice an instrument to be heardonly among the lower classes; but it is difficult to explain his omission of an instrumentso ancient as the Crud, and which in the following centuries became one of the best knownand most widely diffused musical instruments of England.M. de Coussemaker, who has done so much for the medieval history of music,taking it for granted that the bowed instrument described by Dames Barrington wasthe same as the medieval Chrotta, applies the name to a three-stringed instrumentcopied from a MS. of the eleventh century, an Antiphonarium, which contains severalother very rude drawings of musical instruments. . . There is no evidence in theMS., so far as I could see, for calling the instrument represented a (Jhrotta. M. deCoussemaker may be right in his surmise; but a comparison of the figures given showsthat the medieval instrument called by Coussemaker a Crwth differed essentially fromthe modern instrument of that name.(To be continued.)
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Journal of the Irish Folk Song Society, Volume 1, Issue 1

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