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Musical Instruments, Ancient

As in the Fellow Craft's Degree, music is dilated upon as one of the liberal arts, the sweet and harmonious sounds being the representative of that harmony which should ever exist among the Brethren, we are apt to inquire what were the instruments used by the ancients in their mystical service. The oldest ever discovered, we believe, is a small clay pipe not over three inches in length, found by Captain Willock among the presumed ruins of Babylon; if so it must be 2,600 years old.

By the use of the two finger holes, the intervals of the Common Chord, C, E, and G. are produced, or the Harmonic Triad. From the ruins of Nineveh we have countless representations of the harp, with strings varying from ten to twenty-six; the lyre. identical in structure with that of the Greeks; a harp-shaped instrument held horizontally, and the six to ten strings struck with a plectrum, which has been termed the Asor, from its resemblance to the Hebrew instrument of that name. There is also the guitar-shaped instrument, and a double pipe with a single mouthpiece and finger-holes on each pipe. The Assyrians used musical bells, trumpets, flutes, drums cymbals, and tambourines. The Abyssinians call their lyre the Kissar the Greek name being, kithara. There is also the flute, called Monaulos, which is of great antiquity, and named by the Egyptians Photins, or curved flute. The crooked horn or trumpet, called Buccina, and the Cithara, held sacred in consequence of its shape being that of the Greek letter delta.

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