Ancient Wind Instruments (Apr, 1948)

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Ancient Wind Instruments

HISTORY of the horn is almost as ancient as the history of man. First wind instrument probably was a spiral shell picked up by early man in his search for food along the shore. The Greeks had a myth for it—demigod Triton blowing on a conch shell as a trumpet to whip up or calm the waves.

Besides shells, men also have used animal horns and even hollowed tusks for calls to war and the hunt or for monotoned ceremonies. Wood, then metal, instruments evolved from the single-toned horn, with lip and reed pipes and keyed stops to permit such fancy music as the boys are blowing on these pages. Pictures show some of the instruments developed since 1600 and now displayed at a London Museum. Last wind instrument will be horn Gabriel will blow Judgment Day.

3 comments
  1. Mitch says: June 14, 20119:22 am

    Editor screwed up. Left one instance of word “the” in text. Clearly had to remove all extra “the”s due to space issues. Pictures take up space. Words less interesting.

  2. DrewE says: June 14, 201110:08 am

    How tantalizingly coy of them to mention that these are in “a London Museum” without bothering to hint at which one. Does anybody know? And is the collection still around for public examination? It seems like something I might want to investigate should I happen to find myself in London some day.

  3. GaryM says: June 14, 20111:19 pm

    DrewE: It’s very likely that the British Museum has an excellent collection of musical instruments.

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