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Medieval and Renaissance Instruments Essay

Choose five instruments that you haven’t heard about before or that you want to know more about. Read the article for these five instruments and answer the following questions: What is the instrument? The cornamuse looks like a long stick with holes in it. It sounds like they are quiet and soft. It is played by covering the holes and blowing into it. It was not used in a particular type of music. The dulcimer looks like a box with strings and played with sticks. It sounds like its sweet. It is played by hitting the strings with the hammer. It was not used in a particular type of music.

The Gemshorn looks like a horn with holes in it. It sounds like a soft recorder. It is played by blowing into it and covering up the holes. It was not used in a particular type of music. The lizard looks like a long black horn with holes. It sounds like it’s pleasing and foggy. It is played by blowing into it and covering up the holes. It was not used in a particular type of music. The lute looks like a large violin without the curves. It sounds like it’s soft and calm. It is played by plucking the strings. It wasn’t used in a particular type of music. Describe the instrument.

What does it look like? What does it sound like? It has a long tail, fretted finger board (like the modern guitar), a flat back, sloping shoulders, and deep sides with reinforcing crossbars inside. A carved head often adorns the top of the instrument. The viol has the shape of a dismembered female body. How is the instrument played? Was it used in particular types of music? All viols are played while seated, with the instrument held on or between the knees. (There is no support, or peg, on which to rest the instrument as is the case with the modern cello.

The viol bow is held in an underhanded position with the finger controlling the tension of the horse hair. Listen to the sound clip for each instrument. Which instrument’s sound do you like the best? Why? How would you describe the sound? (For example, it is a warm or cool tone? What color does the sound remind you of? Does the instrument sound like anything in nature or another instrument? Etc. ) Write at least two paragraphs comparing and contrasting the instruments of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance to those commonly used today?


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