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Title: Stringed musical instruments : artefacts in the archaeology of Western Europe 500 B.C. to A.D. 1200
Author: Lawson, Robert Graeme
ISNI:       0000 0001 2461 8620
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 1981
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This dissertation takes a broad European view of stringed musical instruments as artefacts in the archaeology of later Prehistory and the early Middle Ages. It reports on recent finds of new data during the investigation of archaeological collections both in Britain and on the Continent, and it reassesses the significance of material already known from previous research. The discussion is set within an experimental framework of practical reconstruction and other techniques (Appendix B) while its conclusions are drawn within the context of a more critical approach to the secondary sources of literature and art (Chapter 2) . Chapter Three considers the nature of classification and evolution, following on from the ethnographical researches of Picken (Folk Musical Instruments of Turkey 1975). This is followed in turn by considerations of ornamental and vestigial´┐Ż details (Chapter 4), manufacture (Chapter 5), structures (Chapter 6) and both musical and non-musical aspects of their functions in early European society and culture (Chapter 7). Among the subjects discussed are the ancestry of the European round-lyre, which (it is suggested) is likely to involve some general pan-European Iron Age stock, and that of the European frame-harp, which is suggested as an adaptation of the cantilevered structure of the archaic harp under the influence of Western lyre-building technology. Residual anomalous instrumental types (e.g. the forward-leaning 'kitbara' of Byzantine art and the 'quadrangular harps' of early mediaeval Ireland), previously though to be genuine developments involved in the mainstream of European instrumental evolution, are viewed with considerable suspicion. At the end of the text there is a fully up-to-date catalogue of all of the relevant archaeological material, with both photographic illustrations and line-drawings of all principal finds.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Archaeology