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TI´BIA

TI´BIA The word αὐλός though it is commonly translated “flute,” denotes any kind of wind instrument, with the exception of trumpets and horns. As a rule, however, it is used in a more restricted sense for the double oboe or clarinet, which is familiar to us under the misleading name of the “double flute.” This is quite wrong, for the αὐλὸς had a mouthpiece (ζεῦγος) in which a vibrating reed (γλῶττα) was fitted, whereas in the flute the sound is produced by blowing a stream of air across a plain hole in the pipe of the instrument. The true Greek representative of the modern flute is the σῦριγξ μονοκάλαμος (fistula), as distinguished from the su=rigc poluka/lamos or Pan's pipe. Both forms--the σῦριγξ or flute, and the oboe or αὐλὸς proper--are, it would seem, as old as Homer, who tells us that Agamemnon, unable to sleep, heard afar off in Troy αὐλῶν συρίγγων τ᾽ ἐνοπήν (Il. 10.13). The flute, however, was held in but low esteem, and was thought a fit instrument for shepherds and other country folk. The art of playing the αὐλός or αὐλητική was on the other hand a necessary part of education. In Boeotia it was the national instrument, and as such the Athenians affected to despise it in comparison with the lyre (cf. Böttiger, Kl. Schriften, 1.14), though as a matter of fact they used it as much as the other Greeks. It is very frequently seen in works of art, especially vase-paintings, and with the aid of these and the many notices in literature we are able to form an accurate idea of its structure. It consisted of a pipe (βόμβυξ, Poll. 4.70), which in the simplest form was made of reed (κάλαμος βομβυκίας, Theophr. H. P. 4.11, 3), but might be of bone, metal, or even ivory. To this was attached by means of a socket of bone (ὅλμιον or ὑφόλμιον) the mouthpiece (ζεῦγος), in which was fixed the vibrating reed (γλῶττα). Theophrastus (l.c.) says that the sound is best when the mouthpiece and pipe are made from the same length of reed. The instrument thus formed does not seem to have been played alone, but always in pairs. There are, it is true, a few monuments, such as a Roman wall-painting in the British Museum, in which the player has. only one pipe in his mouth, but then the other is always to be seen in his other hand in a way that shows he is only preparing to play. The difficulty of playing two instruments at once was obviated by a leather strap which covered the mouth, ran under the ears, and was fastened at the back of the head by a knot or buckle. This curious piece of gear served to prevent a loss of wind and to keep the two mouthpieces in the proper position. It was called the (φορβεία, στομὶς or χειλωτήρ (cf. Arist. ϝεσπ. 582): in Latin, the CAPISTRUM

The notes were given by holes (τρυπήματα); and as both pipes were played at once, there can originally have been only four or at the most five of these on each. However, it would seem, from a remark of Proclus in his commentary on Plutarch's Alcibiades (c. 68, ἕκαστον γὰρ τρύπημα τῶν αὐλῶν τρεῖς φθόγγους. ὥς φασι τοὐλάχιστον ἀφίησιν), that two overtones at least could be blown on each of these. The, compass was still further extended by the use of additional holes with stops (παρατρυπήματα), an invention which was apparently in use by the time of Pronomus, who played in the Dorian, Lydian, and Phrygian keys on the same instrument (Paus. 9.12, 4). The simplest form of stop shown on the Pompeian wall-paintings consists of a peg, which could be withdrawn when the hole was needed. More complicated is the device in which extra notes are given by short cylinders attached to the pipe near the end. This kind of instrument is frequently seen in late representations of Euterpe, especially on Roman sarcophagi. Yet another

Tibia. (From a relief at Naples.)

invention was to cover the extra holes with movable rings, which the player could slide [p. 2.841]over or off them as he wished. Both the small cylinders and the rings, with the hooks by which they were pulled round, are well shown by a relief in the Naples Museum (Baumeister's Denkmäler, fig. 596). Such no doubt, or something like, was the new-fangled tibia, which Horace describes as “orichalco vincta tubaeque aemula,” contrasting it with the old-fashioned one, with its few notes, “tenuis simplexque foramine pauco” (A. P. 202-3). The two pipes were tuned so that the melody played on one could be accompanied an octave lower on the other.

As the use of the clarinet and oboe became more extended in Greece, various forms giving notes of widely different keys were either introduced from abroad or invented. Aristoxenus, in a quotation given by Didymus (Athen. 14.634 e), divides the kinds of instruments (γένη αὐλῶν) used in his day into five classes: (1) The maiden's (παρθενίοι), (2) the boy's (παιδικοί), (3) the lyre-player's (κιθαριστήριοι), (4) the perfect (τέλειοι) and (5) the more than perfect (ὑπερτέλειοι) instruments. Didymus tells us that the “perfect” and “more than perfect” varieties are the man's (ἀνδρεῖοι), which shows that the classification is intended to proceed on the same scale as the human voice they were made to accompany, rising from the shrill soprano to the deep bass. As this is the case, the list evidently aims at being exhaustive; and Gevaert, in his Histoire et Théorie de la Musique dans l'Antiquité (vol. 2. § ii. pp. 271-307), has catalogued the known varieties under these heads as follows:--(1) παρθένιοι--the γίγγρας of the Phoenicians, the φῶτιγξ or cross-flute, and the Phrygian funeral αὐλός; (2) παιδικοί--the αὐλὸς ἐμβατήριος, the αὐλὸς δακτυλικός, and the Roman tibia chorica; (3) κιθαριστήριοι--the μόναυλος (sc. κάλαμος) and the αὐλὸς μεσόκοπος; (4) τελεῖοι--the αὐλὸς Πνθικός, the αὐλὸς ἔλυμος of the Phrygians, the αὐλὸς βόμβυκος of the Bacchic worship, the funeral pipe of the Greeks and Romans; (5) ὑπερτέλιεοι--the αὐλὸς σπονδειακός. These varieties, it will be noticed, include all sorts of wind-instruments, some of which are fifes like the γίγγρας, flutes like the φῶτιγξ, or horns like the ἔλυμος. The lastnamed deserves special mention, since it was used in the worship of Cybele, and was also known as the tibia Berecynthia to the Romans

Pair of Tibiae and Syrinx.

(cf. Hor. Od. 3.19, 18; 4.1, 22). It ended in a curved horn mouth, and was of great power. Originally and in its proper use it was played alone, but it apparently became the fashion to use it as the left pipe in a pair, or perhaps, to, speak correctly, to convert the left pipe into a Berecynthian by adding a curved horn mouth. Such a pair is well shown above by a bas-relief from Zoega, Bassiril. 1.14.

The invention of the αὐλός even if one refuse to take Homer's Trojans as evidence for the Greeks of his time, must have been an exceedingly early one, and was indeed by the Athenians attributed to the goddess Athene. She, however, was disgusted with the distortion of her face when playing, and threw it away. It was picked up by the Satyr Marsyas, who met an evil end when he contended on his new instrument with Apollo on the lyre. His art, however, did not die with him, but was carried on by Olyrnpos, who brought it to Greece. The myth points in Marsyas to Phrygia as the original home of the instrument, which even nowadays, in a somewhat debased form, is played in both Arabia and Egypt. From whatever land it came, it certainly was firmly established in Greece when History begins. It was indispensable in religious rites not only to accompany hymns and provide music for the, dance, but to hallow the libation at every sacrifice. It was equally popular in private life, whether at dinner-time when a flute-girl played, or in the leisure hour, or again in the time of mourning when elegies were sung to its music. Small wonder, then, that its playing became quite a profession, which in Solon's time was recognised officially at the Pythian games. Sacadas at Argos had at that time shown that the αὐλητὴς could express with quite as much effect as the harper the story of Apollo's fight with Python, and a contest for αὐληταὶ was thereupon founded by the Amphictyons (Paus. 10.7, 3). The vasepaintings of the best Attic period have many representations of such contests. One of the, best is in the British Museum, and shows the player mounted on a small platform competing for the prize. [A cut of this is given in Vol. I., p. 358, under CAPISTRUM] On another vasepainting (Benndorf, Wiener Vorlegeblätter, 100.4) a master giving a lesson on the αὐλὸς depicted. On the wall behind hangs the case in which the instrument was carried. It is the συβήνη or αὐλοφήκη, and is made of a spotted skin, perhaps a lynx (cf. Stephani, Compte Rendu, 1869, p. 221); but, to judge from an Attic treasure list, where one of ivory and gold (συβήη ἐλεφαντίνη κατάχρυσος, C. I. A. 1.170, 172, 173) is catalogued, was often of more splendid materials. To its side is attached a little box, the γλωσσοκομεῖον, in which a change of mouthpieces was kept. A similar lesson (where, however, the teacher is playing) is shown in the cut from the Duris Vase under LUDUS LITTERARIUS p. 96: the flute-case is seen hanging on the wall in the lower portion.

At Rome the tibiae held even a more important place in ritual than in Greece, and the tibicen who played it was for most ceremonies quite indispensable. This is especially true of funerals, for so great was the desire to have a large number of tibicines to mourn the dead that the tenth of the laws of the Twelve Tables restricted their number to ten (Cic. de Leg. 2.2. 3, 59; Ovid, Fasti, 6.654). [p. 2.842]They were also called in to enliven feasts (Quintil. Inst. 1.10, 20) as well as to take part in the libation (Plut. Quaest. Conviv. 7, 8, 4.6).

Besides these uses, the tibiae were as necessary to the drama at Rome as in Greece, both to accompany the singers and to amuse the audiences in the interludes (cf. Hor. A. P. 204-6). From the Didascalia to Terence's comedies, we learn that no less than four different varieties were used in the theatre: (1) the tibiae pares, in which both pipes were equal; (2) the impares, in which they were unequal; (3) the duae dextrae, in which the right was identical in key and note with the left; and (4) the Serranae. Varro (R. R. 1.2, 15, 16) tells us that the melody was played on the right instrument, which he calls the incentiva, and the accompaniment on the left, or the succentiva; so that the differences in size and character of the impares and duae dextrae were intended to make fresh harmonies.

(See an excellent article by K. von Jan, in Baumeister, Denkm. s. v. Flöten; Gevaert, Histoire et Théorie de la Musique dans l'Antiquité, Ghent, 1881, ii. pp. 270 ff. and 647 ff.; Hermann-Blümner, Privatalterthümer, p. 318; Iwan Müller, Handbuch der Kultiusalterthümer, pp. 59, 145; Id. Bühnenwesen, p. 262; Marquardt, Privatleben, pp. 337, 345, 352; Blümner, Leben und Sitten, 2.148 ff.)

[W.C.F.A]

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