Do you know …

Do you know that the use of bow for musical instruments is not known in Western Europe. It has come from Arab culture. The arc is often mentioned in the literature of the X century through a series of illustrations. The hypothesis of the central Asian origin of the bow is supported by a mural in the palace of the governor of Khuttal at Hulbuk (now Kurbanshaid, south Tajikistan). Among other subjects, it shows women playing musical instruments, among them a bowed string instrument (fig.1). Since this palace was destroyed in the 11th century, and the mural was whitewashed over at the end of the 10th, the painting must date from the 10th century at the latest. Several 10th- and 11th-century Byzantine illustrations show string instruments – with the strings attached to a transverse string-holder and arranged in a fan formation, with lateral pegs being used in conjunction with extremely long bows.


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