History of the cymbal

History of the cymbal

Cymbal – these are two (cymbals) relatively small (within 5 – 18 cm), mostly copper or iron plates, attached to a cord or belt. In modern classical music, cymbals are also called cymbals, but care must be taken not to confuse them with the antique cymbals introduced by Hector Berlioz. By the way, not surprisingly, cymbals are often confused with cymbals, despite the fact that they are completely different.

The mention of the cymbal in ancient chronicles, legends and myths

It is impossible to say for sure from which country or culture the cymbal came to us, because even the origin of the word itself can be attributed to both Greek and Latin, English or German. But, one can make assumptions based on where and when he was mentioned. For example, in ancient Greek culture, he was most often found in cults dedicated to Cybele and Dionysus. If you look closely at the vases, frescoes and sculptural compositions, you can see cymbals in the hands of various musicians or mythical creatures serving Dionysus. History of the cymbalIn Rome, it became widespread thanks to ensembles of percussion instruments. Despite some created dissonance, cymbal references can be found not only in myths and legends, but also in Church Slavonic laudatory psalms. Two types of cymbals came from Jewish culture. Castanets, which are preferred in Latin America, Spain and Southern Italy. They are represented by two shell-shaped metal plates and are considered small cymbals that are worn on the third and first fingers of each hand. The cymbals, which are worn completely on both hands, are large. It is curious that from Hebrew, cymbals are translated as ringing. Interesting fact. Mainly due to the material from which they are made, the cymbals are well preserved, so several have come down to us, made in antiquity. These specimens are kept in such famous museums as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the National Archaeological Museum of Naples and the British Museum.

Why are cymbals and cymbals so often confused?

Outwardly, these instruments cannot be confused, because one is represented by paired iron cymbals, and the other is a trapezoidal wooden soundboard with strings. History of the cymbalBy origin, they are also completely different, the cymbal, presumably, came down to us from Greece or Rome, and the cymbals, mainly from the territories of modern Hungary, Ukraine and Belarus. Well, only the sound remains the same, and it really is. Cymbals, although they have strings, are also partly percussion. Both of these instruments have a predominantly ringing, relatively loud, sharp sound. Perhaps that is why it is so easy for some people to confuse them, because in the modern world they are quite widespread in many Slavic countries and not only.

Modern use of cymbals

Cymbals are still sometimes used as accompaniment instruments to create a sound effect in temples. History of the cymbalTheir use in orchestras is no longer so extensive, antique cymbals are becoming more common. They are very similar to each other, but there are a few distinct distinguishing features. First, unlike cymbals, cymbals have a clean and gentle, relatively high ringing, somewhat similar to the iridescent ringing of crystal. Secondly, they are often placed on special racks, up to five pieces on each. They are played with a thin metal stick. By the way, their name came from another name for cymbals – plates.

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