SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN SUPPLEMENT NO. 819
NEW YORK, SEPTEMBER 12, 1891.
Scientific American Supplement. Vol. XXXII, No. 819.
Scientific American established 1845
Scientific American Supplement, $5 a year.
Scientific American and Supplement, $7 a year.
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TABLE OF CONTENTS.
I. ASTRONOMY.—The Story of the Universe.—By Dr. WILLIAM HUGGINS.—A valuable account of modern views of the formation of the universe, and of modern methods of studying the problem.—1 illustration.
II. ELECTRICITY.—The Production of Hydrogen and Oxygen through the Electrolysis of Water.—A valuable paper on the electrolysis of water on a large scale, with apparatus employed therefor.—4 illustrations.
III. MECHANICAL ENGINEERING.—An English Steam Fire Engine.—A light fire engine built for East Indian service.—1 illustration.
IV. MEDICINE AND HYGIENE.—A Case of Drowning, with Resuscitation.—By F.A. BURRALL, M.D.—A full account of a remarkable case of resuscitation from drowning, with full details of treatment.
V. METALLURGY.—How Gas Cylinders are Made.—The manufacture of cylinders for highly compressed gases, a comparatively new and growing industry.—6 illustrations.
Refining Silver Bullion.—The Gutzkow process in refining silver bullion with sulphuric acid.—1 illustration.
The Treatment of Refractory Ores.—A new process for the extraction of metal from refractory ore.—1 illustration.
Weldless Steel Chains.—An exhaustive examination of this curious process, and very full illustrations.—43 illustrations.
VI. METEOROLOGY.—Climatic Changes in the Southern Hemisphere. —By C.A.M. TABER.—Causes of the climatic changes the southern hemisphere has undergone.
VII. MILITARY TACTICS.—The System of Military Dove Cotes in Europe.—Continuation of this paper, treating of the pigeon service in France, Germany, and Italy.
VIII. NAVAL ENGINEERING.—The Isle of Man Twin Screw Steamer Tynwald.—A high speed steamer, with a steady sea-going speed of between 18 and 19 knots.—2 illustrations.
IX. TECHNOLOGY.—Ammonia.—The manufacture of ammoniacal gas for technical uses.—Full details of its production.
Musical Instruments.—Their construction and capabilities.—By A.J. HIPKINS.—Second installment of this highly interesting series of lectures treating of different kinds of instruments.
Note on Refrigerating Apparatus.
Sheet Glass from Molten Metal.—The method of making sheets of glass from the molten material and manufacture of metal plates by the same method.
X. VETERINARY SCIENCE.—Historical Development of the Horseshoe.—By District Veterinarian ZIPPELIUS.—Very curious investigation of the development of the horseshoe.—22 illustrations.
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THE PRODUCTION OF HYDROGEN AND OXYGEN THROUGH THE ELECTROLYSIS OF WATER.
All attempts to prepare gaseous fluids industrially were premature as long as there were no means of carrying them under a sufficiently diminished volume. For a few years past, the trade has been delivering steel cylinders that permit of storing, without the least danger, a gas under a pressure of from 120 to 200 atmospheres. The problem of delivery without pipe laying having been sufficiently solved, that of the industrial production of gases could be confronted in its turn. Liquefied sulphurous acid, chloride of methyl, and carbonic acid have been successively delivered, to commerce. The carbonic acid is now being used right along in laboratories for the production of an intense coldness, through its expansion. Oxygen and nitrogen, prepared by chemical processes, soon followed, and now the industrial electrolysis of water is about to permit of the delivery, in the same manner, of very pure oxygen and hydrogen at a price within one's reach.
Before describing the processes employed in this preparation, we must answer a question that many of our readers might be led to ask us, and that is, what can these gases be used for? We shall try to explain. A prime and important application of pure hydrogen is that of inflating balloons. Illuminating gas, which is usually employed for want of something better, is sensibly denser than hydrogen and possesses less ascensional force, whence the necessity of lightening the balloon or of increasing its volume. Such inconveniences become serious with dirigible balloons, whose surface, on the contrary, it is necessary to diminish as much as possible. When the increasing interest taken in aerostation at Paris was observed, an assured annual output of some hundreds of cubic meters of eras for the sole use of balloons was foreseen, the adoption of pure hydrogen being only a question of the net cost.
Pure or slightly carbureted hydrogen is capable of being substituted to advantage for coal gas for heating or lighting. Such an application is doubtless somewhat premature, but we shall see that it has already got out of the domain of Utopia. Finally the oxyhydrogen blowpipe, which is indispensable for the treatment of very refractory metals, consumes large quantities of hydrogen and oxygen.
For a few years past, oxygen has been employed in therapeutics; it is found in commerce either in a gaseous state or in solution in water (in siphons); it notably relieves persons afflicted with asthma or depression; and the use of it is recommended in the treatment of albumenuria. Does it cure, or at least does it contribute to cure, anaemia, that terrible affection of large cities, and the prime source of so many other troubles? Here the opinions of physicians and physiologists are divided, and we limit ourselves to a mention of the question without discussing it.
Only fifteen years ago it would have been folly to desire to obtain remunerative results through the electrolysis of water. Such research was subordinated to the industrial production of electric energy.
We shall not endeavor to establish the priority of the experiments and discoveries. The question was in the air, and was taken up almost simultaneously by three able experimenters—a Russian physicist, Prof. Latchinof, of St. Petersburg, Dr. D'Arsonval, the learned professor of the College of France, and Commandant Renard, director of the military establishment of aerostation at Chalais. Mr. D'Arsonval collected oxygen for experiments in physiology, while Commandant Renard naturally directed his attention to the production of pure hydrogen. The solutions of the question are, in fact, alike in principle, and yet they have been developed in a very different manner, and we believe that Commandant Renard's process is the completest from an industrial standpoint. We shall give an account of it from a communication made by this eminent military engineer, some time ago, to the French Society of Physics.
Transformations of the Voltameter.—In a laboratory, it is of no consequence whether a liter of hydrogen costs a centime or a franc. So long as it is a question of a few liters, one may, at his ease, waste his energy and employ costly substances.
The internal resistance of a voltameter and the cost of platinum electrodes of a few grammes should not arrest the physicist in an experiment; but, in a production on a large scale, it is necessary to decrease the resistance of the liquid column to as great a degree as possible—that is to say, to increase its section and diminish its thickness. The first condition leads to a suppression of the platinum, and the second necessitates the use of new principles in the construction of the voltameter. A laboratory voltameter consists either of a U-shaped tube or of a trough in which the electrodes are covered by bell glasses (Fig. 1, A and B). In either case, the electric current must follow a tortuous and narrow path, in order to pass from one electrode to the other, while, if the electrodes be left entirely free in the bath, the gases, rising in a spreading form, will mix at a certain height. It is necessary to separate them by a partition (Fig. 1, C). If this is isolating and impermeable, there will be no interest in raising the electrodes sensibly above its lower edge. Now, the nearer together the electrodes are, the more it is necessary to lower the partition. The extension of the electrodes and the bringing of them together is the knotty part of the question. This will be shown by a very simple calculation.
The visible electrolysis of water begins at an E.M.F. of about 1.7 V. Below this there is no disengagement of bubbles. If the E.M.F. be increased at the terminals of the voltameter, the current (and consequently the production of gas) will become proportional to the excess of the value over 1.7 V; but, at the same time, the current will heat the circuit—that is to say, will produce a superfluous work, and there will be waste. At 1.7 V the rendering is at its maximum, but the useful effect is nil. In order to make an advantageous use of the instruments, it is necessary to admit a certain loss of energy, so much the less, moreover, in proportion as the voltameters cost less; and as the saving is to be effected in the current, rather than in the apparatus, we may admit the use of three volts as a good proportion—that is to say, a loss of about half the disposable energy. Under such conditions, a voltameter having an internal resistance of 1 ohm produces 0.65 liter of hydrogen per hour, while it will disengage 6.500 liters if its resistance be but 0.0001 of an ohm. It is true that, in this case, the current would be in the neighborhood of 15,000 amperes. Laboratory voltameters frequently have a resistance of a hundred ohms; it would require a million in derivation to produce the same effect. The specific resistance of the solutions that can be employed in the production of gases by electrolysis is, in round numbers, twenty thousand times greater than that of mercury. In order to obtain a resistance of 0.0001 of an ohm, it is necessary to sensibly satisfy the equation
20,000 l/s = 1/10,000
l expressing the thickness of the voltameter expressed in meters, and s being the section in square millimeters. For example: For l = 1/10, s = 20,000,000, say 20 square meters. It will be seen from this example what should be the proportions of apparatus designed for a production on a large scale.
The new principles that permit of the construction of such voltameters are as follows: (1) the substitution of an alkaline for the acid solution, thus affording a possibility of employing iron electrodes; (2) the introduction of a porous partition between the electrodes, for the purpose of separating the gases.
Electrolytic Liquid.—Commandant Renard's experiments were made with 15 per cent, solution of caustic soda and water containing 27 per cent. of acid. These are the proportions that give the maximum of conductivity. Experiments made with a voltameter having platinum electrodes separated by an interval of 3 or 4 centimeters showed that for a determinate E.M.F. the alkaline solution allows of the passage of a slighter intenser current than the acidulated water, that is to say, it is less resistant and more advantageous from the standpoint of the consumption of energy.
Porous Partition.—Let us suppose that the two parts of the trough are separated by a partition containing small channels at right angles with its direction. It is these channels alone that must conduct the electricity. Their conductivity (inverse of resistance) is proportional to their total section, and inversely proportional to their common length, whatever be their individual section. It is, therefore, advantageous to employ partitions that contain as many openings as possible.
The separating effect of these partitions for the gas is wholly due to capillary phenomena. We know, in fact, that water tends to expel gas from a narrow tube with a pressure inversely proportional to the tube's radius. In order to traverse the tube, the gaseous mass will have to exert a counter-pressure greater than this capillary pressure. As long as the pressure of one part and another of the wet wall differs to a degree less than the capillary pressure of the largest channel, the gases disengaged in the two parts of the trough will remain entirely separate. In order that the mixing may not take place through the partition above the level of the liquid (dry partition), the latter will have to be impenetrable in every part that emerges. The study of the partitions should be directed to their separating effect on the gases, and to their electric resistance. In order to study the first of these properties, the porous partition, fixed by a hermetical joint to a glass tube, is immersed in the water (Fig. 2). An increasing pressure is exerted from the interior until the passage of bubbles is observed. The pressure read at this moment on the manometer indicates (transformed above the electrolytic solution) the changes of level that the bath may undergo. The different porcelains and earths behave, from this point of view, in a very unequal manner. For example, an earthen vessel from the Pillivayt establishment supports some decimeters of water, while the porcelain of Boulanger, at Choisy-le-Roi, allows of the passage of the gas only at pressures greater than one atmosphere, which is much more than is necessary. Wire gauze, canvas, and asbestos cloth resist a few centimeters of water. It might be feared, however, that the gases, violently projected against these partitions, would not pass, owing to the velocity acquired. Upon this point experiment is very reassuring. After filling with water a canvas bag fixed to the extremity of a rubber tube, it is possible to produce in the interior a tumultuous disengagement of gas without any bubbles passing through.
From an electrical point of view, partitions are of very unequal quality. Various partitions having been placed between electrodes spaced three centimeters apart, currents were obtained which indicated that, with the best of porcelains, the rendering of the apparatus is diminished by one-half. Asbestos cloth introduces but an insignificant resistance.
To this inconvenience of porous vessels is added their fragility, their high price, and the impossibility of obtaining them of the dimensions that large apparatus would call for. The selection of asbestos cloth is therefore clearly indicated; but, as it does not entirely separate the gases, except at a pressure that does not exceed a few centimeters of water, it was always necessary to bring back the variation of the level to these narrow limits by a special arrangement. We cannot, in fact, expect that the entire piping shall be always in such conditions that no difference in pressure can occur. The levels are brought back to equality within the effective limits by interposing between the voltameter and the piping an apparatus called a compensator, which consists of two vessels that communicate in the interior part through a large tube. The gases enter each vessel through a pipe that debouches beneath the level of the water. If a momentary stoppage occurs in one of the conduits, the water changes level in the compensator, but the pressure remains constant at the orifice of the tubes. The compensator is, as may be seen, nothing more than a double Mariotte flask. When it is desired to obtain pure gases, there is introduced into the compensator a solution of tartaric acid, which retains the traces of alkalies carried along by the current of gas. The alkaline solution, moreover, destroys the ozone at the moment of its formation.
It will be seen that laboratory studies have furnished all the elements of a problem which is now capable of entering the domain of practice. The cheapness of the raw materials permits of constructing apparatus whose dimensions will no longer be limited except by reasons of another nature. The electrodes may be placed in proximity at will, owing to the use of the porous partition. It may be seen, then, that the apparatus will have a considerable useful effect without its being necessary to waste the electric energy beyond measure.
Industrial Apparatus.—We have shown how the very concise researches of Commandant Renard have fixed the best conditions for the construction of an industrial voltameter. It remains for us to describe this voltameter itself, and to show the rendering of it.
The industrial voltameter consists of a large iron cylinder. A battery of such voltameters is shown to the left of Fig. 3, and one of the apparatus, isolated, is represented in Fig. 4. The interior electrode is placed in an asbestos cloth bag, which is closed below and tied at its upper part. It is provided with apertures which permit of the ascent of the gases in the interior of the cylinder. The apparatus is hermetically sealed at the top, the two electrodes being naturally insulated with rubber. Above the level of the liquid the interior electrode is continuous and forms a channel for the gas. The hydrogen and oxygen, escaping through the upper orifices, flow to the compensator. The apparatus is provided with an emptying cock or a cock for filling with distilled water, coming from a reservoir situated above the apparatus.
The constants of the voltameter established by Commandant Renard are as follows:
Height of external electrode 3.405 m. " internal " 3.290 " Diameter of external " 0.300 " " internal " 0.174 "
The iron plate employed is 2 millimeters in thickness. The electric resistance is about 0.0075 ohm. The apparatus gives 365 amperes under 2.7 volts, and consequently nearly 1 kilowatt. Its production in hydrogen is 158 liters per hour.
It is clear that, in an industrial exploitation, a dynamo working under 3 volts is never employed. In order to properly utilize the power of the dynamo, several voltameters will be put in series—a dozen, for example, if the generating machine is in proximity to the apparatus, or a larger number if the voltameters are actuated by a dynamo situated at a distance, say in the vicinity of a waterfall. Fig. 3 will give an idea of a plant for the electrolysis of water.
It remains for us to say a few words as to the net cost of the hydrogen and oxygen gases produced by the process that we have just described. We may estimate the value of a voltameter at a hundred francs. If the apparatus operates without appreciable wear, the amortizement should be calculated at a very low figure, say 10 per cent., which is large. In continuous operation it would produce more than 1,500 cubic meters of gas a year, say a little less than one centime per cubic meter. The caustic soda is constantly recuperated and is never destroyed. The sole product that disappears is the distilled water. Now one cubic meter of water produces more than 2,000 cubic meters of gas. The expense in water, then, does not amount to a centime per cubic meter. The great factor of the expense resides in the electric energy. The cost of surveillance will be minimum and the general expenses ad libitum.
Let us take the case in which the energy has to be borrowed from a steam engine. Supposing very small losses in the dynamo and piping, we may count upon a production of one cubic meter of hydrogen and 500 cubic decimeters of oxygen for 10 horse-power taken upon the main shaft, say an expenditure of 10 kilogrammes of coal or of about 25 centimes—a little more in Paris, and less in coal districts. If, consequently, we fix the price of the cubic meter of gas at 50 centimes, we shall preserve a sufficient margin. In localities where a natural motive power is at our disposal, this estimate will have to be greatly reduced. We may, therefore, expect to see hydrogen and oxygen take an important place in ordinary usages. From the standpoint alone of preservation of fuel, that is to say, of potential energy upon the earth, this new conquest of electricity is very pleasing. Waterfalls furnish utilizable energy in every locality, and, in the future, will perhaps console our great-grandchildren for the unsparing waste that we are making of coal.—La Nature.
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[Continued from SUPPLEMENT, No. 818, page 13066.]
MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS: THEIR CONSTRUCTION AND CAPABILITIES.
By A.J. HIPKINS, F.S.A.
I will now invite your attention to the wind instruments, which, in Handel's time, were chiefly used to double in unison the parts of stringed instruments. Their modern independent use dates from Haydn; it was extended and perfected by Mozart, Beethoven, and Weber; and the extraordinary changes and improvements which have been effected during the present century have given wind instruments an importance that is hardly exceeded by that of the stringed, in the formation of the modern orchestra. The military band, as it now exists, is a creation of the present century.
The so-called wood wind instruments are the flute, oboe, bassoon, and clarinet. It is as well to say at once that their particular qualities of tone do not absolutely depend upon the materials of which they are made. The form is the most important factor in determining the distinction of tone quality, so long as the sides of the tube are equally elastic, as has been submitted to proof by instruments made of various materials, including paper. I consider this has been sufficiently demonstrated by the independent experiments of Mr. Blaikley, of London, and Mr. Victor Mahillon, of Brussels. But we must still allow Mr. Richard Shepherd Rockstro's plea, clearly set forth in a recently published treatise on the flute, that the nature and the substance of the tube, by reciprocity of vibration, exercise some influence, although not so great as might have been expected, on the quality of the tone. But I consider this influence is already acknowledged in my reference to equality of elasticity in the sides of the tube.
The flute is an instrument of embouchure—that is to say, one in which a stream of air is driven from the player's lips against an edge of the blow hole to produce the sound. The oboe and bassoon have double reeds, and the clarinet a single reed, made of a species of cane, as intermediate agents of sound production. There are other flutes than that of embouchure—those with flageolet or whistle heads, which, having become obsolete, shall be reserved for later notice. There are no real tenor or bass flutes now, those in use being restricted to the upper part of the scale. The present flute dates from 1832, when Theobald Boehm, a Bavarian flute player, produced the instrument which is known by his name. He entirely remodeled the flute, being impelled to do so by suggestions from the performance of the English flautist, Charles Nicholson, who had increased the diameter of the lateral holes, and by some improvements that had been attempted in the flute by a Captain Gordon, of Charles the Tenth's Swiss Guard. Boehm has been sufficiently vindicated from having unfairly appropriated Gordon's ideas. The Boehm flute, since 1846, is a cylindrical tube for about three-fourths of its length from the lower end, after which it is continued in a curved conical prolongation to the cork stopper. The finger holes are disposed in a geometrical division, and the mechanism and position of the keys are entirely different from what had been before. The full compass of the Boehm flute is chromatic, from middle C to C, two octaves above the treble clef C, a range of three octaves, which is common to all concert flutes, and is not peculiar to the Boehm model. Of course this compass is partly produced by altering the pressure of blowing. Columns of air inclosed in pipes vibrate like strings in sections, but, unlike strings, the vibrations progress in the direction of length, not across the direction of length. In the flute, all notes below D, in the treble clef, are produced by the normal pressure of wind; by an increasing pressure of overblowing the harmonics, D in the treble clef, and A and B above it, are successively attained. The fingerholes and keys, by shortening the tube, fill up the required intervals of the scale. There are higher harmonics still, but flautists generally prefer to do without them when they can get the note required by a lower harmonic. In Boehm's flute, his ingenious mechanism allows the production of the eleven chromatic semitones intermediate between the fundamental note of the flute and its first harmonic, by holes so disposed that, in opening them successively, they shorten the column of air in exact proportion. It is, therefore, ideally, an equal temperament instrument and not a D major one, as the conical flute was considered to be. Perhaps the most important thing Boehm did for the flute was to enunciate the principle that, to insure purity of tone and correct intonation, the holes must be put in their correct theoretical positions; and at least the hole below the one giving he sound must be open, to insure perfect venting. Boehm's flute, however, has not remained as he left it. Improvements, applied by Clinton, Pratten, and Carte, have introduced certain modifications in the fingering, while retaining the best features of Boehm's system. But it seems to me that the reedy quality obtained from the adoption of the cylindrical bore which now prevails does away with the sweet and characteristic tone quality of the old conical German flute, and gives us in its place one that is not sufficiently distinct from that of the clarinet.
The flute is the most facile of all orchestral wind instruments; and the device of double tonguing, the quick repetition of notes by taking a staccato T-stop in blowing, is well known. The flute generally goes with the violins in the orchestra, or sustains long notes with the other wood wind instruments, or is used in those conversational passages with other instruments that lend such a charm to orchestral music. The lower notes are not powerful. Mr. Henry Carte has, however, designed an alto flute in A, descending to violin G, with excellent results. There is a flute which transposes a minor third higher than the ordinary flute; but it is not much used in the orchestra, although used in the army, as is also a flute one semitone higher than the concert flute. The piccolo, or octave flute, is more employed in the orchestra, and may double the melody in the highest octave, or accentuate brilliant points of effect in the score. It is very shrill and exciting in the overblown notes, and without great care may give a vulgar character to the music, and for this reason Sir Arthur Sullivan has replaced it in the score of "Ivanhoe" by a high G flute. The piccolo is exactly an octave higher than the flute, excepting the two lowest notes of which it is deficient. The old cylindrical ear-piercing fife is an obsolete instrument, being superseded by a small army flute, still, however, called a fife, used with the side drum in the drum and fife band.
The transverse or German flute, introduced into the orchestra by Lulli, came into general use in the time of Handel; before that the recorders, or flute douces, the flute a bec with beak or whistle head, were preferred. These instruments were used in a family, usually of eight members, viz., as many sizes from treble to bass; or in three, treble, alto or tenor, and bass. A fine original set of those now rare instruments, eight in number, was shown in 1890 in the music gallery of the Royal Military Exhibition, at Chelsea; a loan collection admirably arranged by Captain C.B. Day. They were obtained from Hesse Darmstadt, and had their outer case to preserve them exactly like the recorder case represented in the painting by Holbein of the ambassadors, or rather, the scholars, recently acquired for the National Gallery. The flageolet was the latest form of the treble, beak, or whistle head flute. The whistle head is furnished with a cavity containing air, which, shaped by a narrow groove, strikes against the sharp edge and excites vibration in the conical pipe, on the same principle that an organ pipe is made to sound, or of the action of the player's mouth and lips upon the blowhole of the flute. As it will interest the audience to hear the tone of Shakespeare's recorder, Mr. Henry Carte will play an air upon one.
The oboe takes the next place in the wood wind band. The principle of sound excitement, that of the double reed, originating in the flattening of the end of an oat or wheat straw, is of great antiquity, but it could only be applied by insertion in tubes of very narrow diameter, so that the column of air should not be wider than the tongue straw or reed acting upon it. The little reed bound round and contracted below the vibrating ends in this primitive form permitted the adjustment of the lower open end in the tube, it might be another longer reed or pipe which inclosed the air column; and thus a conical pipe that gradually narrows to the diameter of the tongue reed must have been early discovered, and was the original type of the pastoral and beautiful oboe of the modern orchestra. Like the flute, the oboe has only the soprano register, extending from B flat or natural below middle C to F above the treble clef, two octaves and a fifth, which a little exceeds the flute downward. The foundation of the scale is D major, the same as the flute was before Boehm altered it. Triebert, a skillful Parisian maker, tried to adapt Boehm's reform of the flute to the oboe, but so far as the geometrical division of the scale was concerned, he failed, because it altered the characteristic tone quality of the instrument, so desirable for the balance of orchestral coloration. But the fingering has been modified with considerable success, although it is true by a much greater complication of means than the more simple contrivances that preceded it, which are still preferred by the players. The oboe reed has been much altered since the earlier years of this century. It was formerly more like the reed of the shawm, an instrument from which the oboe has been derived; and that of the present bassoon. It is now made narrower, with much advantage in the refinement of the tone. As in the flute, the notes up to C sharp in the treble clef are produced by the normal blowing, and simply shortening the tube by opening the sound holes. Beyond that note, increased pressure, or overblowing, assisted by a harmonic "speaker" key, produces the first harmonic, that of the octave, and so on. The lowest notes are rough and the highest shrill; from A to D above the treble clef, the tone quality of the oboe is of a tender charm in melody. Although not loud, its tone is penetrating and prominent. Its staccato has an agreeable effect. The place of the oboe in the wood wind band between the flute and the clarinet, with the bassoon for a bass, is beyond the possibility of improvement by any change.
Like the flute, there was a complete family of oboes in the sixteenth and early in the seventeenth century; the little schalmey, the discant schalmey, from which the present oboe is derived; the alto, tenor, pommer, and bass pommers, and the double quint or contrabass pommer.
In all these old finger hole instruments the scale begins with the first hole, a note in the bagpipe with which the drones agree, and not the entire tube. From the bass and double quint pommers came ultimately the bassoon and contra-bassoon, and from the alto pommer, an obsolete instrument for which Bach wrote, called the oboe di caccia, or hunting oboe, an appellation unexplained, unless it had originally a horn-like tone, and was, as it has been suggested to me by Mr. Blaikley, used by those who could not make a real hunting horn sound. It was bent to a knee shape to facilitate performance. It was not exactly the cor Anglais or English horn, a modern instrument of the same pitch which is bent like it, and of similar compass, a fifth below the usual oboe. The tenoroon, with which the oboe di caccia has been compared, was a high bassoon really on octave and a fifth below. It has been sometimes overlooked that there are two octaves in pitch between the oboe and bassoon, which has led to some confusion in recognizing these instruments. There was an intermediate instrument a third lower than the oboe, used by Bach, called the oboe d'amore, which was probably used with the cornemuse or bagpipe, and another, a third higher than the oboe, called musette (not the small bagpipe of that name). The cor Anglais is in present use. It is a melancholy, even mournful instrument, its sole use in the orchestra being very suitable for situations on the stage, the effect of which it helps by depressing the mind to sadness. Those who have heard Wagner's "Tristan und Isolde" will remember, when the faithful Kurwenal sweeps the horizon, and sees no help coming on the sea for the dying Tristan, how pathetically the reed pipe of a careless peasant near, played in the orchestra on a cor Anglais, colors the painful situation.
The bassoon is the legitimate bass to the oboe and to the wood wind in general. It was evolved in the sixteenth century from the pommers and bombards: the tenors and basses of the shawm or oboe family. With the older instruments, the reeds were not taken hold of immediately by the lips, but were held in a kind of cup, called pirouette, which only allowed a very small part of the reed to project. In the oboe and bassoon the player has the full control of the reed with the lips, which is of great importance, both in expression and intonation. The bassoon economizes length, by being turned back upon itself, and, from its appearance, obtains in Italy and Germany the satirical appellation of "fagotto" or "fagott." It is made of wood, and has not, owing to many difficulties as yet unsurmounted, undergone those changes of construction that have partly transformed other wood wind instruments. From this reason—and perhaps the necessity of a bassoon player becoming intimately familiar with his instrument—bassoons by some of the older makers—notably, Savory—are still sought after, in preference to more modern ones. The instrument, although with extraordinary advantages in tone, character, and adaptability, that render it valuable to the composer, is yet complicated and capricious for the performer; but its very imperfections remove it from the mechanical tendencies of the age, often damaging to art; and, as the player has to rely very much upon his ear for correct intonation, he gets, in reality, near to the manipulation of the stringed instruments. The bassoons play readily with the violoncellos, their united tone being often advantageous for effect. When not so used, it falls back into its natural relationship with the wood wind division of the orchestra. The compass of the bassoon is from B flat, an octave below that in the bass clef, to B flat in the treble clef, a range of three octaves, produced by normal pressure, as far as the bass clef F. The F below the bass clef is the true lowest note, the other seven semitones descending to the B flat being obtained by holes and keys in the long joint and bell. These extra notes are not overblown. The fundamental notes are extended as in the oboes and flutes by overflowing to another octave, and afterward to the twelfth. In modern instruments yet higher notes, by the contrivance of small harmonic holes and cross fingerings, can be secured. Long notes, scales, arpeggios, are all practicable on this serviceable instrument, and in full harmony with clarinets, or oboes and horns, it forms part of a rich and beautiful combination. There is a very telling quality in the upper notes of the bassoon of which composers have made use. Structurally, a bassoon consists of several pieces, the wing, butt, long joints, and bell, and when fitted together, they form a hollow cone of about eight feet long, the air column tapering in diameter from three-sixteenths of an inch at the reed to one and three-quarter inches at the bell end.
The bending back at the butt joint is pierced in one piece of wood, and the prolongation of the double tube is usually stopped by a flattened oval cork, but in some modern bassoons this is replaced by a properly curved tube. The height is thus reduced to a little over four feet, and the holes, assisted by the artifice of piercing them obliquely, are brought within reach of the fingers. The crook, in the end of which the reed is inserted, is about twelve inches long, and is adjusted to the shorter branch.
The contra-bassoon is an octave lower than the bassoon, which implies that it should go down to the double B flat, two octaves below that in the bass clef, but it is customary to do without the lowest as well as the highest notes of this instrument. It is rarely used, but should not be dispensed with. Messrs. Mahillon, of Brussels, produce a reed contra-bass of metal, intended to replace the contra-bassoon of wood, but probably more with the view of completing the military band than for orchestral use. It is a conical brass tube of large proportions, with seventeen lateral holes of wide diameter and in geometrical relation, so that for each sound one key only is required. The compass of this contra-bass lies between D in the double bass octave and the lower F of the treble clef.
The sarrusophones of French invention are a complete family, made in brass and with conical tubes pierced according to geometric relation, so that the sarrusophone is more equal than the oboe it copies and is intended, at least for military music, to replace. Being on a larger scale, the sarrusophones are louder than the corresponding instruments of the oboe family. There are six sarrusophones, from the sopranino in E flat to the contra-bass in B flat; and to replace the contra-bassoon in the orchestra there is a lower contrabass sarrusophone made in C, the compass of which is from the double bass octave B flat to the higher G in the bass clef.
Before leaving the double reed wind instruments, a few words should be said of a family of instruments in the sixteenth century as important as the schalmeys, pommers, and bombards, but long since extinct. This was the cromorne, a wooden instrument with cylindrical column of air; the name is considered to remain in the cremona stop of the organ. The lower end is turned up like a shepherd's crook reversed, from whence the French name "tournebout." Cromorne is the German "krummhorn;" there is no English equivalent known.
The tone, as in all the reed instruments of the period, was strong and often bleating. The double reed was inclosed in a pirouette, or cup, and the keys of the tenor or bass, just the same as with similar flutes and bombards, were hidden by a barrel-shaped cover, pierced with small openings, apparently intended to modify the too searching tone as well as to protect the touch pieces which moved the keys. The compass was limited to fundamental notes, and from the cylindrical tube and reed was an octave lower in pitch than the length would show. In all these instruments provision was made in the holes and keys for transposition of the hands according to the player's habit of placing the right or left hand above the other. The unused hole was stopped with wax. There is a fine and complete set of four cromornes in the museum of the Conservatoire at Brussels.
We must also place among double-reed instruments the various bagpipes, cornemuses, and musettes, which are shawm or oboe instruments with reservoirs of air, and furnished with drones inclosing single reeds. I shall have more to say about the drone in the third lecture. In restricting our attention to the Highland bagpipe, with which we are more or less familiar, it is surprising to find the peculiar scale of the chaunter, or finger pipe, in an old Arabic scale, still prevailing in Syria and Egypt. Dr. A.J. Ellis' lecture on "The Musical Scales of Various Nations," read before the Society of Arts, and printed in the Journal of the Society, March 27, 1885, No. 1688, vol. xxxiii., and in an appendix, October 30, 1885, in the same volume, should be consulted by any one who wishes to know more about this curious similarity.
We have now arrived at the clarinet. Although embodying a very ancient principle—the "squeaker" reed which our little children still make, and continued in the Egyptian arghool—the clarinet is the most recent member of the wood wind band. The reed initiating the tone by the player's breath is a broad, single, striking or beating reed, so called because the vibrating tongue touches the edges of the body of the cutting or framing. A cylindrical pipe, as that of the clarinet, drops, approximately, an octave in pitch when the column of air it contains is set up in vibration by such a reed, because the reed virtually closes the pipe at the end where it is inserted, and like a stopped organ pipe sets up a node of maximum condensation or rarefaction at that end. This peculiarity interferes with the resonance of the even-numbered partials of the harmonic scale, and permits only the odd-numbered partials, 1, 3, 5, and so on, to sound. The first harmonic, as we find in the clarinet, is therefore the third partial, or twelfth of the fundamental note, and not the octave, as in the oboe and flute.
In the oboe the shifting of the nodes in a conical tube open at its base, and narrowing to its apex, permits the resonance of the complete series of the harmonic scale, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and upward. The flute has likewise the complete series, because through the blowhole it is a pipe open at both ends. But while stating the law which governs the pitch and harmonic scale of the clarinet, affirmed equally by observation and demonstration, we are left at present with only the former when regarding two very slender, almost cylindrical reed pipes, discovered in 1889 by Mr. Flinders Petrie while excavating at Fayoum the tomb of an Egyptian lady named Maket. Mr. Petrie dates these pipes about 1100 B.C., and they were the principal subject of Mr. Southgate's recent lectures upon the Egyptian scale.
Now Mr. J. Finn, who made these ancient pipes sound at these lectures with an arghool reed of straw, was able upon the pipe which had, by finger holes, a tetrachord, to repeat that tetrachord a fifth higher by increased pressure of blowing, and thus form an octave scale, comprising eight notes. "Against the laws of nature," says a friend of mine, for the pipe having dropped more than an octave through the reed, was at its fundamental pitch, and should have overblown a twelfth.
But Mr. Finn allows me to say with reference to those reeds, perhaps the oldest sounding musical instruments known to exist, that his experiments with straw reeds seem to indicate low, medium, and high octave registers. The first and last difficult to obtain with reeds as made by us. He seeks the fundamental tones of the Maket pipes in the first or low register, an octave below the normal pitch. By this the fifths revert to twelfths. I offer no opinion, but will leave this curious phenomenon to the consideration of my friends, Mr. Blaikley, Mr. Victor Mahillon, and Mr. Hermann Smith, acousticians intimate with wind instruments.
The clarinet was invented about A.D. 1700, by Christopher Denner, of Nuremberg. By his invention, an older and smaller instrument, the chalumeau, of eleven notes, without producible harmonics, was, by an artifice of raising a key to give access to the air column at a certain point, endowed with a harmonic series of eleven notes a twelfth higher. The chalumeau being a cylindrical pipe, the upper partials could only be in an odd series, and when Denner made them speak, they were consequently not an octave, but a twelfth above the fundamental notes. Thus, an instrument which ranged, with the help of eight finger holes and two keys, from F in the bass clef to B flat in the treble had an addition given to it at once of a second register from C in the treble clef to E flat above it. The scale of the original instrument is still called chalumeau by the clarinet player; about the middle of the last century it was extended down to E. The second register of notes, which by this lengthening of pipe started from B natural, received the name of clarinet, or clarionet, from the clarino or clarion, the high solo trumpet of the time it was expected that this bright harmonic series would replace.
This name of clarinet, or clarionet, became accepted for the entire instrument, including the chalumeau register. It is the communication between the external air and the upper part of the air column in the instrument which, initiating a ventral segment or loop of vibration, forces the air column to divide for the next possible partial, the twelfth, that Denner has the merit of having made practicable. At the same time the manipulation of it presents a difficulty in learning the instrument. It is in the nature of things that there should be a difference of tone quality between the lower and upper registers thus obtained; and that the highest fundamental notes, G sharp, A and B flat, should be colorless compared with the first notes of the overblown series. This is a difficulty the player has to contend with, as well as the complexity of fingering, due to there being no less than eighteen sound holes. Much has been done to graft Boehm's system of fingering upon the clarinet, but the thirteen key system, invented early in this century by Iwan Muller, is still most employed. The increased complication of mechanism is against a change, and there is even a stronger reason, which I cannot do better than translate, in the appropriate words of M. Lavoix fils, the author of a well-known and admirable work upon instrumentation:
"Many things have still to be done, but inventors must not lose the point in view, that no tone quality is more necessary to the composer than that of the clarinet in its full extent; that it is very necessary especially to avoid melting together the two registers of chalumeau and clarinet, so distinct from each other. If absolute justness for these instruments is to be acquired at the price of those inestimable qualities, it would be better a hundred times to leave it to virtuosi, thanks to their ability, to palliate the defects of their instrument, rather than sacrifice one of the most beautiful and intensely colored voices of our orchestra."
There are several clarinets of various pitches, and formerly more than are used now, owing to the difficulty of playing except in handy keys. In the modern orchestra the A and B flat clarinets are the most used; in the military band, B flat and E flat. The C clarinet is not much used now. All differ in tone and quality; the A one is softer than the B flat; the C is shrill. The B flat is the virtuoso instrument. In military bands the clarinet takes the place which would be that of the violin in the orchestra, but the tone of it is always characteristically different. Although introduced in the time of Handel and Bach those composers made no use of it. With Mozart it first became a leading orchestral instrument.
The Basset horn, which has become the sensuously beautiful alto clarinet in E flat, is related to the clarinet in the same way that the cor Anglais is to the oboe. Basset is equivalent to Baryton (there is a Basset flute figured in Praetorius), and this instrument appears to have been invented by one Horn, living at Passau, in Bavaria, about 1770. His name given to the instrument has been mistranslated into Italian as Corno di Bassetto. There is a bass clarinet employed with effect by Meyerbeer in the "Huguenots," but the characteristic clarinet tone is less noticeable; it is, however, largely used in military bands. The Basset horn had the deep compass of the bass clarinet which separates it from the present alto clarinet, although it was more like the alto in caliber. The alto clarinet is also used in military bands; and probably what the Basset horn would have been written for is divided between the present bass and alto clarinets.
Preceding the invention of the sarrusophone, by which a perfected oboe was contrived in a brass instrument, a modified brass instrument, the saxophone, bearing a similar relation to the clarinet, was invented in 1846 by Sax, whose name will occur again and again in connection with important inventions in military band instruments. The saxophone is played like the clarinet with the intervention of a beating reed, but is not cylindrical; it has a conical tube like the oboe. The different shape of the column of air changes the first available harmonic obtained by overblowing to the octave instead of the twelfth; and also in consequence of the greater strength of the even harmonics, distinctly changing the tone quality. The sarrusophone may fairly be regarded as an oboe or bassoon; but the saxophone is not so closely related to the clarinet. There are four sizes of saxophone now made between high soprano and bass. Starting from the fourth fundamental note, each key can be employed in the next higher octave, by the help of other two keys, which, being opened successively, set up a vibrating loop. The saxophones, although difficult to play, fill an important place in the military music of France and Belgium, and have been employed with advantage in the French orchestra. The fingering of all saxophones is that attributed to Boehm.
The cup shaped mouthpiece must now take the place of the reed in our attention. Here the lips fit against a hollow cup shaped reservoir, and, acting as vibrating membranes, may be compared with the vocal chords of the larynx. They have been described as acting as true reeds. Each instrument in which such a mouthpiece is employed requires a slightly different form of it. The French horn is the most important brass instrument in modern music. It consists of a body of conical shape about seven feet long, without the crooks, ending in a large bell, which spreads out to a diameter of fifteen inches. The crooks are fitted between the body and the mouthpiece; they are a series of smaller interchangeable tubings, which extend in length as they descend in pitch, and set the instrument in different keys. The mouthpiece is a funnel shaped tube of metal, by preference silver; and, in the horn, is exceptionally not cup shaped, but the reverse: it tapers, as a cone, from three-quarters of an inch diameter to about a minimum of three-sixteenths of an inch, and is a quarter of an inch where the smaller end of the mouthpiece is inserted in the upper opening of the crook. The first horn has a mouthpiece of rather less diameter than the second. The peculiar mouthpiece and narrow tubing have very much to do with the soft voice-like tone quality of the horn. For convenience of holding, the tubing is bent in a spiral form. There is a tuning slide attached to the body, and, of late years, valves have been added to the horn, similar to those applied to the cornet and other wind instruments. They have, to a considerable extent, superseded hand stopping, by which expedient the intonation could be altered a semitone or whole tone, by depression of the natural notes of the instrument. In brass, or other instruments, the natural harmonics depend on the pressure of blowing; and the brass differs entirely from the wood wind, in this respect, that it is rare, or with poor effect, the lowest or fundamental note can be made to sound. Stopping the horn is done by extending the open hand some way up the bore; there is half stopping and whole stopping, according to the interval, the half tone or whole tone required. As may be imagined, the stopped notes are weak and dull compared with the open. On the other hand, the tubing introduced for valves not being quite conformable in curve with the instrument, and hampered with indispensable joins, unless in the best form of modern valve, affects the smoothness of tone. No doubt there has been of late years a great improvement in the manufacture of valves. Many horns are still made with crooks covering an octave from B flat to B flat, 8 feet 6 inches to 17 feet; but most players now use only the F crook, and trust to the valves, rather than to change the crooks, so that we lose the fullness of sound of those below F. The natural horn was originally in D, but was not always restricted to that key; there have been horns for F, G, high A, and B flat. This may, however, be said for the valve horn, that it does not limit or restrict composers in writing for the open or natural notes, which are always more beautiful in effect.
Valves were invented and first introduced in Prussia about A.D. 1815. At first there were two, but there are now generally three. In this country and France they are worked by pistons, which, when pressed down, give access for the air into channels or supplementary tubings on one side of the main bore, thus lengthening it by a tone for the first valve, a semitone for the second, and a tone and a semitone for the third. When released by the finger, the piston returns by the action of a spring. In large bass and contralto instruments, a fourth piston is added, which lowers the pitch two tones and a semitone. By combining the use of three valves, lower notes are obtained—thus, for a major third, the second is depressed with the third; for a fourth, the first and third; and for the tritone, the first, second, and third. But the intonation becomes imperfect when valves are used together, because the lengths of additional tubing being calculated for the single depressions, when added to each other, they are too short for the deeper notes required. By an ingenious invention of compensating pistons, Mr. Blaikley, of Messrs. Boosey's, has practically rectified this error without extra moving parts or altered fingering. In the valve section, each altered note becomes a fundamental for another harmonic scale. In Germany a rotary valve, a kind of stop cock, is preferred to the piston. It is said to give greater freedom of execution, the closeness of the shake being its best point, but is more expensive and liable to derangement. The invention of M. Adolphe Sax, of a single ascending piston in place of a group of descending ones, by which the tube is shortened instead of lengthened, met, for a time, with influential support. It is suitable for both conical and cylindrical instruments, and has six valves, which are always used independently. However, practical difficulties have interfered with its success. With any valve system, however, a difficulty with the French horn is its great variation in length by crooks, inimical to the principle of the valve system, which relies upon an adjustment by aliquot parts. It will, however, be seen that the invention of valves has, by transforming and extending wind instruments, so as to become chromatic, given many advantages to the composer. Yet it must, at the same time, be conceded, in spite of the increasing favor shown for valve instruments, that the tone must issue more freely, and with more purity and beauty, from a simple tube than from tubes with joinings and other complications, that interfere with the regularity and smoothness of vibration, and, by mechanical facilities, tend to promote a dull uniformity of tone quality.
Owing to the changes of pitch by crooks, it is not easy to define the compass of the French horn. Between C in the bass clef and G above the treble will represent its serviceable notes. It is better that the first horn should not descend below middle C, or the second rise above the higher E of the treble clef. Four are generally used in modern scores. The place of the horn is with the wood wind band. From Handel, every composer has written for it, and what is known as the small orchestra of string and wood wind bands combined is completed by this beautiful instrument.
The most prominent instruments that add to the splendor of the full orchestra are trumpets and trombones. They are really members of one family, as the name trombone—big trumpet—implies, and blend well together. The trumpet is an instrument of court and state functions, and, as the soprano instrument, comes first. It is what is known as an eight foot instrument in pitch, and gives the different harmonics from the third to the twelfth, and even to the sixteenth. It is made of brass, mixed metal, or silver, and is about five feet seven inches in real length, when intended for the key of F without a slide; but is twice turned back upon itself, the first and third lengths lying contiguous, and the second about two inches from them. The diameter is three-eighths of an inch along the cylindrical length; it then widens out for about fifteen inches, to form the bell.
When fitted with a slide for transposition—an invention for the trumpet in the last century—this double tubing, about five inches in length on each side, is connected with the second length. It is worked from the center with the second and third fingers of the right band, and, when pulled back, returns to its original position by a spring. There are five crooks. The mouthpiece is hemispherical and convex, and the exact shape of it is of great importance. It has a rim with slightly rounded surface. The diameter of the mouthpiece varies according to the player and the pitch required. With the first crook, or rather shank, and mouthpiece, the length of the trumpet is increased to six feet, and the instrument is then in the key of F. The second shank transposes it to E, the third to E flat, and the fourth to D. The fifth, and largest—two feet one and a half inches long—extends the instrument to eight feet, and lowers the key to C. The slide is used for transposition by a semitone or a whole tone, thus making new fundamentals, and correcting certain notes of the natural harmonic scale, as the seventh, eleventh, and thirteenth, which do not agree with our musical scale. Mr. W. Wyatt has recently taken out a patent for a double-slide trumpet, which possesses a complete chromatic scale. In the required length of slide the ear has always to assist. It is clear that the very short shifts of a double slide demand great nicety of manipulation. It is, of course, different with the valve trumpet. The natural trumpets are not limited to one or two keys, but those in F, E, E flat, D, B flat, and even A have been employed; but, usually, the valve trumpets are in F, and the higher B flat, with a growing inclination, but an unfortunate one, to be restricted to the latter, it being easier for cornet players. The tone of the high B flat trumpet cannot, however, compare with the F one, and with it the lowest notes are lost. Of course, when there are two or three trumpets, the high B flat one finds a place. However, the valve system applied to the trumpet is not regarded with satisfaction, as it makes the tone dull. For grand heroic effect, valve trumpets cannot replace the natural trumpets with slides, which are now only to be heard in this country.
The simple or field trumpet appears to exist now in one representative only, the E flat cavalry trumpet. Bach wrote for trumpets up to the twentieth harmonic—but for this the trumpet had to be divided into a principal, which ended at the tenth harmonic—and the clarino in two divisions, the first of which went from the eighth harmonic up to as high as the player could reach, and the second clarino, from the sixth to the twelfth. The use of the clarinet by composers about the middle of the last century seems to have abolished these very high trumpets. So completely had they gone, by the time of Mozart, that he had to change Handel's trumpet parts, to accommodate them to performers of his own time, and transfer the high notes to the oboes and clarinets.
Having alluded to the cornet a piston, it may be introduced here, particularly as from being between a trumpet and a bugle, and of four foot tone, it is often made to do duty for the more noble trumpet. But the distinctive feature of this, as of nearly all brass instruments since the invention of valves, tends to a compromise instrument, which owes its origin to the bugle. The cornet a piston is now not very different from the valve bugle in B flat on the one hand and from the small valve trumpet in the same key on the other. It is a hybrid between this high pitch trumpet and the bugle, but compared with the latter it has a much smaller bell. By the use of valves and pistons, with which it was the first to be endowed, the cornet can easily execute passages of consecutive notes that in the natural trumpet can only be got an octave higher. It is a facile instrument, and double tonguing, which is also possible with the horn and trumpet, is one of its popular means for display. It has a harmonic compass from middle C to C above the treble clef, and can go higher, but with difficulty. A few lower notes, however, are easily taken with the valves.
We now come to the trombones, grand, sonorous tubes, which, existing in three or four sizes since the sixteenth century, are among the most potent additions on occasion to the full orchestra. Their treble can be regarded as the English slide trumpet, but it is not exactly so. There appears to have been as late as Bach a soprano trombone, and it is figured by Virdung, A.D. 1511, as no larger than the field trumpet. The trumpet is not on so large a caliber, and in the seventeenth century had its own family of two clarinos and three tubas. The old English name of the trombone is sackbut. The old wooden cornet, or German zinke, an obsolete, cupped mouthpiece instrument, the real bass of which, according to family, is the now obsolete serpent, was used in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries as the treble instrument in combination with alto, tenor, and bass trombones. The leading features of the trumpet are also found, as already inferred, in the trombone; there is the cupped mouthpiece, the cylindrical tubing, and, finally, a gradual increase in diameter to the bell. The slide used for the trumpet appears for four centuries, and probably longer, in the well known construction of the trombone. In this instrument it consists of two cylindrical tubes parallel with each other, upon which two other tubes communicating by a pipe at their lower ends curved in a half circle glide without loss of air. The mouthpiece is fitted to an upper end, and a bell to a lower end of the slide. When the slide is closed, the instrument is at its highest pitch, and as the column of air is lengthened by drawing the slide out, the pitch is lowered. By this contrivance a complete chromatic scale can be obtained, and as the determination of the notes it produces is by ear, we have in it the only wind instrument that can compare in accuracy with stringed instruments. The player holds a cross bar between the two lengths of the instrument, which enables him to lengthen or shorten the slide at pleasure, and in the bass trombone, as the stretch would be too great for the length of a man's arm, a jointed handle is attached to the cross bar. The player has seven positions, each a semitone apart for elongation, and each note has its own system of harmonics, but in practice he only occasionally goes beyond the fifth. The present trombones are the alto in E flat descending to A in the seventh position; the tenor in B flat descending to E; the bass in F descending to B, and a higher bass in G descending to C sharp. Wagner, who has made several important innovations in writing for bass brass instruments, requires an octave bass trombone in B flat; an octave lower than the tenor one, in the "Nibelungen." The fundamental tones of the trombone are called "pedal" notes. They are difficult to get and less valuable than harmonics because, in all wind instruments, notes produced by overblowing are richer than the fundamental notes in tone quality. Valve trombones do not, however, find favor, the defects of intonation being more prominent than in shorter instruments. But playing with wide bore tubas and their kindred is not advantageous to this noble instrument.
The serpent has been already mentioned as the bass of the obsolete zinken or wooden cornets, straight or curved, with cupped mouthpiece. It gained its serpentine form from the facility given thereby to the player to cover the six holes with his fingers. In course of time keys were added to it, and when changed into a bassoon shape its name changed to the Russian bass horn or basson Russe. A Parisian instrument maker, Halary, in 1817, made this a complete instrument, after the manner of the keyed bugle of Halliday, and producing it in brass called it the ophicleide, from two Greek words meaning serpent and keys—keyed serpent—although it was more like a keyed bass bugle. The wooden serpent has gone out of use in military bands within recollection, the ophicleide from orchestras only recently. It has been superseded by the development of the valved tubas. The euphonium and bombardon, the basses of the important family of saxhorns, now completely cover the ground of bass wind instrument music. The keyed bugle, invented by Joseph Halliday, bandmaster of the Cavan militia, in 1810, may be regarded as the prototype of all these instruments, excepting that the keys have been entirely replaced by the valve system, an almost contemporary invention by Stoelzel and Blumel, in Prussia, in 1815. The valve instruments began to prevail as early as 1850. The sound tube of all bugles, saxhorns, and tubas is conical, with a much wider curve than the horn. The quality of tone produced is a general kind of tone, not possessing the individuality of any of the older instruments. All these valve instruments may be comprehended under the French name of saxhorn. There is a division between them of the higher instruments or bugles, which do not sound the fundamental note, and of the lower, or tubas, which sound it readily. Properly military band instruments, the second or bass division, has been taken over to the orchestra; and Wagner has made great use of it in his great scores. The soprano cornets, bugles, or flugelhorns and saxhorns are in E flat; the corresponding alto instruments in B flat, which is also the pitch of the ordinary cornet. The tenor, baryton, and bass instruments follow in similar relation; the bass horns are, as I have said, called tubas; and that with four valves, the euphonium. The bombardon, or E flat tuba, has much richer lower notes.
For military purposes, this and the contrabass—the helicon—are circular. Finally, the contrabass tubas in B flat, and in C, for Wagner, have immense depth and potentiality of tone; all these instruments are capable of pianissimo.
There are many varieties now of these brass instruments, nearer particulars of which may be found in Gevaert, and other eminent musicians' works on instrumentation. One fact I will not pass by, which is that, from the use of brass instruments (which rise in pitch so rapidly under increase of temperature, as Mr. Blaikley has shown, almost to the coefficient of the sharpening under heat in organ pipes) has come about that rise in pitch which, from 1816 to 1846—until repressed by the authority of the late Sir Michael Costa, and, more recently, by the action of the Royal Military College at Kneller Hall—is an extraordinary feature in musical history. All previous variations in pitch—and they have comprised as much as a fourth in the extremes—having been due either to transposition, owing to the requirements of the human voice, or to national or provincial measurements. The manufacture of brass instruments is a distinct craft, although some of the processes are similar to those used by silversmiths, coppersmiths, and braziers.
I have only time to add a few words about the percussion instruments which the military band permits to connect with the wind. Drums are, with the exception of kettle drums, indeterminate instruments, hardly, in themselves, to be regarded as musical, and yet important factors of musical and especially rhythmic effect. The kettle drum is a caldron, usually of brass or copper, covered with a vellum head bound at the edge round an iron ring, which fits the circle formed by the upper part of the metal body. Screws working on this ring tune the vellum head, or vibrating membrane as we may call it, by tightening or slackening it, so as to obtain any note of the scale within its compass. The tonic and dominant are generally required, but other notes are, in some compositions, used; even octaves have been employed. The use Beethoven made of kettle drums may be regarded among the particular manifestations of his genius. Two kettle drums may be considered among the regular constituents of the orchestra, but this number has been extended; in one remarkable instance, that of Berlioz in his Requiem, to eight pairs. According to Mr. Victor de Pontigny, whose article I am much indebted to (in Sir George Grove's dictionary) upon the drum, the relative diameters, theoretically, for a pair of kettle drums are in the proportion of 30 to 26, bass and tenor; practically the diameter of the drums at the French opera is 29 and 251/4 inches, and of the Crystal Palace band, 28 and 241/4 inches. In cavalry regiments the drums are slung so as to hang on each side of the drummers horse's neck. The best drum sticks are of whalebone, each terminating in a small wooden button covered with sponge. For the bass drum and side drum I must be content to refer to Mr. Victor de Pontigny's article, and also for the tambourine, but the Provencal tambourines I have met with have long, narrow sound bodies, and are strung with a few very coarse strings which the player sounds with a hammer. This instrument is the rhythmic bass and support to the simple galoubet, a cylindrical pipe with two holes in front and one behind, sounded by the same performer. The English pipe and tabor is a similar combination, also with one player, of such a pipe and a small drum-head tambourine. Lastly, to conclude percussion instruments, cymbals are round metal plates, consisting of an alloy of copper and tin—say 80 parts to 20—with sunk hollow centers, from which the Greek name. They are not exactly clashed together to elicit their sound, but rubbed across each other in a sliding fashion. Like the triangle, a steel rod, bent into the form indicated by the name, but open at one corner so as to make it an elastic rod, free at both ends; the object is to add to the orchestral matter luminous crashes, as it were, and dazzling points of light, when extreme brilliancy is required.
In conclusion, I must be allowed to express my obligations to Dr. W.H. Stone and Mr. Victor Mahillon, to Mr. Ebenezer Prout, Mr. Richard Shepherd Rockstro, Mr. Lavoix fils, and Dr. H. Riemann, whose writings concerning wind instruments have materially helped me; to Messrs. Boosey & Co., and to Messrs. Rudall, Carte & Co., for the loan of the instruments used in the illustrations; and also to Mr. D.J. Blaikley and Mr. Henry Carte, for valuable personal aid on the present occasion. Their kindness in reading through my manuscript—Mr. Blaikley throughout—and in offering friendly and generous criticisms; also their presence and assistance by trial of the various instruments, I cannot adequately thank them for, or sufficiently extol.
(In the course of this lecture, Mr. Henry Carte played upon a concert flute, also a B flat and a G flute, an eight-keyed flute, and a recorder. Mr. D.J. Blaikley continued the illustrations upon the oboe, bassoon, clarinet, French horn, slide trumpet, valve tenor horn, cornet a piston, B flat tenor slide trombone, B flat euphonium, B flat contrabass tuba, and B flat contrabass double slide trombone.)
* * * * *
HOW GAS CYLINDERS ARE MADE.
The supply of compressed gas in metal cylinders has now assumed the proportions of an important industry, more especially since it was found possible, by the Brin process, to obtain oxygen direct from the atmosphere. The industry is not exactly a new one, for carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide (the latter for the use of dentists) have been supplied in a compressed state for many years. Now, with the creation of the modern amateur photographer, who can make lantern slides, and the more general adoption of the optical lantern for the purposes of demonstration and amusement, there has arisen a demand for the limelight such as was never experienced before, and as the limelight is dependent upon the two gases, hydrogen and oxygen, for its support, these gases are now supplied in large quantities commercially. At first the gas cylinders were made of wrought iron; they were cumbrous and heavy, and the pressure of the inclosed gas was so low that a receptacle to hold only ten feet was a most unwieldy concern. But times have changed, and a cylinder of about the same size, but half the weight, is now made to hold four times the quantity of gas at the enormous initial pressure of 1,800 pounds on every square inch. This means the pressure which an ordinary locomotive boiler has to withstand multiplied by twelve. The change is due to improved methods of manufacture and to the employment of mild steel of special quality in lieu of the wrought iron previously employed. The cylinders are now made without joint or seam, and the process of manufacture is most interesting. A short time ago we had an opportunity of watching the various necessary operations involved in making these cylinders at the Birmingham works of Messrs. Taunton, Delamard & Co., by whose courtesy we were enabled to make notes of the process.
Beginning with the raw material, we were shown a disk of metal like that shown in Fig. 1, and measuring thirty inches in diameter and three-quarters of an inch in thickness. From such a "blank" a cylinder destined to hold 100 feet of compressed gas can be constructed, and the first operation is to heat the "blank" in a furnace, and afterward to stamp it into the cup-like form shown in Fig. 2. To all intents and purposes this represents the end of a finished cylinder, but it is far too bulky to form the end of one of the size indicated; indeed, it in reality contains enough metal to make the entire vessel. By a series of operations it is now heated and drawn out longer and longer, while its thickness diminishes and its diameter grows less. These operations are carried out by means of a number of hydraulic rams, which regularly decrease in size. Fig. 3 roughly represents one of these rams with the plunger ready to descend and force its way into the partially formed red hot gas cylinder, C, and further into the well, W. The plunger may be compared to a finger and the cylinder to a glove, while the well may represent a hole into which both are thrust in order to reduce the thickness of the glove. With huge tongs the cylinder, fresh from the furnace, is placed in position, but just before the plunger presses into the red hot cup, one of the workmen empties into the latter a little water, so as to partially cool the bottom and prevent its being thrust out by the powerful plunger. Oil is also used plentifully, so that as the plunger works slowly down the red hot mass, it is surrounded by smoky flames. It presently forces the cylinder into the well, and when the end of the stroke is reached, a stop piece is inserted through an opening in the upper part of the well, so as to arrest the edge of the cylinder while the reverse action of drawing out the plunger is proceeded with. Directly the finger is drawn out of the glove—in other words, immediately the plunger is raised out of the cylinder—the latter drops down below with a heavy thud, still in a red hot condition.
This operation of hot drawing is repeated again and again in rams of diminishing size until the cylinder assumes the diameter and length required. This hot drawing leaves the surface of the metal marked with longitudinal lines, not unlike the glacier scratches on a rock, albeit they are straighter and more regular. But the next operation not only obliterates these markings, and gives the metal a smooth surface like that of polished silver, but it also confers upon the material a homogeneity which it did not before possess, and without which it would never bear the pressure which it is destined to withstand when finished. This operation consists in a final application of the hydraulic ram while the metal remains perfectly cold, instead of red hot, as in the previous cases.
As the result of these various hydraulic operations, we have a perfectly formed cylinder closed at one end, and we now follow it into another department of the works, when its open end is once more brought in a furnace to a red heat. The object of this is to make the metal soft while the shoulder and neck of the vessel are formed. To accomplish this, the heated open end of the cylinder is laid horizontally upon a kind of semicircular cradle, and is held there by tongs handled by two men. Another workman places over the open end a die of the form shown in Fig. 4, and while the cylinder is slowly turned round in its cradle, two sledge hammers are brought down with frequent blows upon the die, closing in the end of the cylinder, but leaving a central hole as shown in Fig. 5. Further operations reduce the opening still more until it is closed altogether, and a projection is formed as shown at Fig. 6. This projection is now bored through, and the cylinder is ready for testing.
The cylinder is submitted to a water test, the liquid being forced in until the gauge shows a pressure of two tons to the square inch. Cylinders have been known to give way under this ordeal, but without any dangerous consequences. The metal simply rips up, making a report at the moment of fracture as loud as a gun. The wonderful strength of the metal employed may be gauged by the circumstance that the walls of the cylinder designed to hold 100 feet of gas are only five-sixteenths of an inch in thickness.
During the manufacture of the cylinder, as we have already indicated, much oil is used, and, so far as steel can be saturated with that fluid—in the popular sense—the metal is in that state. It is essential that this oil should be completely got rid of, and this is carefully done before the cylinder is charged with gas. Previous to such charging, the vessel has to be fitted with its valve. Of these valves there are three kinds, known respectively as the Brin, the Birmingham, and the Manchester. Each has its admirers, but we cannot here discuss their individual merits.
The charging of the cylinder is brought about by a powerful pump having three cylinders so arranged that the compressed contents of the first cylinder are still further compressed in the second, and still more highly in the third. The filling of a 100 ft. cylinder occupies about half an hour.—Photographic News.
* * * * *
HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT OF THE HORSESHOE.
BY DISTRICT VETERINARIAN ZIPPELIUS, OF WURTZBURG.
Translated by S.E. Weber, V.S.
[Footnote 1: From Theirarztliche Mittheilungen, organ des Vereins badischer Theirarzte, Karlsruhe, No. IV., April, 1891.—Veterinary Archives.]
Kind, gentle steed, nobly standing, Four shoes will I put on your feet, Firm and good, that you'll be fleet, That is Donar's hammer saying.
To the woods and homeward go, Always on the straight road thro', Far from what is bad, still fleeing, That is Donar's hammer saying.
Should wounds and pain become distressing, Blood to blood shall flow, Bone to bone shall grow, That is Donar's hammer saying.
Carry the rider, true little steed, Onward to all good luck bringing; Carry him thence and back with speed, That is Donar's hammer saying.
—Old Meresburger Song.
The horse appeared comparatively late in the group of domestic animals. In searching the monuments of the ancients, which have furnished the foundation for our present culture, that is, of the littoral inhabitants of the Mediterranean, and of the people of Mesopotamia, we find in Egypt the first traces of the horse. But even here it appears late, on the monuments of the first ruling patricians of human origin. Especially during the period of Memphis (I-X Dynasty), then under the rules of Thebes (XI-XVI Dynasty), there is no trace of the horse.
[Footnote 2: Until the time Menes, with whom historical times begin, ruled in Egypt among visionary heroes or mythological gods.]
It is first in the transition period, from the late rule of Thebes (XVII-XX Dynasty) to the so-called period of Sut (XXI-XXX Dynasty) that there appears, in the wall pictures of the Pharaohs' tombs, representations of the horse. The oldest, now known, picture of the horse is found on the walls of the tombs of Seti I. (1458-1507 B.C.) under whose reign the Israelite wandered from Egypt. The horses of the mortuary pictures are very well drawn, and have an unmistakable oriental type. There has therefore undoubtedly existed in Egypt high culture, for over 4,000 years, without representation of the horse, which was the next animal domesticated after the cat.
From this time on we find the horse frequently represented both by the vainglorious despots of Mesopotamia and on the so-called Etruscan vases, which appeared after the influence of Greek art, when, on almost every urn, horses in lively action and in various forms of bodily development, almost always of an oriental type, are to be recognized. But neither here, nor in Homer, nor in the many later representations of the horse on the Roman triumphal arches, etc., are to be found horses whose hoofs have any trace of protection. Records, which describe to us the misfortunes of armies, whose horses had run their feet sore, we find on the contrary at a very early time, as in Diodorus, regarding the cavalry of Alexander the Great, in Xenophon, regarding the retreat of the ten thousand, in Polybius, regarding the cavalry of Hannibal in Etruria, etc. It is also known that the cavalry of the linguist King of Pontus, Mithridates the Great, at times and specially at the siege of Cyzicus were delayed, in order to let the hoofs of the horses grow.
On the contrary it seems strange that of the Huns alone, whose horsemen swept over whole continents from the Asiatic highlands like a thunderstorm, such trouble had not become known either through the numerous authors of the eastern and western Roman empire or from Gallia.
Horseshoeing, very likely, was invented by different nations at about the same period during the migration of the nations, and the various kinds of new inventions were brought together in Germany only, after each had acquired a national stamp according to climate and usefulness.
In this way come from the south the thin, plate-like horseshoes, with staved rim, covering the whole hoof; from the Mongolian tribes of middle Asia the "Stolleneisen" (calk shoe); while to our northern ancestors, and indeed the Normans, must be ascribed with great probability the invention of the "Griffeneisen" (gripe shoe), especially for the protection of the toes.
All varieties of the horseshoe of southern Europe are easily distinguished from the Roman so-called "Kureisen" (cure shoe), of which several have been unearthed at various excavations and are preserved at the Romo-Germanic Museum in Mentz (Mainz), Germany. The shoes, Figs. 1 and 2, each represent thin iron plates, covering the whole hoof, which in some cases have an opening in the middle, of several centimeters in diameter.
These plates, apparently set forth to suit oriental and occidental body conformation, are either directly provided with loops or have around the outer margin a brim several centimeters high, in which rings are fastened. Through the loops or rings small ropes were drawn, and in this way the shoe was fastened to the crown of the hoof and to the pastern. Sufficient securing of the toe was wanting in all these shoes, and, on account of this, the movement of the animal with the same must have been very clumsy, and we can see from this that the ropes must have made the crown of the hoof and pastern sore in a short time. One of these shoes evidently was the object of improvement, to prevent the animal from slipping as well as from friction, and we therefore find on it three iron cubes 11/2 centimeters high, which were fastened corresponding to our toes and calks of to-day, and offer a very early ready proof, from our climatic and mountainous conditions, which later occur, principally in southern Germany, that this style of horseshoeing was not caused by error, but by a well founded local and national interest or want.
[Footnote 3: Not illustrated.]
Aside from the so-called "Kureisen" (cure shoe) for diseased hoofs, we find very little from the Romans on horseshoeing or hoof protection, and therefore we must observe special precautions with all their literature on the subject. It is because of this that I excuse Prof. Sittl's communication in the preface of Winckelmann's "Geschichte der Kunst in Alterthum" (History of Ancient Art), which contains a notice that Fabretti, in some raised work in Plazzo Matti, of a representation of a hunt by the Emperor Gallienus (Bartoli Admirand Ant. Tab. 24), showed that at that time horseshoes fastened by nails, the same as to-day, were used (Fabretti de Column. Traj. C. 7 pag. 225; Conf. Montlanc. Antiq. Explic. T. 4, pag. 79). This statement proves itself erroneous, because he was not aware that the foot of the horse was repaired by an inexperienced sculptor.
How then did out of this Roman cure shoe develop the horseshoeing of southern Europe?
It was to be expected, with the Roman horseshoe, that the mode of fastening became unsatisfactory and necessitated a remedy or change. An attempt of this kind has been preserved in the so-called "Asiatischen Koppeneisensole" (Asiatic cap-iron-sole) (Fig. 3), which the Hon. Mr. Lydtin at Karlsruhe had made according to a model of the Circassian Horse Tribe Shaloks, and also according to the reverse of Lycian coins (called Triguetra).
This horseshoe plate, likely originating in the twelfth century, covers the whole surface of the sole, like the Roman shoes, with the exception of the wall region, which contains a rim 1 centimeter high, and above this rises at one side toward the heel three beak-like projections, about 4 centimeters high and 1 centimeter wide at the base, being pointed above and turned down, which were fastened in the wall of the hoof, in the form of a hook.
This mode of fastening evidently was also insufficient, and so the fastening of the shoe by nails was adopted. These iron plates used for shoes were too thin to allow nails with sunken heads to be used, so only nails with blades and cubical shaped heads were applicable. These nail heads, 6 to 8 in number, which left the toe and the back part of the heel free, served at the same time to secure the horse from slipping, which the smooth plates, covering the whole hoof surface, without doubt facilitated.
Shoes of this kind, after the old Roman style, with a very strong rim bent upward, likely proved very comfortable for the purpose of protection, in the Sierras of the Pyrenean peninsula, where they seem to have been in use for a long time; for in the twelfth century we find in Spain the whole form of the Roman shoe, only fastened by nails (Figs. 4 and 5). At first the shoe seems to have been cut off at the heel end, but as apparently after being on for some time, bruises were noticed, the shoe was made longer at the heel, and this part was turned up so as to prevent them from becoming loose too soon, as both the Spanish horseshoes of this period show, and the acquisition was even later transferred to England (Fig. 7).