Friday, January 02, 2004


Music man's bid to restore harmony in Middle East (the Scotsman via Archaeologica News)


A SCOTTISH musicologist is bringing a little harmony to the Middle East by recreating an instrument that has not been heard since the days of the Old Testament.

John Kenny was part of a team of scientists and musicians who resurrected the Pictish instrument known as the carnyx, a 2,000-year-old metal trumpet in the shape of a boar�s head which was used by ancient Scots in their battle against Roman invasion.

Using this experience, Kenny, a teacher at Glasgow�s Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, is now working with Israeli and Palestinian academics to recreate an ancient horn instrument described in the Old Testament.


Among the instruments that could be recreated are the hazerot, which consists of a pair of joined silver trumpets and is mentioned in the Old Testament.

Although no surviving instruments have ever been found, a representation can be found on the Arch of Titus, which portrays how they were used by defending forces when Roman Emperor Titus sacked of Jerusalem in 70AD.

The instrument was used in conjunction with the shofar - which is carved from a ram�s horn - to gather people to tribal meetings, to alert camps of danger and to signal in warfare.

Working with renowned music expert Professor Joachin Braun at the University of Jerusalem and Palestinian musician Bassam Abdul Salam, Kenny�s ambition is to create a working example of the instrument that can be used by musicians on both sides of the divide.


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