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Tail-pieces - a question

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  • John
    Hello, I ve caught the Germanic Lyre bug in a big way, and I m collecting all the information I can to build myself one. Aesthetically, I would go for the
    Message 1 of 19 , Dec 1, 2009
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      Hello,
      I've caught the Germanic Lyre bug in a big way, and I'm collecting all the information I can to build myself one. Aesthetically, I would go for the Trossing model, but without the carvings.

      There's a lot of information on the Net about shape and size, excavation finds of bridges and pegs, and the woods that were used, etc. But I haven't yet come across links to either contemporary pictorial evidence or archaeological finds of tail-pieces. Have I missed something, or are all the reproduction tail-pieces conjectural?

      I've been playing instruments with floating bridges all my life (mandolin, banjo and violin), and I've seen reproduction lyre tail-pieces reminiscent of all three: long ones like on the violin, short ones like the early banjo ones, and even some sort of arrangement with pins hammered into the end of the corpus for each string, mandolin style.

      This set me thinking. The tailpiece of a necked stringed instrument is designed to keep each string fairly straight as it crosses the bridge. The strings approach the bridge almost parallel from the tuning end, and continue almost parallel to the spread attachment points on the tail- piece. This means that most of the the tension in the string is acting downwards, pressing the bridge on the belly. There is very little sideways force that would tend to lift the strings out of their notches.

      In the photos of reproduction lyres, however, I often see the strings converging from the tuning end to the bridge, and then making a sharp kink, to run parallel to the spread holes in the tailpiece. This somehow runs counter to my practical musician's instincts!
      So I laid a straight-edge over the scale drawing that I made of the Trossingen lyre, with the correct size of bridge at the correct position (between the sound-holes). And lo and behold! The straight line from each tuning peg to the protrusion at the other end passed over the bridge at the position of the appropriate notch (as near as makes no difference).

      It is strange that the Trossingen bridge should be preserved and not the tail-piece - the bridge is usually the first part of an old instrument to get lost!
      Could it be that the sturdy protrusion on the tail end of the Trossing lyre IS the tail-piece? That the strings were tied to it, one over the other? Surely the near-perfect intersection of the bridge by the lines from the tuning pegs to the end-protrusion is not a coincidence! This arrangement would have the practical advantage that adjusting one string would not affect the tuning of the others, and a breaking string would not put the whole instrument out of tune.

      I haven't been able to acertain empirically whether the end-protrusion is long enough to tie 6 strings to. If not, I could envisage a fairly small ring of some strong material on a tail-gut, with the strings knotted to it side by side. This would keep the strings aligned on the protrusion.

      This is all speculation, of course. But it's based on the practical observation that the holes in tail-pieces of violins and banjos have to be spaced out to keep the strings roughly parallel. By anaology, the tail-piece of a lyre should draw the strings together to keep them converging at roughly the same angle. Basically similar tail-pieces are not optimal for both parallel and converging strings!

      Any ideas, anyone?

      Cheers,
      John
    • vikingtimbo
      ... Hi John, Your thoughts have very much echoed my own. The Trossingen lyre is so incredibly complete compared to all the other evidence that you would assume
      Message 2 of 19 , Dec 1, 2009
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        --- In Anglo_Saxon_Lyres@yahoogroups.com, "John" <johnedallas@...> wrote:


        Hi John,

        Your thoughts have very much echoed my own. The Trossingen lyre is so incredibly complete compared to all the other evidence that you would assume it's flawless - but where is the tailpiece!!?

        Well, I think the bridge was found seperately to the rest of the instrument, so there might be something going on there: maybe the tailpiece just didn't survive or wasn't found. But on the other hand, an instrument as complete as the Trossingen lyre might therefore be assumed to have NOT HAD a tailpiece. Is this plausible? Well, I'm no expert, but I recently saw footage of a Siberian "lyre-like" block-and-strum instrument that didn't have a tailpiece: it had an ordinary tailpeg with a piece of tailgut looped around it with the five strings tied directly to the tailgut without any intervening tailpiece at all. And that raises the real possibility that early lyres DIDN'T HAVE tailpieces.

        The primative arrangement just described has obvious disadvantages: the tailgut would be put under a lot of stress, requiring you to change it - and all the strings as well - quite frequently; but it also has the advantage that with all the strings tied to pretty much the same point, any change in tension to any string during tuning (or string replacement), will have pretty much NO effect on the tuning of the other strings.

        Cheers,
        Tim




















        > Hello,
        > I've caught the Germanic Lyre bug in a big way, and I'm collecting all the information I can to build myself one. Aesthetically, I would go for the Trossing model, but without the carvings.
        >
        > There's a lot of information on the Net about shape and size, excavation finds of bridges and pegs, and the woods that were used, etc. But I haven't yet come across links to either contemporary pictorial evidence or archaeological finds of tail-pieces. Have I missed something, or are all the reproduction tail-pieces conjectural?
        >
        > I've been playing instruments with floating bridges all my life (mandolin, banjo and violin), and I've seen reproduction lyre tail-pieces reminiscent of all three: long ones like on the violin, short ones like the early banjo ones, and even some sort of arrangement with pins hammered into the end of the corpus for each string, mandolin style.
        >
        > This set me thinking. The tailpiece of a necked stringed instrument is designed to keep each string fairly straight as it crosses the bridge. The strings approach the bridge almost parallel from the tuning end, and continue almost parallel to the spread attachment points on the tail- piece. This means that most of the the tension in the string is acting downwards, pressing the bridge on the belly. There is very little sideways force that would tend to lift the strings out of their notches.
        >
        > In the photos of reproduction lyres, however, I often see the strings converging from the tuning end to the bridge, and then making a sharp kink, to run parallel to the spread holes in the tailpiece. This somehow runs counter to my practical musician's instincts!
        > So I laid a straight-edge over the scale drawing that I made of the Trossingen lyre, with the correct size of bridge at the correct position (between the sound-holes). And lo and behold! The straight line from each tuning peg to the protrusion at the other end passed over the bridge at the position of the appropriate notch (as near as makes no difference).
        >
        > It is strange that the Trossingen bridge should be preserved and not the tail-piece - the bridge is usually the first part of an old instrument to get lost!
        > Could it be that the sturdy protrusion on the tail end of the Trossing lyre IS the tail-piece? That the strings were tied to it, one over the other? Surely the near-perfect intersection of the bridge by the lines from the tuning pegs to the end-protrusion is not a coincidence! This arrangement would have the practical advantage that adjusting one string would not affect the tuning of the others, and a breaking string would not put the whole instrument out of tune.
        >
        > I haven't been able to acertain empirically whether the end-protrusion is long enough to tie 6 strings to. If not, I could envisage a fairly small ring of some strong material on a tail-gut, with the strings knotted to it side by side. This would keep the strings aligned on the protrusion.
        >
        > This is all speculation, of course. But it's based on the practical observation that the holes in tail-pieces of violins and banjos have to be spaced out to keep the strings roughly parallel. By anaology, the tail-piece of a lyre should draw the strings together to keep them converging at roughly the same angle. Basically similar tail-pieces are not optimal for both parallel and converging strings!
        >
        > Any ideas, anyone?
        >
        > Cheers,
        > John
        >
      • Patrick Woolery
        I m thinking you are onto something here!  I m not entirely sure why I hadn t thought of that.  For that matter, I m not sure why lyres need tail pieces at
        Message 3 of 19 , Dec 1, 2009
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          I'm thinking you are onto something here!  I'm not entirely sure why I hadn't thought of that.  For that matter, I'm not sure why lyres need tail pieces at all.  Though they do look good to a modern eye, they may not have been needed on historical instruments at all. 
           
          My suggestion is that you try it without a tail at all first.  I have one banjo that has no tailpiece and it works just fine.  I put a little piece of leather under the strings so they don't groove the wooden rim, but that's one of the things we'd expect to go away in the ground or even not to be recognized as useful when the instrument was excavated.  If it was used at all, that is. 
           
          Do let us know what you come up with!
           
          -Patrick


          --- On Tue, 12/1/09, John <johnedallas@...> wrote:

          From: John <johnedallas@...>
          Subject: [Anglo_Saxon_Lyres] Tail-pieces - a question
          To: Anglo_Saxon_Lyres@yahoogroups.com
          Date: Tuesday, December 1, 2009, 6:05 AM

          Hello,
          I've caught the Germanic Lyre bug in a big way, and I'm collecting all the information I can to build myself one. Aesthetically, I would go for the Trossing model, but without the carvings.

          There's a lot of information on the Net about shape and size, excavation finds of bridges and pegs, and the woods that were used, etc. But I haven't yet come across links to either contemporary pictorial evidence or archaeological finds of tail-pieces. Have I missed something, or are all the reproduction tail-pieces conjectural?

          I've been playing instruments with floating bridges all my life (mandolin, banjo and violin), and I've seen reproduction lyre tail-pieces reminiscent of all three: long ones like on the violin, short ones like the early banjo ones, and even some sort of arrangement with pins hammered into the end of the corpus for each string, mandolin style. 

          This set me thinking. The tailpiece of a necked stringed instrument is designed to keep each string fairly straight as it crosses the bridge. The strings approach the bridge almost parallel from the tuning end, and continue almost parallel to the spread attachment points on the tail- piece. This means that most of the the tension in the string is acting downwards, pressing the bridge on the belly. There is very little sideways force that would tend to lift the strings out of their notches.

          In the photos of reproduction lyres, however, I often see the strings converging from the tuning end to the bridge, and then making a sharp kink, to run parallel to the spread holes in the tailpiece. This somehow runs counter to my practical musician's instincts!
          So I laid a straight-edge over the scale drawing that I made of the Trossingen lyre, with the correct size of bridge at the correct position (between the sound-holes). And lo and behold! The straight line from each tuning peg to the protrusion at the other end passed over the bridge at the position of the appropriate notch (as near as makes no difference).

          It is strange that the Trossingen bridge should be preserved and not the tail-piece - the bridge is usually the first part of an old instrument to get lost!
          Could it be that the sturdy protrusion on the tail end of the Trossing lyre IS the tail-piece? That the strings were tied to it, one over the other? Surely the near-perfect intersection of the bridge by the lines from the tuning pegs to the end-protrusion is not a coincidence! This arrangement would have the practical advantage that adjusting one string would not affect the tuning of the others, and a breaking string would not put the whole instrument out of tune.

          I haven't been able to acertain empirically whether the end-protrusion is long enough to tie 6 strings to. If not, I could envisage a fairly small ring of some strong material on a tail-gut, with the strings knotted to it side by side. This would keep the strings aligned on the protrusion.

          This is all speculation, of course. But it's based on the practical observation that the holes in tail-pieces of violins and banjos have to be spaced out to keep the strings roughly parallel. By anaology, the tail-piece of a lyre should draw the strings together to keep them converging at roughly the same angle. Basically similar tail-pieces are not optimal for both parallel and converging strings!

          Any ideas, anyone? 

          Cheers,
          John




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        • niki naeve
          My tailpiece broke on my second lyre and the poor thing has gone months without a replacement...I m thinking maybe this is a good time to experiment!
          Message 4 of 19 , Dec 1, 2009
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            Re: [Anglo_Saxon_Lyres] Tail-pieces - a question
            My tailpiece broke on my second lyre and the poor thing has gone months without a replacement...I'm thinking maybe this is a good time to experiment!

            Unfortunately that's the one I tried metal strings on - the tension may prove too much.

            Stay tuned...(little ha ha)

            Niki

             
            I'm thinking you are onto something here!  I'm not entirely sure why I hadn't thought of that.  For that matter, I'm not sure why lyres need tail pieces at all.  Though they do look good to a modern eye, they may not have been needed on historical instruments at all.
             
            My suggestion is that you try it without a tail at all first.  I have one banjo that has no tailpiece and it works just fine.  I put a little piece of leather under the strings so they don't groove the wooden rim, but that's one of the things we'd expect to go away in the ground or even not to be recognized as useful when the instrument was excavated.  If it was used at all, that is.
             
            Do let us know what you come up with!
             
            -Patrick


            --- On Tue, 12/1/09, John <johnedallas@...> wrote:

            From: John <johnedallas@...>
            Subject: [Anglo_Saxon_Lyres] Tail-pieces - a question
            To: Anglo_Saxon_Lyres@yahoogroups.com
            Date: Tuesday, December 1, 2009, 6:05 AM
            Hello,
            I've caught the Germanic Lyre bug in a big way, and I'm collecting all the information I can to build myself one. Aesthetically, I would go for the Trossing model, but without the carvings.

            There's a lot of information on the Net about shape and size, excavation finds of bridges and pegs, and the woods that were used, etc. But I haven't yet come across links to either contemporary pictorial evidence or archaeological finds of tail-pieces. Have I missed something, or are all the reproduction tail-pieces conjectural?

            I've been playing instruments with floating bridges all my life (mandolin, banjo and violin), and I've seen reproduction lyre tail-pieces reminiscent of all three: long ones like on the violin, short ones like the early banjo ones, and even some sort of arrangement with pins hammered into the end of the corpus for each string, mandolin style. 

            This set me thinking. The tailpiece of a necked stringed instrument is designed to keep each string fairly straight as it crosses the bridge. The strings approach the bridge almost parallel from the tuning end, and continue almost parallel to the spread attachment points on the tail- piece. This means that most of the the tension in the string is acting downwards, pressing the bridge on the belly. There is very little sideways force that would tend to lift the strings out of their notches.

            In the photos of reproduction lyres, however, I often see the strings converging from the tuning end to the bridge, and then making a sharp kink, to run parallel to the spread holes in the tailpiece. This somehow runs counter to my practical musician's instincts!
            So I laid a straight-edge over the scale drawing that I made of the Trossingen lyre, with the correct size of bridge at the correct position (between the sound-holes). And lo and behold! The straight line from each tuning peg to the protrusion at the other end passed over the bridge at the position of the appropriate notch (as near as makes no difference).

            It is strange that the Trossingen bridge should be preserved and not the tail-piece - the bridge is usually the first part of an old instrument to get lost!
            Could it be that the sturdy protrusion on the tail end of the Trossing lyre IS the tail-piece? That the strings were tied to it, one over the other? Surely the near-perfect intersection of the bridge by the lines from the tuning pegs to the end-protrusion is not a coincidence! This arrangement would have the practical advantage that adjusting one string would not affect the tuning of the others, and a breaking string would not put the whole instrument out of tune.

            I haven't been able to acertain empirically whether the end-protrusion is long enough to tie 6 strings to. If not, I could envisage a fairly small ring of some strong material on a tail-gut, with the strings knotted to it side by side. This would keep the strings aligned on the protrusion.

            This is all speculation, of course. But it's based on the practical observation that the holes in tail-pieces of violins and banjos have to be spaced out to keep the strings roughly parallel. By anaology, the tail-piece of a lyre should draw the strings together to keep them converging at roughly the same angle. Basically similar tail-pieces are not optimal for both parallel and converging strings!

            Any ideas, anyone? 

            Cheers,
            John




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          • johnedallas@aol.com
            In einer eMail vom 01.12.2009 23:25:55 Mitteleuropäische Zeit schreibt patrick_woolery@yahoo.com: For that matter, I m not sure why lyres need tail pieces at
            Message 5 of 19 , Dec 2, 2009
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              In einer eMail vom 01.12.2009 23:25:55 Mitteleuropäische Zeit schreibt patrick_woolery@...:
              For that matter, I'm not sure why lyres need tail pieces at all.  Though they do look good to a modern eye, they may not have been needed on historical instruments at all. 
              Patrick,
              I think you've got a point there: "... look good to a modern eye." (Although I personally don't think they look so good or appropriate on a plucked instrument, but that's probably just me.)
               
              Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the British Museum replica of the Sutton Hoo lyre the earliest, or at least seminal, restoration? As such, it would set the trend for later reconstructions, unless corrected by later archaeological evidence. This find was very incomplete, so a lot of the reconstruction - in particular the bottom attachment of the strings - must needs be based on informed conjecture.
               
              And this replica was made by the Dolmetsch company, who are noted for their pioneer work in reconstructing Renaissance instruments like lutes and viols! Compared with Anglo-Saxon lyres, violas da gamba are modern - built in very much the same luthier tradition as our modern violin, and with plenty of pictorial and museal tail-piece evidence to work on. Could the presence of a tail-piece on the British Museum replica be a case of "To him who possesses only a hammer, every problem looks like a nail?" (Following the logic of: "A viol is an old, floating-bridge instrument and has a tail-piece; ergo, old floating-bridge instruments have tailpieces.")
               
              Note: I'm not trying to disparage Arnold Dolmetsch and his family - they really were instrumental (!) in giving us authentic Renaissance and Baroque instruments for historically informed performance. I attended one of their performances of "Shakespearian Music" back in the 1960s, which was extremely informative.
               
              Cheers,
              John
            • michael king
              I started making tailpieces on my own lyres using the British museum reconstruction as a guide, mostly because thats what I had always wanted to make,  but
              Message 6 of 19 , Dec 2, 2009
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                I started making tailpieces on my own lyres using the British museum reconstruction as a guide, mostly because thats what I had always wanted to make,  but after making some simple dowel and gut tailpieces (pretty much like the ones used on Jouhikkos/bowed lyres) I am a convert to this type of tailpiece as it is easy to fit, adjust and is stronger.  

                I guess the support for a more "modern" looking tailpiece might been seen in the cologne lyre which had a metal tailpiece. 

                My own thoughts on the Trossingen in the light of the missing tailpiece is that the strings could have been looped around the endpin, or a separate gut loop may have held the strings.  I do not believe that the dowel pins that held the soundboard in place are anything else,  as this method of woodworking can be seen on old swedish nyckelharpas and cremonese violins, I think its within the traditions of woodworking/instrument making.

                Michael



                --- On Wed, 2/12/09, johnedallas@... <johnedallas@...> wrote:

                From: johnedallas@... <johnedallas@...>
                Subject: Re: [Anglo_Saxon_Lyres] Tail-pieces - a question
                To: Anglo_Saxon_Lyres@yahoogroups.com
                Date: Wednesday, 2 December, 2009, 9:31

                 

                In einer eMail vom 01.12.2009 23:25:55 Mitteleuropäische Zeit schreibt patrick_woolery@ yahoo.com:
                For that matter, I'm not sure why lyres need tail pieces at all.  Though they do look good to a modern eye, they may not have been needed on historical instruments at all. 
                Patrick,
                I think you've got a point there: "... look good to a modern eye." (Although I personally don't think they look so good or appropriate on a plucked instrument, but that's probably just me.)
                 
                Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the British Museum replica of the Sutton Hoo lyre the earliest, or at least seminal, restoration? As such, it would set the trend for later reconstructions, unless corrected by later archaeological evidence. This find was very incomplete, so a lot of the reconstruction - in particular the bottom attachment of the strings - must needs be based on informed conjecture.
                 
                And this replica was made by the Dolmetsch company, who are noted for their pioneer work in reconstructing Renaissance instruments like lutes and viols! Compared with Anglo-Saxon lyres, violas da gamba are modern - built in very much the same luthier tradition as our modern violin, and with plenty of pictorial and museal tail-piece evidence to work on. Could the presence of a tail-piece on the British Museum replica be a case of "To him who possesses only a hammer, every problem looks like a nail?" (Following the logic of: "A viol is an old, floating-bridge instrument and has a tail-piece; ergo, old floating-bridge instruments have tailpieces." )
                 
                Note: I'm not trying to disparage Arnold Dolmetsch and his family - they really were instrumental (!) in giving us authentic Renaissance and Baroque instruments for historically informed performance. I attended one of their performances of "Shakespearian Music" back in the 1960s, which was extremely informative.
                 
                Cheers,
                John

              • simon@simonchadwick.net
                I think there must have been different methods on the go at diferent times and places. The Bambergh Apocalypse ms picture shows some kind of tailpiece, perhaps
                Message 7 of 19 , Dec 2, 2009
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                  I think there must have been different methods on the go at diferent
                  times and places. The Bambergh Apocalypse ms picture shows some kind
                  of tailpiece, perhaps a stick with a fancy crossed tailgut? The stick
                  is well attested from the later Scandinavian instruments. The simple
                  loop of tailgut appears on a number of other traditions I think,
                  though it does actually make tuning more unstable - because each
                  string pulls the loop into its own shape, adjusting one changes the
                  shape of the loop and they all suffer a bit. Other possibilities to
                  consider is the style used on the Kora, where each string id tied
                  either directly to the end, or to its own thicker gut holder - like a
                  seperate tailgut for each string.

                  We are used to being able to purchase nice long even strings, but in
                  early medieval times this would have been an issue - a tailpiece can
                  let you use shorter strings. On my Trossingen replica which Davy
                  patton made (see http://www.davypatton.com for photos) , I am using
                  horsehair atrings and it was a struggle to get hair long enough:
                  using a stick tailpiece right up by the bridge was a solution. The
                  kora style seperate extensions would also have worked.

                  Am I wrong in thinking there is some real archaeological or pictorial
                  evidence for the viol-style tailpieces? (apart from Cologne)

                  Simon
                • vikingtimbo
                  ... Hi, I wish we had more information about the large tailpiece on the Cologne lyre. But we should bear in mind that it s from a slightly later period than
                  Message 8 of 19 , Dec 2, 2009
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                    --- In Anglo_Saxon_Lyres@yahoogroups.com, simon@... wrote:


                    Hi,

                    I wish we had more information about the "large" tailpiece on the Cologne lyre. But we should bear in mind that it's from a slightly later period than the late sixth to early seventh century instruments from England and southern Germany.

                    There's a little information about the Teerns tailpiece in msg 1544. But as far as I know it was found in isolation, without any other lyre paraphernalia, and might possibly be completely misidentified.

                    There's this rather late (13th century) image from Norway that is probably depicting both a bridge and a dowel tailpiece:

                    http://www.timelessmyths.com/norse/gallery/gunnar.jpg

                    The Bamberg Apocalypse image is hard to interpret:

                    http://f1.grp.yahoofs.com/v1/4HIWS0YJR26PlvtBo578KWTIbPmNgJraa5g6euZ21hi7uswFQMF0jTDtTVW7nLHD0MCDLnFmoxucpDpRJUQGZg/pt-bamberg-sw.jpg

                    At first glance it appears to show a loop of tailgut on each lyre supporting a dowel tailpiece, with no bridge illustrated at all. But on closer inspection, the tailgut on the lyres is actually angled in such a way that it doesn't look like it's supporting a tailpiece, since the gut would need to be tied close to each end of a dowel tailpiece for stability, rather than it's centre. So maybe what we're seeing is a loop of tailgut being used to hold the strings directly, as well as a bridge that's just shown in slightly the wrong place. Hard to say.

                    But my intuition tells me that the large viol-style tailpieces are probably not accurate, and if tailpieces were used at all on the early lyres they were probably just simple dowel ones.

                    Cheers,
                    Tim













                    > I think there must have been different methods on the go at diferent
                    > times and places. The Bambergh Apocalypse ms picture shows some kind
                    > of tailpiece, perhaps a stick with a fancy crossed tailgut? The stick
                    > is well attested from the later Scandinavian instruments. The simple
                    > loop of tailgut appears on a number of other traditions I think,
                    > though it does actually make tuning more unstable - because each
                    > string pulls the loop into its own shape, adjusting one changes the
                    > shape of the loop and they all suffer a bit. Other possibilities to
                    > consider is the style used on the Kora, where each string id tied
                    > either directly to the end, or to its own thicker gut holder - like a
                    > seperate tailgut for each string.
                    >
                    > We are used to being able to purchase nice long even strings, but in
                    > early medieval times this would have been an issue - a tailpiece can
                    > let you use shorter strings. On my Trossingen replica which Davy
                    > patton made (see http://www.davypatton.com for photos) , I am using
                    > horsehair atrings and it was a struggle to get hair long enough:
                    > using a stick tailpiece right up by the bridge was a solution. The
                    > kora style seperate extensions would also have worked.
                    >
                    > Am I wrong in thinking there is some real archaeological or pictorial
                    > evidence for the viol-style tailpieces? (apart from Cologne)
                    >
                    > Simon
                    >
                  • LM
                    My problem with tailpieces is that they break. If I am not careful to make them with the grain lengthwise, they tend to snap under the strain. If the grain is
                    Message 9 of 19 , Dec 2, 2009
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                      My problem with tailpieces is that they break.

                      If I am not careful to make them with the grain lengthwise, they tend to snap under the strain. If the grain is crosswise, even with low tension gut or nylon strings, they will tend to break along the grain lines.

                      The other problem is tailpiece string. This is the piece that attaches the tailpiece to the end peg. If whatever you're using is too light, then it will also break, often obeying Murphy's Law. My string guy, who does serious strings for all kinds of early music instruments, has some very heavy duty tailpiece gut.    <Boston Catlines.com>

                      Larry the M

                      On Wed, Dec 2, 2009 at 4:31 AM, <johnedallas@...> wrote:
                       

                      In einer eMail vom 01.12.2009 23:25:55 Mitteleuropäische Zeit schreibt patrick_woolery@...:
                      For that matter, I'm not sure why lyres need tail pieces at all.  Though they do look good to a modern eye, they may not have been needed on historical instruments at all. 
                      Patrick,
                      I think you've got a point there: "... look good to a modern eye." (Although I personally don't think they look so good or appropriate on a plucked instrument, but that's probably just me.)
                       
                      Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the British Museum replica of the Sutton Hoo lyre the earliest, or at least seminal, restoration? As such, it would set the trend for later reconstructions, unless corrected by later archaeological evidence. This find was very incomplete, so a lot of the reconstruction - in particular the bottom attachment of the strings - must needs be based on informed conjecture.
                       
                      And this replica was made by the Dolmetsch company, who are noted for their pioneer work in reconstructing Renaissance instruments like lutes and viols! Compared with Anglo-Saxon lyres, violas da gamba are modern - built in very much the same luthier tradition as our modern violin, and with plenty of pictorial and museal tail-piece evidence to work on. Could the presence of a tail-piece on the British Museum replica be a case of "To him who possesses only a hammer, every problem looks like a nail?" (Following the logic of: "A viol is an old, floating-bridge instrument and has a tail-piece; ergo, old floating-bridge instruments have tailpieces.")
                       
                      Note: I'm not trying to disparage Arnold Dolmetsch and his family - they really were instrumental (!) in giving us authentic Renaissance and Baroque instruments for historically informed performance. I attended one of their performances of "Shakespearian Music" back in the 1960s, which was extremely informative.
                       
                      Cheers,
                      John

                    • michael king
                      Hello Larry! I had some similar problems with tail-pieces and gut over the years,  I now use cello gut, (very thick!) when a customer wanted real gut and
                      Message 10 of 19 , Dec 2, 2009
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                        Hello Larry!
                        I had some similar problems with tail-pieces and gut over the years,  I now use cello gut, (very thick!) when a customer wanted real gut and synthetic otherwise.

                        This year I have been experimenting with a 300LB mono-filament that is the same thickness as violin tailgut.

                        The dowel type of tail-piece I show briefly on my recent youtube video seems to be a good all round solution to that grain weakness,  On youtube you can see two other types of this tailpiece on Simon Chadwicks Trossingen and Irish Lyre videos



                        Best wishes
                        Michael
                        BYW: The red nylon in my video is 3mm thick and is rock solid  (probably overkill..)


                         

                        --- On Wed, 2/12/09, LM <lavransrm@...> wrote:

                        From: LM <lavransrm@...>
                        Subject: Re: [Anglo_Saxon_Lyres] Tail-pieces - a question
                        To: Anglo_Saxon_Lyres@yahoogroups.com
                        Date: Wednesday, 2 December, 2009, 14:46

                         

                        My problem with tailpieces is that they break.

                        If I am not careful to make them with the grain lengthwise, they tend to snap under the strain. If the grain is crosswise, even with low tension gut or nylon strings, they will tend to break along the grain lines.

                        The other problem is tailpiece string. This is the piece that attaches the tailpiece to the end peg. If whatever you're using is too light, then it will also break, often obeying Murphy's Law. My string guy, who does serious strings for all kinds of early music instruments, has some very heavy duty tailpiece gut.    <Boston Catlines.com>

                        Larry the M

                        On Wed, Dec 2, 2009 at 4:31 AM, <johnedallas@ aol.com> wrote:
                         

                        In einer eMail vom 01.12.2009 23:25:55 Mitteleuropäische Zeit schreibt patrick_woolery@ yahoo.com:
                        For that matter, I'm not sure why lyres need tail pieces at all.  Though they do look good to a modern eye, they may not have been needed on historical instruments at all. 
                        Patrick,
                        I think you've got a point there: "... look good to a modern eye." (Although I personally don't think they look so good or appropriate on a plucked instrument, but that's probably just me.)
                         
                        Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the British Museum replica of the Sutton Hoo lyre the earliest, or at least seminal, restoration?  As such, it would set the trend for later reconstructions, unless corrected by later archaeological evidence. This find was very incomplete, so a lot of the reconstruction - in particular the bottom attachment of the strings - must needs be based on informed conjecture.
                         
                        And this replica was made by the Dolmetsch company, who are noted for their pioneer work in reconstructing Renaissance instruments like lutes and viols! Compared with Anglo-Saxon lyres, violas da gamba are modern - built in very much the same luthier tradition as our modern violin, and with plenty of pictorial and museal tail-piece evidence to work on. Could the presence of a tail-piece on the British Museum replica be a case of "To him who possesses only a hammer, every problem looks like a nail?" (Following the logic of: "A viol is an old, floating-bridge instrument and has a tail-piece; ergo, old floating-bridge instruments have tailpieces.")
                         
                        Note: I'm not trying to disparage Arnold Dolmetsch and his family - they really were instrumental (!) in giving us authentic Renaissance and Baroque instruments for historically informed performance. I attended one of their performances of "Shakespearian Music" back in the 1960s, which was extremely informative.
                         
                        Cheers,
                        John


                      • LM
                        For an entirely different solution, I m looking at the way a viola da gamba tailpiece is attached. Sort of a piece of wood extending upwards with a notch to
                        Message 11 of 19 , Dec 2, 2009
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                          For an entirely different solution, I'm looking at the way a viola da gamba tailpiece is attached.  Sort of a piece of wood extending upwards with a notch to hold the tailpiece.

                          Google images.

                          The Gunnar lyre with 12 strings was just impossible...

                          Larry

                          On Wed, Dec 2, 2009 at 10:37 AM, michael king <michaeljking2007@...> wrote:
                           

                          Hello Larry!
                          I had some similar problems with tail-pieces and gut over the years,  I now use cello gut, (very thick!) when a customer wanted real gut and synthetic otherwise.

                          This year I have been experimenting with a 300LB mono-filament that is the same thickness as violin tailgut.

                          The dowel type of tail-piece I show briefly on my recent youtube video seems to be a good all round solution to that grain weakness,  On youtube you can see two other types of this tailpiece on Simon Chadwicks Trossingen and Irish Lyre videos



                          Best wishes
                          Michael
                          BYW: The red nylon in my video is 3mm thick and is rock solid  (probably overkill..)


                           

                          --- On Wed, 2/12/09, LM <lavransrm@...> wrote:

                          From: LM <lavransrm@...>

                          Subject: Re: [Anglo_Saxon_Lyres] Tail-pieces - a question
                          To: Anglo_Saxon_Lyres@yahoogroups.com
                          Date: Wednesday, 2 December, 2009, 14:46


                           

                          My problem with tailpieces is that they break.

                          If I am not careful to make them with the grain lengthwise, they tend to snap under the strain. If the grain is crosswise, even with low tension gut or nylon strings, they will tend to break along the grain lines.

                          The other problem is tailpiece string. This is the piece that attaches the tailpiece to the end peg. If whatever you're using is too light, then it will also break, often obeying Murphy's Law. My string guy, who does serious strings for all kinds of early music instruments, has some very heavy duty tailpiece gut.    <Boston Catlines.com>

                          Larry the M

                          On Wed, Dec 2, 2009 at 4:31 AM, <johnedallas@ aol.com> wrote:
                           

                          In einer eMail vom 01.12.2009 23:25:55 Mitteleuropäische Zeit schreibt patrick_woolery@ yahoo.com:
                          For that matter, I'm not sure why lyres need tail pieces at all.  Though they do look good to a modern eye, they may not have been needed on historical instruments at all. 
                          Patrick,
                          I think you've got a point there: "... look good to a modern eye." (Although I personally don't think they look so good or appropriate on a plucked instrument, but that's probably just me.)
                           
                          Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the British Museum replica of the Sutton Hoo lyre the earliest, or at least seminal, restoration?  As such, it would set the trend for later reconstructions, unless corrected by later archaeological evidence. This find was very incomplete, so a lot of the reconstruction - in particular the bottom attachment of the strings - must needs be based on informed conjecture.
                           
                          And this replica was made by the Dolmetsch company, who are noted for their pioneer work in reconstructing Renaissance instruments like lutes and viols! Compared with Anglo-Saxon lyres, violas da gamba are modern - built in very much the same luthier tradition as our modern violin, and with plenty of pictorial and museal tail-piece evidence to work on. Could the presence of a tail-piece on the British Museum replica be a case of "To him who possesses only a hammer, every problem looks like a nail?" (Following the logic of: "A viol is an old, floating-bridge instrument and has a tail-piece; ergo, old floating-bridge instruments have tailpieces.")
                           
                          Note: I'm not trying to disparage Arnold Dolmetsch and his family - they really were instrumental (!) in giving us authentic Renaissance and Baroque instruments for historically informed performance. I attended one of their performances of "Shakespearian Music" back in the 1960s, which was extremely informative.
                           
                          Cheers,
                          John



                        • johnedallas@aol.com
                          In einer eMail vom 02.12.2009 11:17:40 Mitteleuropäische Zeit schreibt michaeljking2007@yahoo.co.uk: I guess the support for a more modern looking
                          Message 12 of 19 , Dec 2, 2009
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                            In einer eMail vom 02.12.2009 11:17:40 Mitteleuropäische Zeit schreibt michaeljking2007@...:
                            I guess the support for a more "modern" looking tailpiece might been seen in the cologne lyre which had a metal tailpiece. 
                            Michael,
                             
                            Could you point me to a pic of the Cologne tailpiece?  Google only found me a photo of the replica.
                             
                            Cheers,
                            John
                          • michael king
                            alas the lyre was lost in WWII The Mitford book has line drawings and the reconstruction, (pictures, link anyone?) the reconstruction is here:
                            Message 13 of 19 , Dec 2, 2009
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                              alas the lyre was lost in WWII

                              The Mitford book has line drawings and the reconstruction, (pictures, link anyone?)
                              the reconstruction is here:
                              http://www.musark.no/artikler/Lyrer_ill.pdf
                              another link for a book about the burial, will probably be spaced out as its rather long:
                              http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=SvFs3xAE6jsC&pg=PA175&lpg=PA175&dq=st+severin%27s+lyre&source=bl&ots=Y57xAWSuMb&sig=wtp_3-zY_c5xw0t1nf5RPq4Yb5I&hl=en&ei=16QWS8qsHoH74AbunZDMBg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=3&ved=0CA4Q6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=&f=false

                              another book in german about the church that mentions the find:
                              http://www.koeln.de/veedel/innenstadt/deutz/111_koelner_orte_das_grabungsfeld_unter_st_severin_194751.html


                              --- On Wed, 2/12/09, johnedallas@... <johnedallas@...> wrote:

                              From: johnedallas@... <johnedallas@...>
                              Subject: Re: [Anglo_Saxon_Lyres] Tail-pieces - a question
                              To: Anglo_Saxon_Lyres@yahoogroups.com
                              Date: Wednesday, 2 December, 2009, 17:24

                               

                              In einer eMail vom 02.12.2009 11:17:40 Mitteleuropäische Zeit schreibt michaeljking2007@ yahoo.co. uk:
                              I guess the support for a more "modern" looking tailpiece might been seen in the cologne lyre which had a metal tailpiece. 
                              Michael,
                               
                              Could you point me to a pic of the Cologne tailpiece?  Google only found me a photo of the replica.
                               
                              Cheers,
                              John

                            • wernerbuchin
                              Hallo Simon, ... Yes, there is a viol-style tailpiece finding in Haithabu (Germany, Schleswig-Holstein). Here is a short description: copper beech, 140 mm
                              Message 14 of 19 , Jan 11, 2010
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                                Hallo Simon,

                                --- In Anglo_Saxon_Lyres@yahoogroups.com, simon@... wrote:
                                >
                                > Am I wrong in thinking there is some real archaeological or pictorial
                                > evidence for the viol-style tailpieces? (apart from Cologne)
                                >
                                > Simon
                                >

                                Yes, there is a viol-style tailpiece finding in Haithabu (Germany, Schleswig-Holstein).

                                Here is a short description:
                                copper beech, 140 mm long, 9 mm thick, 69 mm wide (find spot: harbour of Haithabu, find number: HbH.916.001), drill-holes; top: 5 (original 6) x 3mm, bottom: 7mm
                                published in: Florian Westphal, „Die Holzfunde von Haithabu", Neumünster 2006

                                Best wishes
                                Werner
                              • Gjermund Kolltveit
                                Hello, And there is another one from Teerns, the Netherlands. Early Middle Ages, five strings, length 14.8 cm. Depicted in Annemies Tamboer, Ausgegrabene
                                Message 15 of 19 , Jan 11, 2010
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                                  Hello,
                                  And there is another one from Teerns, the Netherlands.
                                  Early Middle Ages, five strings, length 14.8 cm. 
                                  Depicted in Annemies Tamboer, Ausgegrabene Klänge (Oldenburg 1999), Fig. 103, p. 61.

                                  Best,
                                  Gjermund



                                  Den 11. jan.. 2010 kl. 20.03 skrev wernerbuchin:


                                  Hallo Simon, 

                                  --- In Anglo_Saxon_ Lyres@yahoogroup s.com, simon@... wrote:
                                  > 
                                  > Am I wrong in thinking there is some real archaeological or pictorial 
                                  > evidence for the viol-style tailpieces? (apart from Cologne)
                                  > 
                                  > Simon
                                  >

                                  Yes, there is a viol-style tailpiece finding in Haithabu (Germany, Schleswig-Holstein) .

                                  Here is a short description:
                                  copper beech, 140 mm long, 9 mm thick, 69 mm wide (find spot: harbour of Haithabu, find number: HbH.916.001) , drill-holes; top: 5 (original 6) x 3mm, bottom: 7mm
                                  published in: Florian Westphal, „Die Holzfunde von Haithabu", Neumünster 2006

                                  Best wishes
                                  Werner


                                • vikingtimbo
                                  ... Hi Werner, I was wondering if you know the age of the find. Hedeby/Haithabu was an important port during viking times, so I was wondering whether it s
                                  Message 16 of 19 , Jan 11, 2010
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                                    --- In Anglo_Saxon_Lyres@yahoogroups.com, "wernerbuchin" <wernerbuchin@...> wrote:



                                    Hi Werner,

                                    I was wondering if you know the age of the find. Hedeby/Haithabu was an important port during viking times, so I was wondering whether it's known for a fact that the tailpiece is from a lyre, or whether perhaps it's from some other kind of instrument that originated elsewhere.

                                    Cheers,
                                    Tim








                                    > Hallo Simon,
                                    >
                                    > --- In Anglo_Saxon_Lyres@yahoogroups.com, simon@ wrote:
                                    > >
                                    > > Am I wrong in thinking there is some real archaeological or pictorial
                                    > > evidence for the viol-style tailpieces? (apart from Cologne)
                                    > >
                                    > > Simon
                                    > >
                                    >
                                    > Yes, there is a viol-style tailpiece finding in Haithabu (Germany, Schleswig-Holstein).
                                    >
                                    > Here is a short description:
                                    > copper beech, 140 mm long, 9 mm thick, 69 mm wide (find spot: harbour of Haithabu, find number: HbH.916.001), drill-holes; top: 5 (original 6) x 3mm, bottom: 7mm
                                    > published in: Florian Westphal, „Die Holzfunde von Haithabu", Neumünster 2006
                                    >
                                    > Best wishes
                                    > Werner
                                    >
                                  • wernerbuchin
                                    Hi Tim, there was found an fiddle-like Instrument, and a Lyre-yoke. This Tailpiece must be for a Lyre, because it´s made for 6 strings (just like the Yoke).
                                    Message 17 of 19 , Jan 12, 2010
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                                      Hi Tim,
                                      there was found an fiddle-like Instrument, and a Lyre-yoke. This Tailpiece must be for a Lyre, because it´s made for 6 strings (just like the Yoke). The wooden findings of Haithabu are dated in the 9th century, some probably in the 10th or early 11th.

                                      Best wishes
                                      Werner

                                      --- In Anglo_Saxon_Lyres@yahoogroups.com, "vikingtimbo" <vikingtimbo650@...> wrote:
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > --- In Anglo_Saxon_Lyres@yahoogroups.com, "wernerbuchin" <wernerbuchin@> wrote:
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > Hi Werner,
                                      >
                                      > I was wondering if you know the age of the find. Hedeby/Haithabu was an important port during viking times, so I was wondering whether it's known for a fact that the tailpiece is from a lyre, or whether perhaps it's from some other kind of instrument that originated elsewhere.
                                      >
                                      > Cheers,
                                      > Tim
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > > Hallo Simon,
                                      > >
                                      > > --- In Anglo_Saxon_Lyres@yahoogroups.com, simon@ wrote:
                                      > > >
                                      > > > Am I wrong in thinking there is some real archaeological or pictorial
                                      > > > evidence for the viol-style tailpieces? (apart from Cologne)
                                      > > >
                                      > > > Simon
                                      > > >
                                      > >
                                      > > Yes, there is a viol-style tailpiece finding in Haithabu (Germany, Schleswig-Holstein).
                                      > >
                                      > > Here is a short description:
                                      > > copper beech, 140 mm long, 9 mm thick, 69 mm wide (find spot: harbour of Haithabu, find number: HbH.916.001), drill-holes; top: 5 (original 6) x 3mm, bottom: 7mm
                                      > > published in: Florian Westphal, „Die Holzfunde von Haithabu", Neumünster 2006
                                      > >
                                      > > Best wishes
                                      > > Werner
                                      > >
                                      >
                                    • wernerbuchin
                                      Hey everybody, I was in Berlin, and look what I found in the Neues Museum ; a fired-clary roman string-holder, and a greek one made of bone. The romen is
                                      Message 18 of 19 , Feb 10, 2010
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                                        Hey everybody,
                                        I was in Berlin, and look what I found in the "Neues Museum";
                                        a fired-clary roman string-holder, and a greek one made of bone.
                                        The romen is dated 1000 BC - AD 500. I wonder how to fix it at the instrument. I will upload the pics for you.

                                        Best wishes
                                        Werner





                                        --- In Anglo_Saxon_Lyres@yahoogroups.com, "wernerbuchin" <wernerbuchin@...> wrote:
                                        >
                                        > Hi Tim,
                                        > there was found an fiddle-like Instrument, and a Lyre-yoke. This Tailpiece must be for a Lyre, because it´s made for 6 strings (just like the Yoke). The wooden findings of Haithabu are dated in the 9th century, some probably in the 10th or early 11th.
                                        >
                                        > Best wishes
                                        > Werner
                                        >
                                        > --- In Anglo_Saxon_Lyres@yahoogroups.com, "vikingtimbo" <vikingtimbo650@> wrote:
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        > > --- In Anglo_Saxon_Lyres@yahoogroups.com, "wernerbuchin" <wernerbuchin@> wrote:
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        > > Hi Werner,
                                        > >
                                        > > I was wondering if you know the age of the find. Hedeby/Haithabu was an important port during viking times, so I was wondering whether it's known for a fact that the tailpiece is from a lyre, or whether perhaps it's from some other kind of instrument that originated elsewhere.
                                        > >
                                        > > Cheers,
                                        > > Tim
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        > > > Hallo Simon,
                                        > > >
                                        > > > --- In Anglo_Saxon_Lyres@yahoogroups.com, simon@ wrote:
                                        > > > >
                                        > > > > Am I wrong in thinking there is some real archaeological or pictorial
                                        > > > > evidence for the viol-style tailpieces? (apart from Cologne)
                                        > > > >
                                        > > > > Simon
                                        > > > >
                                        > > >
                                        > > > Yes, there is a viol-style tailpiece finding in Haithabu (Germany, Schleswig-Holstein).
                                        > > >
                                        > > > Here is a short description:
                                        > > > copper beech, 140 mm long, 9 mm thick, 69 mm wide (find spot: harbour of Haithabu, find number: HbH.916.001), drill-holes; top: 5 (original 6) x 3mm, bottom: 7mm
                                        > > > published in: Florian Westphal, „Die Holzfunde von Haithabu", Neumünster 2006
                                        > > >
                                        > > > Best wishes
                                        > > > Werner
                                        > > >
                                        > >
                                        >
                                      • simon@simonchadwick.net
                                        Thanks Werner, these are good photos and very well spotted. I am however very suspicious - it seems to me that these could well be some other kind of object.
                                        Message 19 of 19 , Feb 10, 2010
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                                          Thanks Werner, these are good photos and very well spotted.

                                          I am however very suspicious - it seems to me that these could well
                                          be some other kind of object. For example, the bone one could be a
                                          belt-fitting, with a line of rivet holes.

                                          I would need to see evidence of wear from string attachment to be
                                          sure, especially with the end missing. It could be a string holder
                                          but it may not be.

                                          The clay one I think it much less likely, I have never heard of a
                                          clay stringholder.

                                          I suppose the museum curators or archaeologists just had a guess - it
                                          happens all the time.

                                          Simon


                                          On 10 Feb 2010, at 12:50, wernerbuchin wrote:

                                          > Hey everybody,
                                          > I was in Berlin, and look what I found in the "Neues Museum";
                                          > a fired-clary roman string-holder, and a greek one made of bone.
                                          > The romen is dated 1000 BC - AD 500. I wonder how to fix it at the
                                          > instrument. I will upload the pics for you.
                                          >
                                          > Best wishes
                                          > Werner
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          > --- In Anglo_Saxon_Lyres@yahoogroups.com, "wernerbuchin"
                                          > <wernerbuchin@...> wrote:
                                          >>
                                          >> Hi Tim,
                                          >> there was found an fiddle-like Instrument, and a Lyre-yoke. This
                                          >> Tailpiece must be for a Lyre, because it´s made for 6 strings
                                          >> (just like the Yoke). The wooden findings of Haithabu are dated in
                                          >> the 9th century, some probably in the 10th or early 11th.
                                          >>
                                          >> Best wishes
                                          >> Werner
                                          >>
                                          >> --- In Anglo_Saxon_Lyres@yahoogroups.com, "vikingtimbo"
                                          >> <vikingtimbo650@> wrote:
                                          >>>
                                          >>>
                                          >>>
                                          >>> --- In Anglo_Saxon_Lyres@yahoogroups.com, "wernerbuchin"
                                          >>> <wernerbuchin@> wrote:
                                          >>>
                                          >>>
                                          >>>
                                          >>> Hi Werner,
                                          >>>
                                          >>> I was wondering if you know the age of the find. Hedeby/Haithabu
                                          >>> was an important port during viking times, so I was wondering
                                          >>> whether it's known for a fact that the tailpiece is from a lyre,
                                          >>> or whether perhaps it's from some other kind of instrument that
                                          >>> originated elsewhere.
                                          >>>
                                          >>> Cheers,
                                          >>> Tim
                                          >>>
                                          >>>
                                          >>>
                                          >>>
                                          >>>
                                          >>>
                                          >>>
                                          >>>
                                          >>>> Hallo Simon,
                                          >>>>
                                          >>>> --- In Anglo_Saxon_Lyres@yahoogroups.com, simon@ wrote:
                                          >>>>>
                                          >>>>> Am I wrong in thinking there is some real archaeological or
                                          >>>>> pictorial
                                          >>>>> evidence for the viol-style tailpieces? (apart from Cologne)
                                          >>>>>
                                          >>>>> Simon
                                          >>>>>
                                          >>>>
                                          >>>> Yes, there is a viol-style tailpiece finding in Haithabu
                                          >>>> (Germany, Schleswig-Holstein).
                                          >>>>
                                          >>>> Here is a short description:
                                          >>>> copper beech, 140 mm long, 9 mm thick, 69 mm wide (find spot:
                                          >>>> harbour of Haithabu, find number: HbH.916.001), drill-holes;
                                          >>>> top: 5 (original 6) x 3mm, bottom: 7mm
                                          >>>> published in: Florian Westphal, „Die Holzfunde von Haithabu",
                                          >>>> Neumünster 2006
                                          >>>>
                                          >>>> Best wishes
                                          >>>> Werner
                                          >>>>
                                          >>>
                                          >>
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          > ------------------------------------
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