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Musical instrument known as a Serpent

Date made: late 18th century

Maker: unknown

Place made: Andreas

Description: This musical instrument was played at Andreas church in the north of the Isle of Man, around 1780. It was used by the grandfather of Mrs Gelling.

The instrument is known as a Serpent because of its curved shape. It has a brass mouthpiece, three holes above and three below, each row also having a key. There is another key at the back

The Serpent was a popular instrument in the 18th century. As well as religious music, it was used in military bands and also for popular music. Its popularity dwindled in the 19th century as it was replaced in bands by the euphonium or tuba, which give a similar sound but which are easier to handle and play.

Measurements: 86 x 43 x 10 cm

Materials: TT organic, cotton, metal: copper alloy, wood

Object name: serpent

Collection: Social History Collection

ID Number: 1954-0942

Subject tags : SHIC 2.851 - Hobbies, crafts and pastimes, Music


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