Tim Boucher

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Alphorn (Medieval signalling)

17th–19th century collections of alpine myths and legends suggest that alphorn-like instruments had frequently been used as signal instruments in village communities since medieval times or earlier, sometimes substituting for the lack of church bells.

Source: Alphorn – Wikipedia

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7 Comments

  1. Tim B.

    “The alphorn is carved from solid softwood, generally spruce but sometimes pine. In former times the alphorn maker would find a tree bent at the base in the shape of an alphorn, but modern makers piece the wood together at the base.”

  2. Tim B.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ranz_des_Vaches

    “A Ranz des Vaches or Kuhreihen is a simple melody traditionally played on the horn by the Swiss Alpine herdsmen as they drove their cattle to or from the pasture. The Kuhreihen was linked to the Swiss nostalgia and Homesickness (also known as mal du Suisse “Swiss illness” or Schweizerheimweh “Swiss homesickness”). “

  3. Tim B.

    “The Reverend James Wood, writing in the Nuttall Encyclopaedia in 1907, said that such a tune “when played in foreign lands, produces on a Swiss an almost irrepressible yearning for home”, repeating 18th century accounts the mal du Suisse or nostalgia diagnosed in Swiss mercenaries. Singing of Kuhreihen was forbidden to Swiss mercenaries because they led to nostalgia to the point of desertion, illness or death. The 1767 Dictionnaire de Musique by Jean-Jacques Rousseau claims that Swiss mercenaries were threatened with severe punishment to prevent them from singing their Swiss songs. “

  4. Tim B.

    “The bucium (Romanian pronunciation: [ˈbut͡ʃjum], also called trâmbiţă or tulnic) is a type of alphorn used by mountain dwellers and by shepherds in Romania and Moldova.”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bucium

  5. Tim B.

    “It is also used by shepherds for signaling and communication in the forested mountains and for guiding sheep and dogs.”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trembita

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