The ancient carnyx was a wind instrument of the Iron Age Celts, used between c. 200 BC and c. AD 200. It was a type of bronze trumpet with an elongated S shape, held so that the long straight central portion was vertical and the short mouthpiece end section and the much wider bell were horizontal in opposed directions. The bell was styled in the shape of an open-mouthed boar's, or other animal's, head.
It was used in warfare, probably to incite troops to battle and intimidate opponents, as Polybius recounts. The instrument's significant height allowed it to be heard over the heads of the participants in battles or ceremonies.
The word "carnyx" is derived from the Gaulish root, "carn-" or "cern-" meaning "antler" or "horn," and the same root of the name of the god, Cernunnos.
Until 2004, fragments of only five carnyces had been preserved, from modern Scotland, France, Germany, Romania and Switzerland, but in 2004 archaeologists discovered a first-century-BC deposit at Tintignac in Corrèze, France.
In September 2004, over 500 fragments of iron and bronze objects were discovered in a Gallic pit. The objects included a dozen swords and scabbards, iron spearheads, a shield, ten bronze helmets and an iron bird, 2 animal heads, one animal body, a cauldron, and seven Carnyces, one of which is almost complete. These unique military and religious objects are currently being studied by Christophe Maniquet’s team, and are in the process of conservation and restoration by the Materia Viva laboratory in Toulouse.
Four of the carnyces had boar's heads, the fifth appears to be a serpent-like monster; they appear to represent a ritual deposit dating to soon after the Roman conquest of Gaul.The Tintignac finds enabled some fragments found in northern Italy decades before to be identified in 2012 as coming from a carnyx.
The only example from the British Isles is the Deskford Carnyx, found at the farm of Leitchestown, Deskford, Banffshire, Scotland in 1816. Only the boar's head bell survives, also apparently placed as a ritual deposit. It was donated to Banff Museum, and is now on loan from Aberdeenshire Museums Service to the Museum of Scotland. The location and age of the Deskford Carnyx suggests the instrument had a peaceful, ceremonial use and was not only used in warfare.
Before 2004 this was the best surviving example, and generally copied in earlier reconstructions.The Deskford find was made almost entirely of brass, a metal used almost exclusively by the Romans, and strictly controlled by them. Further, the basic size and shape of the Deskford find suggests it may in fact have been a Roman military draco standard.
The instrument is known from depictions on coins and reliefs, notably from Trajan's Column and the so-called initiation scene of the Gundestrup cauldron.
The name is known from textual sources, carnyces are reported from the Celtic attack on the Delphi in 279 BC, as well as from Julius Caesar's campaign in Gaul and Claudius' invasion of Britain. Diodorus Siculus around 60–30 BC said (Histories, 5.30):
Objects found at Tintignac were exhibited at the 2012 exhibition "Les Gaulois, une expo renversante" (The Gauls, a stunning exhibition).
The reconstruction of the Deskford Carnyx was initiated by Dr. John Purser, and commenced in 1991 funded jointly by the Glenfiddich Living Scotland award and the National Museums of Scotland. In addition to John Purser as musicologist, the team comprised the archaeologist Fraser Hunter, silversmith John Creed, and trombonist John Kenny. After 2,000 years of silence the reconstructed Deskford Carnyx was unveiled at the National Museum of Scotland in April 1993.
In 1993 Kenny became the first person to play the carnyx in 2,000 years, and has since lectured and performed on the instrument internationally, in the concert hall, on radio, television, and film. There are numerous compositions for the carnyx and it is featured on seven CDs. On 15 March 2003 he performed solo to an audience of 65,000 in the Stade De France in Paris.[ citation needed ]
On 15 June 2017 "The Music of the Forest", a specially commissioned work by Lakeland composer, Christopher Gibbs, featuring a reconstructed carnyx, received its world premiere at Slaidburn Village Hall. The four-part song cycle evoked the landscape and history of the Forest of Bowland and was performed by the Renaissance Singers of Blackburn Cathedral under the direction of Samuel Hudson. The carnyx was played by John Kenny.
The carnyx is featured in the opening battle scene of Gladiator (2000); and is used as both a musical instrument and a fear-inducing weapon.[ citation needed ] It appears in several battle scenes of the French film, Druids (2001).[ citation needed ] A carnyx appears near the beginning of the 2012 Pixar computer animated film Brave .[ citation needed ] The carnyx is used in the Gallic soundtrack in Sid Meier's Civilization VI.
The Celts are a collection of Indo-European peoples in parts of Europe and Anatolia identified by their use of the Celtic languages and other cultural similarities. Historic Celtic groups included the Gauls, Celtiberians, Galatians, Britons, Gaels, and their offshoots. The relationship between ethnicity, language and culture in the Celtic world is unclear and controversial. In particular, there is dispute over the ways in which the Iron Age inhabitants of Britain and Ireland should be regarded as Celts.
Cernunnos is the conventional epithet given in Celtic studies to depictions of the horned god of Celtic polytheism. Over 50 examples of horned-god imagery have been found from the Gallo-Roman period, mostly in north-eastern Gaul as well as among the Celtiberians. The deity is depicted with antlers, seated cross-legged, and is associated with stags, horned serpents, dogs, bulls, and rats. He is usually holding or wearing a torc.
Gaul was a region of Western Europe first described by the Romans. It was inhabited by Celtic and Aquitani tribes, encompassing present day France, Luxembourg, Belgium, most of Switzerland, and parts of Northern Italy, the Netherlands, and Germany, particularly the west bank of the Rhine. It covered an area of 494,000 km2 (191,000 sq mi). According to Julius Caesar, Gaul was divided into three parts: Gallia Celtica, Belgica, and Aquitania. Archaeologically, the Gauls were bearers of the La Tène culture, which extended across all of Gaul, as well as east to Raetia, Noricum, Pannonia, and southwestern Germania during the 5th to 1st centuries BC. During the 2nd and 1st centuries BC, Gaul fell under Roman rule: Gallia Cisalpina was conquered in 203 BC and Gallia Narbonensis in 123 BC. Gaul was invaded after 120 BC by the Cimbri and the Teutons, who were in turn defeated by the Romans by 103 BC. Julius Caesar finally subdued the remaining parts of Gaul in his campaigns of 58 to 51 BC.
A torc, also spelled torq or torque, is a large rigid or stiff neck ring in metal, made either as a single piece or from strands twisted together. The great majority are open at the front, although some had hook and ring closures and a few had mortice and tenon locking catches to close them. Many seem designed for near-permanent wear and would have been difficult to remove. Torcs are found in the Scythian, Illyrian, Thracian, Celtic, and other cultures of the European Iron Age from around the 8th century BC to the 3rd century AD. For the Iron Age Celts, the gold torc seems to have been a key object. It identifies the wearer as a person of high rank, and many of the finest works of ancient Celtic art are torcs. The Celtic torc disappears in the Migration Period, but during the Viking Age torc-style metal necklaces, now mainly in silver, came back into fashion. Torc styles of neck-ring are found as part of the jewellery styles of various other cultures and periods.
The Gundestrup cauldron is a richly decorated silver vessel, thought to date from between 200 BC and 300 AD, or more narrowly between 150 BC and 1 BC. This places it within the late La Tène period or early Roman Iron Age. The cauldron is the largest known example of European Iron Age silver work. It was found dismantled, with the other pieces stacked inside the base, in 1891 in a peat bog near the hamlet of Gundestrup in the Aars parish of Himmerland, Denmark. It is now usually on display in the National Museum of Denmark in Copenhagen, with replicas at other museums; during 2015–16 it was in the UK on a travelling exhibition called The Celts.
Roman Gaul refers to Gaul under provincial rule in the Roman Empire from the 1st century BC to the 5th century AD.
Limousin is a former administrative region of southwest-central France. On 1 January 2016, it became part of the new administrative region of Nouvelle-Aquitaine. It comprised three departments: Corrèze, Creuse, and Haute-Vienne.
Celtic art is associated with the peoples known as Celts; those who spoke the Celtic languages in Europe from pre-history through to the modern period, as well as the art of ancient peoples whose language is uncertain, but have cultural and stylistic similarities with speakers of Celtic languages.
John Kenny is a British trombonist, actor and composer.
John Purser is a Scottish composer, musicologist, and music historian. He is also a playwright.
The Lemovices were a Gallic tribe dwelling in the modern Limousin region during the Iron Age and the Roman period.
Celtic Luxembourg existed during the period from roughly 600 BC until 100 AD, when the Celts inhabited what is now the territory of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. Their culture was well developed, especially from the 1st century BC, as can be seen from the remains of the extensive Titelberg site in the far southwest of the country and from the impressive finds in several tombs and necropolises in the Moselle valley and its surroundings.
The various names used since classical times for the people known today as the Celts are of disparate origins.
The Gauls were a group of Celtic peoples of Continental Europe in the Iron Age and the Roman period. The area they originally inhabited was known as Gaul. Their Gaulish language forms the main branch of the Continental Celtic languages.
Deductions about the music of the ancient Celts of the La Tène period rely primarily on Greek and Roman sources, as well as on archaeological finds and interpretations including the reconstruction of the Celts' ancient instruments. Most of the textual information centers on military conflicts and on maybe the most prominent Celtic instrument of its time, the carnyx.
The Greeks in pre-Roman Gaul have a significant history of settlement, trade, cultural influence, and armed conflict in the Celtic territory of Gaul, starting from the 6th century BC during the Greek Archaic period. Following the founding of the major trading post of Massalia in 600 BC by the Phocaeans at present day Marseille, Massalians had a complex history of interaction with peoples of the region.
A musical instrument is a device created or adapted to make musical sounds. In principle, any object that produces sound can be considered a musical instrument—it is through purpose that the object becomes a musical instrument. A person who plays a musical instrument is known as an instrumentalist. The history of musical instruments dates to the beginnings of human culture. Early musical instruments may have been used for rituals, such as a horn to signal success on the hunt, or a drum in a religious ceremony. Cultures eventually developed composition and performance of melodies for entertainment. Musical instruments evolved in step with changing applications and technologies.
Prehistoric art in Scotland is visual art created or found within the modern borders of Scotland, before the departure of the Romans from southern and central Britain in the early fifth century CE, which is usually seen as the beginning of the early historic or Medieval era. There is no clear definition of prehistoric art among scholars and objects that may involve creativity often lack a context that would allow them to be understood.
Tintignac is a hamlet near Naves in the Corrèze region of France. It is primarily known for the archaeological remains of a sanctuary where Gallic and Gallo-Roman artefacts have been found, including seven carnyces and ornamented helmets. The site is classified on the List of historic monuments of 1840.
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