Did Jeronimo Bassano Invent the Dulcian?
David Lasocki shared this little idea about the origins of the Dulcian.
Alessio Ruffatti, “La famiglia Piva-Bassano nei documenti degli archivi di Bassano del Grappa,” Musica e storia 6, no. 2 (December 1998): 349-67, reports the following quotation in a book about the town of Bassano published in 1577 by Lorenzo Marucini, a Venetian doctor. It relates to Jeronimo I, the father of the Bassano brothers who emigrated toEngland in 1539-40. “Maestro Gieronymo, called ‘il Piva,’ inventor of a new bass wind instrument, excellent pifaro, and employed by the Doge of Venice ... also excellent at making recorders; therefore those instruments marked with his stamp are held in such high esteem among musicians that, when they can be found, they are very expensive.” Jeronimo’s recorders, apparently with a mark that distinguished them from the products of his descendants, were still known and valued in the late 16th century. This evidence makes it likely that Jeronimo used the marks HIE.S, HIER.S and HIERO.S, found on 31 wind instruments discovered to date (9 cornetts, 8 dulcians, and 14 recorders). The bass instrument he invented was probably the dulcian (curtal).
On Monday, July 17, 2011: