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Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Tibia

Period:
Late Roman
Date:
ca. 1–500
Geography:
Syria
Culture:
Syrian
Medium:
Ivory, silver, chalcedony
Dimensions:
Height: 23 1/16 in. (58.6 cm) Diameter (At end): 1 in. (2.5 cm)
Classification:
Aerophone-Reed Vibrated-double reed
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1958
Accession Number:
58.40
Not on view
The tibia was sounded with a double reed, and two pipes would have been played simultaneously. The small tubes or chimneys projecting from the side of this instrument and the rings encircling its body were likely part of a complex mechanical system designed to increase the number of notes and modal scales that could be played on a single instrument.
Often played in pairs, tibia were widespread throughout the Mediterranean world. They varied in length and construction and were used in many contexts: funerals, sacrificial rites, banquets, boxing matches, marriages and games.
Jayson Kerr Dobney, Bradley Strauchen-Scherer. Musical Instruments: Highlights of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. First Printing. @2015 by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. New York, 2015, p. 32-33, ill.



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