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The first instrument is a "Bowed Lute, Philippines" located in the Hall of Pacific Peoples in the American Museum of Natural History.


The second just arrived at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in a new temporary exhibit titled Sultans of Deccan India, 1500-1700

And here's a link to 14 good photos of this instrument from the museum's website: LINK


There are other such oddities that I can post if anyone's interested. I'll take pics next time I see them.







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Hmm, bowed lute eh? how absurd.


Ethnomusicologists like to classify instruments according to a silly system called Hornbostel-Sachs - in which, rather than respecting the name given to an instrument by the cultures that use it, or making sensible observations, they are categorised rather like books in a library. So this (or a violin for that matter is a Composite Chordophone>Lute>Bow Lute - or, if it makes it easier, a 321.1 (yup, seriously!) ... it's an excellent system for organising a store cupboard, but not for displaying the materials of a given culture.  Whatever the person who made it, or played it thought it was becomes irrelevant - Museums eh? ripping culture up and spitting on it. 

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