Researchers recreate ancient instruments


Old bells and organ Pipes from the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem gave researchers the idea of ​​recreating music as it could sound almost 800 years ago.

David Catalunya, a researcher at the universities of Oxford, England, and Wuerzburg, Germany, is leading a project to make copies of the instruments.

Catalonia said mid-13th-century soldiers known as Crusaders buried the 13 bronze bells near the church because they feared the instruments would be destroyed. They covered the instruments with animal fat to protect them from rusting, he said.

Catalunya described the re-creation of the bells as “a very long process”.

After the initial research is completed, he estimates that it will take about five years to make fully usable copies.

Father Stéphane, Franciscan brother and liturgist of the Custody of the Holy Land, seizes the remains of a bell from a 12th century collection. (Reuters)

During this time, a touch of the hand is enough to bring a clear and high-pitched sound of the originals. The Custody of the Holy Land for the Roman Catholic Church holds the rare items and recently showed them to the Reuters news agency.

“It’s half the original sound, (which) was a lot richer and louder and a bit lower,” Catalunya said.

The bells were part of an ensemble played while people sang inside the church, said Franciscan Brother Father Stéphane, liturgist of the Custody. A liturgist leads church members in ritual prayer.

The bells were discovered at the start of the 20th century, along with 222 medieval copper pipes from the organ in the Church of the Nativity, Father Stéphane said. He added that the discovery occurred during a construction project in the Franciscan grounds of the church.

The collection also includes scepter of the Bishop of Bethlehem and 12th-century candlesticks which Catalonia claims were made in France.

This suggests a shared source with bells and organ pipes, which Father Stéphane says are the oldest in Christendom.

Father Stéphane said he hoped the collection would be on display and performed in a museum in Jerusalem that the Custody plans to open by 2024. He used the term meaningful – which means very important – when referring to the bells. .

“These bells are very important to us because they are the bells of Bethlehem (and a) symbol of the Nativity in the Christian world, ”he said.

I am John Russell.

Rinat Harash reported this story to Reuters. John Russell adapted it for Learning English. Susan Shand was the editor.


Words in this story

organ – not. a musical instrument that has a keyboard and pipes of different lengths and which produces sound by pushing air through the pipes

original – not. a document, film, painting, etc., which is created by someone and from which a copy or translation is made

scepter – not. a long decorated stick

symbol -not. an action, object, event, etc., which expresses or represents a particular idea or quality

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