Wednesday, November 29, 2017

SearchResearch Challenge (11/29/17): What kind of horn is that thing? Is it for real?

I went to a concert the other evening... 

... full of Baroque and Renaissance music, held in a lovely chapel late in the evening--the performers played shawms, traditional bagpipes, recorders, sackbutts, and a stray hurdy-gurdy.    

As we walked in, the usher handed us a program that was illustrated with this strange and wonderful illustration (this is a scan from the program cover illustration).  

It's clearly snipped from a larger illustration.  But it intrigues me.  Is this a real thing?  Or just some illustrator's imagination run wild?  

Here's today's Challenge: 

1.  Is this a real instrument?  Or is it just a made-up thing?  If it's real, what would you call it? 

2.  Can you find the original source of this illustration?  When and where was it first published?  

This isn't all that hard to do, but I had to poke around a bit to find the original.  Let us know how you found the source of this somewhat fanciful illustration!  

Search on! 


  1. I found the picture by right-clicking on it, going 'search Google for Image' (In Chrome), and finding this:

    (Apologies for long link) The text on that image named several things, including buccina. That let me to this wikipedia page:

    It looks visually similar.

    I'm sure others can find more out about this, but this should start people on the road - I've got to get back to work now!

  2. I started with an image search of your image that took me to a Thinglink image with different instrument names.

    I searched for the names and chose one to focus on [ cornu ]

    For the seoncd question I focused on the origin of the image, but hadto remove surname from the Search Engine Results Page (SERP).

    That took be to wikimedia page along with the book where it was originally published.

    Here is my search path

    1. you seem to have found the original source!
      thx for find of the Gabinetto Armonico, Fred - I looked for it but didn't find… think I saw Dover had reprinted it in the 60's?
      see you also had the zoomorphic descriptive term for the bell/animal/creature…
      tried ⌘F in the pdf with limited success to find 'altra tromba piegata antica' – ended up scrolling… a couple of versions.
      plates 51 & 53

  3. Replies
    1. Why, yes... that was the concert! Do you have your drones following me around?? (Note the image in the upper-right.)

    2. (Note the image in the upper-right.) missed that, doh…
      drones? - that would be creepy & against FAA regs …used the Google Tracking Implant Cortical Chip (TICC) in gEarth (beta)-
      also used [palo alto sackbut hoedown hardy hurdy-gurdy late-night november]… that might have been a bing search :-P
      Westerhout/SFEMS masthead logo graphic… leaves the bell/sea monster head? disembodied…
      with Hydraulus
      kinda looks like the bell portion??… Andromeda, Agostino Carracci, c. 1590 - c.
      on the drone front — they need built-in cornus (cornui?) sound effects… peek into the near-future…
      Mercedes, Amazon, UPS, & persistent, tethered drones
      CyPhy Works
      Arnold van Westerhout examples, Rijksstudio
      fwiw -
      Puce (flea) (1681)
      Amerika, Bernard Picart (workshop of), after Jean Cornu, 1709
      shawm… WotD

    3. Remmij that was a great find! BTW Anne used to work right across the street from that church!

    4. it's a small sRs world… that is often quite expansive ;-)
      Debra… @Parasol??
      in the past, at the future Parasol… kismet
      a baroque, fiddle playing cat…?

    5. Or... Where did Anne work? At the Prolific Oven bakery? (Best cakes in the universe.)

  4. Hello Dr. Russell and everyone

    I started with Search by Image. Suggestion mentions “ancient Roman tuba” Clicked on visually similar and also in Roman tuba Wikipedia. Tuba is not the answer.

    [ancient roman tuba] on all an images

    Hydraulis, Roman tuba, cornu, buccina, cymbals

    The cornu, shown with a zoomorphic bell.jpgEnglish: The cornu, shown with a zoomorphic bell, from Filippo Bonanni's 1723 book Gabinetto Armonico, a compendium of illustrations of musical instruments. (Issued first time in 1722, and immediately reprinted in 1723, this is a splendid collection of 148 engravings of musical instruments from around the world from Wikipedia)

    Filippo Bonanni In Italian Wikipedia comes links to Gabineto Armonico in pdf from US Archive ORG

    [cornu zoomorphic bell]
    No good answers.

    [cornu "Filippo Bonanni"]

    [cornu zoomorphic bell music instrument origin]

    In Ancient Rome the cornu was used in the army, but also in amphitheatres, during circus games and all kinds of ceremonies, such as funerals and processions.


    1. Is this a real instrument? Or is it just a made-up thing? If it's real, what would you call it?

    A: Yes, it is real. It is called Cornu or more specific for this one: Cornu with zoomorphic bell

    2. Can you find the original source of this illustration? When and where was it first published?
    A: It was made by Filippo Bonnani and published in 1722.

    1. nice find/use of the "zoomorphic" term, Ramón… it rang some bells…

    2. Good Morning.

      Thanks Remmij. You as always doing fantastic findings. Finding Dr. Russell's concert was impressive. Also the zoomorphic musical instruments, made me remember and think about that kind of instruments that we still have. Some are made to sound like the animal in the figure. They are available to be bought as tourist souvenir.

      With that in mind, searched [instrumentos musicales animales mexico]

      Música prehispánica de México
      La música prehispánica. Sonidos rituales a lo largo de la historia

      [instrumentos zoomorfos mexico]
      Muestrario de instrumentos musicales prehispánicos

    3. You're Welcome, thanks to you and everyone posting new findings.

      ["Filippo Bonanni" cornu story]

      Tromba Curva and Altra Tromba piegata antica

      [Altra Tromba piegata antica]

  5. Skirmished with Baroque and Renaissance briefly then ran Image search which instantly found this:

    Calling The cornu shown witha zoomorphic bell. From Filippo Bonanni's 1723 book Gabinetto Armonico, a compendium of illustrations of musical instruments.

    A real instrument with perhaps a fanciful embellishment by the engraver.

    Bet I know where your evening was spent,

    jon tU

  6. Google image search offered link to Wikimedia Commons,_shown_with_a_zoomorphic_bell.jpg
    - included name of instrument "The cornu, shown with a zoomorphic bell"
    - included bibliographic information "Gabinetto Armonico" by Filippo Bonanni. 1723[1722]. [compendium of illustrations of musical instruments.]
    - the book is available in the Internet Archive
    - website "FILIPPO BUONANNI AND THE HARMONIC CABINET" <> gives information about the author and selected images from the book

  7. This illustration of a cornu is from the book "Gabinetto armonico pieno d'instrumenti sonori". I eventually got to the original source by reserve searching an image with more detail until I found one with the words "Altra Tromba Piegata antica" at the bottom. By searching this phrase with quotations, I was able to find a digital record for the book at the website for the University and State Library Düsseldorf.

  8. all from BostonMFA
    speaking of a stringed horn…
    or a strung stick
    Keyed fiddle (nyckelharpa)
    …lest we be lulled by melodic waves of compression and rarefaction… such is the whirl…
    BBC-botic 1/2
    botic 2/2
    back to thoughtful lull… haunted
    Rainbow in the dark - Published on Dec 1, 2017

  9. Anne and Deb here. We really wanted to do this search since Anne was a music major in college and grad school. She didn't recognize the instrument so first we saved it and then uploaded into google images to do a reverse image search. On the results page the first entry was an article on Music of Ancient Rome in Wikipedia. At the bottom of the SR page were several images and one of them looked like the image in the program. Clicked on the image and it was the same image. It linked to an article on music antiquity. The page showed the image ansaid the instrument was the Cornu, used by Roman armies for war signals. Article said it was invented by the Etruscans. To verify this went to the article from Wikipedia and there was more information about the cornu (latin for horn). Also checked in Britannica.
    For image it appears to be from an old book. Tried looking at the sources which didn't give any attribution for the picture. Did a search on google books for cornu and didn't find anything.Then went back to basics. Typed in cornu in google images and the same image as in the program came up. Clicked on it and on that page (titled File:The cornu, shown with a zoomorphic bell jpg) clicked on visit which wikimedia commons article on the picture. It states it is from the book 'Gabinetto Armonico by Filippo Bonanni from 1723.

    1. Nicely done. This was a search I've wanted to do for a while as well. The Gabinetto Armonico is a source used by many early music ensembles as a source of artwork for their programs. (This isn't the only program!) Glad we managed to find one that was close to home!