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serpent


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Obsolete bass member of cornett family, 8′ long and roughly S‐shaped, hence the name. Made of wood, sometimes of metal; had 6 fingerholes and sometimes keys. First introduced in Fr. towards end of 16th cent., where it was used in church to double male vv. Became popular military‐band instr. and was in use in Eng. church bands to mid‐19th cent. (mentioned by Thomas Hardy).

Subjects: Music.


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