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Charles van Raalte

Serpent 2


An serpent, 'Ralph Campleman' engraved on the bell mount. Made of leather-bound wood overlaid with flaked gold lacquer three shaped brass keys, brass mounts and mouthpiece.


By the 19th century, in Britain, the serpent was an instrument played in military bands and in churches. The writer, Thomas Hardy describes the use of this instrument by a church band in his novel 'Under the Greenwood Tree'. Later in the century brass instruments with their brighter sound were produced cheaply by new industrial processes. By the end of the century, the brass band had established itself as the preferred form of music making among working class communities.

Dean Castle
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East Ayrshire Council