And it will be found that the method of performance which most nearly justifies the instrumental effect of these otherwise beautiful works is that in which the pianoforte player regards himself as frequently doubling the stringed instruments, and not vice versa.
Articles of furniture are frequently made of it, and it is in great esteem for carving and for the construction of stringed instruments.
Again, many devices of civilization bear unmistakable marks of derivation from a lower source; thus the ancient Egyptian and Assyrian harps, which differ from ours in having no front pillar, appear certainly to owe this remarkable defect to having grown up through intermediate forms from the simple strung bow, the still used type of the most primitive stringed instrument.
Certain ancient stringed instruments were played with a plectrum or plucker made of the quill of a bird's feather, and the word has thus been used of a plectrum made of other material and differing in shape, and also of an analogous object for striking the strings in the harpsichord, spinet or virginal.
But experiment shows that in this condition much of the violin part sounds incomplete; and the truth appears to be that Haydn is thinking, like any modern composer, of the opposition of two solid bodies of tone - the pianoforte and the stringed instruments.