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by @JoBrodie, soundnoticeboard.wordpress.com

Well this might be my new favourite website. I grew up reading the Asterix books and know them very well so I think almost every single picture / panel on this website is familiar. A couple of weeks ago we had a fairly spectacular thunderstorm in London and much of England and it reminded me of the BRAAAOOOOM ‘sound’ that Uderzo used in the books to illustrate thunder. I tried googling to check exactly what the phrase was but didn’t find it.

Daniel A Russell, a Professor of Acoustics at Penn State University, decided to present a humorous paper on the musical instruments depicted in the Asterix books, the abstract for which is below.

“The Adventures of Asterix the Gaul, a series of books written by Goscinny and illustrated by Uderzo, between 1960 and 1999, have received much acclaim for the attention to detail in their drawings of ancient architecture and civilization. Equally interesting to a musical acoustician are the illustrations of musical instruments (including carnyx, buccina, lur, bagpipe, harp, lyre, pipes, drums, and singing) used by ancient Romans, Greeks, Egyptians, and Gauls. This talk will compare Uderzo’s illustrations to photographs of period instruments and comment on their acoustic qualities, performance techniques, and the roles they played in their respective societies, both in real history and as experienced by Asterix and his friends.”

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Pics pinched from Prof Russell’s site.

Musical Instruments of Antiquity as Illustrated in The Adventures of Asterix the Gaul

Part 1: Brief Introduction to The Adventures of Asterix the Gaul
Part 2: Roman Military Musical Instruments (Tuba, Cornu, Buccina)
Part 3: Ancient Celtic Brass Instruments (Carnyx, Lur)
Part 4: Natural Wind Instruments (Horn, Alphorn)
Part 5: Fingered Wind Instruments (Bagpipes, Aulos)
Part 6: Ancient Stringed Instruments (Lyre, Harp, Rebec, Lute)
Part 7: Early Drums and Percussion Instruments
Part 8: Architectural Acoustics in Ancient Gaul