Minstrels Gallery

Minstrels' Gallery in a church, forms a sort of orchestra for the accommodation of vocal and instrumental performers. It is quite common in Continental churches, but is very rarely met with in England. There is a gallery of this sort over the altar-screen at Chichester cathedral, and another, much more remarkable, near the middle of the north side of the choir of Exeter cathedral. It is supported upon thirteen pillars, between every two of which, in a niched recess, there is a sculptured representation of an angel playing upon a musical instrument. Among these we observe the cittern, bagpipe, harp, violin, pipe, tambourine, etc. The roof of Outwell Church, Norfolk, and the minstrels' column at Beverley, also exhibit a great variety of musical instruments anciently used in our churches, independent of the organ and the regalls, which was a small portable organ, having one row of pipes giving the treble notes, the same number of keys, and a small pair of bellows moved with the left hand.

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