Lituus plays again

Before the trumpet curled into its present configuration, was the Lituus, an 8.5 foot long instrument last heard 300 years ago. Now new software has allowed the "lost" instrument to be recreated. (photos)

Researchers from the University of Edinburgh have produced a new Lituus, recently played by members of Schola Cantorum Basiliensis. The team used drawings and research by musicians to recreate the instrument. "The software used this data to design an elegant, usable instrument with the required acoustic and tonal qualities," says Professor Murray Campbell. "The key was to ensure that the design we generated would not only sound right but look right as well." He added: "Crucially, the final design produced by the software could have been made by a manufacturer in Bach's time without too much difficulty."