Trumpet marine

It is not known why this somewhat eccentric instrument is called the Tromba Marina or Trumpet Marine, although it is meant to sound like a trumpet. Unlike the cello or double bass, the Trumpet Marine has no fingerboard for the left hand to play on. Instead, the main string is played with a bow near the top of the instrument, and tapped below with the left hand at various positions so as to create the harmonics that make the tune. At the same time wire strings, partly hidden inside the body of the instrument, vibrate as the instrument is played. The Trumpet Marine was mainly used to accompany the singing of plainsong from about 1400, and most surviving examples were acquired by museums from Monasteries in Germany and Switzerland after about 1880.