|Mount Carmel Item (Mount Carmel, Pennsylvania), January 4, 1943, page 1.|
In early January 1943, headlines across the country trumpeted the existence of a new “secret weapon.” They couldn’t publish a photograph because journalists who had witnessed it in action were sworn to secrecy. But its general appearance was betrayed by its informal name – it was named for a home-made musical instrument familiar to fans of Bing Crosby’s radio sidekick-turned headliner, Bob Burns:
There is one weapon which, with typical Yankee impudence, already has been nicknamed the “Bazooka,” because of its resemblance to Comedian Bob Burns’ famous musical instrument.
Detroit Free Press, January 1, 1943.
Twenty-five years earlier, during an earlier war, the United States Marine Corps announced a new invention during the early years of World War I – it wasn’t a weapon, but it might hurt your ears:
Port Royal, S. C., Nov. – U. S. Marines at this station have a new invention. It’s called a “bazooka.” No, it isn’t a cannon, nor a flying machine, nor a machine gun, but when in operation it will make you “shake your feet”. The “bazooka” is a simple contrivance, consisting of but two pieces of gas pipe and a funnel, but its secret is in the playing. It is said the marine Corps Jazz Band is the only one in the world that boasts of a “bazooka.”
Morgan City Daily Review (Morgan City, Louisiana), January 11, 1918, page 1.
Although it was no big secret, an early publicity photo showed a fake bazooka that could have been designed by Dr. Seuss:
The real “bazooka” entertained troops in Europe before returning home to entertain recruits at the Marine Corps’ recruiting office on Manhattan:
The United States Marine Corps Melody Six is (or are) back from Europe, including Sergt. Robert Burn [(Bob Burns)] and bazooka.
The bazooka is the last word in jazz. Sergt. Burn invented it, and plays it.
You can hear the Melody Six, including Sergt. Burn and the bazooka, any day you want to drop around to the Marine Corps recruiting office at No. 24 East 23d Street. Lieut Harry W. Miller says they are going to be a great help to him in the campaign recently inaugurated to bring the Marines up to authorized war strength. According to tales told by the Marines, the Melody Six are the snappiest zippiest, jazziest aggregation of tune artists in any branch of Uncle Sam’s service.
“We play,” says Robbie Burn, “everything from Berlin (Irving) to Mr. Beethoven and will tackle anything except a funeral march. The outfit consists of two violins, a banjo, piano, drum and the bazooka.”
The bazooka, it may be added, can be made at home. Two pieces of gas pipe, one tin funnel, a little axle grease and a lot of perseverance, Sergt. Robert Burn says, equal one bazooka.
The Evening World (New York), September 3, 1919, page 9.
Burns made his Broadway debut shortly after the war:
|New York Tribune, June 30, 1920, page 18.|
A novelty in musical instruments was introduced to the American public on Thursday evening in the Bal Tabarin, 50th street and Broadway, when Sergeant Robert Burns of the A. E. F., who organized General Pershing’s jazz band during the war, made his debut in the United States. He had just arrived from London where his playing on the unique instrument, which he has named the “Bazooka”, created a semi-sensation not only because of its peculiar construction but because of its tone qualities. In the latter it resembles quite closely a deep-toned saxophone and at the same time possessing a singular vigratory and melodiously sweet tone.
The bazooka consists of two pieces of gas pipe, to which are attached funnel-like ends. The novel musical instrument aroused the curiosity of many well known men and women in musical circles in London, and one manufacturer there is seriously considering the making of them for orchestral purposes.
Daily National Hotel Reporter, July 1, 1920. New York, June 26, 1920.
He performed in vaudeville by the mid-1920s:
|New York Clipper, February 8, 1924.|
He did not last long in vaudeville. By the early 1930s, he was a “small-time clown picking up $5 or $10 here and there around Los Angeles.” But he quickly shot to fame after moving back to New York in about 1935. Crooner Rudee Vallee picked him to emcee his radio show, based primarily on his aw-shucks, Andy Griffith-esque persona and delivery.[i]
He quickly rose through the ranks, soon landing a spot on Bing Crosby’s radio show at $1000 a week in late-1935. He appeared in Bing Crosby’s 1936 film, Rhythm on the Range:
|Lansing State Journal, August 4, 1936, page 14.|
See, Bob Burns and Martha Raye in Rhythm on the Range on YouTube.
You can also see Bob “Bazooka” Burns play his “Bazooka” in this military film from 1943:
Army-Navy Screen Magazine Presents – Sing with the Stars, Presenting Bob “Bazooka” Burns with Shirley Ross (1943).
Like the kazoo, Bob Burns’ Bazooka was easy to play, but hard to play well. And the similarities do not end there. Drop the “ba” from ba-zoo-ka, rearrange the syllables, and you’ve got ka-zoo.
The similarities are no accident. Both “bazooka” and “kazoo” appear to share a common, related root word – “bazoo.” To blow or toot one’s “bazoo” was idiomatic slang similar to the modern expression, “toot one’s own horn,” and the word “bazoo” standing alone was slang for any type of wind instrument, especially when played loudly or annoyingly.
“Bazoo” and “kazoo” also reflect and were part-and-parcel of a general linguistic trend that generated a whole host of sometimes interchangeable slang words such as razoo, gazoo, bazook, gazook, gazooka, bazooka, gazip, gazipe, gazunk, and gazabo. See, for example, my earlier piece, Gazip, Gazipe, Gazunk – Variants of Gazabo?
“Bazoo” appeared in John Russell Bartlett’s Dictionary of Americanisms, 4th Edition, Boston, Little, Brown, and Company, 1877:
Blowin’ his Bazoo. Gasconade; braggadocio.
The expression did not appear in the first three editions (dated 1859-1860), suggesting that the word originated no earlier than about the mid-1800s.
The earliest explanation of the word I could find is from 1869, when a newspaper in Sedalia, Missouri put the word in their title. The name was silly enough to garner attention in the press:
What’s in a Name. – We have received a copy of a seven weeks old paper published in Sedalia Missouri, called “The Bazoo.” “A rose with any other name would smell as sweet,” but though our editor blows his bazoo well, we can not help thinking it might sound rather better under some other appellation.
Watertown Republican (Watertown, Wisconsin), July 28, 1869, page 3.
The Bazoo’s publisher, J. West Goodwin explained his reasons for choosing the name in language that might elicit uncomfortable giggles today – to “blow one’s self” meant something else then, it meant to talk one’s self up – not that other thing:
So we asked J. West what Bazoo meant, and he, expectorating, spoke: “Well, I’m damned if I know. I’ve heard, times enough, fellers talk about ‘blowing your bazoo,’ ‘tooting your bazoo,’ ‘getting off your bazoo,’ and know it means blowing. And that’s what I started my paper for – to blow myself, and to make everybody else blow for me. We ain’t like you in Kansas, down there in Missouri. We have a lot of old fogies to deal with, while you fellers know how to git up and git. I ‘spose bazoo is slang for bassoon, a wind instrument. But if it ain’t, I don’t care, and it don’t make any difference. Everybody knows that I believe in blowing, and that that is what bazoo means, and that that is what I started the Bazoo for. And I have made it out, for the papers all over the country are advertising me by making fun of my ‘bazoo.”
Leavenworth Weekly Times (Leavenworth, Kansas), July 21, 1870, page 2.
On occasion, a “bazoo” could be a tin horn or other wind instrument:
The bully girl with a crystal optic and tin horn was at the jollification. She “tooted her bazoo” in concert with Hon. Nelson’s horn, and wanted “White husbands or none.”
Fayette County Herald (Washington Court House, Ohio), November 19, 1874, page 2.
Ottowa is to have a brass band. Geo Kinder, of the Sentinel, is a member, and will play a “bazoo.”
The Findlay Jeffersonian (Findlay, Ohio), November 26, 1875, page 3.
His coat was unbuttoned, and a bundle found which contained a music stand, nicely folded, and intended for sheet music. He stated that he had been engaged to play the bazoo at a picnic, and invited the officer to accompany him. Officer Newall didn’t see it in that light, and the dizzy minstrel was taken to the cooler. It is thought the apparatus belongs to one of the members of Seibert’s orchestra.
Daily Globe (St. Paul, Minnesota), August 2, 1880, page 4.
The word “kazoo” first appears about a decade after “bazoo.”
The word “Kazoo”, as applied to a particular type of toy wind instrument, appears to have been coined by its inventor in 1882:
This instrument or toy, to which I propose to give the name “kazoo,” may be made in many forms and of many different materials; but I prefer the construction and materials here described as being attractive, durable, and cheap.
United States Patent 270,543, Warren H. Frost, of Worcester, Massachusetts, January 9, 1883, based on application filed August 28, 1882.
The newly invented “kazoo” hit the mass market sometime in mid-1884:
“What is the Kazoo!”
“The greatest Musical Wonder ever invented. Plays any tune, imitates any Bird or Animal, Bagpipes and Punch and Judy” . . . .
“Used as a mouthpiece on brass or tin horns, is the music good?”
“Yes, and the keys require no fingering.”
Harper’s Weekly (New York City), Volume 27, Number 1440, July 26, 1884, page 488 (Posted by Barry Popik on the American Dialect Society Discussion List on November 10, 2002).
Everybody is tooting the kazoo. Haven’t you seen one yet? Well, if you drop into Nordheimer’s you can get one for ten cents, and you’ll find it more fun than a circus for yourself and all your neighbors for a mile around.
Grip (Toronto), Volume 23, Number 5, August 2, 1894.
What is a Kazoo? A kazoo is an instrument invented to give pleasure and satisfaction to the small boy. It is a cross between a bagpipe and an accordion, with several new and pleasing features of its own. It can make more noise and even less music than a brass band. It can imitate the warbling of a cat or the screech of a mocking-bird. The inventor would be hanged, drawn, quartered and burnt, but it is more than likely that he is kept out of the way in some insane asylum. When you hear a noise like the combined sounds of a fish-horn and a run-away, do not imagine it is the end of the world. It is only the small boy amusing himself peaceably with his kazoo. – Detroit Free Press.
San Antonio Light (Texas), August 13, 1884, page 1.
|New York Clipper, September 6, 1884, page 16.|
Ironically, although one of the main selling points for the “kazoo” was that you didn’t have to read music or play a real instrument, sheet music appeared shortly afterward:
The cover art for one of the songs depicts “kazoos” being used as mouthpieces, plugged into larger horns or other household items to create improvised, homemade musical (?) instruments; much like “Bazooka” Bob Burns’ instrument a generation or two later. Similar “kazoo bands” became a common feature of pop-culture for several decades:
The Democrats of this city and county having abandoned their idea of a flambeau and torch clubs and in fact their club organization a few of the more enthusiastic have resolved to form a Kazoo band as being cheap, economical at the same time noisy and windy. . . . The newly improved kazoo is provided with four vent holes, so that however hot a Democrat may wax on the march there is no danger of anything blowing up. . . . The music is delightful to the average Democratic ear and there is nothing like it on earth or under the earth if we except its striking resemblance to the groans and howls which comes from the Democratic ranks immediately succeeding the November elections of every four years.
Wichita Eagle (Kansas), October 10, 1884, page 3.
After several weeks’ work, the People’s party clubs are now in readiness for their first grand parade . . . . [I]n addition to the twenty-two marching clubs, the City Guards, and the five precinct drum corps, there will also be the Guitar and Mandolin club [and] the Kazoo band. . . .
The Salt Lake Herald (Utah), January 10, 1890, page 5.
|St. Paul Daily Globe (Minnesota), June 5, 1903, page 10.|
|The Advertising Golfers Kazoo Band, The Sun (New York), January 17, 1915, page 4.|
In Sedalia, Missouri, home of The Weekly Bazoo, the owner of The Bazoo sold kazoos under a different name, “Bazoo” – I guess he was just blowing his own bazoo:
|The Sedalia Weekly Bazoo (Sedalia, Missouri), October 14, 1890, page 1.|
In 1888, a music shop in New Zealand sold what might have been a kazoo under the name, “Razoo”:
|Timaru Herald, June 2, 1888, page 2.|
And, in keeping with “kazoo’s” bazoo roots, bands that might otherwise be called “kazoo bands” were frequently referred to as “Bazoo Bands”:
|Chariton Courier (Keytesville, Missouri), November 10, 1905, page 5.|
In the interests of full disclosure, I did find one, isolated instance of an apparently unrelated use of the word “kazoo” in a book published sometime in 1882. It appeared in a book that was full of slang, or perhaps even fictional slang, so it is not clear whether the word had any similar meaning in the real world. The date of publication is also unknown, so it is not clear whether it was written before or after Warren Frost dubbed his new toy horn “kazoo” in August 1882.
In the context of the book, the word referred to an extended binge or protracted party weekend:
“Kazoo’s new, isn’t it?” says he. “What’s a kazoo?”
“Oh, a regular bump.” Says Whopper.
“A ‘reeling ripe,’ you know,” says Mixer.
“A protracted bust,” murmurs Little Jake, persistently ignoring the renewed emptiness of the glasses, though it is emphatically his turn.
O. N. Looker (pseudonym), Naughty New York, or, The Apron Strings Relaxed: a Novel of the Period; being a truthful narrative of a weeks jollification of three young benedicts, New York, American News Co., 1982, page 12.
Bazoo and kazoo were both well known words related to making a racket with an improvised musical instrument years before Bob Burns apparently combined the two as a name for his improvised gas-pipe and funnel trombone, the “Bazooka,” in 1918. But even then, the word “Bazooka” may have been influenced by an earlier word, “gazooka,” and perhaps even by an earlier sense of “bazooka “.
“Gazooka” was frequently used as exotic gibberish that could take on any of many various meanings.
In 1897, it was used as the name of an African character in a cartoon:
In 1905 it was also the name of a cocktail:
First select a crystalline cube of ice . . . . Place the cube . . . in a cut glass of the size once described by Gen. Gordon as "suitable for a gentleman only."
Upon the cube gently located the lump of sugar, upon that feather a leaf of mint and upon the mint let a cherry rest.
Over this pour to the extent of a gill that liquid supposed to come from the banks and braes of Bonnie Doon - pour slowly, that the Scotch, the cherry, the mint and the cube may delicately intermingle and send forth a perfume - a memory of things that have been.
Last, add two gills of mineral water that has been cooled, but not iced.
You have then the Gazooka. What you do with it is your own business. - Chicago Post.
Detroit Free Press (Michigan), June 12, 1905, page 10.
In the 1905 musical play, The Mayor of Tokio (book by Richard Carle, music by William Frederick Peters), one of the plot elements revolved around a hypnotic, kiss-inducing talisman; the “Gazooka”:
Kidder possesses a ready tongue, unlimited nerve, and a wonderful talisman called Gazooka. This is a magnate by which a human being may be hypnotized. Kidder meets Betsey Lincoln, an American heiress. He demands a kiss, which she refuses. He produces the Gazooka and osculation ensues.
The Piqua Daily Call (Piqua, Ohio), November 21, 1905, page 5.
In 1907, Gazooka was the name of a baseball team and in 1909 the name of a minstrel troupe.
“Gazooka,” and later “Bazooka,” were sometimes used to refer to something big.
In 1897 a “Gazooka” was a large gold strike, perhaps influenced by “Bonanza”:
“It is a gazooka,” he said, “and we are destined to rival the bonanza and railroad kings of California.”
The San Francisco Call, November 30, 1897, Page 14.
In 1904, fishermen of the fishing banks off Sandy Hook, New York reportedly used the word “Bazooka” to designate particularly large fish; a usage that might also have been influenced by “Bonanza”:
The fishermen on the banks [(the fishing banks off Sandy Hook, New York)] nickname a cod of fifteen pounds a “bird”; one of twenty a “beaut”; of twenty-five a “buster”; of thirty a “darling”; of thirty-five a “bazooka.”
“Some Big Fishes,” Field and Stream, Volume 8, Number 9, January 1904, page 744.
Perhaps Bob Burns’ “Bazooka,” a large kazoo-like bazoo, was also influenced, consciously or subconsciously, by earlier sense of “gazooka” or “bazooka” meaning something large.
The words “gazook” and “bazook” were also in use during the period. “Gazook” was frequently similar to the word, “Gazabo,” which generally mean a generic guy or wise guy. In one instance, I saw “gazook” used to refer to an old automobile, influenced, perhaps by “gazunk” that frequently carried the same connotation. “Bazook” was frequently used as the mock-title of exotic Easterners, may likely have been influenced by the name of ancient Turkish soldiers called “Bashi Bazouks.”
Evolution of the Kazoo
The “Kazoo,” the word and the instrument, may have been new in 1882, but it was based on noisemakers that had come before. In his patent application, for example, Frost references the old comb and paper trick. There were also other predecessors.
Early examples of sympathetically resonant membrane instruments include the onion flute (also known as the eunuch flute) and the mirliton, one or both of which were known in France as early as the 18th Century. The “onion” in onion flute is believed to refer to an onion skin used as the membrane in early models. Why a “eunuch” is painfully unknown.
Although the terms “onion flute” (in French, flute a l’oignon) and “mirliton” are (and have been) frequently used interchangeably, a catalogue of the collection of New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art distinguished the two in 1902.[ii]
An onion flute was “conical” and could be nearly 3 feet long with one membrane – looking more like an oboe or clarinet:
|“Onion” Flute. The membrane is inside the tube, just below the bulb; the hole in the shaft is where it is played.|
A mirliton was “cylindrical” and generally less than a foot long, with membranes at both ends – more like a piccolo or fife:
The small fife-like “mirliton” made such a big hit at the St. Cloud fair in Paris in the 1860s that they were remembered three years later:
Three years ago there was a song or cry Mirliton (a rude “musical” instrument chiefly sold at the St. Cloud Fair).
Times-Picayune (New Orleans, Louisiana), September 27, 1864.
The collection of the museum of musical instruments at the Conservatory of Music in Paris included a large “eunuch” flute and small mirliton “so common at St. Cloud fair”:
Lower down the hall is a valuable bass flute and an eunuch (a sort of baritone) which has degenerated until it is only seen now in children’s mouths – the reed pipe so common at St. Cloud fair under the name of the mirliton . . .
Times-Picayune (New Orleans, Louisiana), February 19, 1865, page 2.
An image of the St. Cloud Fair from 1871 may even show someone playing a mirliton:
Although it was a instrument of the people, the mirliton found its way into high society – playing for what sounds like a precursor to the conga-line, although likely less fun:
At the last ball given by the French Minister of War, a new cotillion was introduced. . . . After the closing gallop the dancers assemble in a close column and promenade the ballroom many times with military step, whilst an obligato charivari is played on drums, tambourines and mirlitons.
Weekly Arkansas Gazette (Little Rock, Arkansas), May 13, 1865, page 3.
In the early 1870s, the Mirliton was the name of a swanky “artistic” club on the Place Vendome in Paris:
The “Mirliton” is an artistic club. Politics there are lost sight of in pleasant concerts, at which the great masters of all countries meet with impartial approval. Its President, of combined Legitimist and Orleanist origin, who was almost reconciled to the Empire, is a high functionary under the Republic, and well represents the tolerant ideas which distinguish the “Mirliton.”
The Buffalo Commercial (Buffalo, New York), March 5, 1873, page 2.
But what “Mirliton” actually means and where the name comes from has been a matter of debate since at least the 1860s, when a French academic surmised that it was, at root, a form of onomatopoeia suggestive of the sound it makes, although he also made reference to a popular hairstyle of that name and a wizard named “Mirliton” in a play, both from the 1720s.[iii]
Although the technology of a kazoo (or mirliton and the like) is relatively simple, something like it, in combination with advances in electrical science, helped completely transform communication and entertainment in the form of the telephone, microphone and the phonograph.
In 1878, a French text described the telephone mouthpiece as something similar to a mirliton or an onion flute; a thin membrane that picks up vibrations from the voice.[iv] In a “kazoo,” those vibrations are amplified and projected by the body of the instrument; in the telephone, those vibrations are converted into an electrical signal and recreated at the receiver other end of the line.
Thomas Edison invented many things – but he did not invent the kazoo. But he did invent the phonograph; and he was inspired by something like a proto-kazoo using a comb and paper:
While experimenting on diaphragms for the telephone, Edison had constructed a number of small sheepskin drumheads to test their value as diaphragms, as compared with metal and other substances.
To some of these sheepskin diaphragms he had attached a small metal needle, which was intended to project towards the magnet and assist in conveying the vibrations caused by the human voice. . . .
His assistants soon discovered that by holding the sheepskin diaphragms in front of their mouths and emitting a guttural sound between the lips a peculiar noise approaching music could be produced. It was something similar to the alleged music produced by covering a comb with thin paper and humming a tune on it.
In passing one of the men engaged in playing on a diaphragm one day, Edison playfully attempted to stop the noise by touching the projecting metal pin with his finger, and no sooner had he done so than he gave one of his peculiar starts. ‘Eh! What’s that?’ said he, which so astonished the performer that he dropped the diaphragm. ‘Do that again,’ said the ‘Wizard,’ and it was repeated, and again his finger touched the pin to his evident delight. . . .
‘I have it,’ said he, finally, and he retired to his den and commenced drawing diagrams for new machinery, which his assistants speedily made, and a few days later the first phonograph was put together.
The Indianapolis Journal, September 15, 1889, page 9.
The “kazoo” also led to less noble advances. Warren Frost, who invented and named the “kazoo,” invented and named another, albeit less successful, instrument about fifteen years later – the “Zobo”:
The “Zobo” - US Patent 552612 to Frost, 1896.[v]
The Zobo introduced the concept of a screw-on membrane cap, similar to those in use on modern kazoos, although its membrane was in the mouthpiece, instead of on top of the body.
The first modern kazoo, with familiar, streamlined “submarine” shape and a screw-on membrane cap located on top was patented in 1902.[vi] It must have reached a state of near perfection since it hasn’t changed appreciably since:
The High-Water Mark of Kazooistry
It took 75 years from the perfection of the kazoo to reach the high-water mark of artistic kazooistry. In 1977, the Kaminsky International Kazoo Quartetette (five members strong) made its debut at Alice Tully Hall in New York City, supported by the equally sadistic, I mean artistic, “Fie-On-Arts Ensemble.” The performance, called “Kazoophony,” featured Natasha, Igor, Feodor, Boris, Stanislaud, Pistachia, Light Fingers and Howard Kaminsky (all unrelated) performing such crowd-pleasing favorites as John Philip Kazooka’s “Stars and Stripes Forever,” “Yankee Kazoodle Dandy,” and Tchaikovsky’s “1813 Overture” (the kazoo update of the familiar “1812”).[vii]
Their act was perfect for late-night TV comedy. For example, Natasha Kaminsky (who’s real name was Barbara Stewart) taught Conan O’Brien to play the kazoo in 2006.
The group, mostly serious music students from the Eastman School of Music in in Rochester, New York, first performed together at a picnic in Rochester in 1972, where they provided a tongue-in-cheek, Cold War-era summary of their career so-far:
The Kaminsky Quartet, conceived by the Soviet government, has already successfully alienated more than 1,300 audiences. They have been refused political asylum in 14 European countries, and after a seven-year tour of Siberia were deported to the United States.
Democrat and Chronicle (Rochester, New York), July 24, 1972, page 16.
Five years later, they told an equally tongue-in-cheek story about the origins of the kazoo:
[T]he American kazoo was invented in 1850 in Macon, Ga., by Alabama Vest, a black man, and Thaddeus von Clegg, a German. It was called a down-south submarine because of its shape.
The Pocono Record (Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania), May 4, 1977, page 20.
The story has a couple problems. Although a few submersible vehicles had been built before 1850, they were not called "submarines" until about 1900. Second, 'd'ya think that a chorus of kazoo comedians in the 1970s might have borrowed the name "Clegg" from Pink Floyd's "Corporal Clegg", one of the few (if not the only) pop songs ever to prominently feature a chorus of kazoos? 'D'ya think the Clegg connection is a coincidence?
It is possible, I suppose, that there was a tradition of making folk-instruments similar to the mirliton or onion flute before Frost’s patent-kazoo of 1882. Like much of unrecorded folk-history, there would be little or no documentation. The details and names in the Von Clegg/Vest story are likely fabricated, like everything else the Kaminsky International Kazoo Quartette fed the press. But if anyone has any information or documentation about pre-1882 American proto-kazoos, please let me know in the comments section.
The lack of documentation is not a good reason to fabricate or embellish the facts, even if the story is a good one. Despite the story’s obviously satiric origins, it has been repeated as gospel truth for decades (google “history of the kazoo georgia”) and even made its way into a few serious history books. The story survived, if for no other reason, because there was no serious history of the kazoo available.
You can also thank my fellow doubters at The Association of American Kazoologists (aka AAK), and their comprehensive collection of kazoo patents.
|Image: Library of Congress|
[i] The Amarillo Globe-Times, April 14, 1936, page 4.
[ii] The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Hand-Book No. 13, Catalogue of the Crosby Brown Collection of Musical Instruments of All Nations, I, Europe, Galleries 25 and 26, Cases of Galleries 27 and 28, New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1902, page 212 (Case 105 a).
[iii] Georges Kastner, Parémiologie musicale de la langue française : ou Explication des proverbes, locutions proverbiales, mots figurés, qui tirent leur origine de la musique, accompagnée de recherches sur un grand nombre d'expressions du même genre empruntées aux langues étrangères, Paris, G. Brandus et S. Dufour, 1866, page 286.
[iv] Th. Du Moncel, Le téléphone, le microphone et le phonograph, Paris, Hachette et cie, 1878.
[vii] Democrat and Chronicle (Rochester, New York), July 24, 1972, page 16.