The Carnyx is an ancient trumpet (c. 200BCE-200CE) used for both ceremony and war. Until 2004, only one had been found in the British Isles, the Deskford Carnyx (below), in Scotland in 1816. Only the boar’s head bell survives. Amazing videos of the replicas being played are below.
The location and age of the Deskford Carnyx suggests the instrument had a peaceful, ceremonial use and was not only used in warfare. Before 2004 this was the best surviving example. In 2004 in Tintignac, France, 7 more carnyces were discovered (watch video of actual discovery), including the gorgeous Tintignac Carnyx, played by John Kenny in the third video below.
The Deskford Carnyx find was made almost entirely of brass, a metal used almost exclusively by the Romans, and strictly controlled by them. Further, the basic size and shape of the Deskford find suggests it may in fact have been a Roman military draco standard. Whoever used it, it’s cool as hell, and sounds amazing. Listen and watch John Kenny play both replicas below.
Even more history. Lots of talking in a noisy environment, but fascinating information about this instrument. If the video doesn’t start around 16:30, head there to hear the carnyx.