"The Hungarian Bellowphone is, without a doubt, the most culturally significant item to have s'urv'ived from the Cavendish Era. One cannot begin to imagine where popular music, let alone the Artform itself, would be without this majestic contraption." -- Bjorn Skaarsvald, Maestro Supremo of the Phlogistonian Philharmonic
The Hungarian bellowphone is an assemblage of large fluted pipes, narrow pipes ending in flared bells, gas bags (bellows), various metallic, plastic, and fibrous percussive surfaces, and an assortment of smallish mouth-operated instruments (e.g., double reeds, combs, harmonicas, jaw harps, and kazoos). The instrument is traditionally played by two people at once, with the use of all four hands and feet to operate the bellows and strike the percussion, and both mouths to play the small oral instruments. Though traditionally a duet instrument, there have been a few remarkably talented individuals over the last epoch that have managed to attain great reknown as solo bellowphonists, the most famous of which is the multidextrous Galin Pernambue.
The Ancient Bellowphone was invented sometime during the 20th century of the Cavendish Era by the great virtuoso and inventor Leonard Solomon. Over the remainder of the Era, sporadic innovations continued to improve the instrument as surely as the instrument itself began to replace "conventional" orchestral instruments of the time.
The first instruments to fall prey to the bellowphonic onslaught were, of course, the oboe, tuba, bassoon, and washboard. Continued innovation and the addition of a secondary player facilitated the incorporation of the entire percussion section and most of the rest of the woodwinds and brass. Though few original scores survive from that Era, it seems that traditional Cavendish orchestras included a handful of various-sized vuvuzelan cornets (or "trumpets", "trombones", "Franch hornes", and "Europhoniums", as they were called in American England; the differing names corresponded to their size relative to the player), as well as the various woodwinds (e.g., oboes, bassoons, flutes, klarinettes, and saxamaphones), and a cavalcade of stringed instruments (such as pianofortes, harpes, violoncelli, viols, and bassi). *
As the bellowphone evolved and the Hungarian System was implemented, the numbers of musicians needed for an orchestral performance of works by the great Ancient Classical masters (e.g., Giovanni Batista Pergolesi, Hector Berlioz, Elton John) dwindled, and eventually we were left with the current orchestral instrumentation of two Hungarian bellowphones (one Alto, one Baritone), three klarinettes, and a viola organista.
- "How musicians managed to make a decent living, what with the melodic competitions for solos (often resolved in cagematch style) and the sheer numbers of other people to rely on to execute a single performance, is the subject of much speculation, discussion, and controversy at the Talepesian Conservatory. Many scholastic archivists assert that the existence of music in the present day is nothing short of miraculous, given its harrowing trials in its primordial infancy as a Proto-Sapient Artform. Music was truly in its darkest days during the mid-to-late Cavendish Era, with the Rap Mutation being perhaps the most unfortunate, persistent, and toxic in a series of near-fatal variants." -- Elena Jovankovna, "Sticks and Stones: An Historical Compendium of the Evolution of Music As a Cultural Lifeform"