Nacaire - Encyclopedia




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NACAIRE, NAKER, NAQUAIRE (Arab. nagara), the medieval name for the kettledrum, the earliest representation of which appears in the unique MS. known as the Vienna Genesis (5th or 6th century). The nacaire was, according to Froissart, among the instruments used at the triumphal entry of Edward III. into Calais. The Chronicles of Joinville describe the instrument as a kind of drum: "Lor it fist sonner les tabours que 1' on appelle nacaires." Chaucer, in his description of the tournament in the Knight's Tale, line 1653, also refers to this early kettledrum.

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