Lucca through time: July

The panel for the month of July, in the portico of the Duomo of Lucca, shows a farmer threshing grain by hand. Today, only a handful of our elderly can recall farmers threshing grain with the ancient hand tool called flail.

The tool, a flail, consists of two pieces of wood joined together by a leather strap and a certain level of skill was needed to use it. A part part of the flail had to sharply strike the spikes of wheat to separate the kernels from the spike.

The activity of peasants threshing wheat in turn created a particular rhythmic sound. And this brings to mind, not grain or war, but the sound of the farmers’ chants and sing-songs while working. Music and musical instruments portrayed in ancient Lucca depictions will be the subject of this episod.

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