Online Encyclopedia

GEIGE (O. Fr. gigue, gige; O. Ital. a...

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V11, Page 551 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
Spread the word: it!
GEIGE (O. Fr. gigue, gige; O. Ital. and Span. giga; Prov. gigua; O. Dutch gigue), in modern German the violin; in medieval German the name applied to the first stringed instruments played with a bow, in contradistinction to those whose strings were plucked by fingers or plectrum such as the cithara, rotta and fidula, the first of these terms having been very generally used to designate various instruments whose strings were plucked. The name gige in Germany, of which the origin is uncertain,' and its derivatives in other languages, were in the middle ages applied to rebecs having fingerboards. As the first bowed instruments in Europe were, as far as we know, those of the rebab type, both boat-shaped and pear-shaped, it seems probable that the name clung to them long after the bow had been applied to other stringed instruments derived from the cithara, such as the fiddle (videl) or vielle. In the romances of the 12th and 13th centuries the gige is frequently mentioned, and generally associated with the rotta. Early in the 16th century we find definite information concerning the Geige in the works of Sebastian Virdung (1511), Hans Judenkiinig (1523), Martin Agricola •(1532), Hans Gerle (1533) ; and from the instruments depicted, of two distinct types and many varieties, it would appear that the principal idea attached to the name was still that of the bow used to vibrate the strings. Virdung qualifies the word Geige with Klein (small) and Gross (large), which do not represent two sizes of the same instrument but widely different types, also recognized by Agricola, who names three or four sizes of each, discant, alto, tenor and bass. Virdung's Klein Geige is none other than the rebec with two C-shaped soundholes and a raised fingerboard cut in one piece with the vaulted back and having a separate flat soundboard glued over it, a. change 'rendered necessary by the arched bridge. Agricola's Klein Geige with three strings was of a totally different construction, having ribs and wide incurvations but no bridge; there was a rose soundhole near the tailpiece and two C-shaped holes in the shoulders. Agricola (Musica inslrumenlalis) distinctly mentions three kinds of Geigen with three, four and five strings. From him we learn that only one position was as yet used on these instruments, one or two higher notes being occasionally obtained by sliding the little finger along. A century later Agricola's Geige was regarded as antiquated by Praetorius, who reproduces one of the bridgeless ones with five strings, a rose and two C-shaped soundholes, and calls it an old fiddle; under Geige he gives the violins. (K. S.) GEIGER; ABRAHAM (1810-1874), Jewish theologian and orientalist, was born at Frankfort-on-Main on the 24th of May 1810, and educated at the universities of Heidelberg and Bonn. As a student he distinguished himself in philosophy and in philology, and at the close of his course wrote on the relations of Judaism and Mahommedanism a prize essay which was after-wards published in 1833 under the title Was hat Mohammed aus dem Judentum aufgenommen? (English trans. Judaism and Islam, Madras, 1898). In November 1832 he went to Wiesbaden as rabbi of the synagogue, and became in 1835 one of the most ' The words gige, gigen, geic appear suddenly in the M. H. German of the 12th century, and thence passed apparently into the Romance languages, though some would reverse the process (e.g. Weigand, Deutsches Worterbuch): An elaborate argument in the Deutsches Worterbuch of J. and W. Grimm (Leipzig, 1897) connects the word with an ancient common Teut. root gag—meaning to sway to and fro, as preserved in numerous forms: e. g. M.H.G gagen, gugen, to sway to and fro (gugen, gagen, the rocking of a cradle), the Swabian gigen, gagen, in the same sense, the Tirolese gaiggern, to sway, doubt, or the old Norse geiga, to go astray or crooked. The reference is to the swaying motion of the violin bow. The English " jig " is derived from gige through the O. Fr. gigue (in the sense of a stringed instrument); the modern French gigue (a dance) is the English '.' jig " re-imported (Hatzfeld and Darmesteter, Diction-?mire). This opens up another possibility, of the origin of the name of the instrument in the dance which it accompanied. (W. A. P.) GEIJER 551 active promoters of•the Zeitschrift fisr jitdische Theologie (1835-1839 and 1842-1847). From 1838 to 1863 he lived in Breslau, where he organized the reform movement in Judaism and wrote some of his most important works, including Lehr- and Lesebuch zur Sprache der Mischna (1845), Studien from Maimonides (1850), translation into German of the poems of Juda ha-Levi (1851), and Urschrift and Ubersetzungen der Bibel in ihrer Abhangigkeit von der innern Entwickelung des Judentums (1857). The last-named work attracted little attention at the time, but now enjoys a great reputation as a new departure in the methods of studying the records of Judaism. The Urschrift has moreover been recognized as one of the most original contributions to biblical science. In 1863 Geiger became head of the synagogue of his native town, and in 187o he removed to Berlin, where, in addition to his duties as chief rabbi, he took the principal charge of the newly established seminary for Jewish science. The Urschrift was followed by a more exhaustive handling of one of its topics in Die Sadducaer and Pharisder (1863), and by a more thorough application of its leading principles in an elaborate history of Judaism (Das Judentum and seine Geschichte) in 1865-1871. Geiger also contributed frequently on Hebrew, Samaritan and Syriac subjects to the Zeitschrif tderdeutschen morgenldndischen Gesellschaft, and from 1862 until his death (on the 23rd of October 1874). he was editor of a periodical entitled Jiidische Zeitschrift fur Wissenschaft and Leben. He also published a Jewish prayer-book (Israelitisches Gebetbuch) and a variety of minor monographs on historical and literary subjects connected with the fortunes of his people. (I. A.) An Allgemeine Einleitung and five volumes of Nachgelassene Schriften were edited in 1875 by his son LUDWIG GEIGER (b. 1848), who in 188o became extraordinary professor in the university of Berlin. Ludwig Geiger published a large number of biographical and literary works and made a special study of German humanism. He edited the Goethe-Jahrbuch from 2880, Vierteljahrsschrift fur Kultur and Litteratur der Renaissance (1885-1886), Zeitschr. fur die Gesch. der Juden im Deutschland (1886-1891), Zeitschr. fur vergleichende Litt eraturgeschichte and Renaissance-Litteratur (1887-1891). Among his works are Johann Relic/din, sein Leben and seine Werke (Leipzig, 1871); and Johann Reuchlin's Briefwechsel (Tubingen, 1875); Renaissance and Humanismus in Italien and Deutschland (1882, 2nd ed. 1901); Gesch. des geistigen Lebens der preussischen Hauptstadt (1892-1894); Berlin's geistiges Leben (1894-1896)• See also J. Derenbourg in Jud. Zeitschrift, xi. 299-308; E. Schrieber, Abraham Geiger als Reformator des Judentums (1880), art. (with portrait) in Jewish Encyclopedia. Abraham Geiger's nephew LAZARUS GEIGER (1829-1870), philosopher and philologist, born at Frankfort-on-Main, was destined to commerce, but soon gave himself up to scholarship and studied at Marburg, Bonn and Heidelberg. From 1861 till his sudden death in 187o he was professor in the Jewish high school at Frankfort. His chief aim was to prove that the evolution of human reason is closely bound up with that, of language. He further maintained that the origin of the Indo-. Germanic language is to be sought not in Asia but in central Germany. He was a convinced opponent of rationalism in religion. His chief work was his Unsprung and Entwickelung der menschlichen Sprache and Vernunft (vol. i., Stuttgart, 1868), the principal results of which appeared in a more popular form as Der Ursprung der Sprache (Stuttgart, 1869 and 1878). The second volume of the former was published in an incomplete form (1872, 2nd ed. 1899) after his death by his brother Alfred Geiger, who also published a number of his scattered papers as Zur Entwickelung der Menschheit (1871, 2nd ed. 1878; Eng. trans. D. Asher, Hist. of the Development of the Human Race, Lond., 1880). See L. A. Rosenthal, Laz. Geiger: seine Lehre vom Ursprung d. Sprache and Vernunft and sein Leben (Stuttgart, 1883) ; E. Peschier, L. Geiger, sein Leben and Denken (1871); J. Keller, L. Geiger and d. Kritik d. Vernunft (Wertheim, 1883) and Der Ursprung d. Vernunft (Heidelberg, 1884).
End of Article: GEIGE (O. Fr. gigue, gige; O. Ital. and Span. giga; Prov. gigua; O. Dutch gigue)
EMANUEL GEIBEL (1815–1884)

Additional information and Comments

There are no comments yet for this article.
» Add information or comments to this article.
Please link directly to this article:
Highlight the code below, right click and select "copy." Paste it into a website, email, or other HTML document.