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Tech: Unusual Autoharp

09 Dec 02 - 04:26 PM (#844048)
Subject: Tech: Unusual Autoharp
From: John MacKenzie

Anybody ever seen one like this?


See here

Giok


09 Dec 02 - 04:40 PM (#844060)
Subject: RE: Tech: Unusual Autoharp
From: Bat Goddess

Difficult to see as the photo wouldn't enlarge for me at all -- but it looks sort of like a Marxophone or Celestaphone. These were instruments that were sold door-to-door in the early part of the 20th century.

"The Marxophone is a musical instrument that has four sets of chord strings (Cmajor, Gmajor, Fmajor and D7) to be strummed with the left hand and two octaves of double melody strings (Cmiddle - C'') which are struck by metal hammers activated by the right hand. The hammers are mounted on spring steel and produce a mandolin-like sound from repeated bouncing on the strings, hence the name mandolin-guitar-zither that was sometimes applied to the Marxophone." (from one of the websites)

I first ran into one about 17 years ago being played by Katharine Rhoda, who also plays another unusual stringed instrument, the ukelin.

I've got a Celestaphone under the couch, waiting for time to restore and re-string.

They sound great, easy to play, but have limited keys they can play in.

Linn


09 Dec 02 - 04:51 PM (#844067)
Subject: RE: Tech: Unusual Autoharp
From: John MacKenzie

The seller reckons this is about 1900, it also has a slide mechanism, which you might see sticking out of the top, in the picture. Seller describes it as some sort of adjustable tuning system. Odd aint it!!
Giok


09 Dec 02 - 05:36 PM (#844089)
Subject: RE: Tech: Unusual Autoharp
From: curmudgeon

This appears to be a fancy looking six chord autoharp. The "slide" may enable one to change the six chords, but I'm not sure how that would work.

IMHO, it's already overpriced as a musical instrument. For a decorator, however, who would augment the decor of some non-musical ostentatious manor, the price is far too low -- Tom