Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafeetta

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


Autoharps in the early 20C

canalwheeler 27 Apr 13 - 03:41 PM
Ebbie 27 Apr 13 - 03:46 PM
GUEST,Autoharper 27 Apr 13 - 09:25 PM
canalwheeler 28 Apr 13 - 04:13 AM
GUEST,Autoharper 28 Apr 13 - 08:53 AM
freda underhill 28 Apr 13 - 08:54 AM
freda underhill 28 Apr 13 - 09:10 AM
GUEST,Autoharper 28 Apr 13 - 09:14 AM
freda underhill 28 Apr 13 - 09:31 AM
Bill D 28 Apr 13 - 09:51 AM
GUEST,hg 28 Apr 13 - 11:00 PM
Art Thieme 29 Apr 13 - 10:05 PM
GUEST,leeneia 30 Apr 13 - 01:33 AM
canalwheeler 30 Apr 13 - 11:59 AM
GUEST,leeneia 01 May 13 - 09:41 AM
GUEST,hg 02 May 13 - 02:10 AM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:



Subject: Autoharps in the early 20C
From: canalwheeler
Date: 27 Apr 13 - 03:41 PM

Being an autoharpist, I have just been passed this image of the Carlingcott Orchestra. Carlingcott is an ex mining village south west of Bath UK. The Wesleyan Chapel Orchestra is said to have existed for over 130 years.

What interests me is the two autoharps and the zither in the back row. Given that the autoharp was said to be invented around 1890, and this photo, going by clothing, is pre Great War, they must have been fairly new instruments. Also, the left hand harp looks like it is fully chromatic, i.e. the bars can be pre-selected to one of three positions to alter the key.

I have one of these autoharps, and still occasionally play it, but it is very worn now. I'm looking or another.

Just thought I'd share this with you good folks:

Carlingcott Orchestra

Tone


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Autoharps in the early 20C
From: Ebbie
Date: 27 Apr 13 - 03:46 PM

That's a banjo in the second row, right? And no guitar... I'll bet they made a great sound though, with those cellos and autoharps.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Autoharps in the early 20C
From: GUEST,Autoharper
Date: 27 Apr 13 - 09:25 PM

The autoharp (or chorded zither) was invented in the early 1880's by an instrument builder named Karl A. Gutter (1823-1900), in Markneukirchen, Germany. Gutter patented his design in England.

-Adam Miller
Folksinging.org


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Autoharps in the early 20C
From: canalwheeler
Date: 28 Apr 13 - 04:13 AM

Gütter obtained a British patent for his instrument circa 1883–1884. Wiki

Tone


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Autoharps in the early 20C
From: GUEST,Autoharper
Date: 28 Apr 13 - 08:53 AM

In spite of what you read on Wikipedia, Gutter's English patent was, in fact, prior to 1883 -- in 1883, Gütter sold the rights to the chorded zither to Herman Lindemann from Klingenthal, near Markneukirchen. Lindemann's company traded in all types of musical instruments. Lindemann must have been quite irritated that others were manufacturing an instrument for which he owned the patent. In a monthly journal of 1890, he published the following statement: "Warning: I warn hereby especially not to buy or sell the recently sold instrument under the name of Chordzither or Autoharp that are in the market as imitations of my patent 'Volkszither.' I sued through the district attorney against the manufacturer C. F. Thierfeld against patent rights. Everyone of those individuals should be brought to court who sells these imitations in the stores." -- Signed: H. Lindemann, The Only Manufacturer of the Patented and Privileged "Volkszither."
-Adam Miller
Folksinging.org


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Autoharps in the early 20C
From: freda underhill
Date: 28 Apr 13 - 08:54 AM

This online autoharp history mentions the granting of a patent for the autoharp to C.F. Zimmerman in the USA in 1882. Mr Zimmerman had been born in Saxony (a German state in Europe) and he later migrated to the USA. He had seen this adapted instrument of the classical Zither family in his native Saxony before he left for America where he began manufacturing autoharps.

great photo, Tone!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Autoharps in the early 20C
From: freda underhill
Date: 28 Apr 13 - 09:10 AM

On page 7 of this catalogue is a picture of
an autoharp owned by Nita Lawes-Gilvear. The autoharp is in the collection of the National Museum ofd Australia. Here is a description from the website:

An auto-harp made from wood and metal with a painted exterior. The wooden sound box is designed in a stylised shape with a circular sound hole in the centre. There is a series of 60 strings fixed to the top of the sound box. There is a painterly decoration featuring peacocks, floral designs and a musical score, in gold, brown, green and red hues. The main exterior is painted black. The paint is worn in areas from use. The auto-harp is stored in a wooden box covered with brown leather-looking vinyl. There is a plectrum that is a corresponding part of the harp, used to stick cords.

Nita Lawes contracted poliomyelitis in 1937 at the age of 11. She spent long periods in hospital and suffered badly with pain and paralysis, being one of 1000 children who contracted polio in Tasmania between 1937 and 1938. Second only to Iceland, Tasmania suffered the highest rate per capita of poliomyelitis, or infantile paralysis, in the world. Children were treated in isolation wards of hospitals and families were denied visiting rights in an attempt to counter the spread of the disease.

Nita Lawes-Gilvear was given the autoharp when she was 16. She played at parties and concerts around her local district throughout her young adult life.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Autoharps in the early 20C
From: GUEST,Autoharper
Date: 28 Apr 13 - 09:14 AM

The instrument Zimmermann depicted in his 1882 patent illustration looks nothing like an autoharp. Zimmermann likely saw one of Gutter's instruments while traveling in Europe in the early 1880's and abandoned his own patent in favor of Gutter's. Autoharps built in the USA from 1885 until the present time are identical in design to the one in Gutter's patent illustration.
-Adam Miller
Folksinging.org


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Autoharps in the early 20C
From: freda underhill
Date: 28 Apr 13 - 09:31 AM

I know, it's a zither, but check out this archival footage of Anton Karas


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Autoharps in the early 20C
From: Bill D
Date: 28 Apr 13 - 09:51 AM

I have a model 5 Zimmerman 'harp (with shifters) in it's original case from about 1900. I have played it onstage a couple of times, but not for several years. It needs some moderate tweaking now to avoid warping under stress.

Bought it from an antique store that sold mostly furniture. This case was laying on a dresser in the back room. I asked the owner about 'that odd instrument' and he said "That's a zither." I asked him what he wanted for his zither, knowing full well what it actually was. "I know what I've got in it," he said, "and I gotta have $17 for it." I hemmed & hawed and finally, with a straight face, allowed as how I'd part with $17. Grabbed it and ran....

(I managed to work out how to hold it Maybelle Carter style and still use the shifters.)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Autoharps in the early 20C
From: GUEST,hg
Date: 28 Apr 13 - 11:00 PM

Very interesting photo, Adam.

love, harpgirl


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Autoharps in the early 20C
From: Art Thieme
Date: 29 Apr 13 - 10:05 PM

Adam Miller's autoharp is truly one of the sweetest we have ever heard or seen.   He was here playing in our room yesterday and other residents/inmates were commenting all day. Adam, Your visit was appreciated!

Art and Carol


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Autoharps in the early 20C
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 30 Apr 13 - 01:33 AM

thanks for the links, canalwheeler and freda.

It is heartening to see the love of music that must have existed among poor people in a hard trade.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Autoharps in the early 20C
From: canalwheeler
Date: 30 Apr 13 - 11:59 AM

Yes, and of course that was pre radio. If you wanted music then you HAD to make it yourself.

I'm not knocking radio in any way. Love it. But it probably did contribute to the ending of many such bands.

It is gratifying to know that the joy of making music, as opposed to just listening to it, is still prevalent over 100 years later.

And isn't it good?

Tone


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Autoharps in the early 20C
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 01 May 13 - 09:41 AM

Yes.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Autoharps in the early 20C
From: GUEST,hg
Date: 02 May 13 - 02:10 AM

Hi Art, That Adam Miller is a stand up guy, ain't he? Love, harpgirl


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 22 October 5:38 PM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.