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Help: Harpolute - instrument info

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richardw 14 Jun 01 - 04:01 PM
Chicken Charlie 15 Jun 01 - 03:42 PM
Sorcha 15 Jun 01 - 05:21 PM
Sorcha 15 Jun 01 - 05:47 PM
Sorcha 15 Jun 01 - 05:57 PM
richardw 15 Jun 01 - 09:44 PM
Sorcha 15 Jun 01 - 10:55 PM
richardw 16 Jun 01 - 11:11 AM
GUEST,Jerry 16 Sep 13 - 12:38 AM
GUEST,Zitherophobia 16 Sep 13 - 04:09 AM
GUEST,Julia 16 Feb 16 - 09:09 PM
GUEST 18 May 18 - 07:07 AM
Jack Campin 18 May 18 - 10:40 AM
Tootler 18 May 18 - 05:44 PM
Mr Red 20 May 18 - 04:07 AM
leeneia 22 May 18 - 02:39 PM
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Subject: Harpolute - instrument info
From: richardw
Date: 14 Jun 01 - 04:01 PM

A friend just moved and passed on to me a Harpolute, manufactured by the Harpolute Mfg Co. of Boston. It has 17 strings, is trapazoid in shape and configuered in C with the bottom C as #1, in the old note numbering system.

I cannot find any information on itthough I cam sure it fits with many of those 1920s and 30s instruments like the ukelin and marxophone. Any ideas?

Richard Wright http:goldrushbc.com


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Subject: RE: Help: Harpolute - instrument info
From: Chicken Charlie
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 03:42 PM

Richard--

New Grove Dic'y of Music & Musicians, vol. 8, pp 211-12 has "deep background" on the "harp-lute," starting in England c.1798 and following development down to c.1820.

I guess I can scan those pages and send them to your e-mail site. Can you open JPEG files??

CC


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Subject: RE: Help: Harpolute - instrument info
From: Sorcha
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 05:21 PM

I found some pictures on line of a "harplute"--West African and nothing at all like what Richard is describing. I think it is Sephen Bennet who plays a "harpguitar" but it is not like trapezoidal either. I'm still sort of messing around with finding it, but I'll bet it's related to the Marxolin, etc. as Richard said.


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Subject: RE: Help: Harpolute - instrument info
From: Sorcha
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 05:47 PM

Check this out- - - are we getting closer?


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Subject: RE: Help: Harpolute - instrument info
From: Sorcha
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 05:57 PM

You might also spend some time at the Miner Museum of Strange Instruments. Maybe something there is similar.


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Subject: RE: Help: Harpolute - instrument info
From: richardw
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 09:44 PM

Great sites Sorcha, but no seegar.

This has a body similar to n autoharp or marxophone with a round sound hole. I presume it is meant to be plucked as there are no keys etc and the strings are about 3/4 of an inch apart. The trapazoid shape is uneven, so imagine a hammer dulcimer with one side angled more than the other. it is about 18" on the long bottom side. 12 on the anchor pin side (the top, then a short square section and then a12 " side. The fourth side is parrallel with the bottom. Confused?

It is probably of the American zeither family, of a plucked psaltery type. Simple in construction.

I'll have to take a photo and post it.

Richard


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Subject: RE: Help: Harpolute - instrument info
From: Sorcha
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 10:55 PM

Weird, Richard. Sorry no seegar, I tried. We can always make up a name for it, as it HarpoZither--lol. I even found a Lute Harpsichord---as big as a harpsichord and played with keys (like a piano) but the body is a big "potato belly" with a round sound hole in the top!


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Subject: RE: Help: Harpolute - instrument info
From: richardw
Date: 16 Jun 01 - 11:11 AM

Sorcha;

Here is the shape, sort of. Hope the tabs still work. Wish I had a pencil. Can't figure out how to draw the top line at a slight angle. This is the anchor pin end. Strings run up and down. Labels reads correctly when held in this position. Label says Harpolute, Mfg by Harpolute Mfg. Co. Obviously it was a real hit .

| | | | | | | | | | / | / | / | / |___

Richard


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Subject: RE: Help: Harpolute - instrument info
From: GUEST,Jerry
Date: 16 Sep 13 - 12:38 AM

You might try the Boston Public Library as I have one of these, too. Hope it helps!


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Subject: RE: Help: Harpolute - instrument info
From: GUEST,Zitherophobia
Date: 16 Sep 13 - 04:09 AM

Or just do a Google image search which turns up several, such as this:

Harpolute


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Subject: RE: Help: Harpolute - instrument info
From: GUEST,Julia
Date: 16 Feb 16 - 09:09 PM

Zitherophobia my Harpolute looks just like the pic you shared. Mine belonged to my grandmother. It set on her mantel in my mothers home growing up.


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Subject: RE: Help: Harpolute - instrument info
From: GUEST
Date: 18 May 18 - 07:07 AM

For a little info, scroll down to the bottom of this page, part of a great fretless zither website developed by the late great Garry Harrison: http://www.pickaway.press/fz/znochords.html


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Subject: RE: Help: Harpolute - instrument info
From: Jack Campin
Date: 18 May 18 - 10:40 AM

Looks like a very downmarket toy qanun/kanun. Might be fun to tune to microtonal scales as the kanun can be, though.


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Subject: RE: Help: Harpolute - instrument info
From: Tootler
Date: 18 May 18 - 05:44 PM

Looks a bit like a psaltery. They come in various shapes including trapezoidal though they tend to be symmetrical. Like this:

http://www.earlymusic.co.uk/general/prod_11.htm


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Subject: RE: Help: Harpolute - instrument info
From: Mr Red
Date: 20 May 18 - 04:07 AM

the URL http://www.pickaway.press/fz/znochords.html refers to the Phonoharp Company (Wiki)


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Subject: RE: Help: Harpolute - instrument info
From: leeneia
Date: 22 May 18 - 02:39 PM

Apparently the only person on this thread who actually has a harpolute is the OP, richardw, who posted 17 years ago.

But supposing somebody comes along who has one today, I suggest that you tune it in C (see OP), get some metal fingerpicks, and sound out songs in C on the strings. You might want to get one or two picks for the left hand and throw in a little harmony.

I have seen a toy instrument like this, where you plucked at one string at a time with a triangular plastic pick, but that seems like a limited approach.


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