The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #41978   Message #652531
Posted By: Bonnie Shaljean
18-Feb-02 - 06:05 AM
Thread Name: Help: Autoharp Models: History
Subject: RE: Help: Autoharp Models: History
I have an early 20th-century autoharp (I don't THINK it's older, not sure) which I got years ago from a friend who was doing an estate-clearance in or near London and found it among the house contents. (He gave it to me for free.) It's black with a red rose-motif on its soundboard (or whatever you call it - I play the ordinary harp so that's the term that comes to mind) and it says it's a B&M Miranda. But what makes me mention it here is that it has a feature I've never seen or heard of before, though I'm no expert on this subject. It has twelve chord-bars, but each of these will play three different chords so you get a total of 36. This is done via a little lever or handle sticking out above each individual chord-bar, which you can move into three different positions, up-middle-down. This has the effect of shifting the chord by a semitone so for example on the A chord you also get Ab and A#/Bb. Has anybody ever seen anything like this before, can you tell me anything about "B&M", and can anyone hazard a guess as to its age? Another antique dealer who was looking at something else for me saw it and confirmed my estimate that it was probably early 20th-century but he didn't go into detail and no real analysis has ever been done on this instrument. It's in very good condition so obviously it was either not played much or very carefully handled. Any info out there? (It's not for sale by the way!) Thanks –

Bonnie (who should be working)