The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #54517   Message #844060
Posted By: Bat Goddess
09-Dec-02 - 04:40 PM
Thread Name: Tech: Unusual Autoharp
Subject: RE: Tech: Unusual Autoharp
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.