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Tech: Unusual Autoharp

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John MacKenzie 09 Dec 02 - 04:26 PM
Bat Goddess 09 Dec 02 - 04:40 PM
John MacKenzie 09 Dec 02 - 04:51 PM
curmudgeon 09 Dec 02 - 05:36 PM
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Subject: Tech: Unusual Autoharp
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 09 Dec 02 - 04:26 PM

Anybody ever seen one like this?


See here

Giok


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Subject: RE: Tech: Unusual Autoharp
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 09 Dec 02 - 04:40 PM

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


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Subject: RE: Tech: Unusual Autoharp
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 09 Dec 02 - 04:51 PM

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


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Subject: RE: Tech: Unusual Autoharp
From: curmudgeon
Date: 09 Dec 02 - 05:36 PM

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


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