The Early Pedal Harp as a Museum Artefact
Alter Seminarraum, Research Institute for the History of Science and Technology Deutsches Museum, Munich, 29-30 November 2018Concept & Organisation: Panagiotis Poulopoulos, Organisational Assistance: Julin Lee Funding: ‘Research in Museums’ Funding Initiative, Volkswagen Foundation (VolkswagenStiftung)
During the late 18th and early 19th centuries the harp, an instrument known since antiquity, was transformed into a highly advanced, modern instrument which strongly rivaled the popularity of the piano in Europe. This significant period witnessed unprecedented experimentation with and improvement to the harp’s design, construction and function, particularly with the introduction of several innovative pedal mechanisms for shortening the strings, followed by a radical visual upgrade of the instrument with new methods and styles of decoration. As a result of this process the harp became a powerful sounding machine that found a place in the modern orchestra, as well as a fashionable household item and an important status symbol.
However, despite the large quantity of surviving specimens, printed music and related archival material, pedal harps from this time have been overlooked by scholars and the wider public, thus remaining largely unknown, if not enigmatic, objects. Moreover, because of their large size and delicate condition, many historical harps in museums are not displayed but housed in storerooms, while those in private collections have often been extensively modified to be kept in playing condition, gradually losing their original features. Accordingly, this presents various challenges for contextualisation and interpretation, since modern audiences, ranging from museum visitors to concert goers, have few opportunities to experience these instruments as they would have looked and sounded two centuries ago, and to appreciate their importance from a historical, technical, musical and sociocultural perspective.
The efforts of various scholars within the past decade have led to a growing interest in early pedal harps, reflected in numerous conferences, publications, exhibitions, concerts and other events devoted to these instruments. Additionally, the digitisation, edition and publication of previously neglected archives as well as the presentation of museum and library collections in online portals have formed a substantial research source on these instruments, creating new possibilities for further investigation. Nevertheless, many questions about historical instrument-making, historical performance and present-day museum issues concerning early pedal harps have not been sufficiently answered.This international workshop brought together professionals from the museum and academic sectors in order to discuss the role of early pedal harps as multidimensional artefacts of material, technical and cultural heritage. Speakers will included curators, conservators, instrument makers, musicians, musicologists, organologists, and historians, who presented and analysed the latest developments and approaches on this topic with the goal of advancing interdisciplinary discourse in the study of early pedal harps, and musical instruments in general.
Robert Adelson (Conservatoire à Rayonnement Régional de Nice, Nice)
Robert Adelson is professor of music history and organology at the Conservatoire de Nice. He has served as curator of the collection of historical musical instruments at the Musée du Palais Lascaris in Nice (2005-2016) and of the Camac collection of historical harps at the Château d’Ancenis (2017-present). His books include The History of the Erard Piano and Harp in Letters and Documents, 1785–1959 (2 vols., Cambridge University Press, 2015), Erard, l’invention de la harpe moderne 1811-2011 (Editions Nice Musées, 2011) and Women Writing Opera: Creativity and Controversy in the Age of the French Revolution(University of California Press, 2001). He is a member of the Board of Governors of the American Musical Instrument Society and of the supervisory committee of the Gaveau-Erard-Pleyel Archives.
Mike Baldwin (London Metropolitan University, London)
Dr Mike Baldwin is a teacher, harp maker and restorer, and a recent PhD graduate from London Metropolitan University. He has researched, written, and presented widely on the early pedal harp, specialising in harp businesses (particularly the Erat Company), technical and decorative design, and manufacture. Mike is responsible for having brought the Erat Company papers to light in 2007 and has since developed a knack for discovering unknown primary sources. He is a proponent of the big data analysis of musical instrument making, and is currently writing a book on the innovation, design, manufacture, and consumption of the London-made harp.
Christopher Clarke (Donzy-le-National)
Born in 1947, Christopher Clarke graduated Bsc (Soc. Sci) from Edinburgh University. In 1970, a grant from the Fritz Thyssen Stiftung enabled him to train at the Germanisches Nationalmuseum in Nuremberg. From 1971-1973, he was Assistant Curator at the Russell Collection in Edinburgh. In 1974, he joined the firm of Adlam Burnett, building and restoring early keyboards. Since 1978, first in Paris, then in Burgundy, he has worked independently as restorer, builder and researcher of early keyboards, principally pianos. His work may be found in public and private collections throughout the world, notably the Musée de la Musique, Paris, for whom he has done several restorations and, in 2011, a facsimile of a pianoforte en forme de clavecin made by the Érard brothers in 1802. He won a Fondation Bettencourt prize “Pour l’Intelligence de la Main” in 2000, and in 2006 was appointed “Maître d’Art” by the French Minister for Culture.
Maria Christina Cleary (Haute École de Musique de Genève, Geneva)
A native of Ireland, Maria Christina Cleary studied harp at the College of Music Dublin and began a Degree in Psychology at Trinity College Dublin. She later studied at the Koninklijk Conservatorium, The Hague and the Koninklijk Conservatorium, Brussels. In 2016, she was awarded a PhD, carried out in-and-through artistic practice from The Academy of Creative and Performing Arts (ACPA), Leiden University. The title of her thesis is “Harpe Organisée, 1720-1840: Rediscovering the lost pedal techniques on harps with a single-action pedal mechanism”. This is the first ever monograph on pedalling techniques. She holds the position of historical harp professor at the Conservatorio E. F. Dall’Abaco, Verona and at the Haute Ecole de Musique de Genève.
Fanny Guillaume-Castel (Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, Paris)
Fanny Guillaume-Castel completed her MA with honours in Social and Economic History at the Sorbonne in 2017. A long-time harpist, she chose to include her passion into her work as a historian, and focused her masters thesis on the first harps produced and sold by Erard in both Paris and London. After several internships in museum curation, she focused her last two experiences on musical instruments collections, working in music museums in Paris and Brussels. In December, she will be graduating with a professional masters degree from the Sorbonne, focused on Heritage and Museum Management. She is currently preparing a study on French harp makers in the 18th century.
Lewis Jones (London Metropolitan University, London)
Lewis Jones teaches music and music technology and is Research Degrees Coordinator at the London Metropolitan University. He studied music at the University of York and musicology at King’s College, London. As Professor of medieval and Renaissance music at the Royal College of Music in the eighties and nineties, he advanced novel approaches to teaching founded on deep reading of historical sources, improvisation, and critical listening. In 1990, he introduced and led the first BSc course in Music Technology. He is a designer and maker of musical instruments, both new instruments for new music and pioneering reconstructions of historical examples.
Thierry Maniguet (Musée de la Musique, Paris)
After studies of sciences, musicology and musical acoustics at the Paris universities of Pierre-et-Marie-Curie and Sorbonne and at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris, Thierry Maniguet teaches piano and theory in academy during ten years. Specialised in organology, he is, during eight years, a representative for the musical instrumental heritage. Curator at the Musée de la musique since 2000, he conceived the new exhibition of the rooms devoted to 19th and 20th centuries. He is Professor of Organology at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique and is a lecturer in several French academic institutions.
Masumi Nagasawa (Conservatorium Maastricht, Maastricht)
Masumi Nagasawa is one of the few harpists to perform on the double-action, the single-action pedal harp and the Japanese ancient harp (Kugo). She studied with Phia Berghout and with Mara Galassi. She gained her solo diploma cum laude and obtained the award of the Prix d’Excellence. She has been a soloist with the Amsterdam Concertgebouw Chamber Orchestra and invited to perform in the Kuhmo International Chamber Music Festival, the Salzburg Music Festival, the Geneva Music Festival and the Ittinger Pfingstkonzerte. She has performed with the Academy of Ancient Music, the Freiburger Baroque Orchestra, the Balthasar-Neuman Ensemble, the Kammerorchester Basel, the Orchestra La Scintilla, Netherlands Bach Society and Holland Baroque Society. She currently teaches at the Conservatory in Maastricht and gives Master classes in diverse conservatories. She has completed her PhD at Leeds University, under Clive Brown. She is regarded as the most productive harpist for recording single-action pedal harp repertoire on labels by Etcetera, Channel Classics, Globe and the most recently by BIS.
Jenny Nex (Musical Instrument Museums Edinburgh, Edinburgh)
Following her early education in Cambridge, Jenny Nex studied music at the University of Edinburgh from where she went on to specialise as a singer in historical performance. She subsequently moved into the museum profession and in 2005 took over as Curator at the Royal College of Music, moving to a similar role at the University of Edinburgh based at St Cecilia’s Hall in 2013. Jenny’s teaching and research centre on business aspects of musical instrument making in 18th- and 19th-cenutry Britain.
Hayato Sugimoto (Kwansei Gakuin University, Nishinomiya)
Hayato Sugimoto learned the skill of guitar making in England between 2000 and 2005. In 2005 he completed a BA (Hons) Music Technology (Musical Instruments) at the London Metropolitan University, followed by a MMus Musical Instrument Research and a PhD at the University of Edinburgh in 2009 and 2015 respectively. Since 2016, he has been a part-time lecturer and is currently researching inexpensive guitars manufactured between 1800 and 1970, specifically those marketed as consumer products in Britain.
Nancy Thym (Museum and Archive for Harp History, Freising)
Nancy Thym studied archaeology, theater and dance at UC Berkeley and organology and ethnomusicology at UCLA. She has received awards and grants for her research on the Bohemian hook harp, the Siberian harp and the Norwegian krogharpe and written numerous publications on the history of the harp. As a performer she transforms her extensive research into concert programs, which are both entertaining and educational, combining harp music, songs and storytelling.
Beat Wolf (Schaffhausen)
Beat Wolf is a harp expert, maker and restorer, who worked with historical instruments in his own studio since 1976 up until his retirement in 2016. Since 1987 he specialized in the research, conservation, restoration and replication of historical harps. In 1990 he developed his own replica of the Louis XVI pedal harp and started a collection of harp-related data in his own archives for a total of 380 harps presently. He also provided assistance with harp-cataloguing and restoration to important museums in Berlin, Nuremberg, Paris, Vienna and Zurich.
Eve Zaunbrecher (New Orleans, Louisiana)
Eve Zaunbrecher received her M.A. in History of Design from the Royal College of Art, London, for a dissertation on the design and sociability of the single action pedal harp in late eighteenth century Paris. Her research interests include the intersection of science and music, the reception and use of French instruments in Britain before the French Revolution, and the use of the harp in literature as a facilitator for sexuality and romance.
Luise Richter (Technical University Munich, Munich)
Luise Richter completed her bachelor’s degree in Conservation Sciences and Art Technology at the Technical University Munich in 2016 with her thesis about the examination of the polychromy of the double-action harp No. 2631 from 1818 by the Erard workshop in London. She continued her research on this harp and worked as team assistant in Dr. Panagiotis Poulopoulos’ research project “A Creative Triangle of Mechanics, Acoustics and Aesthetics: The Early Pedal Harp (1780-1830) as a Symbol of Innovative Transformation.” She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in Conservation Sciences and Art Technology at the Technical University Munich and her bachelor’s degree in Musicology at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich.
Guided Tour at the Münchner Stadtmuseum:
Following an apprenticeship in cabinet-making in Bremen, Gunther Joppig served as an oboe player in the “Heeresmusikkorps 11” of the German army in Bremen whilst pursuing his studies in oboe and music teaching at the Konservatorium der Freien- und Hansestadt Bremen. He then studied Musicology, Educational science and Romance languages at the University of Hamburg, where he obtained his doctorate in 1987 with the thesis “Beiträge zur Geschichte von Oboe und Fagott“. From 1987 to 2008 he served as curator of the Musikinstrumentenmuseum in the Münchner Stadtmuseum. He is currently an active music teacher for the Museums-Pädagogisches Zentrum, Munich and a freelance expert at the Bayerisches Nationalmuseum.
Concept & Organisation:
Panagiotis Poulopoulos (Deutsches Museum, Munich)
Panagiotis Poulopoulos is an organologist with a BA in Conservation of Antiquities and Works of Art (TEI Athens), a MMus in Musical Instrument Research and a PhD in Organology (both University of Edinburgh). His latest projects and publications have focused on the documentation, preservation, and exhibition of musical instruments, as well as on aspects of musical instrument design, manufacture and trade. Panagiotis is currently post-doctoral fellow of the Volkswagen Foundation investigating the development of the early pedal harp at the Research Institute for the History of Science and Technology in the Deutsches Museum, Munich. Since 2016 he has also been a member of the Advisory Executive Board of CIMCIM-ICOM.
ulin Lee (Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Munich)
Julin Lee is pursuing her master’s degree in Musicology at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Germany. Since graduating from the University of Cambridge in 2014 where she studied Chemical Engineering via Natural Sciences, she has been actively cultivating her research interests at the intersection of science and music. She is currently student assistant of the research group, “Materiality of Musical Instruments: New Approaches to a Cultural History of Organology” at the Deutsches Museum led by Dr. Rebecca Wolf, whom she assisted in organizing the international workshop “Material Authenticity of the Ephemeral” (October 16–18, 2017). She is also team assistant in Dr. Panagiotis Poulopoulos’ research project “A Creative Triangle of Mechanics, Acoustics and Aesthetics: The Early Pedal Harp (1780-1830) as a Symbol of Innovative Transformation.”
Robert Adelson (Conservatoire à Rayonnement Régional de Nice, Nice): Originality and Influence: New Light on Sébastien Erard’s Role in the Development of the Pedal Harp (1787-1830)
Sébastien Erard (1752–1831) is considered the father of the modern harp, and with reason. His two major contributions to the construction of the instrument are still at the basis of today’s models: the mechanism of forked discs that shorten the vibrating length of the strings by a semitone; and the double action, which allows the harpist to play in all keys. A study of extant prototype harps and the unpublished Erard family archives allows us to trace the evolution of Erard’s creative processes as he competed with contemporary builders to expand the musical potential of the pedal harp through these two inventions. Particular attention will be given to Erard’s relationships with the Parisian harp maker Georges Cousineau (1733–1800) and the Polish inventor Charles Gröll (1770–1857).
Mike Baldwin (London Metropolitan University, London): The Early Pedal Harp: Developing a Common Descriptive Language
Museum and auction catalogue descriptions of early pedal harps are often brief. While they reveal something about an instrument, opportunities to relate one harp to another are often missed. There is no common descriptive language. Action types are mislabelled, placing a harp within a design chronology isn’t attempted, and little is said about technical or decorative form. Although of little consequence to the museum visitor (who may appreciate the harp as a visual object) or the buyer at auction (who will have their own criteria for a purchase), the researcher is prevented from developing a full design history and a significant aspect of the harp’s story, namely its design and manufacture, is lost. Hitherto, Erard has dominated discourse on the London-made harp. Surviving company ledgers (1797-1917) enable the accurate dating and comparison of Erards’ instruments. A recently discovered Erat ledger (1821-1824), albeit limited in range, dates and describes the Erats’ harps of that period, allowing comparison with earlier and later instruments. Crucially, harps of the same date by both makers can now be identified and compared. The dating and comparison of instruments by others, however, is a significant challenge. This paper constitutes the first stage of a wider study to compare the forms of the London-made early pedal harp. It assesses common errors used in the description of harps, and develops a descriptive nomenclature, based on terms used by London makers and writings on classical-revival architecture. For the museum audience, a tripartite differentiated system is proposed, and presentation methods suggested.
Christopher Clarke (Donzy-le-National): The Locksmith’s Tale: How Harp-making Practice Shaped the Érard Firm’s Pianos
The trades of harp-making and piano-building at the turn of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries were often commercially associated; both shared a luxury market where musical, decorative and technical prowess combined to make these instruments totems of social ostentation and symbols of progress. But perhaps only the particular pioneering genius of Sébastien Érard was able to integrate the mechanical thinking and practices of harp-making into those of the piano. Whereas other piano-makers tended to elaborate mechanical designs based principally on the use of wood, using metal only sparingly, Érard drew largely on his harp-making expertise – and his workshop facilities – to integrate metallic elements into the heart of the piano. The construction by the author of a facsimile Érard pianoforte en forme de clavecin for the Musée de la Musique showed that roughly a third of the total construction time was taken up with metalwork. This study compares Érard’s designs with those of his contemporaries to show not only their differences of approach but also his profound influence on other builders, especially in France.
Maria Christina Cleary (Haute École de Musique de Genève, Geneva): How would you like your shot of Bochsa (coffee): single- or double (-action pedal harps)?
Robert Nicholas Charles Bochsa (1789-1856) was a French harpist, composer and teacher who collaborated with the Erard firm of pianos and harps. Living both in Paris and then in London, Bochsa is a rare example of a harpist-entrepreneur who understood the socio-economic issues of the music business in both countries. He published over three hundred pieces for the harp and over forty teaching books, writing simultaneously for the two types of pedal harps that co-existed during the first half of the 19th century: the 18th-century harpe organisée with a single-action pedal mechanism and 19th-century double-action pedal harp. In his Parisian publications, the older harpe organisée was prescribed, while his London publications were aimed towards the newer double-action pedal harp. It is usually assumed, due to his close working relationship with the Erard firm who first patented harps with a double-action pedal mechanism, that Bochsa’s music was invariably composed for this new harp. However, a different picture appears when his harp pieces, methods, and books of studies are analysed. Bochsa rarely takes advantage of the double-action harp’s additional features like new tonalities, advanced romantic modulations, the musical compass, and new pedalling techniques to expand and develop the harp repertoire. He is a restrained as other conservative composers of his day that continue to churn out EZ (easy-listening) music. This presentation will use the musical and written sources by Bochsa to show the discrepancy between the functional possibilities of the Erard harp and his musical output and possible market forces of the day. On the other hand, his plethora of publications, that define aspects of harp technique, special effects and general musical taste, invariably link the two types of pedal harps, their history and repertoire.
Fanny Guillaume-Castel (Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, Paris): A Study of the Erard Harp Sales at the Turn of the 18th and 19th Centuries, from the Perspective of Economic and Social History
The Erard archives are amongst the richest resources for anyone interested in the history of instrument making. The Erard name being commonly associated with the patent of the double-action harp in the early 1810’s, it is sometimes forgotten that Erard manufactured and sold harps even before that innovation. Ensuring the success of such a technological advance, Erard had to make sure they could rely on a loyal customer base and a viable market. Although the period between the 1790’s and 1810’s was an unstable era in Europe, it is interesting to see how the Erard company managed to thrive and even take advantage of the social, economic and political turmoil of the time. Through ledger books from both the Paris and the London branch, we will explore the sales of Erard’s early pedal harps through a social and economic history perspective. These records help us get a better view of who were the Erard customers, in a time of shifting dynamics amongst the European elite, while understanding their importance in the expanding of the market. These archives also give us great intel into how the harps were actually sold, and the commercial techniques used by the company in order to entice customers, close to the ones used in modern marketing. Overall, we will attempt to understand how the Erard company managed to sail through such troubled times, with an antagonist implantation in Paris and London, and how these two poles influenced the dynamics of the Erard harp market.
Lewis Jones (London Metropolitan University, London): The Stringing of the London-made Harp, 1800-1830
This paper reviews and analyses evidence pertaining to the stringing of harps made and played in London in the early nineteenth century. Drawing on string gauges, extant instruments, patents, sale catalogues, tutors, and a range of other documents, it considers what can be deduced about the ways in which contemporaries of Sebastien Érard conceived of the physical and sound-producing properties of strings. By considering harp strings in relation to what is known of those of the violin and guitar, it seeks to advance and refine knowledge of stringing of the harp. The catalogue of an auction of Roman strings in large wholesale quantities, and the manufactory ledgers of Jacob Erat afford insights into trade practices and the colouring of strings in the 1820s.
Thierry Maniguet (Musée de la Musique, Paris): The Harp Collection of the Musée de la musique in Paris, a Valuable Source for Research on the History of this Instrument
The Musée de la musique preserves a collection of 61 harps, 41 of which are pedal harps. This remarkable ensemble allows us to evoke with precision the history of this instrument, notably its development in France from the middle of the 18th century and its rapid diffusion into French high society. Indeed, it seems that it is in Paris – and only in a few years – that the theoretical principles of the modern harp were established (number of pedals and their arrangement, tuning of the instrument, mechanism…). However, several questions remain concerning this extremely rapid development. Based on the study of archival, pedagogical or iconographic sources – as well as on the analysis of instruments preserved in the Paris museum – this presentation will attempt to clarify the conditions under which the pedal harp was developed, evoking in particular the role played by the Cousineau dynasty in the advent of this instrument.
Masumi Nagasawa (Conservatorium Maastricht, Maastricht): In Search of a Lost Performing Style of the Single-action Pedal Harp
The single-action pedal harp was a fashionable instrument from the age of Enlightenment to the Romantic period. However, the historical performance practice of the single-action pedal harp has been neglected for a long time, and this has consequently influenced our approach and evaluation of Classical and early Romantic repertoire for the harp. The lecture will discuss how players should approach and perform on the single-action pedal harp. It will fill the gap in current knowledge and understanding of the characteristics of the instrument and their implications on performance practice of its repertoire. Playing on original instruments or on finely manufactured replica harps may provide possibilities for players to experiment and understand historical techniques more clearly. Furthermore, it is essential for the performer to polish their skill at reading behind the notes of the composition to come as close as possible to understanding the expectation of the composer. The spirit of a tasteful performance lies behind the notational practice, which may animate the music. A stylistic performance featuring compositions by Meyer, Krumpholtz and Naderman will be given on the single-action pedal harp by integrating the significant practices of the period. The presentation aims at identifying the capabilities of the instrument and clarifying the status of the single-action pedal harp as an independent instrument with a repertoire and practice of its own.
Jenny Nex (Musical Instrument Museums Edinburgh, Edinburgh): The Financial Activities of the London Harp Firm of Erard
There are two main sources for our understanding of the financial operations of the Erard firm in London: the company sales ledgers held at the Royal College of Music and the archives, including a substantial collection of letters, in the Gaveau-Erard-Pleyel collection, property of the AXA insurance group which are available through The Centre Sébastien Erard. The three company ledgers at the RCM give information about harp sales from 1798 to 1917 and contain a section of workshop accounts for 1807-9. The letters include a large number written by Pierre in London informing his uncle in Paris how operations were proceeding and seeking his advice on important matters. This paper uses these two archives as the main sources for constructing how finances were managed by Erards within the context of the London mercantile economy and the musical world of 19th-century London.
Hayato Sugimoto (Kwansei Gakuin University, Nishinomiya): “Imitation or Innovation?”: The Harp Lute as a Substitute for the Harp
The harp lute was primarily invented to be a substitute for the harp, imitating its sound. Although the inventor was the English musician Edward Light, they were, under his guidance, chiefly manufactured in harp maker’s workshops; Alexander Meek Barry is known as Light’s contractor. One economist claims that ‘process innovation occurs when a good of given characteristics can be produced at lower cost’, while another points out that ‘good innovators make good imitators […] Most successful technological societies – including medieval Europe and modern Japan – started as imitators and eventually evolved as innovators’. These principles seem quite applicable to the harp lute manufacturing with regard to the economical product and the amount of imitations in the market place.Barry has manufactured his instruments on the coattails of the harp’s popularity rather than taken part in its innovation, since there was no patent granted to him. He was, however, deeply involved in the harp lute development and its evolution. Despite Light’s success in business – enough to be a titled gentleman – the popularity of the harp lute suddenly declined in the 1830s and makers such as Barry fell into neglect, whereas Erard has maintained his reputation until the twentieth century. What caused such a disparity between the two? This paper explores the pros and cons of producing fashionable products during the modernization of Britain, referring to the socio-economic structure of the day. In conclusion, imitations and innovations conducted by the harp lute distributors and manufacturers who were active in Regency Britain will be elucidated.
Nancy Thym (Museum and Archive for Harp History, Freising): “Now that I bought it, how do I get it home?”: Experiences of a Private Harp Collector and Performer
Nancy Thym began collecting historical harps in 1980 and her private Museum and Archive for Harp History now boasts a collection of over 40 original harps and reconstructions. Many of the historical harps have been restored to playable condition, including several pedal harps. Nancy Thym will recount her experiences as a collector and performer: the pitfalls, learning the idiosyncrasies of the various instruments, adjusting playing techniques, dealing with restorers, transporting the instruments, etc.
Beat Wolf (Schaffhausen): Preservation of Early Pedal Harps – The Hidden Secrets
Many museums have a collection of early pedal harps. Unlike with keyboards or violins, there is only little information available about harps. The originality of historical harps is not always seen from the surface. The checking of historical sources and comparison to similar harps are necessary in order to avoid false interventions. In my (ultimate) lecture I will share my experience and knowledge with you. With help of detailed pictures I will address the following items, on single action harps:The appearance of an old harp and its biography: How was its original state; are there any modifications visible? Shall we reverse them or not?Labels and Brands: where we find them in the harp.Timeline for single action harps. How to use my timeline.The true compass: How to recognise wrong pedal connections. Which is the “right” compass? Was the range enlarged?The right pitch: The pitch in Paris changed throughout the 18th century. What is the “right” pitch for your harp? And about “430”.Temperament and tuning: tuning advices found in old tutors; temperaments far from those for harpsichords.Stringing old harps: Is there any “original” stringing advice? Stringing for display. How to create a playing tension on old harps for today’s usage.Adjusting a crotchet-mechanism: pedal-adjusting, performance, pressing-strength, intonation.
Eve Zaunbrecher (New Orleans, Louisiana): Cultural Exchange, Subcontracting, and Performing Wealth: the Pedal Harp and the Luxury Furniture Trade in Paris, 1770-1789
After the development of the pedal harp at the beginning of the 18th century, the new harp subsequently travelled with other German artisans to Paris to join the foreign community of luxury market craftsmen in the Faubourg Saint Antoine. By the 1770s, when the French pedal harp had been enlarged into a freestanding instrument and had gained popularity among the wealthy, German immigrants such as ébéniste Jean-Henri Riesener and luthier Jean-Henri Naderman had secured royal patronage for their achievements in furniture and instrument design. These two trades shared much in common despite their separation by guild and skill sets; both trades were collaborative and required subcontracting processes including carpentry, painting, gilding, sculpting, and mechanization to achieve a finished product. At the same time, harps and furniture filled similar roles in the ornately decorated interiors of the wealthy as locations for socializing, romance, sex, and the display of luxury itself. This paper will examine the relationship between single action pedal harps and luxury furniture in both production and consumption from 1770 to 1789 in Paris. These two luxury items were connected from their creation to their social lives in French households by artistic collaboration, the transfer of guild-restricted techniques, and the desire of affluent Parisians to communicate their taste and social status through highly specialized and highly ornamented objects of leisure.