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New Erard book
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Charles, or Karol Groll?
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Mike Baldwin
Jul 04, 2020
Hi Lucy, The short answer is yes. Charles and Karol Gröll were one and the same person. Whether the Karol Gröll who worked on the harp and patented innovations was the brother of Tomas, I don't know - looks like a different Karol. Anna Olek, in her biography of Karol Gröll, found that he had three sisters - no mention of Tomas. She does mention that his father, Michal (so not Wilhelm) married twice - perhaps there was a younger brother by the second marriage.(https://www.harpspectrum.org/historical/Karol_Groll_inventor_of_the_modern_harp.shtml). Robert Adelson wrote an interesting article on Gröll (Robert Adelson, "Originality and Influence: Charles Gröll’s Role in the Invention of the Double-action Harp," inMuzyka, 64, no. 1 (2019)), and Lilliana Osses Adams has also researched him but her website has disappeared. There may be some truth in your research, however. There is a strong connection between clock and harp making. The Erards employed a clock maker during the development of their harps; the initial training of Jacob Erat (another harp maker) was given as 'clock maker' on his daughter's marriage certificate; and Robert Willis (who invented a new double-action harp mechanism, patenting it in 1819), was supported by Vulliamy (Benjamin Lewis), the renowned clock maker, and also Jacob Erat. In my forthcoming book, I postulate that Gröll was part of a forgotten family of harp innovators and link him to some of the French makers. Your findings might support this. Could Karol (son of Michal) be related to Karol (son of Wilhelm)? Good luck with your research - I hope that you will find a link - please keep up informed of your findings. Best wishes Mike
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Erard double-action harp no. 1955
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Erard double-action harp no. 1955
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Mike Baldwin
Feb 23, 2019
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