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Keyed monochord

Keyed monochord

  • Place of origin:

    France (Made)

  • Date:

    about 1890 (Made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown (Made)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Carved and planed pine body and stand; pine keyboard; ivory-covered naturals; ebony sharps.

  • Credit Line:

    Given to the Museum by Henry Saint-George, Esq.

  • Museum number:

    W.38-1917

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

The keyed-monochord (literally 'one string') is fitted with one large string (often of horse-hair), and played partly with key-operated blades, rather like a clavichord, and partly with a bow. Its oval body rests on a stand. J. Pousette of France invented the keyed monochord (or monochorde à clavier) in 1883 and intended it for church music.

Physical description

"The instrument, which is mounted on a central stand, consists of a narrow box of pine containing a key action, fixed by iron brackets to a longitudinal central member. On the right is an oval soundbox of pine, with two C-shaped soundholes with central nicks, placed back to back, and with a knob-like peg for tuning the single string, which passes over a bridge and runs through the keybox. The string is sounded with a separate bow. On the front of the keybox is a three-octave keyboard with twenty-two ivory natural keys and fifteen sharps. The keys actuate brass levers which strick and stop the string in the manner of the keys of a clavichord'. - Anthony Baines, Catalogue of Musical Instruments in the Victoria and Albert Museum - Part II: Non-keyboard instruments (London, 1998), pp. 27 - 28.

Place of Origin

France (Made)

Date

about 1890 (Made)

Artist/maker

Unknown (Made)

Materials and Techniques

Carved and planed pine body and stand; pine keyboard; ivory-covered naturals; ebony sharps.

Dimensions

Length: 140 cm overall.

Object history note

This instrument was given to the museum by Henry Saint-George, in 1917.

Descriptive line

Keyed monochord, pine sound-box, French, about 1890.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Anthony Baines: Catalogue of Musical Instruments in the Victoria and Albert Museum - Part II: Non-keyboard instruments. (London, 1998), pp. 27 - 28.

Labels and date

KEYED MONOCHORD
French; about 1886
Pine soundboard and ivory naturals. The instrument has a range of three octaves.

Non-Keyboard Catalogue No.: 6/7

The Monocorde Clavier was invented by J. Pousset in 1883 and first built in 1886, being intended for churches. The string, usually of horse hair is sounded by a bow and brass tangents that were activated by the keys, like a clavichord.

W.38-1917

Bequeathed by Henry Saint-George, Esq. [pre September 2000]

Materials

Pine; Ivory; Ebony; Iron

Techniques

Carving; Planing; Joining

Categories

Musical instruments

Collection

Furniture and Woodwork Collection

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