[✍] Photos from RCM Museum of Music

[✍] Photos from RCM Museum of Music

I hope one day I will find time to thoroughly inspect photos and videos I took in London. I mean, of course I have looked through them at least once and showed some of them to my friends. But I didn’t have time to publish some best shots on flickr.com, instagram and so on.

Today I found a couple of photos from RCM Museum of Music in my archive which I took in 2007:

Orphica (c.1805), RCM 133.
In the foreground there is an Orphica, a 3-octave portable piano shaped as a harp. It was made in Vienna (c. 1805).

This instrument differs from the model described in 1795 by Carl Leopold Röllig (Carl Leopold Röllig, Orphica. Ein musikalisches Instrument. Erfunden von C. L. Röllig, (Vienna, 1795)). Röllig was the inventor of Orphica. The difference is that the keyboard and mechanical assembly that transmits the key pressure to the hammer, in this instrument are interconnected. Since Röllig later patented his design, it can be assumed that the master who made Orphica at the beginning of the 19th century sought to avoid patent infringement or tried to improve the design.

Read more about Orphica, RCM 133.

Clavicytherium (harpsichord)
Clavicytherium (harpsichord), RCM 1.

Clavicytherium is a kind of harpsichord with a vertical body and strings. The instrument on the photograph is a replica made in 1973. (Note the sign “Please do not touch”).

Read more about Clavicytherium: South German, c. 1480, RCM 1.

Chamber organ
Chamber organ (England, early 18th centure), RCM 349.

Like most early organs, this instrument has suffered successive alterations. It is likely that the organ was restored at the time of Thomas Frewen, c. 1846 and it was certainly restored by E H Barrett, of the Epsom Music Stores, who wrote to Musical Opinion in April 1894 (p.427), saying that ‘he had just finished repairing and tuning an old chamber organ by Father Smith [with] one composition pedal to the principal and another to the fifteenth and cornet’. He wrote again in February 1924: ‘the Father Smith organ I referred to was at a very old Elizabethan residence at Northiam, near Rye. A gentleman took this mansion for several years and asked me to put a new keyboard in. I finished this work. At the end of the tenancy the owner returned, and immediately wanted the keyboard of the organ put back. Fortunately, I had kept it, and it was duly restored.’ (Freeman 1926).

Read more about Chamber Organ: attributed to Bernard Smith, RCM 349

I am really interested in medieval musical instruments, as well as medieval European music. Lutes, viols, harpsichord… I would be happy to spend more time at RCM Museum of Music when I come to London next time. 🙂

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