"Ingenious musical instruments" Top 5 Page for this destination Halle Things to Do Tip by Nemorino

Halle Things to Do: 57 reviews and 156 photos

  1. Keyboard harp
by Nemorino
  • 1. Keyboard harp - Halle
      1. Keyboard harp
    by Nemorino
  • 2. Schrankpolyphon (still works) - Halle
      2. Schrankpolyphon (still works)
    by Nemorino
  • 3. Druckluft-Harmonium (2x) - Halle
      3. Druckluft-Harmonium (2x)
    by Nemorino
  • 4. Instruments in a symphony orchestra - Halle
      4. Instruments in a symphony orchestra
    by Nemorino

Around the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century numerous ingenious musical instruments were invented, like the keyboard harp in the first photo. The rationale for this is that a keyboard is a lot easier to play than a harp, so this was intended to alleviate the shortage of harpists.

Like most of the newly invented instruments of this period, the keyboard harp never really caught on. Today if you want to make a harp sound you have to learn to play one, or get an electronic instrument that will imitate any sound you want.

The reed organs in the third photo were powered by compressed air.

The machine in the second photo is a mechanical device that reproduces music stored on a large disk with numerous holes. This is the same principle of data storage that was used in player pianos and in the punch cards that were used to store data for mainframe computers until well into the 1970s.

Most music museums have a machine like this, but the one in Halle is the only one I know of that really works. You just insert a one Euro piece (up from 5 Pfennigs a century ago) and turn the crank, and it plays an elaborate recording of the Slaves' Dance from Mozart's opera The Magic Flute.

1. Keyboard harp
2. Schrankpolyphon (still works)
3. Druckluft-Harmonium (2x)
4. Instruments in a symphony orchestra

I've done some tips on other music museums in Copenhagen, Paris, Berlin, Stuttgart and Nürnberg. And there is a brilliant new one in Brussels, Belgium.

Address: Große Nikolaistraße 5, 06108 Halle (Saale)
Directions: GPS 51°29'2.26" North; 11°58'1.29" East
Phone: 03 45 / 500 90 221

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Dec 27, 2010
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