Thu 21 Nov 2019, 6.30–8pm
Cass Research Seminars:
(Re)constructing Musics of the Harp


Room GSG-15
The Cass School of Art, Architecture and Design
London E1 7TP

Lewis Jones and Mike Baldwin
Mike Baldwin (harp researcher and 2018 PhD graduate) and Lewis Jones (supervisor of music-related and material culture research) will discuss museum, archival, and iconographical research centred on the harp and music making in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

Mike will introduce their project to investigate and make a working replica of the earliest kind of pedal harp (the pitch of whose strings can be raised by depressing several small pedals), developed by Jakob Hochbrucker in Bavaria at the end of the seventeenth century, and played and promoted by members of his family during the eighteenth. He will report on their recent examination of the second earliest extant pedal harp (1728), in the Musée de la musique, Paris.

Lewis will consider the musical use of Hochbrucker's harp, drawing on printed music, and documentary and pictorial sources, and the prospect of using the reconstructed harp in contemporary practice. He will then compare mid-eighteenth century use of the harp with domestic harp and guitar playing by women at Lacock Abbey, Wiltshire, represented in the earliest photographs ever taken of music making (c1840), by William Henry Fox Talbot.

Horatia playing Amelina's harp (neg, reversed) Sci Mus 2

Image: Horatia playing Amelina's harp (neg, reversed) from the Science Museum

About Cass Research Seminars

Cass Research Seminars are a series of public conversations which enable researchers to test and present their ideas in conversation with peers and a broader audience. The sessions seek cross-fertilisation of ideas and provoke discussion. Typically, they consist of two to three presentations of 15 minutes each followed by chaired discussion.

We had a productive year in 2017/18. Presenters found that the session deepened their work and added unexpected avenues to their thinking. All are welcome at Cass Research Seminars, both from inside and outside The Cass. For more information email and follow us on Twitter for the latest information @CassResearch

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