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Some of our musical instruments

We have garnered many instruments from far and near over the years, and our living room is littered with them. As well as ones collected from the UK and abroad, we have some begged from international students here.

Photos are temporary for the moment.

  Instrument Origin      
  Multi stringed instruments  
  Autoharp, Oscar Schmidt American, bought new in the UK. He brought three to try, one with microphone, one with tuner, but the simple one soundest best. This is used by Joy to accompany her singing of folk songs. It has 21 bars giving 21 chords, which I've arranged as far as possible in accordion left hand order. We have another with fewer bars, hence more restrictive of key. Autoharp  
  German chromatic autoharp Bought locally Each bar is movable within 3 semitones, the strings are fully chromatic giving 36 possible chords. The chords have to be set before you start playing.  
  Vienna Zither Bought in Prague in communist times Melody is played on the fretboard, and harmony on the other strings. The other strings are all tuned a fifth apart, making chords eay to finger.  
  Joy's other autoharp   Only 12 chords.    
  Santoor From an Iraqi student Similar to a cymbalon, and played with two mesrobs (hammers) this is tuned to the Arabic scale, with E and B a quarter tone flat. It sounded wrong when tuned to a western scale.  
           
  Reed instruments  
  Brandoni 96 bass piano accordion Bought from accordions oc Coventry. Eric's favourite and most used instrument is the accordion. We habe a Brandoni with 96 left hanhd buttons, and several 48-bass Hohners. The letter are lighter for playing standing, and have more punch because of the smaller bellows area.  
  Chromatic Gallini Bought from Birmingham accordions, a challenge to play. Fully chromatic. Just after we bought it I had medical problems, and playing the piano accordion was enough of a challenge.  
  Hohner Student V I have 3 from various sources. The first "serioue" accordion I played. Ideal for outdoor portable playing, great attack and punch. Accordion  
  Concertina Wheatstone English tuning, late 1800s.    
  Indian harmonium Bought from Pakistan by Gurdip Bhambra.    
  Melodeon Single row diatonic, key of C    
           
  Fewer strings  
  Vienniese lute Bought from Bells of Surbiton. Lute shaped, but guitar tuned. Difficult to hold with a round back. Lute  
  Schrammel guitar Bought in Krems-an-der-Donau, Austria The bass neck is un-fretted and tuned to useful bass notes for the key you happen to be in. They are used for music in Austria in the heuriges (wine drinking halls).  
  Bass viol / contrabass Bought locally for 5 Restored by ??? in north Lincolnshire. I tune it to the top 3 strings of a standard 4-string double bass so that any bass player can play it.  
  Tambour From Ali Yawar, Afghanistani student from Kabul, Afghanistani, tuned like a sitar, hand carved from mahogany.
A lady who wanted to borrow a sitar said "Its buttock is too small."
 
  Banjo      
           
           
           


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Website at chezfred.org.uk

Page last updated 17-Feb-2023

Comments and corrections on the website welcome by Eric Foxley