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Virtual Tour of
"Beethoven & Berlioz, Paris & Vienna:
Musical Treasures from the Age of Revolution & Romance
1789-1848"


Physharmonika by Ph. I. Trayser & Co., Stuttgart, ca. 1847

NMM 5907.  Physharmonika by Ph. I. Trayser & Co., Stuttgart, ca. 1847.

NMM 5907. Physharmonika (reed organ) by Ph. I. Trayser & Co., Stuttgart, ca. 1847. Around 1820, keyboard instruments began to be made with plain free reeds, without the large resonator pipes used previously. Among the first to do this was Anton Häckl, who named and patented the physharmonika in 1821, examples of which survive at the Germanisches National Museum in Nürnberg and the collection at the University of Leipzig, among others. Similar reed organs soon began to be made and given proprietary names in France; e.g., the poïkilorgue of Aristide Cavaillé-Coll in the early 1830s, the harmonium of François Debain in the early '40s, and the orgue-mélodium introduced by Alexandre & Fils in 1844. As was often done by European makers who wanted to gain a foothold in the developing American market, Phillip Trayser's brother, Georg W., began building (importing?) organs in Indianapolis in 1849. The Museum's example was found at an auction in Hampton Falls, New Hampshire. Board of Trustees, 1995.

Physharmonika keyboard

Physharmonika keyboard

Source:  André P. Larson, Beethoven & Berlioz, Paris & Vienna: Musical Treasures from the Age of Revolution & Romance 1789-1848, with essay by John Koster, exhibition catalog, Washington Pavilion, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, September 12-November 2, 2003 (Vermillion: National Music Museum 2003), pp. 23 and 72.

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