As part of his research on development of the traditions of “Jan Hus” and “Hussitism” as musical subject matter, the author of the article has concentrated on 1848, the Year of Revolution. The first part of the text introduces the texts of revolutionary songs and outlines the circumstances that led to the transformation of the reception of historical traditions, and thereby led to the new form of their influence on music. The second part is based on the contents of songbooks in which songs about Jan Hus and Hussitism were given a place of prominence. The concluding third part offers a retrospective of the development of (musical) theatre. Playing a dominant role is the music to the drama Žižkova smrt (The Death of Žižka), which was composed by Frantisek Skroup and has recently seen a revival in contemporary dramaturgy.
The present harp collection of the National Museum – Czech Museum of Music contains Erard pedal harps from various periods of that famed Parisian company’s activity. In creating musical instruments, Sébastian Erard built upon the work of G. Cousineau and C. Groll and became the most successful manufacturer of double-action pedal harps with a fourchette (fork) mechanism (mécanique à fourchettes et à double mouvement). Erard’s work as an instrument maker influenced not only the historical development of the harp, but also the work of other instrument makers. In Bohemia, the Czech harp maker Alois Červenka (1858–1938) built upon Erard’s work with great success. The Erard harps in the collection of the Czech Museum of Music document the Czech socio-cultural context in which the harps of the French instrument maker were used from the late nineteenth century until the middle of the twentieth.
The collection of the National Museum – Czech Museum of Music contains the largest set of harps built by Franz Brunner. This instrument maker was one of the most important builders of pedal harps in Vienna in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Brunner’s harps use a single-action pedal design, the fourchette mechanism, decorations in the Empire style, and in a few cases, the application of a new design principle with the use of an eighth pedal. This documents an important stage in the instrument’s development, in which the single-action pedal harp was gaining ground in competition with the double-action harp. In the course of research, the maker was identified for another two instruments that had previously been listed as harps by anonymous makers. The comparisons include another three specimens of harps made by Brunner from other music collections abroad.