Harps Made by Franz Brunner in the Collection of the Czech Museum of Music

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Abstract

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.

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