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PART I. — Issue, 180 copies 

The Irish and the Highland Harps " 

On receipt of £3 for each volume, a limited number of copies 
will be forwarded to private individuals, or to Booksellers, free in 
the United Kingdom. 


6 Kandoli’h Cliff, 



THE ATHEN.^UM, 22ud July 1905. 

“It is hard to overestimate tlie service done both to archa-ologists and musi- 
cians by this admirable monograph on the relics of a lost art. 

“The Highland harp, twin sister of the Irish, receives, of course, from the 
Scotch antiquary full and sympathetic treatment. He thinks the Scotch ‘Queen 
Maiy ’ harp wortliy to be called the queen of the tribe, and this may be admitted 
as far as the condition is concerned. But surely the splenditl restoration of the 
FitzGerald harp pictured on the cover of this stately volume far excels the rest 
in artistic beauty, not only of form, but also of ornamentation. 

“The decoration of these instruments is indeed a curious and wide subject in 
itself, and Mr. Armstrong has given the student of Celtic ornament ample mate- 
rials for studying this branch of it in the many exquisite plates, besides scholarly 
drawings which make this volume a thing of beauty as well as a mine of learning. 

“We can hardly imagine that this extinct instrument, representing an ex- 
tinct art (or rather I'irtuosUi/)^ will ever again receive such elaborate handling. 
All that can be said archa3ologically has been said by Mr. Armstrong, and 


whatever can be added musically must come from some practical harp-player who 
is able to make a comparative study of the early stringed instruments of civilised 

SCOTSMAN, 16th May 1904. 

“This handsome and valuable volume lias already been fully noticed (Leading 
Article, 14th May 1904). It is right, however, to call attention to the beauty 
and interest of the numerous illustrations, which include full-page plates figuring 
the most interesting and famous specimens of the Claracha. The volume is 
addressed primarily to the archicologist rather than to the mere musician, but at 
the end of each of the two sections into which it is divided there are examples 
of Irish and Highland harp music.” 

GLASGOW HERALD, 3rd June 1904. 

“Musical antiquaries interested in these particular instruments have long 
waited for a worthy historian of the Irish and the Highland harps. They have 
found him at last in Mr. Armstrong, who has produced not only an admirable his- 
torical treatise, but a beautiful work of art. 

“The volume is one that the musical antiquary can hardly help losing his 
heart over. To him it must be the poet’s ‘thing of joy,’ a ‘beauty for ever.’ 

“Shows a vast amount of original research, and embodies all the information 
‘on the books,’ as the lawyer’s phrase is. We cannot commend this book too 
warmly to those interested in the subject. Mr. Armstrong is an enthusiast, and 
an enthusiast with knowledge. He is the one Jiving authority on the Irish and 
Highland harps.” 

THE IRISH TIMES, 17tli June 1904. 

“This is a sumptuous work, about which it is very hard to speak without 
being suspected of exaggeration. To musicians and antiquaries it will especially 
appeal, not only by reason of the immense mass of knowledge it conveys, the 
profound research of which it gives evidence, and the admirable lucidity with 
which it is written, but also by reason of the splendid series of illustrations 
which illuminate the text. It is produced, as we have said, on a gorgeous scale. 

“The author is a high authority on the subject. 

“We cannot do justice to the value of this fine work within the compass of 
a brief review, nor indeed do we think that the parts of it wo would select would 
be those which will be most prized by students, for, though it has great historical 
interest, its real worth will be found in the minute technical details, which are 
given with remarkable clearness and simplicity. The illustrations are 
exquisitely done ; indeed, we have not received for a long time so interesting 
a volume, so well written, so well printed, so well bound, and so beautifully 
illastrated. It is certainly worthy of a place m any library.” 


THE NOBTHEEN WHIG, 28th May 1904. 

“This magnificent and monumental volume is dedicated ‘To the memory of 
the patriotic Irishmen who endeavoured to preserve the national instrument by 
establishing and supporting two Irish Harp societies at Belfast.’ 

“ We have dealt with this book at great length, but not unduly in view of 
the important place the Irish and Scottish troubadores filled in the social life 
of their times, and the beauty and wealth of the poetry which has been dedicated 
to their memory in the literature of both countries.” 

CORK CONSTITUTION, 8th June 1904. 

“ This truly magnificent book now before us contains as a first part the history 
of, and a general dissertation on, the Irish and Highland Harps. 

“And here wo may perhaps appropriately refer to the illustrations in the 
book, of which there are certainly a profusion and which enormously enhance the 
value ot the letterpress, .as well as place before the reader absolutely correct 
representations of the various species of harp referred to throughout the work. 
These illustrations, indeed, call for more tbaii a mere passing glance, and we do 
not think it has ever been our lot to, so to speak, feast our eyes on more beautiful 
or artistic examples of the handicraft of those who devote tliemselves to this 
branch of book producing. Tlie most noticeable feature is the exquisite render- 
ing of tliQ minutest details of the marvellous carvings and ornamentation with 
which these ancient musical instruments are so profusely decorated, brought out 
with absolute perfection by the soft brown photographic tone of colour adopted 
in their production, which is so satisfying to the eye as well as to the artistic 
instinct of the reader. 

Approaching the work itself, we may, at the outset, say that in the space 
available for a review of this kind, it would not be within the bounds of possi- 
bility to do full justice to the learning and facile power of description which the 
gifted author displays throughout every page of his book. 

Coming to tlie second part, we find an elaborate and equally interesting 
treatise on the Highland Harp, illustrated in the same e.xqiiisite manner as in the 
case of the Irish instrument.” 

KILKENNY MODERATOR, 15th June 1904. 

“ Patriots, lovers of music, and bibliophiles must needs unite in acknowledging 
a debt of gratitude to Mr. Robert Bruce Armstrong. Patriots are indebted to 
him for a complete, interesting, and admirably written history of the national 
instrument; lovers of music, for a treatise on an instrument which has been 
associated from the earliest times with the art of melody; the admirers of hand- 
some books will be delighted with a volume, which is a rare specimen of the 
skill at once of the typographer, the illustrator, and the binder.” 


the CELTIC REVIEW. Vol, I. No. 2. 

, tnirKther so much iiiformalion ou the 

‘.The mithoi- of this jt'does not seem possible that any- 

subject of harps, Irish and o„itteil no reference 

thing further can be written a ^^^od, or stone which may 

or quotation, nor any illustration, authority. He 

bear upon his subject. Mn Arm minuteness of 

makes it quite i„terest in all that appertains to the harp, 

knowledge, and a cultured an I performers, .and its recorders 

;:th^ erery^ne Who lores the 

music of the Gaelic people. existence in the hook, as 

“There are many ■' places. These arc very 
well as reproductions of drawiu<^s and photographs have evidently 

beautiful in ““ “ the”“reate’st care. There arc drawings and photographs too 
oHeS^flirnamentatron of harps, wliich give us some idea of the very great 
labour expended on beautifying these treasures, for they were indeed tieasuies 
or the eye as well as the Lr, And besides illustrating them, the an hor ha.s 
described the various instruments in detai . their measurements, he 
histories, and the famed musicians who used them. Indeed not the 
charming feature of the book is the almost personal contact into which we are 
brought with the makers and users of these beautiful old harp.s. M o see he 
men who make the harps lor the love of them, choosing with thoughtful caie the 
sallow and other woods which would give the sweetest tone. We can see them, 
too weaving graceful and intricate interlacing, and burning out the design on all 
available pans of the frame. They worked, not lor the price to be paid, but 
because they loved music and art, and theirs has lasted as work done in such a 
spirit does last. No higher praise can be given to Mr. Armstrong’s own work— 
this big book on the Irish and Highland Harp — than to say that it too is done in 
this spirit of reverent love, and therefore it is of the best and will remain a 
treasure-house of information for many generations of music-lovers.” 

PEOCEEDINGS of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland. 

Vol. xxxix. p. 9. 

“ The carving (of the (iueen Mary harp) is difficult to make out upon the harp 
itself ; but a Fellow of the Society, Mr. Eobert Bruce Armstrong, with singular 
skill and patience, has traced the design with a needle-point on sheets of gelatine, 
and has produced a complete illustration of the harp and its decoration in coloured 
plates in his recently published beautiful volume.” 









PART 11. 

E >: G 1. 1 S .H 

y/ HM 


• # 







“Music! oh, how faint, how weak, 

Language fades before thy spell ! 

Why should Feeling ever speak, 

When thou eanst breathe her soul so well? 





One hmidred and eighty Copies 

PnnW !,)• T. Mel A. Cosstable, Printer, to ni. Mnjesty 
At the Edinburgh UniTcrsity Press 



English and Irish Instruments 

A limited number of copies of this work will be 
forwarded, carriage free in the United Kingdom, on 
receipt of £2 per Vol. net, by 

6 Randolph Cliff 



L - 




Description. Popularity of the instrument. Gauge of strings. Tutors. The 
manner of holding the Guitar. Of the right-hand fingers. Of the left- 
hand fingers. Method of fingering the open notes. Double, triple, and 
quadruple notes. A shake. A beat. A slur. Tuning and pitch. 
Tuning in the key of G. 


Prelude by T. Bolton, R. B. A. When the Rosy Morn Appearing — Serenade. 
A favourite song. Ma Ch’re Amie. Prelude by T. Bolton. Highland 
Laddie, with variations. Felton’s Gavot, with variations. The liakes of 
Mallow, with variations, ....... 


Edward Light’s first instrument. Description. JIautier of holding. Pitch. 
Tuning. Gauge of Strings. Sade of the finger-board. Levien’s improve- 
ment. F. Chabran’s Tutor. Scale of the Lute. The Apollo L^re. 
Lyre and French Lyre. 


Drink to me only. Julia to the Wood Robin. The Duke of York’s March. 
The Maid of Lodi. Hope told a fiatt’riug tale. Copenhagen Waltz. 
Caulder Fair. A favourite air, with variations, .... 


Scale. Finger-board. Method of tuning. Transposition. Rule for accom- 


Nel cor piii non mi sonto, with variations. Sonate. Pastorale, . 








musical instkuments 


E.lwar,l Lights W instrument. Description. His tutor. Scale. Finger.., g. 
Tiiiiing. Pitch. Gauge of strings. 


Five preludes. Lesson. Duct. Two melodies, . • • ■ 


Edward Light’s third instrument. Description. Dcvelopnioiit. John Pariy’s 
Tutor. Pitch. Gauge of strings. The nut. Scale and fingering. 
Finger-board. Manner of playing. E.asy preludes. Mario playing the 
instrument. Edward Light's fourth instrument. The Harp-Lyre, almost 
the s.ame .os his Harp-Lute, .... 


Edward Light's Tutor. His method of holding the instrument. The slur, . SOa, 806 


My Heart and Lute, R. B. A. Eleven preludes by R. L. Downes. Duct, Mozart. 
Divertimento, with variations, R. B, A. Robin Adair, R. B. A. Ah ! 
vous dirai-je, Maman ? with variations. Deserto sulla terra, E. B. A. 

-Vh ! che la Morte ! R. B. A. Liebe Augustine, with variations. Diverti- 

•■..... . . 81-9G 

Afterwauds known as the Dit,u.-Harp 

The difference between this instrument and the Dital-Harp explained. Edward 
Lights attempt to perfect his Harp-Lute. His specilioation. He obtains 
a patent for the mechanism. He finds with slight alterations the instru- 
(S D ™ Letonio a small Harp. This, his //(/i instrument, he named 
the Br.t,sh-Lute-Harp. A Directory published. 



Shortly alter— thiit is, within ii year— Eight adJed one or two strings to his 
instrument, attached Eital stops to the three bass strings, and then 
named the instrument the DitaMlarp. The finger-board, mechanism. 
Directions to correct defects in nuts or frets. Gauge of Strings. Tuning. 
Scale. Chromatic Scale, Manner of holding and playing. Fourteen 
exercises. The Graces, Change into seven major keys. The instrument 
as reiiresented by artists. 


Exercise for both hands— A Ground. Capriccio, 0 dolce Conoento, with varia- 
tions. The Cuckoo, E. B. A. Miss ^\■ade’s .Minuet, H. B. A. Beautiful 
are the Fields, R. B. A. A Favourite Air, 


Description— An almost perfect instrument. Specification. Scale. Chromatic 
Scale. Change of Key. 


A Venetian Canzonotta. Aurora che sorgerai. Fille so mai pretendi, 

. 12y-14-} 

Description — Arrangement of Stops. Gauge of Strings. 


The Harp that once through Tara’s Hall. The Legacy. Stanco di Pascalar, with 
variations. My Lodging. Ye Banks and Braes, . 



The Apollo Lyro — Uarp-Lute-Guitar — English Lute — The Harp-Ventura, . 161 

Index, .......... 163-167 






Title-page— Arranged atid drawn by E. B. A. 

Sub-Title arranged and partially drawn by E. B. A. (Photo-lithograpb), 

Three English Guitars (Photogravure), . ■ ■ • 

Lady Playing the English Guitar (Block Illustration), . 

Keyed Guitars, E. B. A. (Collotype), 

Harp-Guitar (Photogravure), . ■ • ’ ' 

Instrument-Edinburgh University, E. B. A. (Collotype), 

Apollo Lyre with Additional Strings, E. B. A. (Collotype), 

Harp-Lute-Guitar (Photogravure), 

Finger-board (Block Illustration), . • 

Harp-Lute with twelve strings (Photogravure), . ■ ■ ■ 

„ with fourteen strings (Photogravure), . . ■ ■ ■ 

with sixteen strings (Collotype), . • ■ • • 

„ Mario playing the instrument (Photogravure), 

Harp-Lyre, K. B. A. (Collotype), 

British-Lute-Harp, No. 84 (afterwards known as the Dital-Harp), R. B. A. 
(Collotype), ...... 

Specification (Photo-lithograph), ..... 

Lady playing the Dital-Harp (Collotype), . . • • 

Dital-Harp, No. 160, R. B. A. (Collotype), .... 

Finger-board, R. B. A. (Block Illustration), 

Dital-Harp, No. 305, li. B. A. (Collotype), 

Harp- Ventura— Action by pressure and Lever Action (Photogravure), . 

Specification (Photo-lithograph), ..... 
Mechanism, K. B. A. (Photo-lithograph), .... 
Sub-title to Music (Block Illustration), . . . . 

Cupids with Wreaths, etc,, from Arcliitettura by Andrea Palladio 
Venezea (Block Illustration), ..... 

Egan’s Itoyal Portable Irish Harp (Photogravure), 
































Cupid playing the Lyre, 


The English Guitar — 

The Finger-board, . . , . • 


Examples ir., iii. and iv., .... 


Example V., . . . , 


A Shake. A Beat. A Slur. Tuning, 


Pitch, • ■ . . . 


Scale of the Natural and Flat Notes. Scale of the Natural 

and Sharp 

Notes, • . . . . 


Scale in the Key of G, . 


Melody in the Key of G, . 


The Harp-Guitar — 

Lady Playing the Instrument, .... 


Finger-board and Chromatic Scale, 


Scale of the Natural Notes. Levien’s Improvement, R. B. A., 


Scale of the Lute, ...... 


Harp-Guitar, from Bolton’s Tutor, 


Apollo Lyre, from Bolton’s Tutor, 


The Guitare-Harpe — 

Three Examples, ...... 


Scales and Finger-board, ..... 


Scale of C Major and two Preludes, 


Harmonic Scales for Accompaniments, 


Air, with various Accompaniments, 


The Harp-Lute-Guitar — 

Scale, and manner of practising the Scale, 


Method of Tuning, ..... 


The Harp-Lute — 

The Nut, R B. A., 


Scale, Stop, and Finger-board, R. B. A., . 


Cadences iu eight Keys, ..... 


Chromatic Scale, ...... 


Double Notes and Easy Preludes, .... 


The Dital-Harp — 

Notch, Tooth, and Mechanism, R. B. A., . 


Spring, li. B. A., . 




Sutsand Fr.t.-fivo Illustrations, R.B. A., 
Tuning, Cadence or Proof, . 

Scale and Chromatic Scale, • • 

Fourteen Exercises for right and left hands, 
The Turn, Slur, Shake and Beat, . ^ 
Cadences of proof in seven Major Keys, . 

The Harp-Ventura 

arp-veiiLuitt— -n -d a 

Spring of Lever Action and Seale of the Instrument, R. B. A., 
nf the Biiss Strings, R. B. A 


106 , 107 , 108 

110, 111, 112 
. 112 , 113 
. 113 , 114 




Musical Instruments, which are now obsolete and regarded as mere 
curiosities, were of some importance in their day. On them our grand- 
mothers, great-grandmothers, and other ancestresses still more remote, 
played the simple melodies of the period in which they lived, and so 
rendered their lives and homes more cheerful. 

Many years ago the writer heard at least one of a series of lectures 
upon Old Music and Musical Instruments by the late Sir Robert P. 
Stewart.’ There were then persons living who could play upon most 
of those that came under observation, so, from the wire-strung Irish 
Harp (a reproduction of the ancient Harp in Trinity College, Dublin), 
down to the instruments in use at the commencement of the nineteenth 
century, almost all were again heard in public. No such lectures could 
now be given ; even the wire-strung Irish Harp, for which some of the 
most enchanting melodies of any land were composed, is now unheard. 
The blind harper, the lowly representative of minstrels, the cherished 
guests of many mansions, has passed away, and there is now not a single 
performer to be found. 

The revival of obsolete instruments may not be required, but it is 
certainly desirable that clear, distinct, and correct information regarding 
them should be procurable. 

A catalogue in w'hich may be found incorrect (perhaps concocted) 
names for instruments, concerning which the author could have had 
no information ; instruments in our National Museums which are or 
were incorrectly labelled ; a confused statement in our most important 
Musical Dictionary ; the deplorable mistakes of artists who have intro- 
duced into their pictures obsolete instruments, which they presumably 
intended to represent as being played upon," — such are the conditions that 

' Thf lectures were delivered in a ball iu Abbey Vignoles’s Memoir. 

Street, Dublin, and are not noticed in Mr. 0. J. ■ Seevp. 114-115. 


mitsical instruments 

i,„. «ii.r 1. 

i of which are now imperfectly understood. 

”»r i” o'f . l» 

TL to crive the information they possess to the pr.bhc, interest 
aroused, and the splendid coUection in the Victoria and Albert 

ly be 

museum-the p’roperty of the nation-may in the future be looked upon 
as somethimr more than a mere accumulation of decorative objects. 

‘ The instruments which are noticed in this work are elegant in 
form and for the most part full and sweet in tone. They are. 
however, by no means perfect, and to this grave defect may be attri- 
buted the fact that they are no longer heard, while the Spanrsh 
Guitar, a more perfect instrument of inferior tone and form, is still 
held in estimation. 

The writer does not suppose that the following notes exhaust the 
subject, but the information given may enable the reader to string, 
tune, and perhaps play upon an instrument w'hioh he or .she may possess. 
They may also, it is to be hoped, prevent the instruments noticed from 
being treated by artists in a manner otherwise, than correct, so that 
in this age of cheap reproduction we may not have a repetition of an 
artistic absurdity transmitted to posterity. 

It is impossible to give an exhaustive list of music arranged or 
written for an obsolete instrument : rare as some of the instruments 
are, the music is rarer still. An instrument which has been hidden 
away in the lumber-room of the house in which it was once used 
may be brought to light, but the music for it is scarcely likely to be 
preserved. Occasionally a small volume is to be met with amongst a 
miscellaneous lot, but now that the old establishment in St. Martin’s 
Lane, London, where collectors could possibly hear of what interested 
them, is closed for ever, the difficulty of obtaining tutors and 
advanced music for obsolete instruments has increased, — increased to 
such an extent, that the preparation of such a work as this is now one 
of real difficulty. It is to be hoped that those who are not collectors 
of instruments, and who may possess tutors or music for obsolete 
instruments, rviU send all such to the British Museum, of which institu- 
tion the musical library is in some branches defective. 

If there are inaccuracies in the following notes, the writer will feel 



obliged to those who may point them out. When his desire is to be 
minutely accurate, he has no scruple in referring to the inaccuracies of 
others. It IS unfortunate, but true, that incorrect names, representa- 
tions, or statements, when they occur- in published works, are sure to 
be repeated. Labels in museums can be replaced, but incorrect state- 
ments or pictorial representations live, and may be referred to hereafter 
as proof that the false is true. Is that desirable ? 


LONDON. 01780 DUBI.IN.CI760 

* ♦ 














An iastrument in common use dm-Lng the eighteenth and at the com- 
mencement of the nineteenth century. In form it somewhat resembles 
a pear or heart. The head at the end of the neck is bent backwards, and 
the strings, of which there are twelve, ten, or eight (to be afterwards 
referred to), are attached to small ivory knobs at the lower end of the 
body and stretched over a bridge ; the finger-board, which is frequently 
covered with ivory, being furnished with brass frets. The back of the 
instrument is very slightly curved, and the neck is terminated by a 
machine or other head, with twelve, ten, or eight keys or pegs. The 
finger-board is pierced with as many as seven holes, through any one of 
which a metal rod with screw may be passed, by which a piece of ivory 
“ capo-tasto ’’ is drawn tight to the finger-board and fastened in front, 
the fret below the “ capo-tasto ” taking the place of the nut, the pitch 
being thereby raised one or more semitones. 

The English Guitar was frequently in favour-, and about 1770 “its 
vogue was so great among all ranks of people as nearly to break 
all the Harpsichord and Spinet makers. The ladies disposed of their 
Harpsichords at auctions for one-third of their price, or exchanged them 
for Guitars ” ; and Kirkman, the Harpsichord maker, almost ruined 
him self by purchasing his own instruments. Ku-kman succeeded in 
changing the fashion by purchasing a number of cheap Guitars and 
presenting them to mdliner gh-ls and street ballad-singers. These he 
taught to play a few chords, and so accompany themselves. The ladies 
were disgusted ; the rage for the Guitar passed, and the Harpsichord 
was again heard. While the Guitar paroxysm lasted, scarcely a song or 
ballad was printed without its being transposed or set for the instrument," 

1 There can be no question as to the correct Encycloptcdia Londineniis, and by Dr. Busby in 
name of this instrument. It is mentioned by hia Concert Room Anecdotes. 

E. Light in hia Instruction Book to his Harp- * G. Jones’s article mdsic, in the Encyclopaediri 
Lute-Guitar, by G. Jones in article Moaic, in Londinensis. 



and ii' the reader examines the popular ballads of the close oi’ the 
eighteenth centm-y. many instances of this will be found.' 

Ladies either timing or playing upon the English Guitar were subjects 
which noted artists did not disdain to represent, and at the Guildhall 
Exhibition in 1895 a portrait of the Hon. Mrs. Charles Yorke by Sir Joshua 
Reynolds, No. 93, was exhibited. The lady is represented in the act of 
tunimr an English Guitar, which is most carefully painted. There are 
sixteen frets and seven holes. When first sketched the ivory “ oapo-tasto ” 
had been attached above the fourth fret, but this was afterwards painted 
over. In the National Portrait Gallery, Dublin, there is a fine engraving of 
Miss Harriet Powell, 1769, by Richard Houston, after C. Reid, in which the 
lady is represented as tuning an Enghsh Guitar. In three Instruction Books 
that the writer has examined there are engi-avings in which performers 
are represented to show the correct manner of holding the instrument. 

The Enghsh Guitar was made in at least three sizes. On the finger- 
board of the two larger there are fifteen or sixteen frets ; on that of the 
smallest twelve frets. Those of the largest size that the writer has seen 
were made in Ireland. One of these illustrated— signed W. Gibson,' Dublin, 
1764 — measures from end to end 37 inches. The medium size illustrated 
—signed Thomas Pen-y, Dubhn measui-es from end to end 31-^ inches. 
The smallest illustrated — by Preston of London — is furnished with his 
tuner,' by w’hich the strings are tightened by a watch-key. 

A small instrument of the eighteenth century, which measures from 
the nut to the lower end 22f inches, and from the nut to the bridge 
16^ inches, has the toliowing strings : — 

1. Steel wire, 

2. Steel wire, 

3. Brass wire, 

4. Steel wire,iofan inch above IstC, 

5. Steel wire. A, 1st Octave, 

6. Brass' wire, D, 2nd Octave, ^ 

■ 3 ,-,„ 

by hun or I.r«t„,, 

•ettmg.H lor the Guitar. 

> Th. writer ,ooa ■■ Uib.on ao.l W.,ni„gton ” 

on 1 l.uiur ilated 1770. 

GAUGE OP outside' 

/fl of an inch above 1st C. 

lO )> ,, 

E, 2nd Octave. 

Copper coil, E, 2nd Octave. 

Copper coil, D, 3rd Octave. 

Copper coil, G, 3rd Octave. 

^ 17/6 to 1829, .lames I’erry, another m/iki-r, 
resided in Kilkenny. 

* ihe patent is not recorded. 

^ Erard’s Gauge. 

The centre of this string is usually steel wire. 





■ u L- f„r the English Guitar was prepared by John 
i„ L.„d.. i. 1762 and 

Breraner, » ^ati'e o edition of his Tutor, with sUght 

established himse in ^ ^ ^ Loinrman and Co.‘ about 1782, and another 

alterations, was pu i pj-g^toii - From these three editions of 

edition was piibhshed by J. Uiestoii. ^ 

Tutor the foUowing has been extracted . 

the manner of holding the guitar 

Place it across the body with the neck inclined upwards ; then apply 
your hand near the bridge, so that your first, second, and third 
fini^ers may hang over the third, second, and first strings, holding the 
nec\ between the ball of the thumb and root of the forefinger, mchniiig 
the heel of your hand up close to the neck. The best way to hold it 
with ease in this position is to sling it over the left shoulder with a 
ribbon fixed to both ends of the instrument, so that the hands may be 
free to move up and down without interruption. 


When the instrument is thus placed, hold up the wrist, so as it may, 
together with the fingers, form a roundness ; then straight the fore- 
finger and draw it across all the strings, beginning at the smallest. In 
like manner return the thumb from the thickest, by which the position 
of the fingers will be discovered. 

The true “ fort ” of the instrument is best produced by touching the 
strings between the sound-hole and the bridge, though it will occasion a 
pleasing variety to play sometimes near the bridge, and afterwards as 
far up as the httle finger ^ will allow the others to reach ; the tone of 
the one resembling the Lute, and the other the Pipe or Organ. The 

' There it is called “Guitar (orCitra)." Another 
edition waa published by Longman and Eroderip. 

! Besides Bremner’s Tutor, Straubc prepared 
an Instruction Book. Preston puhlishcd in 1783 
Ue Art of Playing the Guittar, by Edward Light. 
This work, which is quite distinct from Brcmner'e, 
IS of httle consequence. Of Light more will 
he heard hereafter. In the three editions of 

Bremner’s Tutor, and also iu Light’s, may he 
found selections of music suitable for beginners- 
Thompson and Son also published aComplete Tutor 
for the Guittar, and a Complete Tutor by J. Oswald 
will be hereafter referred to. 

^ From the first edition we learn that the 
little finger of the right hand should be applied 
to the end of the bridge next the Broallest string. 



ninuiiig ol the thiimli and forefinger across the strings as before 
recommended is a lesson sufficient for tlie first day : only the thumb to 
leave one string for the forefinger to begin with, ainl so the forefinger 
to leave one string for the thumb. 


Theii busines.s is to apply the strings to the frets (or brass bars across 
the finger-board) so as to produce a good tone ; and this is best done by 
pressing the finger on the string a little above the fret from which the 
tone is leceived ; each ol these frets is, in reality, a bridge, which, if the 
.string is made to rest firmly upon, must undoubtedly give a sound little 
inferior to the open note. 

Before the Guitar arrived at its present perfection, the thumb and 
forefinger were recnmiiiemled for use. There were some that recom- 
mended only these two for all, but those absurd recommendations are 
entirely e.xploded by all approved masters, for common reason tells us 
that such instructions must mar the performance : had we a finger for 
every string it would facilitate the execution ; nor is there any reason 
why a linger that naturally hangs over a string should be idle, and 
another come from a distance to do its office ; therefore it is absolutely 
necessary to make every finger alike useful. 

Example I. shows the notes representing the open strings and 
also the finger-board of the Guitar with the letters marked. The x 

indicates the position of the finger when the performer is tuning the 



musical [NSTKUMENTS 

Example II. 
from that fcirmerly given. 

Example II. 

sho«-3 a different method of fingering tlie open notes 
The three notes are played by the thumb, 
which must not be lifted 

at each, but made to slide 
over them. The next three 
have a finger to each ; and 
as their strings are double,' 

care must be taken that they are struck so as to make them vibrate 
equally: only the krst three are [.layed by the forefinger instead of the 

X means the thumb.’ 2 means the second finger. 

1 means the forefinger. 3 means the third finger. 

Example III. 

fi f ‘ [ 

Another lesson on the open strings. 

Example IV. is designed to exercise the fingers for double, triple, 
and quachuple notes. In playing this lesson, the fingers must be pressed 
equally on the strings, and then drawn in towards the body, the thumb 

Example EV. 

the reverse, at the same time viewing the strings on the finger-board, 
to iscover if theii vibrations are equal, which, if otherwise, is a sign 
they have not been equally pressed. 

_ Though these Examples are but short, yet by repeating them (which 
IS ere designed) they may be lengthened at pleasure, taking care that 

‘ Such string 
onUons, or the 
side red as one. 

H as are close to each other 
same sound, and therefore 



In tlie Instruction Book it is in every case 
shown as o, Init as this sign I'oints to the open 
strings, x has been substituted. 



tin more time be lost between tlie first and kist notes, than between 
any two lying next each other. Each parcel of notes between the 
cross-bars m Example IV. may be considered as a distinct lesson and 
repeated as above. 

ExjUU'le V. 

Each note of the above scale has the proper finger of the left hand 
marked above it and those of the right hand below. All that the learner 
has at present to observe is to play the notes iis directed m the scale 
and plan of the hnger-board, Example L, the one pointing out the 
proper finger and the other showing where to place it. 

For example. The first note C is the sixth string open, the 
second being D is the second finger on the same string, placed on the 
instrument as represented by the letter 1) in the plan, and so of all the 
other stopped notes. 


This seems to be the only deficiency ol' the instrument ; for in every 
other respect it doubtless has the advantage of most others of its 
compass, as it is capable of adding the full harmony to any note the 
performer chooses, which, together with its melodiousness, renders it a 
most elegant accompaniment to the human voice. 

One method of a shake is by sounding the note above, and then 
moving the finger of that note as on the violin. Another method is by 
sliding the fingers over the string, beginnmg with the first finger striking 
two strings together; for instance, if you wanted a shake on D, draw 
yoiu' finger over the open notes E and D together, which, if done, will 
have a very good effect. 



The next is the siime with the tomier ; 

rn rhe side. SO iis to renew the vibnition.' 

only with this dilTerenoe, 
that instead of mo^’ing the finger up and down 
perpendiciJarly, it must, in falling and rising, form 
an ov;il by which it will ch'aAV the string a little 


This is best done by pressing very hard on the string, and moving 
the Unger that stops the note, which when done 
must be kept dowui that the note itself may he 
the last heard. 


A slur on this instrument signifies no more than to point out such 
notes as ai'e played by drawdng the same finger 
over them, except in the songs, where they like- 
wise show such notes as are sung to one syllable. 
The left hand may play the notes in such music as descend, which 
is done by drawing the string to a side, in raising the finger from 
the note above. When such notes as may be played 
in this manner have dots above them, care must be taken 
that these notes thus played be not stronger than the 
others, otherwise they will have a bad effect. 

V7r luiNLJMi rnn UUITAR 

Let the third string or strings be tuned the same sound with the 
third finger on the fourth string of the violin, which is C.” This done, 
-Q I ■ second string is made to sound the same with the 
-i- ^ on the third string of the violin, which is E — 

, ^ third to the former. Then time the first string 

t nd fingei on the same idolin string, bemg G ; when these three 
are Alls tuned they will be found these three notes. 

the note alternately with the open string above, 
If this metliuil is once acquired, it must be equal 
to a shake on any iustrunieiit. 

It will be best to slack one string until you 
get the other to the proper pitch, then draw up 
the other you slackened till it is in tune. 

tbnmbaed fo,eli„„ J.uV T.t™ 

"”g=r ol the nght hand, aoimding 



As a pi-dot ol what Jias been done, compare sucli notes as are crossed 
on the hiiger-board, Example I., with the open strings above, and if they 
liave tile same sound, the insti-ument is so far tuned. As for instance, 
let the note that is crossed on the second string have the same sound 
with the first string open, and so the third and second string. 

rile other three strings are no more than returns to the same sounds, 
they being eight notes lower than the former, viz., the 4tli is tuned an 
octave to the 1st, the 5th to the 2nd, and the 6th to the 3rd. 


The notes appearing so high makes it seem impossible for the human 
voice to accompany this instrument ; but when it is considered that the 
music is set an octave above it to prevent too many leger-lines or 
unaccustomed clefs, the difficulty will be removed. The true state of 
the open notes is this : — 

The notes the Guitar plays. 

The notes the Voice sings. 

Those Guitars that have moving bridges on the neck have the 
advantage ol the others, as by such the instrument is enabled to suit 
the voice with any pitch of song. 

Preston’s edition of Bremner’s Instruction Book concludes with the 
following : — 

“For the encouragement of those who are studiously inclined and 
who wish to arrive at that degree of perfection which is only to be 
attained by a series of miremitted practices, the Editor has prefi.xed at 
the end of the book two complete scales of all the notes that may be 
played on each string, whereby such a thorough knowledge of their 
different situations on the finger-board may be gained as will enable the 
learner to perform the most difficult pieces ever published for this 
instrument with ease and facility.” 



Two settles of the uatunil. flat, and sharp notes on the Gthttir, showing- 
how each note may be played on three or four dilferent strings for the 
better conveuieuce of executing cliflioult passages and double stops, and 
what chord is produced by placing the finger across the finger-board at 

any of the frets : — 





- f. 




difficulty; I'lirther, that on account of the system of tuning, the instru- 
ment must be much more difficult to play upon than the Spanish Guitar. 

English Guitars were made with keys wliich when pressed struck the 
strings. These finger-boards were occasionally fixtiire.s, the strings being 
struck Irom beneath, the strikers passing through apertures in the 
ornaments which cover the sound holes.' The other form is Smith’s 
Patent Bo.x,” which was attached or removed from the lower end of the 
instrument at pleasure. If a key was pressed, the string was struck from 
above. Both are represented in the Victoria and Albert Museum. 

Before concluding this notice, it is necessary to refer to “ A Compleat 
Tutor for the Guittar with two Scales shewing the Method of Playing in 
the Keys of 0 and G,” by J. Oswald. This work, which was probably 
published between 1755 and 17G0, cannot be called an Instruction Book. 
Plate I. has, besides the usual scale of the instrument in C, a very 
imusual scale in G, the Guitar being then retuned a fourth lower. 

firing 2^^ firing 3*^ ftring ^'(tring<5*^\tring6^ firing fhifljHand 

DE F G .G A B C. 

The advantage of this tuning is not apparent, for amongst the sixteen 
pieces of music in G which appear in Book I., three descend to B, and only 
one, which is reproduced on the following page, descends to G. In the 
five’ Books which follow, there are thirty-four pieces in G, in none of 
which do the notes descend below D, and one, so far from descending to 
the low G, ranges from B on the stave to E in Alt. It is possible that 
Oswald found his scale in G unsuitable, and abandoned it after Part . 
was issued. 

' Olio of them in the Victoria and .-Uliert Museum ■ 
is stamped “ Patent lustnmieiit. Clans A Co., 
Inventor. London, No, 17 (Inrraril Street." For 

this invention Christian Claus olitaincil a patent on 
2nd October 1783. 

' The patent is not recorded. 



Manilla, a good player on the English Guitar and 7iot a bad 
composer, tuned and taught the instnnnent in the key of A Ma,jor,‘ 
hut this was an exception. The instrument as a. rule was tuned to the 
key of C. 


The following is some of the Music advertised : — 

A New Collection of Scots and English Tunes adapted for the Guittar. 
Printed and Sold by Neil Steuart at his Music Shop opposite the head of 
Black fryers Wynd, Edinburgh. In this work, published between 1761 
and 1705, there are 49 tunes. 

Bremuer advertises Merchis’ Lessons and Duets, Divertimentos, Songs 
Book 1st, Song.s Book 2nd ; Straube’s Instructions ; Maid of the Mill ; 
Beggar s Opera ; Daphne and Amintor ; Gentle Shepherd ; Soots Songs 
with a thorough bass. 

•J. Walsh publi.shed Thomas and Sally ; Midas ; and The Jovial Crew. 

Da\id Rutherford published “A Curious Collection of the most 
celebiated Country Dances, Airs, etc., which are now in vogue,” etc. 

J. (.)swald, besides A Coinpleat Tutor, Book L, published The Pocket 
Companion, Bonks II., III., IV., V., and VI. ; also two Books of Diverti- 
mentos and ten Songs; 12 Sereiiatas by Pereyra Da Costa; 12 Lessons 
by i\Ir. Rusli ; Oswald’s Airs of the Seasons ; Queen Mah ; Fortuuatus ; 
H.ulequiu Langer and the Genii; and The Caledonian Pocket Com- 
panion, 8 vols. 

Ariicli; MUSIC in Encyclopajclia Londinenais. 



J. Bland published The Poor Soldier ; Robin Hood ; Castle of Anda- 
lusia ; Beggar’s Opera ; besides a Collection of Airs, etc. 

Longman, Lukey and Co, and J. Johnston published The Padlock ; 
Cymon ; Jubilee; The Golden Pippin; also Thackray’s let and 2nd set 
of Lessons, and Thackray’s 44 Airs. 

J. Longman and Co. published 12 Songs for the Guitar, with a Com- 
plete Scale; 24 Easy Airs, by R. Haxby ; 18 Duettinos for 2 Guitars, 
by Wm. Bates. 

Longman and Broderip published Inkle and Yarico. 

Edward Light published The Ladies’ Amusement. It is also stated 
that he published monthly a collection of lessons and songs called The 


C. and S. Thompson published The Duenna. 

Preston published Richard Coeui' de Lion. 

Wdliam Wilson of Aberdeen published 26 Songs, most of them with 
excellent accompaniments. 

Thomas Bolton' composed six Rondeaus, three Songs, and three 
Preludes, and selected and adapted other three songs with accompani- 
ments for the Guitar or Pianoforte-Guitar (probably the keyed instru- 
ment already noticed). This work was printed by Longman and Broderip. 
In the preface, Bolton states it as his intention to pubhsh a complete 
book of instruction, with plans of finger-board, showing the different 
methods of taking passages, the proper rules for shifting the hand, and 
the art of playing in different keys. 

As already stated, the popular songs of the latter end of the last 
century, in addition to the regular setting, had frequently special 

arrangements for the Guitar. 

Considering the popularity of this instrument, it is natimal to suppose 
there were many able performers, both professional and amateur, and that 
advanced pieces for the more accomplished guitarists were written, but 
no really fine advanced pieces have been met with by the writer. 

composed “ The Village 

ingham Place, Fitzroy i 
author of a treatise ou 

Street, Manchester Squ 

1 Circa 1760-1820. 



® 'VsXuk.Ax . ^ c^tcw • 

When the rofv morn Appearing. 




Arife. aod Aid the diwd, my fair. 
Difpute the hlnlh v*ith yonder Eaft; 
Thy breath fhall mock the fragrant air; 
The light thy radient tyre increafe. 



A Fjvonntt Song from the Coined)' of the Heirefs. ' 

The Nightmgjlr pliinderi^ ihe mate wido\A'ci Dove 
The warbled Conplaml of the Suffering Grove 
To youth >r i-pendgave fentiment New 
The Object ftill changing the (ympathy trur. 

Soft embers of pafsion j?et reft; in their Glow, 

A wannth of more Paio may this breaft never know 
Oi if too indulgent the blefsing I claim 
Let the Spark cmJp from reafon that wakens the 

* The melody is by Paesiello, the introduction aud symphony by Liiiley, 

«n.l thu mag and ancompanimeiit from a noliime pubU«Ucf| by William Wilson, Alieriln-n. 




Under firret frieodfhip’s Sacred name 
Mj bofora caught the tender flamr 
MayFrlendOiip in tbv bofoin be. 
Converted into love for me. 

Ma Chore dCc. 

( 3 ) 

Together rear’d together grown, 
0 let oa now nnite in one. 

Let pity foftcn thv decree, 
f droop dear roaid I die for thee. 
Va Chere 6Cc. 

musical instruments 






The Rakes of Mallow with the VatUions 

-fl — ^-:;=rr7— .lltl- 


■ 1 ^ 

-#-■ — 0 mz : — k 1 • tlft 


j’l f'l^Tr^r'^ 

f) _,, pf frr*^ 

]# -— 0 1 r ^ 

f 1 ifpfffi 

■JJ r rr r ^ ** ** * J 

.F J ..-^— 

4 — — M — 1 — L4, j ru 

Jf ^ f- 

^ r J. 

*P~P — — 1 H|#~‘ 

..-.L^-iH . jH 


r"fvi — p Tf — fF'p f r 


~fl . , 0 

J S- ^3^ ^ 

- 1 :±- a-^- 3 

r 0 1 T TTT'~^^~*~^ 


















This instrument was, according to Dr. Thomas Busby, invented by 
Edward Light' about 1798." Light has already been referred to as the 
author of an Instruction Book for the English Guitar and an arranger of 
music for that instrument. Whether his capabilities as a musician were 
or were not of a high order, Edward Light" deserves to be remembered 
as the inventor of four or five instruments, which, although imperfect, are 
most artistic in form and generally charmingly decorated. The specimen 
illustrated, one of the earliest, has “ Barry Maker ” painted upon it, 
“Barry”* undoubtedly being placed over some earlier name, which 
name is certainly not Light. 

The name Harp-Guitar" was probably given to the instrument on 
account of the sounding-board and rounded back resembling in miniature 
those portions of the Pedal Harp, while the neck with frets and head 
somewhat resembles the Guitar. 

Light’s instrument, which has eight strings, was made in at least two 
sizes. One with machine head (perhaps an addition) in the Victoria 

' There can be no doubt that Edward Light 
was the inventor. One of these instruments 
in the possession of the writer has eight strings, 
and is signed “ Light Inven'"; Barry Maker." 
This instrument is not an early one, and has 
but ten frets. As Edward Light will be so 
frequently referred to, the following brief notice 
may be of interest. He is believed to have been 
born in 1747, was Orgitnist of Trinity Chapel, 
St. George’s. Hanover Square, and taught the 
Pianoforte, Singing, and presumably the English 
Guitar and all the instruments he invented. He 
was Lyrist to H.R. H. the Princess of ales, and 
resided at IG Harley Street ; at 34 Queen Anne 
Street, Portland Chapel ; 8 Foley Place, Cavendish 
Square, and later on at 38 Berners Street, Oxford 
Street, and is believed to have died in 1832. He 
published for the English Guitar, the English 
Lute, the Harp-Lutc-Guitar, the Harp-Lute and 
Apollo Lyre, the British Lute-Harj), and the 

Dital-Harp. His works are now rare. There 
were others of the same name who worked with 
him. T. Light composed a Hondo, and arranged 
it as a Duet for the Harp- Lute and Piano or Harp. 
Richard Light wrote and composed words and 
music mth accompaniments for the Dital-Harp, 
also Preludes and Cadences for the same instru- 
ment, and Duets for it and the Pianoforte. He 
also wrote for the Pianoforte. 

- Concert Room Anecdotes, vol. ii. p. 275. 

5 A full and interesting account of Light will 
be found in tbe Dictionary of National Biography. 

* A. Barry of IS Frith Street. Soho, London, 
was a maker of small instruments well into the 
nineteenth century, and was certainly employed 
by Light. 

6 There can be no doubt as to the name. 
I'pon the title-pages of the Tutors by F. Cbabran 
aud T. Bolton there are representations of the 



and Albert Museum measures 30^ inches from nut to end. 25 inches 
from nut to bridge, and has seventeen frets, the lowest being 9^ inches 
from the bridge. The smaller size, represented by the plate, measures 
24L inches from nut to end, 18| inches from nut to bridge, twelve frets, 
the lowest being inches from the bridge, the greatest width of the 
sounding-board llj inches. As before stated, another specimen has but 
ten frets. 

The writer cannot state that Light prepared a Tutor or arranged 
music for this instrument, but he is almost certain to have done so. 
Dr. Busby, who published in 1825, when Light was still alive, writes 
as follows : “ The strings of the instrument are seven in number ; 
the highest six are catgut, and the other consists of silk covered with 
silver wire. The scale and tuning are those of the common English 
Guitar with the addition of the Fiddle G ; but its tone is very superior 
to that instrument both in power and sweetness, and more than vies 
with the mellifluence of the Pedal Harp.”* On October G, 1825, the 
year Busby published, Mordaunt Levien of London, a Professor of 
Music, took out in France a patent for the importation and impi'ove- 
ment of this instrument, the number of strings being seven, and the 
fingering similar to that of the common Guitar." This perhaps explains 
Busby’s inaccuracy. 

According to Busby, Light’s instrument, unlike the English Guitar 
— which, as already stated, is tuned an octave lower than the written 
notes — is tuned a major sixth lower than the written notes. 

As the strings found upon the instrument illustrated are evidently 
those which were upon it when in use, the unstretched portions have been 
gauged in case they may be of some use to those wishing to string and 
play upon one of these Haq>Guitars. 


1st. Missing. 2nd. Missing. 3rd. Gut, Gauge D, 2nd Oct. 

4th. Gut. Gauge D, 3rd Oct. 5th. Gut, Gauge D, 4th Oct. 

Cth. Silver. Gauge G, 3rd Oct. 7th. Silver. Gauge A, 4th Oct. 

8th. Missing. 

Room Anecdotes, vol. n. p. 275. 3 Profesaor Niecka, from Chouquet'a Catalogue 

of the Paris Collection. 



Early in the nineteenth century F. Chabran prepared Instructions for 
playing upon the Harp-Guitar and Lute. Upon the title-page of this 
work there is a pretty illustration, apparently by R. WiUiamson. in 
which a lady is represented as playing upon a Harp-Guitar. This was 
intended by Chabran to show the manner in which the insti-ument 
should be held when in use. 

In the preface to his Tutor Chabran states that “the Harp-Guitar in 
point of power and brilliancy of tone is little inferior to the Pedal Harp, 
and as an accompaniment to the voice most undoubtedly surpasses all 
instruments of a similar kind.” Chabran’s instructions are of the 
briefest. He gives directions for tuning the 3rd, 2nd, and 1st strings 
to the following notes ^ f * f . and the bass strings in octaves down- 
wards “ except the last string, which may be tuned either in unison to 
the F on the first space or an octave below.” He certainly did not 
follow Light, who tuned the instrument one-sixth lower than the written 



notes - so presumably he tuned it. like the English Guitar, an octave 
lower; but he e^iplai^s that by inserting the stop “capo-tasto into the 
upper’ hole upon the finger-board the tone is raised one note, and the 
instrument instead of being in C is then in D major. When changed 
to the second hole the instrument is in E flat, and when the third hole 
is used the instrument is in E natural. Although Chabran gives little 
information and does not notice the gauge of the strings, his Tutor is of 
the first importance, as from it we learn that the eighth string is tuned 
to F. 

The following Scale ofthe Finger-Board shews howto stop every Note on the Instrnment 

Chromatic Scale. 

NB. A Sharp or B Flat; C Sharp or D Flat; D Sharp or E Flat &c are the same Note. 



Scale of all the Natural Notes . 


E F G A B C D IJ- 

The eighth string, which was afterwards abandoned, was certainly 
in use about 1818, as we know that on or before that year Mr. Levien 
of Pentonville, probably the person already referred to, produced 
an inipioved Harp-Guitar. This instrument has a head somewhat 
resembling the upper portion of a Pedal Harp. The first six strings 
pass through metal loops, which 
are screwed to that portion of 
the sounding-board where the first 
fret is usually placed. Any of 
these loops can be turned by the 
tuning-key, which has a slit across 
the handle for that purpose. A 
string so acted upon being thus 
raised or lowered a semitone, by this 
means necessary flats or sharps 
were to be produced, and the per- 
former enabled to play much music 
without the necessity of transposing 
it into the keys of C, G, or F, as 
was usual, or resort to cross-finger- 
ing, the method previously in use 
for the production of certain notes. The improved instrument, for 
which Levien received a reward of ten guineas from the Society' of 
Arts, has eight strings ; but unfortunately Mr. G. J ones, by whom it is 
described, has neglected to state the notes to which they shoidd be tuned. 
The writer has not met with one of these instruments, but the drawings 
which illustrate Mr. Jones’s notice are reproduced in outline (see above). 
Fif. 1, the head of the improved Guitar, and part of the finger-board : 

* From the Triennial Directory, 1S17-IS19, it 
appears that Mordaunt Levien was then living at 

50 Marchmont Street, Russell Square. 
poBed for the Guitar. 

ft ftflfl 



a. a. the nut, and b. h. the raetal loops arranged across, or in place of 
the tiret fret. Fig. 2, a side view of these parts. Fig. 3, an enlarged 
view of that part of the finger-board, containing the first fret, with the 
loops screwed into it. One of the loops, a. a. is here represented as 
being turned. Fig. 4, one of the loops with the screw-stem. Fig. 5, 
section of the hole, the opposite sides of which are rounded off so as not 
to injure the string.^ This improved Harp-Guitar cannot have been con- 
sidered altogether satisfactory, for Levien shortly after abandoned the loop- 
stops and produced another instrument, which will be hereafter described. 

As before mentioned, F. Chabran prepared Instructions for playing 
upon the Harp-Guitar and Lute. This Tutor was printed by Clements, 
Banger, Hyde, Collard and Davis, 26 Cheapside. A Tutor by the same 
person for the Harp-Guitar and Lute was also published by Clements 
and Collard, Cheapside. A copy of the latter formed part of the musical 
library of Hr. J. G. Morley, but is missing and cannot be traced. One 
of the former is before the writer. In it there is no illustration of the 
“ Lute,” but Chabran gives the scale which is here reproduced. 

Scale of the Lute. 

It may be noticed that this is not the scale of the Harp-Lute-Guitar 
or of the Harp-Lute, but is the scale of the English Guitar with the 
addition of four bass strings. There is a large English instrument 
which the writer cannot name. The body, unlike the real “ Lute,” has 
a flat back, and in form resembles that of an English Guitar, The head 
is like that of the Theorbo, or double-headed Lute. One of these, by 
Barry, may be seen amongst the collection belonging to the Edinburgh 
University. This specimen has seven strings upon the finger-board and 
three double strings in the bass off the finger-board. It cannot be 
stated that this instrument is the “ Lute” referred to by Chabran, but it 

he fciticyclopfedia Mr. H. 
For the use of London. 



the harp- guitar 

C. Wheatstone publisl.ed Instructions for his Imoroverl n t . 

by ,„b. p„y. 0. 

Wh°, ' “'"”8 ‘PP*™^ "'«<« t«' U» Lyre or iLp-Ook.," 

m the one m question relating to the Harp-Guitar, and the statement 
does not occur on the title to a later edition of the work. 

Ii^struotions for the Harp-Guitar and Apollo Lyre were prepared by 
T. Bo ton before referred to. and published by Wheatstone and CV 
As not only the name but the representation of the instrument appears 
upon the title-page of this Tutor, the engraving has been reproduced. 

^ Bolton states that the celebrity of the instruments may be attributed 
principally to their resembling, in point of tone, the real Harp. He also 
tells US that the Harp-Guitar and Lyre, though different in form, are 
played and fingered in precisely the same manner,— the scale being’that 
of the English Guitar,® with the addition sometimes of a seventh bass 
String, G. Bolton, as appears from the representation of the Onger-board. 
intended the performer to produce Gf As A' (or B?) and 
BB from the G string, which string he states is most 
effective, particularly in accompaniments, without which 
the notes referred to could not be produced. He appar- 
ently tuned the instrument like the English Guitar, an 
octave lower than the written notes ; and although he 
appears to disregard Light’s system of tuning, he remarks 
that the instrument when played alone may be tuned 
some-what higher, the C being then tuned to D or EiJ. 

He notices the “ capo-tasto,” which, although very 
useful, was, he says, seldom applied. 

He further states that the 1st, ilnd, and 3rd strings 
are the same gauge as the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd strings on the violin, and 
the remaining strings, silver spun on silk, are to be of proportionate sizes. 

Bolton’s instructions as to fingering, etc., are very similar to those 
already given for the English Guitar ; but when chords are to be played, 
the performer is directed to commence with the lowest note, and pass 

• This Tutor was most obligingly brought to the motion as may interest the reader has been 
notice of the writer when this chapter was in printed. 

type, aud Levien’s instructions had been full}* - C E G C E G. Bolton states that small 
noticed, consequently only such additional infer- Spanish Guitars can be tuned in a similar inanucr. 



swiltly to the highest, in a manner similar to that practised on 
the Harp.' 

There are a considerable number of elementary pieces, etc., in the 
two Tutors noticed, but in none of them does the music descend lower 
than C. The 7th and 8th strings were probably only used for advanced 
pieces or for accompaniments. 


The Apollo Lyre, an engraving of which appears upon Bolton’s Tutor 
and is here reproduced, is also mentioned by Busby, Light, and Ventura. 

This is an English instrument which may occasion- 
ally be met with. Carl Engel named it the “ Lyre 
Guitar.” The writer, in a letter to Musical Opinion, 
asked if any of the readers could state positively 
that “Lyre Guitar” was in use before Carl Engel’s 
Catalogue appeared ; to which there was no reply. 
If it cannot be proved that “ Lyre Guitar ” appeared 
in print before the publication of Carl Engel’s Cata- 
logue, it may be concluded that he invented a name 
for an instrument about which he had no information. 
This instrument was tuned, like the English Guitar, 
to C E G C E G. Large Instruments formed like 
the ApoUo Lyre were made. These had stands and eleven strings, four 
of which in the bass were off the finger-board. These instruments could 
have been, and probably were, tuned precisely as the Harp-Lute-Guitar 
to be hereafter noticed.” 

An instrument called the Lyre is referred to by Light, Bolton, and 
Ventura, but the writer is unable to state whether or not the Lyre and 
ApoUo Lyre were the same. 

Wb«n playiag in the key of G the seventh intendert his Tutor to be used for the Harp-Lute, 
string should be tuned F" There is a statement as he refers to the short finger-board. In one 
in the Tutor that when playing in the key of F piece directions are given to fix the “ pedal ” for 
the fourth string should be tuned to Bb. This producing F ^ as a passing accidental ; so it would 
may refer to the tuning of that string upon appear that Levien’s instrument, to be hereafter 
the Hari^Lnte, the scale of which Bolton gives, referred to, was in use. 

and the diflerence between that instrument and I Light advertised in the Times, 27th January 
t e arp. juitar he explains. He may have 1817, his improved Lyre of twelve strings. 





Ihe French Lyre is an instrument very similar in form to the Apollo 
Lyre. It usuaUy has a stand. The writer has before him Carulli’s In- 
structions for the Spanish Guitar or French Lyre, published by C. Wheat- 
stone and Co. Tlie title-page has to a large extent been re-engraved 
apparently to allow “ French Lyre ” to be introduced. We find that at 
the foot of page 1 the following has been added ; “ N.B.—The Editors of 
this work has the honor to announce that having been permitted to take 
a Model from an elegant French Lyre, made in Paris, for a famUy of 
distinction in this Country. They are having manufactured an assort- 
ment of them by an eminent Italian Maker lately Ai'rived from Paris. 
The Scale of this Instrument is the same as the Spanish Guittar. ” 


All music tor the English Guitar can with the same ease be played 
upon the Harp-Guitar or upon the Apollo Lyre. 

Upon the last sheet of one of Bolton’s works there is a statement that 
a collection of music for the Guitar or Lyre, Op. 9. might be obtained 
from Messrs. Goulding and Co. Also some music for the Lyre might 
be had from Mr. Wornum, Wigmore Street. 

A portion of a Collection of Airs, Marches, and Dances by Bolton was 
evidently for the Lyre or Lute. He also produced a coUection of Lessons, 
Songs, Marches, and Dances for the Lyre or Harp-Lute. 

Bolton also arranged some of the Songs and Airs in Don Giovanni, 
together with a number of other melodies, for the Harp-Lute or Harp- 
Guitar. These were published by C. Wlieatstone. 

F. Chabran prepared “An Elegant Selection of Songs, etc., adapted 
for the Spanish or Harp-Lute-Guitar.” These were published in two 
books by C. Wheatstone and Co., Strand. A number of the pieces are 
headed for the Harp- Guitar and Lyre. 

Edward Light published an “ Introduction to the art of Playing on 
the Harp-Lute and Apollo Lyre.” 




drink to me only, uccompt by T;BoUon. 




T>i 9 thirit th^t from the K)u 1 doth rise* 
Doth aih a drink divine; 

The thiret thet from the aotil doth ri»e. 
Doth aak a drink divine. 

Bat might I of Jovi'* Kectar sap_, 

I »oald not change for thine » 

The thirst that from the soul doth rlse^ 
Doth a«k a drink dirine, 


I sent thee late a Rosie wreath* 

Not so much hon’ring thee. 

As giving it a hope th at there , 

It could not -ft-itherM he; 

But thou thereon didst only breathe, 
And sent it back to me. 

Since vhenit looks, and smells^ I swear* 
Not of Itself but Thee . 




^Adapted by* T. Bolton^ 

Rest thy soft Bosom on the spray. 

Till chilly Autumn frowns severe » 
Tlien charm me with thy parting lay, 
An^ 1 vlll answer with a teaT.*^. 

But soon as Spring enwreatVtlwith fiowTs, 
Come dancing o'er the new drest plain. 
X, Return and cheer <hy natal bowVs . 

My Robin with these notes again.^K^. 

^ Balton'f In |4 } ^ 



The DUKE of YORk’s March 




Between the Po an<l Parma 

Some Villains seized my Coach 
And drag^Vi me to a Cavern 
Most dreadful to approach 
By which the Maid of Lo d i 

Came trotting^ from the fair 
She paasU to hear my wailingR 
And sec me tear my hair. 

Among the mild Madonas 
Her features you may find 
But not the fam’d Correggios 
Could ever paint her mind 


Than to her Market-basket 
She tied her Poney’s rein 
I thus by female courage 
Mas dragged to life again 
She led me to her dwelling 

She chear’d my heart with Mine 
And then she deck’d a table 

At which the Gods might dine. 

Then sing the Maid of Lod i 
Mho sweetly sang to me 
And when this Maid is married 
Still happier may she be. 

Harp Guitar Tutor 

M U I C A L INS T i: M K N T S 


THK HA];1’-GU1TA1! 



('BoltoiVi lnn7) 



A favorite Air with Variations 


Mobdaont Levien of London, as before stated, took out a patent in 
France in 1825 for an improved instrument whicli he called the Guitare- 
Harpe.' This instrument, which is of the same form as Light’s Harp- 
Guitar, dift'ers from the latter in haiung only seven strings and having at 
the back of the neck three brass stops, for which Levien probably obtained 
a patent. These stops, which, when pressed by the thumb, act as nuts, 
were called by the inventor pedals, and will be hereafter referred to. 

The following are the measurements of one of Levien’s Guitare- 
Harpes : 27^ inches from nut to end, 20 inches from nut to bridge, 
twelve frets, the lowest being 9 inches from the bridge ; the greatest 
width of the sounding-board, 12^ inches. For this instrument, wLich is 
much more frequently met with than Light’s, Levien prepared a Tutor, 
which was published at Paris,^ from wdiich the following has been 
extracted : — 

1st Example. 

The seven open strings. 

2nd Example. 

‘ In an illustrated catalogue of Musical lustni- inserted it in the catalogue, 
me, Its l,y J. Kendrick Pync. No. :I2a, Iko nnme . ^ ^ 

Lute-Guitar ia given to a specimeu. Dr. Pyne 

states that he purchased a ms. IiiKtniction Book ^ Mr. H. Journet, of 43 Tottenham Court 
along with the instrument, ou which that title Road, London, has most obligingly allowed the 
appeared, and he, supposing it to be correct, writer the use of his copy of this rare work. 





with the denomination of the notes and their fingering. 

E F ^ 

- o * , J X 

Left H.idiI. o f-f 

*^'*0 "hTow! .triufs ; +,tliethumln 1 , tL. first ; ■>. the second fiugor ; 3, the third finger ; 

^ 4. the fourth tinger. 

Scale of two octaves in C Major, rising and descending. 


The first three strings are tuned by thirds, and the others by their 
ower octaves. The surest way for beginners is to tune the third string C 
_v anot er instrument, then the finger is placed above its fourth fret, 
1C pro uces E , the second string is tuned in unison, and from the 



third fret of this string the first is tuned in unison with it ; the other 
strings are tuned to the octave below — that is to say, the fourth is tuned 
from the first string, the fifth from the second, the sixth from the third, 
and the seventh from the fourth, an octave lower. 

From the representation of the finger-board, the directions for tuning 
that have just been given, and the music for the Guitare-Harpe and Piano, 
it would appear that Levien’s instrument should be tuned to the written 

Scale of C Major, rising and descending, with the 
principal Choi'ds. 

Prelude No. 1, for exercising the right hand. 

The pedals of brass— which are placed at the back of the neck or 
fincrer-board of the instrument, viz. : the 1st under the fourth string, for 
givino- the x\ ; the 2nd under the fifth string, for giving the F ; and the 

. on the ee.vler will eleo find thet these not follow Lighfe tuning of that i„strun,ent. 

who improved and wrote for the Harpe-Liite did 



3rd under the sixth string, for giving D-are pressed by the thumb of 
the left hand during certain passages of the music, which otherwise would 
necessitate much crossing of the fingers. 

When an air does not suit the voice in the key in which it is written, 
but suits perfectly in another key, or a piece of music is luoie drffictdt to 
e.xecute in one key than in another, it is necessary to transpose the music. 

Supposing an air in E flat is too difficult, to transpose it into the key 
of C (which is the easiest key for the instrument) each note must be 
lowered a third, and the Capo-testo must be fixed on the third space ; it 
will then be played in the original key of E flat, as if there had been 
no transposition. In order to transpose from A to F, each note will be a 
third lower, and, having fixed the Capo-testo on the fourth space, it can 
then be played in the original key of A. But if the transposition of this 
key a third lower is too low for the instrument, it will be necessary to 
transpose it to F, a sixth above, and, having fixed the Capo-testo on the 
fourth space, it can then be played in the key of A, an octave higher. If, 
however, some of these transpositions are too high or too low, the 
Capo-testo can be placed higher or lower to suit the voice. 

Before fi.xing the Capo-testo it is necessary to lower the seventh 
string half a tone. 


Ihe first note of the key or key-note should be accompanied by the 
third and by the fifth. 

The second, or sub-mediant, by the minor third, the perfect fourth, 
and the major sixth. 

The third, or mediant, by the third and the sLxth. 

The fourth, or sub-dominant, by the third and the fifth ; but when it 
IS bund preceded by the fifth note of the key, it is accompanied by the 
second, major fourth, and the sixth. 

third Ind the fifth”*’ or by the major 

The sixth, by the third and the sixth. 

' Oi the t*e»ty.thr..e eir, i„ the Tutor only 
one h« the ped.1 mark., and in none of the 

eiglit advanced 

I'ieces examined are jjeda] marks 



The seventh above is called the leading note, and it is accompanied 
with the thh'd, the minor fifth, and the sixth. In descending, it is simply 
called the seventh, and it is accompanied by the third and the sixth. 

It should be observed that the third on the first note of the key ought 
to be major in major keys and minor in minor keys ; thus aU the inter- 
vals which are not specified are always relative to their principal note. 

H.4.HMONIC Scales for Accompaniments. 

These two scales in C major and A minor will serve aa models for all others, either major or minor. 

Air with varioos Accompaniments. 



In conclusion, it may be mentioned that in the music for the instru- 
ment the writer has examined, the signs indicating harmonic sounds 
only occur when the notes are open. 


The following by Mordaunt Levien appear in the Catalogue of Music 
for the Guitare-Harpe : — 

Meihode pour Guitare-Harpe, Parts I. and II. 

Solftge ou Methode de Chant, avec accompagnement de Guitare-Harpe. 

Rectieil de Vaises, 

La Chasse. 

Deux airs varies (Aussitot que la lumiere) et (Nel cor piii non mi sento). 


Theme vari6. 

Robin Adair (Air Ecossais) varie. 


Six contredanses suivies de !a Valse et du Chceur de Robin des bois, 

Kelvingrove (Air Ecossais). 

Fantaisie sur la Marche favorite de Mose in Egitto. 


Six divertissements. 

Six favourite English songs. 

Recueil d’airs Suisses. 

Recueil d'airs Ecossais. 

Eecueil de douze Morceaux pour une ou deux Guitare-Harpes. 

Variations idem. 

Air XjTolien varie idem. 

Air Portugais varie idem. 

Divertissement pour Guitare-Harpe, et Piano. 

Fantaisie pour Guitare-Harpe, et Piano, Tiolon, ou Flute. 

Senate pour Guitare-Harpe et Violon. 

The following are by Bayard 

Variations sur la Viennoise. 

Deux ThJmes varies idem (Fleuve dn tage) (Et un air favoride Steibelt). 




I 1 ^ 1 ^ - 

> , ^ 

,*1 - 


^ J0 • 

e , 4 ^ M m-' 

^ 1 i 

^ i 

,Tf .- 

1 . Var . 

p ^ f 

? • - 


? “ ' 


.gL£l_. i ^ i 

! 4 '.S -^1 ^ ^ / 


f , j ._r 

JT3 rlC,-, 


*-> ‘ ^ 







NEL COR pitr NON ill SENTO— 3. 



nUITlRE . 



SONATh— 2. 

CriTARK . 




It must have been shortly after the invention of the Harp-Guitar that 
it occurred to Edward Light to attach a head somewhat similar to that 
of the Theorbo or double-headed Lute to a body and neck resemblhig 
those of his Harp-Guitar, and, by filling up the gaps between C and E 
and E and G in the bass, provide the instrument with a complete 
octave of open bass strings. This new instrument, one of the most 
elegant of Light’s inventions, he called the Harp-Lute-Guitar. On the 
finger-board he placed seven strings, and from a separate nut three bass 
strings. Of this ten-stringed instrument, a fine specimen is represented 
in the illustration.* An additional bass string G was afterwards added, 
and when so far perfected, “ Edward Light Inventor " ■ published the 
“ Art of Playing ” on the Harp-Lute-Guitar,® a w'ork so rare, that the 
writer may be excused for reprinting not only the curiously worded 
Introduction, but such other portions as appear desirable. 

“a short account of the newly invented HARP-LUTE-GUlTAn” ' 

“The Harp-Lute-Guitar, so call’d, from the structure of it, partaking 
partly of the Harp, partly of the Lute, and partly of the Guitar. This 
little Instrument is confessedly greatly superior to any other of it’s 

^ TLe instrumeut is the property of the Messrs. 
Gleu, Edinburgh. The following are themeasure- 
luents ; Extreme length, 3SJ inches; from the 
uut for the buss strings to lower end, 31 J inches; 
from the uut on the tinger-board to the lower end, 
•J3U inches ; from the nut for the bass strings to 
bridge, 25^ inche.s ; from the uut on the finger board 
to bridge, 17.\ inches; across the sounding-board 
at the widest i)art, 12 inches. 

^ A fine specimen with eleven strings, ’* Light, 
Mr. JJarry maker,” is amongst the collection of 
the Rev. F. W. Calpin. 

3 Carl Engel caDs this instrunieut the “Harp 
Theorbo.” uud the specimens in the South Kensing- 
ton Museum arc so labelled. A statement for 

which no proof has been produced cannot be 
accepted when an Instruction Book giving the 
correct name of the instrument, "The Harp-Lute- 
Guitar,” is extant. An e.xp!anation of an obsolete 
term, or a name for an obsolete musical instrument, 
when given without couclusive evidence, caunot 
be too severely condemned. 

^ For the use of this interesting work, and also 
for the use of the volume of Airs, etc., with 
Pianoforte Accompaniments, the writer is indebtt-d 
to Mr. Glen, of Bauk Street, Edinburgh. The 
Instruction Book was prepared shortly after ISOU, 
during which year Sir Edward Hnnter-BIair suc- 
ceeded to the Baronetcy, the tunc which is known 
by his name appearing amongst those in the book. 


musical instruments 

^ize and kiad the Inventor gives this short account, to shew wherein 
it differs from, and particularly excells others. First, by containing a 
cn-eater number of Strings, which not only renders it more easy to play 
on but the Tones ai-e also more perfect by having the more open 
Notes; secondly, what further militates in favor of the Harp Lute, is, 
that being tun'd to Harp pitch, they charmingly unite with and accom- 
pany theVoice, likewise afford a very pleasing accompaniment to the 
Piano Forte and other Instruments, and thirdly that from the simple 
construction of them and being strung with Harp Strings conduces to 
produce the admir’d sound of real Harps, and are therby less liable 
of going soon out of tune. Lastly, by way of observation, many 
attempts have been made to introduce portable Instruments for Ladies 
accommodation, such as the English Griiitar, Spanish Guitai, Mandola, 
Mandoline, and latterly the Lyre and Lute, the Inventor of the Harp 
Lute disdaining to depreciate the merits of other Men s productions, 
svih therefore here decline making comparisons, leaving that to a well 
inform’d Public who in their wisdom, are best entitled clearly to judge 
of, and allow what degree of merit if any, may be found due to 
■ Light’s.’ ” 

Scale for the Harp -Lute -Guitar. 

n E r G A B C D 5 T 5 ! 

GA B V f I I I 

2 2 

Manner of practicing- the Scale . 

St J 

1 . Octave ascendina & descending . Octave . 

Preludes in F and G are given near the end of the volume, also the Gamut in F, the 
perforaer being directed to tune the fourth sti-ing to By. The Gamut in G is missing, 

i-ffi doubt that the F string should be tuned to F? to avoid the 

difficulty of reaching to the seventh string. 




“ First, tune your third string to the pitch of E fiat, being to the sound 
of the tuning-fork given with it ; then proceed to tune all the other 
strings according to the following example : — Note when you have fixed 
the pitch note to the sound of the fork, press on the fourth fret of that 
string, being the red or third string, and tune your second in unison to 
it ; then press the second string on the third fret, and tune the first in 
unison to it.” 

3 ^ String.2^String.l®.^String. Trial . 

From the foregoing extracts it will be seen that the open strings of 
the Harp-Lute-Guitar in the original key of C are fingered exac% 
in the same manner as those of the Pedal Harp, the X indicating the 
thumb, and the 1. 2, and 3 the fii'st, second, and third fingers with this 
difference, that, as the longest strings are nearest to the performer, le 
fimrering is reversed. It may also be remarked that although the 
Harp-Lute-Guitar is tuned one-sLxth lower than the written notes w leri 
played singly, when played in conjunction with the Pianoforte it . 
Lned a tone lower, its pitch being then a seventh lower than its 
notation indicates. Thus, in a volume of Songs, Airs, Marches, Rondos, 
etc,, by E. Light, for the Harp-Lute-Gultar, with accompaniments foi 
the Piano, when the accompaniment is in D the music o^ e aip 
Lute-Guitar is in C ; when the accompan^ent is m G. the musm fo 
Harp-Lute-Guitar is in E, and when ^he -ompa— ^ 

music tor the Haip for this instrument, and tlie 

Tutor It IS stated^ la 1 . ,1^3 knowledge 

reference to the L oi le o below the written notes, 

that the instrument is to be tune a maj 



and with the illustration of the finger-board, a possessor of one of these 
instruments can with little difBoulty provide it with the proper strings, 
the C strings being, of course, red and the F string black or blue.' 

On the instrument illustrated, the strings, which are certainly old, 
are for the most part silk and silver ; the following being the gauge 
of each : — 

1st. Gut, D, •2nd Octave. 

2nd. Missing. 

3rd. Silver, F, 3rd Octave. 

4th. Silver, D, 3rd Octave. 

5th. Silver, C, 3rd Octave. 

6th. Silver, B, .3rd Octave. 

7th. Stiver, A, 3rd Octave. 

8th. Silver, F, 3rd Octave. 

9th. Silver, E, 4th Octave. 

10th. Silver, D, 4th Octave. 

The Harp-Lute-Guitar is held slantingly across the chest and is 
supported by a ribbon attached to the head and to the button at the 
lower end of the body. 

Ill the Tutor before referred to there are, besides preludes and lessons 
some thirty-three airs, etc., arranged for the instrument; and in the 
o^e 0 Songs, Airs, Marches, Eondos, etc., adapted for the Harp- 
Lute-Luitar, with an Acoompanhnent for the Pianoforte, by E. Light ” 
there are, besides the Introduction, twenty pieces. The writer cannot 
«y what additional music Light published for this instrument. The 
p cimens reproduced have been selected from the two works referred to. 

Bo\L ^^'*^<=^1011 of Songs, Spanish 

t-e lid i - Harp-Lute-Guiti..” These 

Such pieces ^ and Co., 136 Strand, 

of C and S Guitar are in the keys 

* If coloured itrings of the 

cMoot be procured, a,, ply „,i “''‘'‘““''y or wLit.i strings. When dry, olivt 

I P'y red or black mk to oil should be rubbed over thtm. 





Practical Lessons 



Prelude 9- 

^ f f f r 1 rfl'fT 

,.. |_, — pfp .. . . pf-p . 

4-V-r-d f] 0 — 0- \ \ 0 — 

^ J* ■ i/' 

J. PJ-U4-J- -* ■ 

“0“ # # 

ff^ 1 rMs f.rrf^ 

j? f f f«r^ f^'i fitfr^ 

■frfff f frfjff^ff 

/ rtf£!r7*ff^riT7ffte 









, ^ q 1 r I t -**6 

rrf frf f- frf 

g ~| "f#f r 9 1 

.flT]rrni--i — — ^ 

d . ■ 

r . «. P ^ " f"P 

iL' ’ * '1 h °i 1 

\j^ M rTlVfTr-'^rl 

]^, liH<f^piE 

5> 1 ^ 

'1 ' tori 

.nil rnl:Mb 

^ Vizd 

1 . 1 j j i^-f^ 

o j # r ' 1 / r 1 / 

rm rm 1 rffl PS 



— r~fff 1~ 






H A R P- L U T E. 




Elegant as the Harp-Lute-Guitar undoubtedly is, Edward Li^ht 
surpassed it when he invented the Harp-Lute, which, when at its best 
is one of the finest of invented forms. It was, however, by no means 
so at first, and it will be the writer’s endeavour to describe the gradual 
improvement of this interesting instrument until it received that ex- 
ceptionally graceful form which makes it so attractive an object. 

The Harp-Lute is a development of the Harp-Lute-Guitar. Like it, 
it had eleven strings,' tuned to the same notes and fingered in the 
same manner. So far they are similar ; but, as ah-eady stated, the Harp- 
Lute-Guitar, when used in conjunction with the Pianoforte, w^as tuned 
a tone lower, its pitch being then a seventh lower than its notation 
indicates, while that of the Hai-ji-Lute was unaltered when played in 
conjunction with that instrument. 

These two instruments are singdarly unlike in form. The double 
head of the Harp-Lute-Guitar, unsupported except on one side — a faulty 
construction if more than ordinary tension was brought to bear — was 
abandoned, and a harmonic curve with a scroll termination, resembling 
that which may he seen on the eighteenth-century French Harps, took 
its place. To support this harmonic curve a very large and deep body 
was recpiired, to the upper portion of the left side of which we find a 
pillar attached, which iDillar supports the scroll end of the harmonic 
curve, while the other end is supported by a neck, with finger-board 
and frets springing from the right side of the upper portion of the 
body. On the finger-board are seven strings, there being also four 
open strmgs in the bass. Three of these open strmgs are provided 
with stops, by which they can each be shortened so as to / ~ 
produce a semitone in advance when a change of key is i - 
required. These stops resemble those used for a similar purpose by 
Cousineau on the French Pedal-Harp. 

' The writer has seen two Harp- Lutes with eleven strings. One of these has Light's name upon it. 



This is a fairly accurate description of one of Light’s early instru- 
ments, but as no patent was obtained for it, Light undoubtedly had 
Imitatoi's,' and it is not unlikely some one of these may have improved 
upon the original form, as a gradual development can be traced. First 
we find the scroll head generally abandoned for a Corinthian capital, 
;in additional string to be tuned C added to the finger-board, the stops 
alluded to are replaced by loop stops," the open notes in the bass 
increased in nrrmber, and eventually the upper C string disappears, 
and five, foiu-, or tliree strings are then left on the finger-board, while 
an additional finger - board with three strings “ is added to the 

The Harp-Lute as it now appears is imdoubtedly a most beautiful 
instrument. G. Packer of Bath added two strings, A and B, to the bass, 
which may be seen on an exceptionally fine instrument in the Donaldson 

It was C. Wheatstone apparently who added the second finger-board, 
which made the high C string on the large finger-board unnecessary. 
He also added keys to the F, and sometimes to the G strings, and when 
these were pressed by thumb, passing accidentals could be produced, or 
the keys could be latched at pleasiu-e ; and eventually, when only three 
strings remained on the large finger-board, the B string was also 
furnished with one of these keys. Light also made use of a key for the 
F stiing. Packer also used keys, and on the specimen before referred 

On the 30tb December ISl.l, when Ligl 
.Klvertise.1 bia iuatniment in the Caledonia 
Mercury, be cautioned the readers to “ l>e«-are c 
counterfeits offered at some umgic-aho|)8.” 

* Dr. Busby in 1825, when describing it at thi 
■itage. states it “has m iu laiest imin-ovtmii 
twelve string.. '■ Yrf we find in Grove’s Dictior 
ary the following statement : " The Harp. Lute ha. 
onginally twelve catgut .tring.. ' A. before statei 
they were made with eleven. Tile .speeimen illuf 
tratrf „ not hy Light, but it has the sam 
number of string, npon the Snger-board an 
arranged in the same manner a. on one of Light’, 
but It ha. not got thethnmb-keyfor.hortenin 

the F .tring, and longer .nil less p-acefu: 
Light, iiiatmment is finely formed. 

on the Urge finger-board. Some in,tim„ieiit 
were made with four string, on the small Huge, 

board, the fourth being tuned B, a suggestiou of 
Mr, Downes, who will be hereafter mentioned, to 
facilitate the execution of some difficult passages 
without descending to the long finger-board for that 
note (Parry’s Tutor, sccoud edition, note, p. 2-1). 
Tbe MTiter ha.s not seen one of these instruinents. 

* The sounding-board of this beautiful instru- 
ment has no sound-hole, probably to enable it to 
Tvithstaud tbe tension of the additional strings. 
As it could not be removed from tbe case, tbe 
following measurements must not be accepted 
as strictly accurate : Extreme length about 33 
inches, breadth of sounding-board about 13i 

-A. good specimen in the South Kensington 
Museum, No. 075, has only one key, and that for 
shortening the F string. which occurs in 

one of Lights duets, can be produced from the 

H A R P- L U T E . 





to there are an unusual number." Angelo Benedetto Ventura, a well- 
known teacher who wrote for the instrument, invented an Imperial 
Harp-Lute, “ and it is possible there w'ere several other makers whose 
names do not appear upon the instruments made by them. 

Light is stated to have published an “Introduction to the Art of 
Playing on the Harp-Lute and Apollo Lyre.”= C. Wheatstone" published 
an Instruction Book for his Regency Harp-Lute. This was the work 
of J ohn Parry,-' and ran through apparently three editions, from which 
much valuable information is to be obtained, and in which are excellent 
Preludes in various keys by Mr. Dowmes, an accomplished wi-iter for 
the instrument. 

Light’s Harp-Lute, according to Dr. Busby, “ though apparently in 
the key of C, was tuned to the pitch of Eb, or a sixth lower than the 
written notes : an accommodation provided in favour of the voice,” and 
this statement is verified by a volume by Light, in which are twelve 
airs arranged as duets for the Harp-Lute and the Pianoforte. In these, 
when the Harp-Lute music is in C, that for the Piano is in Eh. When 
the Harp-Lute music is in G, that for the Piano is in Bb, and when 
the Harp-Lute music is in F, that for the Piano is in Ab. 

Those who care to consult Dr. Busby's long-forgotten volumes will 
find that when mentioning this and a few other instniments he writes 
solely about Light and his inventions : Light’s imitators or improvers 
are unnoticed. Again, if Grove’s Dictionary is consulted, Busby’s state- 
ment as to the tuning of the Harp -Lute will be found without 
qualification. So the inquher w'ho consults the latter work will 
naturally be induced to beheve aU Haip-Lutes were so tuned ; but 

' A.8 originally constructed this instrument Imd 
keys to the B, G. and F strings, and loop stops to 
nil the other open strings. At a subsetiuent period 
keys were attached to the E, B, and A strings, 
the loop stops being retained. 

“ It is difficult to identify tliese instruments. 
A Harp- Lute by Ventura in the writer's possession 
has twelve strings. The 1st is a short string 
without a finger-board, the 2nd, .'Ird, and 4th are 
on the finger-board. The remainder are open 
strings, all of whicli have loop stops. The instru- 
ment is of fine form and «'ell decorated. 

^ British Musical Biography, Brown and Sbatton, 

p. 247. The writer has endeavoured to trace a 
copy of this work, but without success. 

* Dr. Busby mentions a person of the same 
name as the inventor of the Acoucryptopbone. an 
Enchanted Lyre, exhibited in London in 1822. 
Concert Room Anecdotes, vol. i. p. 9. 

® Perhaps Banld Alaw, the authorof the Welsh 
Harper, about twenty books of instructions for 
different instruments, and a vast quantity of 
other music. The writer has failed to find any 
piece of music for the Harp-Lute by this com- 
poser ; but Downes certainly wrote for Wheat- 
stone's instrument, and cctntribut&l to the late 
edition of the Instruction Book. 



that is not so. This assertion can only be proved by reference to 
music and books ; so, even if the following statements are found 
tiresome, the reader must recollect that they are necessary. Ventura 
composed or arranged airs, etc., for the Harp-Lute and for his Imperial 
Harp-Lute, with accompaniments for the Pianoforte and Spanish 
Guitar. In those that the miter has examined, the music for the 
Harp-Lute, with one exception, is in the same key or keys as that 
for the instruments which are to accompany it ; and in the solitary 
exception, probably to simplify the fingering, the performer is directed 
to tune the Harp-Lute a tone higher, and so really play in the key 
in which the music for the other instmment is written. Again, there 
is in Parry’s Instruction Book nothing whatever to lead any one to 
suppose that he, Wheatstone for whom he wrote, or Downes, who 
wrote for Wheatstone’s instrument,* accepted Light’s system of tuning. 
In fact, so far from doing so. Parry’s directions are to “tune the 3rd 
string to C, thus and the 2nd and 1st to the E and G following” ; 
further, it may be remarked that the range of two of the vocal pieces 
in the second edition of his Tutor is from C to G, whereas if the 
instrument was tuned a major sixth lower than the wniltten notes, the 
vocalist woidd have to sing from E in the bass to B on the stave. 

It is more than probable that Wheatstone tuned his Eegency 
Haip-Lute to the written notes, and that the performer sang the 
music either as it was written or an octave lower, as found most 
suitable for the voice. 

As already shown, there is reason to believe that Wheatstone’s 
rnstrument was tuned to the written notes, but whether or not that 
tuning was an octave lower is a question that can only be settled 
by testing one of his instruments ; for, in the Instruction Book for it 
there is a statement which is of value as a clue, viz., that the three 
first strmgs, presumably those on the large finger-board, are to be of 
the same thickness as the three first strings on the violin and the 
others graduated downwards. Consequently an instrument with 
such strmgs tested with the Piano would decide the matter. 

In Select etc., Book 2, prepored 1 
K. L. Downea for C. Wheatstone's Regency Bar 
Late, there are four songa with separate accoi 
panrnlents for the Hari^Lnte and for the Span! 

Guitar. The vocal music and accompaniments for 
both the instruments are in each case in the same 

harp- lute 





Fortunately one of these instruments ^ is at present passing through 
the hands of Messrs. M^heatstone and Co., Conduit Street, representa- 
tives of the firm formerly of the Strand, and with their pei*mission the 
writer has tested the instrument, and there appears to be every reason 
to suppose that Wheatstone’s Harp-Lute was tuned an octave lower 
than the written notes, that is, the 3rd string on the large finger-board 
should be tuned to 

The following are the dimensions and length of strings of a 
fine specimen of Light’s Harp-Lute : — Total length, 33 in., width, 
13f in. 

'i’here are seven strings on the finger-board. The 1st string, C, 
measures ISf in., and has seven frets; the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th 
measure 14|- in. ; the 6th and 7th measure 15j; the 8th, to which there 
is a thumb-key, measures 22^; the 9th 23^-; the 10th 24|-; the 11th 
25 ; the 12th 25-J-. The writer has not seen a Harp-Lute by Light with 
a second finger-board ; it is possible his instrument was not made with 
more than one. 

As a guide to those who may wish to string one of these instru- 
ments, the following are the measurements of the strings of Packer’s 
and Wheatstone’s Harp-Lutes, and the gauge of such strings as have 
been found suitable for Packer’s, Wheatstone’s, and other instruments : * — 

Small finger-board — 
lOj^ in. 

Large finger-board — 

18f in. 

lOj in. 

17L in. 

"I For G gauge F 1st Oct. 

- For E ,, D 2nd Oct. 

J For C „ F 2nd Oct. 

1 For G gauge A 2nd Oct.’ 

[ For E „ F 2nd Oct. 

J For C „ A 3rd Oct. 

1 The instrument was made by T. Poole, and 
has “Wheatstone inventor London” engraved 
upon it. There is little difference between it and 
others, with the additional finger-board the writer 
baa seen, except that it is flatter at the lower end 
to which four gilt balls are attached, on which it 
can be made to stand when desired. The measure- 
ments are as follows : — Extreme length, 32^ inches; 
length of sounding-board, 15j inches ; from upper 
end of sounding-board to bridge, 10§ inches ; 

extreme width of sounding-board, 13^ inches; 
width of upper portion of sounding-board, 8 inches. 

= If coloured strings for F and C cannot be 
obtained, clear strings of the pro|>er gauge can 
be coloured by using black and red ink, and, 
when dry, olive oil. 

3 The Ist string on the violin gauges G Ist 
Oct., but when used on the Harp-Lute the tone 
is thin and poor. 


Packer. Wheatstone. 


22f in. 

21-1 in. 

22f in. 

21^ in. 


23f in. 

22| in. 


24^ in. 

234 in. 


24| in. 

24f in. 


254 in. 

25f in. 


264 in. 

25^ in. 


26| in. 



26| in. 



27 in. 

254 - in. 

gauge F 3rd Oct. 

F 3rd Oot. 

E 4th Oot. 

E 4th Oct. 

D 4th Oct. 

C 4th Oot. or D 4th Oot. 
B 4th Oot. or C 4th Oct. 
B 4th Oct. 

A 4th Oot. 

Silk and Silver. 

The pegs by which the strings on the large finger-board are 
tuned are upon the Harp-Lute at a considerable distance from the 
nuts, and unless the strings are wound round the pegs close to the 
wood, and so properly strained over the nuts, the tone produced by 
the strings may be more or less imperfect. To remedy this, Packer of 

Bath placed above each nut on both 
the large and small finger-boards, 
ivory knobs. Through holes in 
these knobs the strings pass, and 
are thereby drawn down above the 
nuts. This excellent aiTangement 
may not be possible on some instru- 
ments, but a nut such as is shown 
by the diagram the writer has con- 
structed, and found equally effica- 
cious. This form of nut had better 
be fastened to the upper portion 
of the large finger-board by small screwnails. As may be seen, each 
string as it passes the nut is grasped twice, with the result that a 
pure tone is produced. The strings should be sufficiently raised by the 
nut so as to prevent them from striking the finger-boards when pulled 
with moderate force. 

should be s' d 0° *^'^S®^'hourd, the string - When A is on the finger-board the string 

^ * should be G 3rd Oct. 




Open Strings. 

Strings on the Finger-board. 


grd ^ ■ 

Strings on the smaU Finger-board. 

3 1 2 2 3 3 3 3 



t There are A and B strings upon some instruments. 

♦ On soma instruments the strings A and B are u])on the finger-board. 

On many of the instruments, with five or more strings on the 
finger-board, a cavity may be seen between the fourth and fifth strings 
and above the first fret. Into this cavity is inserted a stop, here 
represented, which, when turned, presses the B string above the J 
first fret. Wlien the stop is thus fixed, the string is BS; but * S 
when the stop Is released, the string is Bb.' In Parry’s second edition 
there is a statement that this stop, wliich was veiy defective, had been 
improved, and that it was the opinion of many professors that this 
stop would be better omitted altogether, and when playing in any key 
requiring Bb the string should be tuned to that note. As already 
stated, a thumb-key was attached to the B string when it was removed 
from the finger-board. 

For an instrument with three strings on the finger-board, and 

I Busby's Concert Room Aneedotes. There is the instrument for holding the stop when not m 
generally another cavity upon some portion of use. 




stops and keys to the open bass strings, the foUowing directions for the 
tunin- and arranging the stops and keys will be found sufficient : 

Fix the stops or keys for the B, A. and E strings, then tune 
the instrument to the key of C, which is the original key, the strings 
on the finger-board being tuned to C. E, and G, those on the small 
finger-boai-d, C, E, G, an octave higher, Ihe 
open strings are tuned in octaves downwards. 

To plav in F release the B stop." 

To plav in Bb release the B and E stops.® 



To play in Eb release the B. E, and A stops. Cadence 

To return to the original key of C, fix the B, E, and A stops. 

To play in G fix the F stop. 

To play in D fix the F and C stops.* 

To play in A fix the F, C, and G 
stops and tune the lowest G to GJ.® 

To play in E fix the F, C, G, and D 
stops and tune the lowest G to GiJ.® 





(a f' 

A stops. 

The instrument can also be played in the keys of C, A, D, G, 
and E minor. 

' E*rly instrument^! will require to be treated 
differently. For inatanee, supposing tbe instni- 
ment to have five strings on the finger-board, 
the fourth and fifth, B and A, will re»,uire to 
be lowered to B:» and A> when either note is 
required and again raisetl to Bp and Ap when 
the instrument is to be used either in the key 
of C or in any key in which sharps occur. 

’ When playing one air in F, arranged by 
T. Bolton, the performer is directed to tune the 
low G string to A ; and we find Downes directing 
it to be tuned to A or F as required. 

^ Parry’s directions are to tune tbe lowest C to 
B!? when necessary, bub in the Prelude by Downes 
both C and Bt? occur. Downes must have written 
for an instrument with sixteen strings, or have 
intended the G string to be timed BP. 

* Ventura lowered the C string to A. Downes 
apparently did the same. 

^ Ventura’s directions are to lower the C string 
one-third. Downes apparently did the same. 

* Ventura lowered the C string to A. Downes 
occasionally tuned the G string to E and the C 
string to A. 




“Place the instrument across the body with the neck inclined 
upwards. The position is more easily preserved by having a ribband 
fixed to both ends and slniig over the left shoulder.” 

“The 3 first strings are generally played with the 1st, 2nd, and 
3rd fingers, the 1st for the 3rd or C string, the 2nd for the 2nd or 
E string, and the 3rd for the first or G string; sometimes the 2nd 
and 3rd are played with the 1st finger and the 1st string with the 
2iid finger, and others are struck with the thumb.” 

“ The fingers of the right hand must be held light over the strings 
in an arched position, and the thumb against either of the bass strings 
in a horizontal direction quite straight. The general situation for 
striking the strings is near the Star or sound hole. To produce a 
piano effect play nearer the finger-board with the fingers held in 
rather a horizontal direction, and quite stiff.” ‘ 

The fingering of the bass or open strings of the Harp- Lute is precisely 
the same as that of the Pedal-Harp, x indicating the thumb, and 1, 2, 3 
the first, second, and third fingers ; but as the longest strings are nearest 
to the performer, the fingering is reversed. 

Chords should generally be played in arpeggio. The thumb and the 
fingers grasp the strings, then by a sudden turn of the wrist the 
thumb and the three fingers are released in succession. 

(The Chromatic Scale . ) 

* Parry’s Instruction Book. 


musical instruments 

Easy Preludes in some of the Keys. 

If the directions already given are followed, it is to be hoped any 
possessor of one of these instruments, who wishes to do so, may be 
able to string, tune, and play upon the instrument. The tone of the 







Harp-Lute will be found to resemble that of the Pedal-Harp,' and 
for simple music or accompaniments, when accidentals are not 
required in the bass, it must be excellent ; but even when the Harp- 
Lute is furnished with movable keys, it may not be possible to use 
them when the movement is rapid. Certainly few accidentals below 
C occur in any of the advanced solo pieces the writer has examined. 

Before concluding this notice, some reference should be made to 
the reproduction of a long-forgotten photograph taken during the 
palmy days of Italian Opera, when Grisi was still great, that prince 
of tenors, Mario, in his prime, and II Trovatore the popular opera of 
the day. The costumes are those worn by those great artists during 
the first act of the opera, and Mario is supposed to be singing the 
opening serenade, “ Deserto Sulla Terra,” and accompanying himself 
upon a Harp-Lute.' The photograph is interesting as showing the 
appreciation of an artist, who in stage costume, etc., was so much 
in advance of his time, for the beautiful little instrument that has 
been described ; but we, with our more exact knowdedge, cannot but 
be surprised to find a troubadour in a supposed fifteenth-century 
costume playing upon an early nineteenth-century instrument before 
a Victorian viUa ; but, when this photograph was taken, such 
anachronisms passed unheeded, and the prettily conceived picture 
was lithographed for the title-page of J. L. Hatton’s w'ell-known song. 
“ Come live with me and be my love,” one of the few English songs 
occasionally sung by Mario. 

The writer thinks it desirable to notice here another of Edward Light’s 
inventions, the “ Harp-Lyre.” Dr. Busby states that it diflers from the 
Harp- Lute “ only in the shape of the body, which is flat at the back 
and somewhat similar to that of the Apollo Lyre.” This instrument 
is mentioned in the following curiously worded advertisement which 
appeared in the Caledonian Mercury, 30th December 1815 : — 

“ Musical Cabinet for Portable Instruments, the most desu'able 
ever before ofi'ered to the public mind of superior judgment and taste, 
viz., newly invented Harp-Lute and Harp-Lyre, which produce the 

' Ventura asserted that his improved Harp- of this instrument is to be attributed principally to 
Lute was “ eciiial to the Harp.” Light stated its resemblance iu point of toue to the real Harp.’ his instrument had ■' the same sound and = The instrument is singularly like that by 
otTcet as real harps"; Parry, that ” the celebrity Wheatstone already noticed. 




It is impossible to say what amount of music was written for the 
Harp-Lute, but considering the number of these instruments manu- 
factured by the various makers, it must have been considerable. 

Besides the Instruction Book already mentioned, Light certainly 
produced a number of volumes. In one of these, Book the First No 3 
Vol. II., there are six Divertimentos and Airs with variations, also ’shorter 
pieces, composed and arranged by him. Another, No. 3, Duets for the 
Harp-Lute and Pianoforte or Harp, has already been referred to. 

R. L. Downes, a professor of music at Cheltenham and Bath, before 
referred to, prepared selected airs and lessons as practical exercises, with 
four favourite Venetian songs arranged for the Regency Harp-Lute, to 
show the brilliant effect of additional strings, and the application of 
keys and other improvements, in the keys of F, C, G, D, and A. Also 
Op. 4 , twelve favourite songs adapted to popular national airs with an 
accompaniment for the Harp-Lute, in the keys of F, G, C, and D. Three 
of these songs are Irish Melodies which Moore's words have made 
familiar, but Moore’s words being copyright, others had to be supphed. 
The accompaniments are all full. Also a 2nd Book of “Select Airs with 
preludes as Practical Lessons and 4 Favourite Italian Songs” in the 
keys of G, C, D, F, EB. These were published by C. Wheatstone and Co. 

Angelo Benedetto Ventura, who taught the instrument to the 
Princess Charlotte of Wales, as aheady stated invented the Imperial 
Harp-Lute. He published twelve Italian, French, and English 
airettes arranged with an accompanmient for the Harp-Lute, in the 
keys of F, C, G, and A. The accompaniments are very full. On the 
title-page of these airs the following appears : — “ N.B. — The above songs 
are adapted for his last new improved Harp-Lute, superior to any 
other yet invented, as it is equal to the Harp.” 

He also published the following “ Duetto con varidazioni for the 
Harp-Lute and Spanish Guitar,” in the keys of C and G. Thema with 
six variations for the Imperial Harp-Lute, with an accompaniment for 
the Pianoforte or Spanish Guitar, in the key of C. A new and elegant 
collection of waltzes, minuets, and marches for the Imperial Harp-Lute, 
with an accompaniment for the Spanish Guitar, in the keys of C and G. 


Besides the before-mentioned, C. Wheatstone apparently published 
twelve Quadrilles for two Harp-Lutes, or for a Flute with a Lute 
accompaniment; also a selection of favourite Airs arranged for the 
Harp-Lute in parts.* 

Thomas Bolton, before referred to, probably the musician of the 
same name who contributed to Parry’s Tutor, published a collection 
of Lessons, Songs, Marches, and Dances for the Harp-Lute or Lyre. 
These were selected from his own musical publications or adapted by 
him, also three Italian Songs with accompaniments. 

Bolton also arranged some of the Songs and Airs in Don Giovanni, 
toc'ether with a number of other melodies for the Harp-Lute or 
Harp-Guitar. These were pubUshed by C. Wheatstone. 

Amongst “a collection of Airs, Marches, Dances,” etc., by Bolton, 
some for'’ the Lute are apparently intended for the Harp - Lute. 
Probably other teachers whose names are now forgotten wrote for the 
instrument ; if so, and such compositions are discovered amongst collec- 
tions of old music, it is to be hoped they will be preserved, or forwarded 
to the British Museum for preservation. 

Amongst a collection of music in MS. obligingly placed at the dis- 
posal of the writer by Dr. Kendrick Pyne of Manchester are several 
advanced pieces for the Harp-Lute, some by R. L. Downes, T. Light, 
R. Light, and others. 

1 The writer is indebted to the Messrs. Songs, by S. J. A. Fitzgerald, he will learn how 
Wheatstone tor No. 1 of this series. In it Bishop's well-known melody came to be so 
“Home Sweet Home” appears as a “Sicilian named. 

If the reader turns to Stories of Famous 


80 « 


Ihe writer has recently had the advantage ol’ examining a volume of 
music for the 1 [ai*p-Lute, amongst which there is “ New and Complete 
Instructions,” by Edward Light, from which the following has been 
extracted : — 


“ Place it ill the lap, nearly peipemlictilar, rather inclining a little backwardij, so that 
the performer can ju^L hiiv'e u side-view of the strings ; the left arm a little raised and 
held in a semicircular for m, the point of the thumb placed in the groove or hollow at the 
back of tlie neck, the forefinger a little above the nut or ledge of ivory, at the lop of 
the finger-ijoard, with all the lingers rather curved and hanging easy anil close as possible 
to the strings, so as not quite to touch them ; the riglit arm to be kept down, and pressed 
gently against the side of the Instrument, which serves not only to keep it steady, but 
likewise affords :i more coiiimanding action of the fingers. The thumb of the right hand 
should generally be kept straiglit upwards, the fingers a little bent, and regularly inclined 
downwards ; the fullest and best tone is produced by touching the strings about miilway 
between the Bridge anil the finger-board; but in onler to produce the different effects of 
Forte and Piano, we play higher or lower at pleasure.” “ Observe in pjissing the thumb; 
let it always be above the fingers, never under.” 

This Tutof is a late edition, as the thumb-key for the G-string is 
noticed. This key is not found on Light’s early instruments. As already 
stated, Light tuned his instrument one-sixth lower than the written 
notes, ['le evidently treated it not as a Guitar, but as a Harp. His 
instruction with regard to the “slur” is, when two notes in the treble 
are. to be produced from the same string, one irom a fret and the other 
an open note, the latter is to be struck first, and without pulhng the 
string a second time the finger is to be pressed above the fret. Ihis is 
the “slur” ascending. For the “slur” descending, pull the string from 
the fret and then draw off the finger and the open note will sound. The 
same when three notes are to be slurred. Light says this method ot 
lingering is excellent in rapid passages. In the Tutor, besides exercises, 
etc., in C, there is music in A minor, F major, D minor, G major, and 



E minor, and it appears that he produced harmonic sounds not only frona 
open strings, but from strings pulled from the frets, ihe following also 

appears : — 

-Mmanv import, . or imitaiioas of thio a.lmircl little iastrument have crept abroad 
and are imp;>se,i upon ladies as Edward Light’s real Harp-Lutc, the inveu or hmks , 
here a duty incumbent on him to declare, that all imstroments unanufacmred for him, and 
by his order, are numbered, and also luu'O his n.ame and address upon tlieni, and that no 
otheri? are real Harp-Lutes.” 

At the end of the Tutor there is a list of music already published 
for the Harp-Lute by Light. The following have not been noticed in 
the previous list of music : — 

VrtL. I. 

No. 1. The Tutor. 

No. -2. A Collection of Songs, Airs, etc., for the Lute, with an accom- 
paniment for the Piano-Forte or Harp, . .4s. 

No. 4. Collection of Songs with accomiianiments, . 4s. 

No. 5. Collection of Hymns and Psalmsd etc., . . .4s. 

No. 6. Collection of Songs with accompaniments, . .4s. 

VOL. ii. 

• No. 1. Collection of Songs with accompaniments, . . .4s. 

No, 2. Collection of Italian Canzonets, etc., for the Piano-Forte, with 

accompaniments for the Harp-Lute, . .4s. 

No. 4. Collection of Scotch and Irish Melodies, . .4s. 

No. 5. Do. do. do., 2nd set, . 4s. 

No. 6. Italian, French, and English Aricttcs, .... is. 
Preludes and Recreations, ..... 6s. 

VoL. HI. 

No. 1. Favorite .Airs with var" , etc., composed and adapted for the 
Harp-Lute by Tiiomas Light of Bath. To be had at 
Edward Light’s place of business, 8 Foley Place. 

E R R A T A 

P. 68, 14th line, delete " which” and insert “as did also J. Royland ? of Sheffield, as.” 
19th line, alter “by” insert “the.” 

23rJ line, after “the” in.sert “Donaldson Museum.” 

Thin part U for the Harp-Lute and Lyre, which instrument Light claims to have inveuted, 
Probably tlir Harp-Lyre alrearly noticed. 

the h a K P - l u t e 






musical instruments 







N9 3. 

the ha EP- lute 




musical instkuments 








'J'a'T. 6 







Wbat'i thu dull Town Ui me, Ro bin'i not n«Ar1 wm'I I wuh'd to 

— p r 

p-n f fi 

J i 


3. 3- 

What made th' Aiiembly thine I 
Robin Adair. 

'What made the Ball ao final 

Robin Adair. 

What, when the Plaj wu o’er, 
What mado mj heart to aorol 
Oh I it waa parting with 

Robin Adair. 

But, tho' thon'rt eold to me, 
Eohin Adair. 

I U (till be true to lhao, 

Robin Adair. 
For him I lov’d to well 
Still in my heart ahall dwell; 
Oh I I shall ne'er forget 

Robin Adair. 



musical instkumexts 



musical instkuments 










L : £ jj S r. 

crveviiv: /.* 2 


a !a ^V;^l1z. 











T H E B R I T I S IT - L U T E - H A R P 


Edward Light, tlie inventor of this instrument, hy first naming it 
the British-Lnte-Harp, and afterwards, without explanation or excuse, 
changing that name to Dital-ITarp, if he did not confuse tliose of 
his own time, has left a puzzle to posterity. So it may perhaps be 
better to state plainly :ind at once that the term Dital-Hai'p can be 
applied to a British-Lutc-Harp with either seventeen or eighteen strings, 
but the term British-lAite-Harp cannot be applied to a Dital-Haip which 
has nineteen strings. 

Light, who had for a considerable time been engaged in endeavouring 
to perfect his Harp-Lute, obtained a patent upon the 18th June 181C 
for certain mechanisms which he proposed to apply to that instrument. 
By these mechanisms the strings were to be lengthened or shortened, 
so as to enable the performer to produce a semitone lower or in 
advance on any one at pleasure. Four distinct mechanisms were 
patented : three of these were intended to draw the strings from 
nuts to frets, the fourth to raise the string above the nut, so that 
the string, when raised, would sound a semitone lower than when 
on the nut. 

The proposed instrument in form resembled Light’s Harp- 
Lute, which perhaps had not arrived at its latest development, and the 
additional C string in the treble had not then been placed upon the finger- 
board. Light filled up the gap which occurs on the Harp-Lute in the bass 
by adding A and B strings. He also added two additional bass strings 
E and F. He now had an instrument ranging from E to C without 
a gap. The C, E, and G strings, as on the Harp-Lute, weie on a 
finger-board, but it is clear his intention was to tune his new instiument. 
not like the Harp-Lute in G, but as the Single Action Harp in EE 
So, to overcome the difficulty presented by the EtI on the finger- 




board, he attached above the nut from which that string was stretched 
one of the small mechanisms for which he obtained a patent,* which, 
when pressed, raised the E string off the nut, the string being then Ek 

The mechanisms for which he obtained the patent Light called 
Ditals or Thumb-keys, and to every string, with the exception of C 
and G in the treble, these Ditals or Thumb-keys were to be applied. 
Those to be apphed to the strings from B to B were to be of the 
same form, but on the four lowest bass strings different Ditals or 
Thumb-keys were to act. In the illustration supplied with the 
specification only one appears, but it was his intention, as he states, 
to apply them to all the four strings. The instrument was intended 
to rest upon the lap of the performer ; so, to the lower portion of the 
body, a stand was attached. As it had a finger-board like the Harp- 
Lute, it was to be played upon with the right hand like that instrument, 
the fingeis of the left hand being engaged in pressmg the strings to 
the frets when necessary, wliile the thumb of the left hand, when 
required, pressed the Ditals. These Ditals were not intended to be 
pressed except by the thumb, and were consequently called Thumb- 
keys. They were fixed stops at pleasure, but when requii'ed they 
could be released. The eyes through which the strings passed, and by 
which they were to be pulled down to the frets, were made sufficiently 
broad at the top to enable the performer to press such of them as 
were within reach and so produce passing accidentals, that is, if it 
was found more convenient to produce an accidental by that means 
than by the ordinary method of pressing a Dital by the thumb. This 
is a brief description of the instrument, one of which was constructed, 
and which is represented in the reproduction in outline of the coloured 
drawing lodged with the specification. 

This instrument Light called the British-Lute-IIarp ; but when 
It wa.s before him he must have seen that with slight alterations 
it would become a small harp, and could be played upon with both 
hands~the bass with the left and the treble with the right. He 
consequently removed the stop from the E string and added D, F, and 
A stnngs to the treble, placing one or two of the highest strings on 
a finger board with frets. The sham harmonic curve, which may be 

' Figures }> and 9 on the diagram. 




A.l) WIG Junr.m.NV k)H 

jUrdln.' Gvoik.i Kuwaiui livHf and M'iluam .Si*«>TTiswooDr. 
int)T< tnihf OirrnS tnrxi Firfllnil Mnn'Mv Ifi.**? 



seen in the illustration, ruoeived additional support, which enabled 
Light to attach a Dital stop, similar to the others in use, to the 
A string in the bass. The Ditals or Thumb-keys, which he had 
proposed to attach to the lowest bass strings, were abandoned, and 
replaced by three loop stops similar to those in use on the Harp- 
Lute. It not being possible to attach Ditals to the strings in the 
treble above C, these strings, when a change of key became necessary, 
were to be lifted from the nuts, from which they were stretched, and 
placed in notches on the frets below the nuts. The manner of playing 
upon the instrument being now changed from that origuially intended, 
and the left hand, except on rare occasions, being required to play 
the bass, the iirst linger bent was hereafter to be used for pressing 
the Ditals. The term Thumb-key, which occurs in the specifica- 
tion, now a misnomer, was discontinued, and Dital stop took its 

It is impossible to say how' many of these instruments were made. 
The specimen. No. 4, in the South Kensington Museiuu, illustrated in 
Grove’s Dictionary under the title Dital-Harp, is one,' and it may be 
remarked that the instrument referred to luis no stand, but has a 
button at the lower end to which a ribbon was to be attached. It 
is possible this instrument may have been specially made to suit some 
pupil or performer on the Harp-Lute ; certainly the A string in the 
treble which is on it was shortly after abandoned, and we next find 
the instrument with seventeen strings and with a stand. 

A New and Complete Directory to the Art of Playing on the 
Patent British-Lute-Harp w;is prepared by Edward Light, a copy of 
which may be seen in the British Museum." In the catalogue of the 
Library the date is given as IS 17, on what authority is not stated, 
but in the work the pupil is referred to an engraving, to show the 
manner of holding the instrument and the position of the fingers ; so 
presumably the engraving," which represents . a lady in the act of 
playing upon the instrument, was issued along with the Directory. 
This engraving, wliich is stated to represent the British-Lute-Harp, 

> The writer has aeeu an instrument with fur an instrument with auvoiiteeii strings. 
figlitci'U strings, No. 99. * 'I’his is aquatint and line, liy J. Minoei and 

* It is evident that this Tutor was prepared Stadler, from a drawing by iiuniey. 


M U S I (’ A L INS T K IT M K N 1 S 

„„ ,,„Ui.l,ed, I ISI» 1.. Ub. Hi»cto,, 



Li.'ht afterwards added two additional strings, A and B, to tlie treble, 
the bop stops to the three bass strings were abandoned, and these 
strings were furnished with Uital stops, and the name of the instrument 
changed from BritLsh-Lute-Harp to Dital-Harp. A new Directoi-y had 
now to be prepared. The engraved title-page of the original Directory 
was retained, the name of the instrument being altered. The engraving 
of the lady playing the instrument was ;rgain issued — this time with 
the title Dital-Harp— and a new Preface and other letterpress engraved. 
Most of the plates of exercises and music were retamed, but altered 
when necessary, that is, up to page ’20, after which page entirely new 
music was printed. This new Directory, which is stated to be the 
second edition, is dated November 1, 1819. In it all the music 
formerly issued for the British-Lute-Harp was again advertiserl as for 
the Ditid-Harp, and additional music for the new instrument also 
appears in the advertisement. This list was afterwards added to as 
new music was issued. Eventually the Directory was olfered to the 
public without the engraving (the plate perhaps being worn out or 
the costume considered antiquated), also without date or list of music. 

The mstrument in point of form was at its best before it received 
the two additional strings and its new name (see No. 84 illustrated). 
After that the body was increased in size ; the number of strings to 
be u.sed for the bass, which was originally nine, was increased to 
ten (see No. IGO), and eventually to eleven. The spacing of the 
strings was also increased, the sham harmonic curve abandoned, and a 
much heavier' and more rigid instrument, occasionally without sound-hole 

' On account of the weight, tliese late iustru- portion of the stand there is usually a wooden 
ments are steady on the lap. The chief difficulty support. Attach to each side of this support 
in playing sonic pieces on the early inatruments pieces of shett-leud, and the additional weight 
■a want of steailineoa, hut the weight may be will prohnWy help to steady the instrument, 
wmewhat mcrcased in the tollowing manner: The stand is not intended to be used except 
Itemiwo the screwoaUs by which the stand is when on tlio lap. The instrument is likely to bo 
attached to the mstrument. Across the hoUow broken if placed standing and allowed to fall over. 

Imiun Av IStum'ii 

f’'. ' ' «l ■'•tiullrt 


t* ■*. 



iu front, vvitli Jiiuinislied vibration and tone in the treble, was con- 
structed, of which No. 305 is a specimen. The early, and, indeed, most 
ol' the instruments made before the false harmonic curve was abandoned 
are full and sw'eet, the tone much resembling that of the i’edal-Harp. 

Dr. Busby, in his Concert Room Anecdotes, published in 1825, 
writes as follows : “ The Dital-Harp, also devised by E. Light, and 
.so called from the Italian word dila, finger (the action or machinery' 
by wliich the semitones are effected being pressed by the linger instead 
of the foot), though not unlike the Harp-Lute in form, is totally 
different in the arrangement of its strings, in the method of performing 
on it, and in its general effect. This instrument is strong in tone, 
tuned precisely as is the Pedal-Harp,' and is also played upon with 
both hands, the only difference being that in the way it is held the 
order of the strings is inverted, the longest or bass strings being 
nearest to the performer — a convenience effected by a simple little 
machine attached to each string, for which the inventor obtained 
a patent.” “ 

“ The Dital-Harp may be played on in all the usual Harp keys, and 
every semitone may be expressed at pleasure. Its compass has the 
e.Kteut of three octaves— that is, from Eb below the bass del to 
Eb in alt. Its tone is of a dulcet quahty, and umjuestionably, 
the Pedal-Harp excepted, this instrument is the must ehgdde ac- 
companiment to the human voice.” 

This appreciative paragraph by a cultured musician who bad ample 
opportunity of hearing the Dital-Harp when performers on the 
instrument were numerous, may perhaps induce some ot the possessors 
of these instruments to attempt to play upon them; and it is the 
object of the writer to make tliis not only possible, but simple. But 
before proceeding to that portion of the chapter, it is necessai-y to 
refer to a statement by Dr. Busby to the following effect: “The 
Dital-Harp may be played on in all the usual Harp keys, and every 
semitone may be expressed at pleasure.” This is no doubt what 
Light intended; but Light, a busy man, must have depended upon 
certain instrument-makers, and so defects crept in of w nc ' P™ " J 
Light was unaware. For example, on No. IGO illustrated, 13 canno 

* Tbifl ui correctly reproduced. 

That i8, to the written notes. 



be expressed in the keys of GB and Dfl ; FS and GB cannot be 
expressed in the key of AB ; and DB, FB, and GB cannot be expressed 
in the key of EB. A performer may use a Dital-Harp for years 
without recjuiring any one of the missing notes, but if the readei 
examines the accompanying diagram* of the frets, he will see how in 
some cases the missing notes may be supplied ; for on this diagram an 
additional finger-board — which is shaded — the writer has lately added, 
and upon this additional finger-hoard the three missing notes can be pro- 
duced. It may be of interest here to state that the range of the 
instrument can be increased to four octaves by constructing a small 
finger-board such as represented on the diagram, which finger-board 
can, when required, be made to grasp the aides of the permanent 
finger-board, and so remain in position as long as desired. 

It was not necessary for Dr. Busby to notice the defects in the 
instrument, even if he was aware of them, but it is the writer s 
duty to do so ; for, with all its elegance of form and delightful 
quality of tone, the Dital-Harp is by no means perfect. For instance, 
only one accidental can be produced at a time ; that is, if AB is required 
throughout, as on the Pedal-Harp, two Dital stops must be fixed for the 
bass strings, and one treble string removed from the nut to the fret. 
To produce even a passing accidental, the left hand must drop the bass 
to press a Dital stop or press a string to a fret in the treble. To 
change the key the strings must be rearranged, and, as this takes 
time, a sudden change oi’ key is as a rule impossible. Still, with all 
its defects, the Dital-Harp is a charming instrument, and must be a 
delightful accompaniment for the voice, and within its own limits is 
both in form and tone vastly superior to the Spanish Guitar. 


The mechanism of the Dital-Harp consists of a series of levers 
ranging from one inch and three-quarters to four inches and three- 
eighths in length. These levers are supported at their centres by 
perpendicular supports of steel, each of which, along with the spring 
which keeps the lever in position, is fastened at the lower extremity to 
a large brass plate, about one-tenth of an inch in thickness, which 

* llic dotted lineH show ihe striogs when they are removed from the nuts to the frets. 






M V S I C A 

L instruments 

1 , 1 nf the mechanism. This brass plate is sunk in a 
sustains the of the instninieiit. and there secured by numerous 

:::;ws. Ihf Ihl bem. enclosed by a piece of painted wood fastened 

" t consist of a knob (to be i^essed by the 

A Uitai srup j ^ attached to one end ot 

- ,' :r p":. i 

'1^ “ . ill pi.» Of Ilk. • — » *'■» 

"Tiit-d is' nressed by the finger and it is required to be faxed, it is 
"U^dowLards. and then the notch at the end of the rod becomes 

Ltened as it were to the tooth, the “ 

of the string wliich is drawn back, keeping it in its place. The Dital 

is released by a slight upward push. 

It is obvious that the notch and its corresponding tooth must 
eventiiallv wear away, and when in that state a sUght and accidental 
touch may release the DitaJ and cause inconvenience. Of course, it 
an instrument is so much worn that the stops will not remain fixed 
the whole of the mechanism wiU have to be removed and a new and 
larirer tooth made to replace the one worn away, the notch in the rod 

At the opposite end of the lever a small rod is attached, which 
has a slight ledge .sufiicient to hold in its place a leather washer oi 
buffer, which buffer, ivhen a Dital is released, rests against the brass 
plate through which the remaining portion of the rod passes. At the 


harp N 30 5 





end of this rod there is a screw to which the brass eyehole is secured. 
The harp string passes through the eyehole, and by it the string is 
drawn back when required. 

The diagram already given shows the position and action of the 
springs supplied to the smaller 
levers. The longer levers are 
supplied with a totally diS’erent 
form of spring here represented, 

To remove the mechanism, unscrew all the eyeholes,' unscrew all 
the Dital knobs (these last are usually numbered), unscrew the wooden 
plate at the back. Take out all the screws by which the brass plate 
is fastened to the instrument. If it is required to remove any of the 
levers from the brass plate, they must all be removed (down to the 
one the removal of which is deshed) in the following manner, com- 
mencing with the longest. First unscrew the pin in the centre of 
the lever, then insert a piece of string under the spring, raise the 
spring and push forward the lever until it can be removed. Eemove 
the four follow'ing levers in the same manner. To remove the eight 
shorter levers, fix the stop and press the other end of the lever while 
unscrewing the pin. The above directions must be attended to while 
replacing the levers. Almost all the parts of the mechanism are 
numbered, the five long levers by dots, and the eight short levers by 

The jarring sound rvhioh sometimes occurs when the string is struck 
from the nut, may arise from the groove in the nut being too wide, 
the nut not being high enough, the string not passing directly through 
the eye, or the string not being sufficiently strained over the nut. 

If the jarring sound occurs when the string is stretched fi'om the 
fret, it shows that the Dital does not draw the string down sufficiently 
above the fret, or that the fret is too low. 

To make an instrument which is largely defective correct, the 
mechanism must be removed as before directed, and it is perhaps as 
well to make new nuts and frets throughout. The old frets had better 

' Those for the lower bass strings have genemlly 
eiilurged eyeholes ; consequently the eyehole be- 
longing to the lowest buss string shoulil be lii>t 

removed, tied to a string, the others added iu 
succession, and eventually replaced in their 




be removed by carefuUy sawing lengthways through the centre of 
each fret with a very hne saw and water, afterwards meltmg the 
crlue by applying hot water. The glue and pieces of ivory should be 
removed and the grooves cleaned. Pieces of ivory filed down to the 
proper thickness, each to fit a particular groove, must then be prepared. 
These pieces of ivory must be of greater height and length than the 
frets they are to replace. Looking at the upper 

I 1 side of one of these pieces of ivory when placed in 

U'"'" — 1 the groove, it will take this form, the dotted line 

indicating the probable depth the ivory will be sunk in the wood, that 
is as if a sharp pencil were drawn along it when in position. Now 
find where the string when stretched crosses the ivory, and mark with 
a sharp pencil on the ivory on either side of the string. Between 
these marks make a perpendicular cut downwards with the fine saw, 
but not too far. Gradually open this with a file, knife, and sandpaper 
so as to exactly fit the string, which must be of the proper thickness, 
until, when in position, the string, when tuned to the proper note, will 
ring clear, the string being as near the upper portion of the eye as 
possible. The lower portion of the notch for the string had better be 
cone-shaped. Now find where the string for which 
the continuation of the ivory is .to form a fret 
crosses it, and with a file remove a portion of the 
ivory, which wUl then present this appearance ; trim it roughly with a 
file, but not too close. 

If all the nuts and fi'ets are to be renewed, it is better to commence 
with the lowest bass note, and if necessary make a new nut and glue 
it in position ; all the old nuts and frets having been removed as 
directed, take a piece of ivory, not too thin, but such as 'will go into all 
the grooves, file it to the form of a long fret, higher considerably at 
one end than at the other, make a number ot 
shallow indents on one side. Now place this piece 
of ivory in the groove below the nut of the lowest 
bass .string, which must be tuned up to Elr ; press the knob at the back 
and fix the stop. When the string is stretched from one ol the 
notches, and gives a clear ringing sound without a jar, and at the 
same time when the stop is released the open string does not jar. 



you have the proper height of the fret. Take a fine pair of compa.sses 
and measure the height of the groove (the string has been stretclied 
over) from the surface of the wood. Now glue the nut for the second 
•string (prepared as directed) into the groove, taking particular care 
tliat the string, which must be stretched from the nut, passes directly 
through the eyehole. Press the ivory well into the groove, release 
the string, and see that the nut is perpendicular. When dry, press 
the lowest bass string down by the stop, and just when it meets the 
ivory make a mark on either side of the string. Now cut or file 
between the lines a notch just the thickness of the string, which 
notch is not to be made lower than the measurement previously taken. 
Treat all the other nuts and frets in a similar manner, and you will 
have throughout the bass the proper height of each fret. In no case 
can the fret be lowered, so if there is a jar when the string is struck 
from the nut, if the string is sufficiently strung and is of the proper 
thickness, the jar arises from the string being too high, and the 
notch in the nut may be gradually lowered, testing the string frequently 
untU the jar ceases. A performer is not expected to puD the strings 
with the same force on one of these instruments as on the Pedal-Harp, 
but considerable force can be used wdien the instrument is properly 
constructed. All the nuts and frets having been so 
treated, these must be nicely finished off in a uniform 
manner, carefully sandpapering both the surface, the groove, and the 
notch of each, and afterwards polishing with chamois and whiting. 

The jarring, if it only occurs on a few of the strings when the 
Dital stops are in use, may be prevented by putting thin strips of 
leather through the eyeholes, drawing them tight over the upper 
portion of the eyeholes and fastening them. 

. The arrangement and construction of the nuts and frets for the 
treble strings are more troublesome than for those of the bass ; for 
whereas in the bass there is only a difl’erence in the plane when 
the key is changed fr'om Eb, in the treble there is that difference, 
and also a difference in the spacing of the strings. So taking C. 
the first string, with a Dital stop, and B, the first treble string, 
when preparing the nuts and frets, they must be arranged so as to 
keep the open string D sufficiently apart from C, to allow of the 


™v.l of D 10 tl« fct ivitbool. when on th. fat teing too olo.o to 

C o nd lb. »« '">b "S’"' “ "t " Tl 

diagram represents (as seen from above) the nut. 1, 

from v-hich the Eb string is stretched, and the fret, 

l» I o_ on which the D string may occasionally be placed. 

The Eb string is ’shown in two positions: at 3 it is on the _ nut ; 

fl fi-om the nut to the fret it is at 4. The D string is 
when removed h-om tne nui. bu uuc ^ ^ ^ t- , i • 

also shown in two positions : when on the nut it is at 5, the fret being 

so arranged as to prevent jarring ; at 2 it is as it would be when 

removed from the nut to the fret. The treble strings must not jar when 

on the nuts, and they must not jar when on the frets ; and there should 

be no liability on the part of any of the strings to jump from either nut 

or fret when struck on either one side or the other. All that has been 

described has been carried out on No. 160, and with complete success. 


As the Dital-Harp strings are as a rule shorter than the corre- 
sponding strings upon the Pedal-Harp, and as many of these instruments 
are lightly constructed and unable to rvithstand the excessive strain 
caused by the tension of ordinary Harp strings, thinner strings must be 
selected. No doubt the three lowest strings on the British-Lute-Harp 
were silk and wire, but it is unnecessary that the corresponding strings 
on the early Dital-Harps should be so. 

On a Dital-Harp, the longest or nineteenth string of which is 24:)- 
inches, and the shortest string 8f inches, the following strings may be used : 
For the Eb string, B -tth octave, or perhaps even A 4th octave, Erard s 
gauge. The F string, C 4th octave, Erard’s gauge, and all the others 
one-fourth thinner than the corresponding strings on the Pedal-Harp. 

For instruments of a late make, where the longest string is 
27^,! inches, and the shortest 7 J inches, strings one-third thinner than 
the con’esponding strings on the Pedal-Harp will be more suitable. 
If there is any difficulty in procuring strings of the proper gauge stained 
black and red for the F and C strings, ordinary white or clear strings 
of the correct gauge can be stained by passing cotton wool saturated 
with black or red ink over them, and when dry, olive oil. It is better 
the stringing of the instrument should be attended to by the person 



who intends to perform upon it, otherwise strings totally unfit for 
tlie instrument may be placed upon it, and perhaps the sounding- 
board seriously damaged. Probably the difBoulty of getting lightly 
constructed instruments to withstand the tension of such a number of 
strings was the cause of the construction of the hea%’y and rigid 
instruments previously noticed. 

Proper strings having been provided for the liarp, all the Dital 
stops being released, and all the treble strings upon the nuts, the 
lowest string is to be tuned to Eb French pitch, or D3 on the Piano, 

and the remaining strings 
shown on the following diag 
^ ^ , a , 

tuned in a series of fifths and octaves as 



!'■-)■ ply 1 


',9 1. S ^ 

Cadence or Proof. •< 

^ frtfrr 1 


AMUT of the DITAL-HARP. ^ ^.h 

Hand _ ^ ± £ * 

Left Hand ^ ^ .e*- ^ 

± * 

THE Chromatic scale. 

To shew the use and order of all the Ditals and Stopped Notes. 


musical instruments 

produce. The semibreve shows the 
natural state; the crotchets, the not 

The bars include the notes w 

the notes which each string can be made to 
ireve shows the note the string sounds in its 
•otchets, the notes which can be produced from 

1 A TA' + .-vl Ko liTT 


■er of holding and playing upon the dital-haep 

Place the instrument in the lap nearly perpendicular, but mclinmg 
a little to the left, so that the performer may just have a side view 
of the strings. The arms should be a little raised, m an easy semi- 
circular form; the left wrist alone should be allowed to touch the 
instrument, which rests against it, the left hand being free to pull 
the bass strings as shown in the illustration. The thumb and fingers 
of the right hand are to grasp the treble strings. Place the thumb, 
which must alwai/s he held as upright as possible, upon the E string, 
and the three first fingers upon the next strings, btrike with the 
thumb, then pull with the first finger, which falls, then with the 
.second finger, cross the thumb to the B string, and immediately pull 
with the third finger, and place the three lingers in position. As a 
rule, the fingers are always on the strings ; that is, before a movement 
is concluded, the thumb or fingers are preparing for what is to 
follow. Chords are generally played as arpeggios, i.e. the thumb 
and the three fingers grasp the strings, and by a sudden turn of 
the wrist the thumb strikes first, and then three fingers pull in 

Exercise for the Left Land. 

Exercise for the Rig'ht hand. 





When playing Ex. 11, slide the thumb from the G to the Ab string 
at the moment the Bb string is pulled by the first finger ; then slide 
the thumb from the Ab string to the Bb string, when the second finger 
pulls the C string, and immediately the first and second fingers cross 
the third, and are placed upon the strings above. Then slide the thumb 
from the Bb string to the C string, when the third finger pulls the 

11 -: 


D string. The third huger is then to 
the second Huger. When descending, 

be placed upon the string above 
the hngers are not to slide. 

When playincr Ex. 1 4, the thumb slides from Bb to C, then strikes 
the C string. and°the fingers pull the D, E, and F strings m succession. 
When descending, the third finger slides. A line above or below two 
notes indicates that the thumb or the third finger is to slide. 

When playing six notes in succession, the thumb and the first finger 
are on the strings. The thumb strikes, then crosses to the string above 
the first finger, the first finger pulls the string, and the thumb and 
the three fingers strike and puU in succession. 

To produce harmonic tones, press slightly the edge of the right 
hand, just below the little finger, as near to the centre of the string as 
possible. Then strike the string with the middle finger, and at the 
same instant remove the hand from the string. 

When four succeeding notes fall upon the same Ime or space, they 
should be fingered by the thumb and the three fingers in succession. 

The Plain. Turn as mark’d. Explain’d. 

Slur after the Note — Explain'd. The double Appo§^iatura Explaind. 



The Shake 


Grace and Shake __ Explain’d. 


The B^t—this Grace is always made from a semitone below. Eiplain’d. 

a nt T t ^ as this, to give many exercises. 

Harp Tutor (if possible with exercises in Eh) had better be procured ‘ 

and the fingering reversed. After a little practice, one or two interviews 
with a professional harpist will be of advantage, as, although unable 

to play the Dital-Harp. he could detect an incorrect method of playing 
in another. r j s 

So far all the exercises, etc., have been in the key of Eb. the original 
ey. By attending to the directions hereafter given, the Dital-Harp can 
be played upon in seven additional major keys. 

To change from Eb to Bb major, fix 
the Ditals for the A strings, and remove 
the A string in the treble from the nut 
to the fret. Cadence 

To change from Eb to F major, fix 
the Ditals for the A and E strings, and 
remove the A and E strings in the treble 
from the nuts to the frets. Cadence 
To change from Eb to C major, fix 
the Ditals for the A, E, and B strings, 
and remove the A, E, and B strings in 
the treble from the nuts to the frets. 


To change from Eb to G major, fi.v 
the Ditals for the A, E, B, and F strings, 
and remove the A, E, B, and F strings 
in the treble from the nuts to the frets. 


‘ The First Six \Veek8 for the Harp, by N. C. Bochsa, is excellent, but requires to be transposed. 



musical instkuments 

To change from Eb to D major, fix the 
Ditals for the A, E, B, E, and C strings, 
and remove the A, E, B, and F strings 
in the treble from the nuts to the frets. 


To change from Eb to A major, fix the 
Ditals for the A, E, B, F, and G strings, 
and remove the A, E, B, and F strings 
in the treble from the nuts to the frets. 


To change from Eb to EJ major, fix 
the Ditals for all the bass strings, and 
remove aU the strings in the treble from 
the nuts to the frets. Cadence 

The key of E 5 is scarcely used, as the music can be played in Eb. 

After playing in any key, except Eb, all the Ditals that have been fixed 
should be released, and all the strings on the frets removed to the nuts. 

The writer has not met with music in a minor key for this instrument, 
but presumably the Dital-Harp can be played in the same minor keys as 
the Single Action Harp. 

Before concluding this chapter, the writer considers it desirable to 
notice the manner in which the Dital-Harp has been represented by artists. 


Some years since a drawing entitled “ The Harp-Lute ” appeared 
in the Water-Colour Boom of the Royal Academy. In this picture 
a lady is represented, presumably in the act of playing upon an instru- 
ment which is not a Harp-Lute, as the artist supposed, but is a 
Dital-Harp. The instrument is placed with the .shortest strings 
nearest to the performer ; in fact, in an Incorrect and absurd position. 
Later on, another picture was exhibited at the Royal Academy, in 
which a lady is represented as singing and presumably accompanying 
herself upon a Dital-Harp. In this picture the longest strings are 
nearest to the supposed performer, and so far it is correct. But the 



instrument, which is unsupported as it should be by the left wrist, 
is leaning back, and the fingers of the left hand, instead of grasping 
or pulling the bass strings as is usual, or pressing or releasing a Dital 
stop in the bass, or pressing a string to a fret in the treble, as they 
occasionally may be, are represented as wandering over or pulling 
portions of the strings high above the nuts, from which no notes can 
be produced. One would suppose that the first thing an artist, who 
wishes to introduce an instrument into a picture, should be acquainted 
with, is the correct manner in which the instrument to be represented 
should be held when played upon ; but the producers of these pictures, 
who by their works have handed down to posterity representations of 
this once favourite instrument as being played upon, show that they 
are or were singularly ignorant of the matter. 


In the following list, the music published for the British-Lute-Harp 
appears in Italics. These pieces and others were afterwards advertised 
as “ Music already published for the Patent Dital-Harp ” : — 

A New and Complete Director ij. 

Euterpds Melange, containing a variety of favourite National Airs. 

Divertimentos or Airs with Variations, with Introductory 
Preludes — 

No. 1. Air from Achille et Deidamic. 

No. 2. A favourite Tema Pleyel. 

No. 3. “ 0 Dolce Concento." 

No. 4. “Ah! vot/s dirai-je.” 

No. 5. “Ar hyd y nos.” 

No. 6. “ Ye Banks and Braes." 

Duets for the Dital-Harp, and Pianoforte, with Flute Accom- 
paniment — 

No. 1. “ E Amove iin Ladroncello.” 

No. 2. “ Non pin Andrai.” 

No. 3. “ La mia Dorabella.” 

No. 4. “ Notte e Giorno, and Batti, batti." 



Six Canzonets for the Voice, with an Accompaniment for the Dital- 
Hai'jp 0)' Picinoforte. 

Melodia Sacra, or a choice Collection of the most favourite Hymns. 
Favourite Airs and Waltzes, etc. Set 1. 

Six Venetian Canzonets, with an Accompaniment for the Dltal- 
Harp or Pianoforte. 

Favourite Airs and Waltzes, etc. Set 2. 

Preludes and Cadences m various keys. By Eichard Light. 

Single Songs with an Accompaniment 

“Sei hella, sei buona," Canzonetta Napoletana. 

I saw thee weep. Canzonet. Poetry by Lord Byron. Music 
by B. Light. 

Kate Kearney. Canzonet. 

Amante Irresolute. Canzonetta Pastorale. Music by R. Light. 
0 Nanny, wilt thou gang with me ? 

The Fairy Bower. Canzonet. Music by R. Light. 

C’est toujours Toi. 

Far in the West. By R. Light. 

To thy Spirit I Bow. By R. Light. 

In both the Ist and 2nd editions of the Directory there are easy 
pieces in the eight keys, and in the second edition a few vocal pieces, 
with accompaniments, and two Duets for the Dital-Harp and Pianoforte. 
Richard Light also arranged a number of Airs, such as — The Blue Bells 
of Scotland, The Clifton Waltz, Minuette from Don Giovanni, and a 
Welsh Rondo for the Dital-Harp and Pianoforte. No doubt much 
additional music was written or arranged for the Dital-Harp, but with 
the exception of No. 3 of Divertimentos, etc., and a fragment of Favourite 
Airs and Waltzes, etc., No. 1, both reproduced, the writer has not met 
with any advanced music for the instrument. 







the dital-hakp 


('A I'KlflLl 

Divertimentos >i?3. 



D^ertimentos N?3. 




Divo.rtimcn'u^ \? 3. 






4 . 

Oivf NV 3. 




DiverUm#*nfos N93. 










M U S 1 C A 

I instkuments 


/ 1 1, , 

^ ^ 1 

1 ^ 1 

< p 


J ^ ^ •p'_ J ^ 

- # 




m n 


■ ‘ TliU minnet »u eompoied by Si^or Edelnuni, and ii the concloding movement ol his SonstA 1 Op. 7. The minoet slone will 
fean-l m Bodd’i Divertimentos (or the Hsrp, Op. 2. p. 16, hut without the composer's name Lstec on it wss pohlisbed es » Trio ior 
stringed inatniments, u Miu Wsde’i Minuet, hot wtthont the composer's name. 

tiik 1)Ita].-hai:p 








Airs and Waltzes \'?1. 


action by pressure 



The reader may recoUect how Light, when endeavouring to produce a 

Lwrf r , ^ different instrument Where 

“ f a more ingenious mechanist almost succeeded 

^igelo Benedetto Ventura,' Professor of the Hai-p-Lute Spanish 
Guitar, Lyre Apollo Lyre, and of the Harp-Ventura (Jho had formerly 
been instructor to the Princess Charlotte of Wales), now came to tlm 
front, and on the 2tst Feliruary 1828 obtained a patent for certain 
mprovements on the Harp-Lute. As the statemL in the speci- 
fication IS brief, the winter thinks it advisable to reprint it in extenso, 
so that^the reader may see how difiieult it is to understand from 
Venturas diagrams and descriptions the manner in which the keys or 

stops become fixed when the mechanism is worked by what he calls 
the lever action : — 

‘‘The first is my improvement on the Hai-p-Lute, now called by 
me the Harp-Ventura, and is represented by a complete drawing of 
the instrument marked with the letters A, standing upright on a flat 
bottom by itself the front outwards, without any pedestal, and has a 
small box underneath which opens by a spring for the convenience of 
carrying a small quantity of strings and the like at the top, for the 
purpose of holding the tuning key. Tiie body of this instrument is 
a different shape to any yet ever invented, and wffl be further described 
heieafter. This instrument consists of seventeen strings marked C 

‘ He resided at 2 Little Titcbfield Street, Port- 
land Street, in 1S15. V'e hoar of him at 48 
Cirencester Place, Portland Place, in 1828, and 
later on at 43 Great Maiy-le-bone Street, Portland 
Place. It may not be out of place here to state 
that Ventura invented an instrument called by 
him the fmperyal Lyre. A specimen appears to 
hare been recently sold by Messrs. Puttick and 
Simpson, and is described by a correajiondcnt as 
“smaller than tho Lyre-Guitar” (an error for 
“Apollo- Lyre”), and as haring twelve strings. 

Besides an Imperial Harp-Lute, Ventura also 
invented and patented an improved Guitar which 
he called the Ventura Guitar. This instrument 
has seven strings, a hollow finger-board with 
mechanism, and some special mechanism attached 
to the seventh string. The instrument is illns- 
trated and described in the specification which 
forms part of that of 21st February 1828 for 
the Harp-Ventura. He wrote principally for the 
Guitar, but he also wrote for the Harp-Lute, 
Imperial Lyre, etc. 


musical instruments 

ftwo more may be added to the ba.s) ; some of these strings are made 
f catgut, some of catgut and silk covered ivith we. my invention 
and some of silk covered with wire, seven of wkch strings are played 
upon three different finger-boards (marked with the letters D), with 
frets or bars on them; the rest of the strings are fixed to the top of 
the neck of the instrument to part of a machine, after the manner 
of the <rrand Pedal-Harp, each string passing between a fork for the 
purpose'^of altering the notes from their original tone to the flat, shai-p, 
or natural, performed by the other part of the machine fixed near the 
fin<rer-board in the neck of the instrument called a pollice, and which 
wiU be more particularly described hereafter. The great improvement 
of this instrument is, that it has all the properties of the grand Pedal- 
Harp, as well as that of the instrument the Harp-Lute, and which is 
produced by the construction of the body, and the machineiy fixed to 
the top and neck of the instrument now about to be described. The 
machine affixed to the neck and top of the instrument (see Drawfing 
marked X, X) is made part of brass or other metal, part steel, and 
part watch-spring, and is as follows : — 

“The Figure 1 in the Drawing is a representation of the stud to 
support the strings intended for the bass ; 2, the fork between which 
the strings pass to alter the note from its original tone to flat, sharp, 
or natural ; 3, the arber to screw into the fork ; 4, the spring to attach 
to the arber, and fixed to a small pillar to make the fork act ; 5 is 
the small pillar, with a cavity to admit the spring, which is fastened 
with a small pin ; 6 is a representation of two of the pollice levers, one 
with a straight end, and one bent ; 7, the lever spring to catch the 
lever to make the fork act, which is performed by a pull with the thiunb; 
8, the trigger to attach to the lever spring, which makes the fork act 
instantaneous, it being connected with the conductors hereafter de- 
scribed ; 9 is a representation of a pollice performed by pressure ; 1 1 is 
a representation of the before-mentioned sections 2, 3, 4, 5, G. 7, and 8, 
complete with the conductors and cranks, as in the machine, it being a 
single action acting only on one of the forks ; 12, the like representation, 
with the conductors and cranks acting on two of the forks, which 
may he increased to three or more ; 1 3 is the like by pressure and 
crank; 14, a representation of the seven pollices complete by lever; 


• ««>s ¥ in 


THE A R P- V E N T tJ R A 

15 the like by pressure. B represents a ponte volante, or shifting 

budge, fixed at the bottom of the bodv of tlio Ir, f x > ^ 

- 1 • ] • 1 ] , . y the instrument, aud under 

winch IS a small machiTip frt xi • 

l.ridg.. Wkiol. n„ke tk. i„iM.n „f u,. Lt” - fc 

.f .k. ponte ™,n.t. tko in.ttnJ.^Tlk. 

tko banoon. E t,p„,e„t, Hm .ij. „f u.e i,„tmnont, ..kick i. f„„ 
tko front to he book „f , 

ne., ..e-tknol le» „ ,h„. ih. f„„, p ^ 

r::i. * "• “• -»<> - 

The writer has carefuUy examined an early Harp-Ventura, the 
mechanism of winch is worked by pressure, and it will perhaps simplify 
matters to ignore the specification and describe the instrument and 
mechanism, ^ both of which are shown by the plate. The Harp-Ventura 
resembles in appearance the Harp-Lute, but is largei- and has little 
of the graceful form of that instrument. It is, however, a most 
ingenious and almost perfect instrument ; tLat is, almost as perfect as 
a bmgle Action Harp. It has three finger-boards, and originally had 
ten bass strings, afterwards increased to twelve, and with the latter 
number has the unusual compass of four octaves. The instrument has 
a piece of silk and wire protruding from a hole at the left side of the 
lower end to which the ribbon is to be attached, the other end of 
which is fastened to the lower portion of the capital which surmounts 
the pillar, the instrument being held slantingly across the chest.^ 
Along the inner side of the neck are seven stops or keys, each one 
of which when pressed home shortens one or two of the strings ; that 
Is, when there are two of the same in the bass both strings are 
shortened at the same time by the action of one stop or key. Thus, 
what the feet accomplish on the Pedal-Harp is here effected in the 
bass by the thumb of the left hand. A movable rest covers the lower 

' On none of the iustriimenta examined was 
there a mnohine to “make the imitation of the 
bassoou. ” 

Thu following are the dimcDsions of the 
specimen illustrated, M’hicb has ten bass strings : 

Extreme length, 33 inches; width of sounding 
board, 14^ inches ; depth of body at lower end, 
4^ inches; depth of body at the centre, 5 inches. 

The length of the strings will be hereafter given. 
The dimensioDS of the specimen in the South 
Kensington Museum, with lever action and twelve 
open strings are : — Extreme length, 2 feel 9 inches ; 
width, 13;J inches. 

3 At the lower end of the instrument there is a 
box for strings, and at the upper end of the body 
a small box in which the tuning key is kept. 


musical instruments 

portion of the strings ; on this the hand is placed when the instrument 
is being played upon. 

The mechanism which moves the fork action, and so shortens each 
of the bass strings, as may be seen by the plate, is somewhat similar 
to that m use on the Single Action Harp, but reversed, small watch- 
sprmgs being attached to the arbers which move each of the seven 
lowest forks in the bass ; each spring, as soon as the stop or key is 
released, draws one or two forks back, and so releases the strings. 
This mechanism in a measure resembles that of the Single Action 
Hai-p, but the tringles of that harp are placed side by side, whereas 
in the small head of the Harp-Yentura, there not being sufficient 
depth to allow of such an arrangement, Ventm-a scattered and crossed 
the tringles, and by the use of double and single cranks when 
necessary produced a mechanism with comparatively little depth, 
which, although roughly made, answ'ered the purpose he had in 

If the reader turns to the illustration and follows the A| stop 
from the crank by which it has drawn the conductor down, he will 
see near the cui-ve the connection with the upper A fork ; and, 
following the tringle to the end, the watch-spring will be seen 
lightened round the ‘‘arber to w'hich the lower A fork is attached. 
The G conductor and tringle can also be clearly followed to a double 
crank, which, on account of the direction the tringle has had to take, 
is necessary to turn the fork. The G, B, D conductors are attached 
to cranks wffich support the tringles as in the large harp ; the four 
others appear to be more or less independent. 

To the reverse of the plate shown in the illustration seven steel 
springs are attached ; each has at the end a long, sharp tooth. These 
teeth pass through the plate, and hold the stops when they are 
pr^ed home. Each stop is perforated in two places ; by the outer 
pe oration it is held by the tooth, but through the inner perforation 

rass rod passes, then through a hole in the plate, and is screwed 
mto the steel sprbg. Each rod has a knob at the outer end; so 
When a knob is pressed, the spring is raised, the tooth withdrawn, the 
tb + stop is released, and the fork ceases to grasp 

g- n the plate both the instrument and the mechanism 





f V 


are shown wlien the G B -mrl 4 

strings— are fixed. Tlie defect of tlfis """"t two 

accidental in the bass cannot i is that a passing 

key. or releasing a stop or ^e ^ o" 

case may be, ani afte, he a5 ^^t “IT"? " ^ 

a knob It tL baclf^r ";:.r either pressing 

causes such delay, that if a patsina- aT’T “o'^ement which 

exceptionally slow it cannot be expressed 

the?eIt!.rTf Stver "Itr- ' ‘I 

the end of the shorter arm A, a steel wedge or 
tooth IS attached, which tooth passes through the 
plate At_ B, at the junction of the two arms, the 
rod for raising the spring is attached. The lever 
when pulled down, forces the wedge or tooth up, and when it has 

trte?^:t^ 7 h<J: 

which raises the splil J 

be s^et The stops before noticed, which may 

be seen on both dlustrations, are marked from the uppermost doum 
as Mows:_First, Eb ; second, Bh ; third, F| ; fourth, ; fifth. Gif; 
s^th D^; and seventh. Ai|. This indication, which is wanting on 
the later specimens with the lever action,^ is valuable as a key for 
CTen if we had not the intimation that the instrument is an improved 
tlarp-Lute. there could have been no doubt that the Harp- Ventura 
was intended to be tuned like the Harp-Lute in the key of C. 

3 * 


Scale of the Harp-Yentuea 

‘ The length of the downward pull iu this lever 2 There are two in the South KeusingtoE 
action 13 of an inch at the end of the lover iluseum. 
outside the instrument. 


musical instkltments 

Chromatic Scale of the Open or Bass Strings. 

' The bars include the notes that can be produced from each string. 
The instrument being tuned in the key of C major, the semibreves show 
the notes to be produced from the strings in their natural state, the 
crotchets the notes that can be produced from the strings by the use 
of the keys or stops. 

As Ventura, as already mentioned, claimed to have invented an 
Imperial Harp-Lute, and was a professor of the instrument, and as 
an examination of the music published by him shows that his Harp- 
Lute, unlike that of Light, was tuned as the Spanish Guitar, an 
octave lower than the written notes, or to the pitch of the piano, 
there is every reason for supposing that the Harp-Ventura, which is 
an improved Harp-Lute, was tuned in a similar manner. So the 
instrument ' being furnished "with suitaVjle strings," the Harp- Ventura 
is to be tuned in the following manner : — 

Fix the first and second stops, which are marked respectively Eb 
and Bb ; then tune the strings on the large finger-board to C, E, G ; 
on the second finger-board to C, E, G, an octave higher ; and the string 
on the third finger-board, C, an octave higher. Tune the bass from 
the open strings on the finger-board and from the frets in octaves 

The instrument being now in the origmal key of C, change to the 
other major keys in the following manner : — 

To play in F, release the E stop, and the string will be Eb. 

To play in Bb, release the E and B stops, and the strings will be 
Eb and Bb. 

To play in 0, the original key, press the Eb and Bb stops. 

* The writer believes that \ entura, as well as caaiiot be given. A competent string-maker with 

Wheatitonc, timed hU Imperial Harp-Lute an the scale before him should bo able to spin suitable 
octeve lower than the written notes, strings if an instmoicnt were sent to him for 

One of these instruments, when it was in that purpose. The writer learns from a noted 
t e writer's posssssioD, had the original strings, manufacturer of Guitars, that Mr. J. G. Winder, 
most of them apparently silk and wire. These of Keiitisli Town Road, is an excellent maker of 
have unfortunately been removed, so the gauge strings. 



To play in G, press the E>, Bb, and Fti stops 
To play m D, press the Es,, Bb. Pj, and C| stops. 

To p ay m A, press the Eb, Bb, F^, C5:, and stops 

To p ay m E. press the Eb. Bb, FJ, Cji, G|, and D-1 stops. 

To play m B. press the E., Bb, F|, C|, G|, D#. and Aj: stops. 

The length of the strings upon a specimen in the South Kensington 
Museum and upon the specimen illustrated ■'Kensington 

3rd Finger-board, 

nineteen strings. 

8^- inches. 

Hi „ 

20 „ 


J'f Inches. 
1 1 A 11 

20i .. 















22-^ inches. 
22t „ 



24i „ 



25f ., 

25i „ 

4 : 


204 „ 


22j inches. 
23i „ 


24i „ 

25-i „ 

254 M 
264 „ 

27i .. 


^ ' -1 >i 


' >J 

No string. 

No string. 

On the Harp- Ventura the open strings are closely spaced, and it is 
evident that it was the intention of the inventor that the open strings 
should be almost always struck by the thumb. The position of the 

strings as they pass the forks, in place of being, as is usual, in the 

centre of the fork, being more to the right, is also an indication, sa 

they can be struck with force by the thumb without jarring. It is 

scarcely likely that the open strmgs were fingered as the Pedal- 
Harp or Harp-Lute. 

Carl Engel states that Ventura exhibited his invention at the 


musical instruments 

National Repository, Royal Mews, Charing Cross, when he played upon 
it in public so it may be concluded that in the hands of an aocomphshed 
■mitarist it may be used with much effect; but it is heavy and rigid, 
mid, although strong in tone, is wanting in the harp-like quality for 
which the best Harp-Lutes and Dital-Harps are noted. 

The writer believes that an ingenious mechanist could perfect 
Ventura’s lever action so as to make it possible to produce a passing 
accidental by one motion of the thumb. Were that accomplished (and 
this is worth the consideration of instrument - makers), and such 
mechanism fitted to an Instrument constructed as nearly as possible 
on the lines of the beautiful Harp-Lute with sixteen strings by 
Packer of Bath, at present in the Donaldson Museum, with widely 
spaced strings and only two finger-boards, and the tone of such an 
instrument equalled that of the best Harp-Lutes, an instrument vastly 
superior in form and tone to the Spanish Gruitar, or to any of the 
small instruments at present in use, would be the result ; for, unques- 
tionably, an instrument with thirteen consecutive open strings, which 
could be fingered in the same manner as the Pedal- Harp, would have 
great advantages over a six-stringed instrument on which an open 
string is only occasionally used. 


The writer regrets that after diligent search and frequent advertise- 
ments no solo for the Harp-Ventura has been obtained. Ventura 
certainly intended his instrument with a compass of four octaves for 
elaborate pieces. Three songs with accompaniments are the only pieces 
of music available, and these accompaniments, although simple, tend 
to prove the writer’s assertion that the bass is to be played by 
the thumb. Most of the music already given for the Harp-Lute can be 
played upon this instrument. 



fVith accompaniments for the Harp-Fentura. 






^ rSjV'ET.'^V^’ C^J.'ZOJVKTT^ 

D. Cerutti 








Tlie Celebrated Sonn; in ihe 0|nM'a t>a Donna Del l.aeo. 


T HE H A R P - V E N T U A 




Ci. Mili.-U 






of ^vhich “esembled°ttiro7re PedaTi? '”1 
Street, Dublin, a celebrated Harn .tl T*?’ 

size, but one which, althou'^rWe R ^ of moderate 

same sense as the instruments tLt hav’ 1 f^o 

instrument, the Royal Portable Irish Ha'' described. Egan's 

old Irish Harp. itL the ourrertrSL^lra 7 

could not be supplied so Eo-nn’» ' ^ . ut as it is small, pedals 

or k.y. .. 11^ .fr i r " r “• 


number of strings and so +l,o l , " ^ ’ ®*’°‘'tens a 

o- . p»i,.g «5d«a” iS' 

following order — A, E, B, F, C G D anangecl in the 

and'^dterSl9 7" has seen is No. 4. 

hass -ri, ' 7 thirty-four strings, but three strings in the 

tunkett has thnty strings, one strmg in the treble and one in the bass 

lowest bass strings are without the fork action. One in the Donaldson 
luseum No._ 1904, reign of George iv., has thirty-three strings, all 
with fork action. One with stand, No. 1920 of the same period, has 
le same number of strings, all with fork action. A few others the 
writer has seen or heard of, but considering the number manufactured, 
-'g'cin s Harp is not often to be met with. 

Dr. Cuhvioh, in his valuable lecture upon Irish Melody, writes as 
follows ; “ Perhaps the best evidence of the final and complete surrender 
of Irish music to the encroachments of modern methods is the Harp 
made by John Egan of Dawson Street, early in this century. This 
had a full set of modulating keys worked by a set of cranks to all 

Egan 13 stated to have invented a double-movement Harj), and also a triple-action Harj'. 



intents and purposes exactly like the early Pedal-Harps.”' Egan’s 
instrument, which is only Irish in form, supplied to some extent a want. 
The Harp, be it remembered, was perhaps the most favourite instrument 
of the period, so an instrument which could with ease be conveyed 
where no Pedal-Harp was likely to be found, was an advantage. Egan’s 
Harp, imlike the true Irish Harp, is strung with gut, and although it 
has the mechanism referred to, any person attempting to play upon it 
%vill find that a large portion of the music published by Bunting is as 
unsuitable for it as for the wire-strung Irish Harp. 

On Egan’s Harp, to produce a passing accidental, the left hand 
must drop the strings, and only a practised performer, who can con- 
centrate his or her attention upon the bass strings, for the time being, 
can replace the left hand in the proper position without slowing 
the time. Music in w’hich the melod}' occurs in the bass, while 
the accompaniment (in which accidentals occur) is in the treble, is 
inadmissible, and music in which an accidental occurs in the treble, 
when the bass is of importance, is equally so. StUl, much beautiful 
music can be altered and arranged to suit this instrument, which, 
although it has not the power of the Pedal- Harp, has almost the same 
sweetness of tone." Egan had imitators, and the waiter has seen an 
early imitation by Serguet, a London maker. Now that there is a 
seeming revival of the Harp, this little instrument is in some demand, 
and is again being made by Messrs. Holderness of Oxford Street, 
London, by whom a number have been despatched to America. 

Egans Harp has usually a button or stud screwed to the right 
side of the comb and another to the front of the lower portion" of 
the fore-pUlar, to which a band is attached, by which band, when 
passed over the right shoulder, the Harp is suspended. It also 
usuaUy has a wooden rod which, when drawn out to the necessary 

' In a complimentsry notice of this instrnment 
whicb .ppenred in the London .Monthly Literary 
Register end Review of the Fine Arts. November 
1822, the writer refere to it as an “improvement 
on the simple, old Irish Harp, in rendering it 
esiial to the I'edal-Hsrp, without sacrificing its 
glorious nationality ; it was incapable of making 
accidental fiat, „r sharps tiU Mr. Egan's invention 
of the Koval Portable Irish Harp,” ete._Keprinted 
m Koyal Harp Director, by Charles Egan. 

On theSth.Sc]iteinherlS2I,Mr. C. N. Bochsn, 
a very eminent Jiarjiist nnil composer, wrote to 
Mr. Egan as follows : “ I have great pleasure in 
informing you, the Koyal Portable Irish H.urp 
invented by you lias my decided approb.-ltion. 
Its peculiar sweetness of tone, so admirably 
adapted for accompanying tbe voice, the great 
facility of elianging tbe keys, and its portability 
make it a desiralile instrument to proficients on 
the Pedal-Harp."_/4,VI. 



lengtii and fastened by 

One instrument in tlm writer’s ""Lcf the Harp, 

feet attached to the end of an iron I'T 

the instrument Jess portable is eerf ° l’ Anders 

such a stand the instrument has n ^ “^vantage, for without 

were generally supplied in leather cases ^'7'" 

from their cases except for use 7 ’ 7 ■7®''® 

instruments are. gold shamrocks beina ^ some of these 

or pea-green ground. ° ^ an-anged on a black, blue, 

made; these h7 loop^Itopr to^e s7 also 

changed. Some are very a rtisti I ^ “^^d be 

of Egan’s the writer h7e: “^ - than any 

As the strings of Eo-an’s 
length, and also differed^iu length ^f 

Harp, and as it is not de!' n7u 7 Action 

be subjected to the same tensfo'n as the77 i‘h' ^"^truments should 
specially selected for earh A edal-Harp, strings should be 

the 7 “®“ores 32 inches 

corresponding string on a Single Action Harp measures 49 inch ’ 

The highest strmg in the treble, Bb, measures 2X inches, the Irre- 
spondmg string on a Single Action Harp measures 3f inches. The 
foUowing strings have been found to answer :- 

For E b, B, silver and sdk. For B h, C, 5th octave, 

tor F, C, copper and silk. For C, D, 5th octave. 

For G, D. sili-er and silk. For D, E, 5th octave. 

For Ah, B, gut 5th octave. For Eb, G, 4th octave. 

After which, strings gauged one-thhd higher than the same note upon 
rare s gauge are suitable. For an instrument the lowest string in 
the bass, Eb, which measures 38 inches, and the highest string in°the 
treble, Ab, which measures 3j inches; the corresponding string on the 
Single Action Harp measures 4^ inches. Different strings sLuld be 
selected, and the writer suggests, as the principal difficulty is likely to 

musical insteuments 

occur with the lowest bass strings, that A, B. and C silk and wire without 
steel centre should be tried; the C first for the Eb string, and if not 
suitable moved to F or G. The B and A strings, respectively, tested 
as Eb and moved up if necessary. The same with the gut strings 
up to the second Eb, after which strings gauged a note higher than 
the same note upon Erard’s gauge will be found suitable. 1 he chief 
difficulty will be found to occur in the bass. The upper portions of 
several of the bass strings, as may be seen by the illustration, cross a 
portion of the fore-pillar, and even when the correct strings are selected, 
a performer cannot pull these bass strings with the same force that 
may be applied to the others without making the strings jar against 
the fore-pillar; so strings that will give as much tone as can be 
expected, when so near the end of the sounding-board, and will not 
jar when pulled with moderate force, are those that are required. 


Charles Egan was the “ Author of Instructions for the Koyal Portable 
Irish Harp,” during or before 1822. A number of national lyrics were 
arranged for the instrument by the same person, who appears to have 
tieen Professor of the Harji to H.R.H. the Princess Augusta, and also 
Harpist to the Queen. This selection was published by J. Egan, 
30 Dawson Street, Dublin, in 1826. In the part the writer has 
e.vamined there are eight pieces, of which Nos. 1 and 7 are Irish airs. 
No. 7 has been reproduced ; but as Moore’s words, “ The Harp that once 
through Tara s Hall ’ are now so associated with the melody, they have 
been substituted for those entitled ‘'The Death of Carolan,” supplied by 
Edward Dowling. 

The MTiter has also selected a Venetian air, “ Stanco di pascolar,” 
with some of the effective variations by V. Fiorini occasionally slightly 
altered. This piece has been selected for the ptu-pose of shoudng the 
class of music that can be executed by a fairly proficient performer. 
Irish melodies, however, without accidentals, such as those arranged 
by Dr. Culwich and Mr. Owen Lloyd, also Songs of Ireland without 
words arranged by J. T. Surenne, eighty of which are without acci- 
dentals, if transposed when necessary, will be found .still more suitable. 



the harp that once THKODOH TAKA’S HALL. 




musical instkuments 





the harp that once THEOCOH TARA’S 









.r 1^1 

» /T\ 



Stanco d i pascular • 












Stance di pnucolar 








Mv Lodring. 



In the Royal Scottish Museum. Edinburgh, there is one of these instru- 
ments. The finger-board is without the u.sual supports, and there are 
no “ horn ’ terminations. Upon it is the following label, “ R. Wornum, 
Inv'. & Maker, Wigmore St., London.” In the Victoria and Albert. 
Museum there is a specimen with a stand, “ horn ” terminations, and 
supports. It has seven strings, and is by the same maker. Hanover St., 
Cavendish Square, The Lyre, amongst the same collection, which is 
stated to have belonged to Marie Antoinette, has eight strings. 


A specimen in the Victoria and Albert Museum has upon it 
“ Hariby, Maker." 


Under the heading “Light, Edward," in British Musical Biogi-aphy, 
by James D. Brown and Stephen b. Chatton, the following occurs : 
“ Concise instructions for playing on the English Lute,” London. 


By the kind permission of the authorities of the Victoria and 
Albert Museum, the writer has been able to add a representation of 
the instrument with the Lever Action, and also a representation of 
the Lever Mechanism. 




AcoDCRvpTopnosn, or End, anted Lyre, U!) fool- 

Air, will, v.arious accompaniments, for tlieGuitaro- 

Harjie, 45. 

Alan-, Bardd, antlror of tlic Welsh Harper, 09 

Apollo Lyre, the, 33, 

Specimen in the Itoyal Scottish Museum, 

Edinburgh, of Ibe, 161, 

Augusta, Frincesa, pupil of Charles Egan, 148. 

Bajirv, maker of Harp-Guitars, 25. 

Bayard, music for the Guitarc-llaime by, 46 
Bland, J., 17. 

Bochsa, C. N., anti comjtoser, 146. 

Bolton, Thomas, composer for the Guitar, 17 .‘U 
33, 80. ’ ’ 

Bremner, .John, Instruction-book for English 
Guitar, by, 8. 

Bremner’a Tutor, picture of lady playing English 
Guitar in, 7. 

British Lute-Harp, 97 (plate). 

Music published for the, 115, 116 , 

Busby, Dr. Thomas, 25. 

Concert- Hoorn Auecdutes by, 5 footnott, ^ 

73 foolmity 101. [ 

Cadences for the Harpe-Lute, 74. 

Dital Harp, 113, 114. 

Caledonian Mercurj' of 1815, Musical Advertise- [ 
raent in the, 77, 78. ! 

‘ Capo-tasto,’ 6, 31, 44. 

Carulli, Instructions for tSpanish Guitar by, 33. 
Chabran, F., 33. j 

Instructions for Harp-Guitar by, 27. 

Cbeltcnham and Bath, R. L. Downes, Frofessor | 
of Music at, 79. i 

Clements, Bangor, and Co,, Publishers, 30. 

Concert- Room Anecdotes. 5 foolnolt:. 

Cousincau, stops on Pedal Harp used by, 67- 
Cnhvick, Dr,, 145, I4S. * 

Diudin, Songs of, with Guitar-settings, 6. 

Dital Harp, 97 (plate). 

Cadences on the, 11 3, 11 4. 

Diagram of Strings on the, 103. 

Dital Jlaqi, Exercises and Airs for the, 110-113 

Finger-board of the, 103. 

playing upon the Patent, 100. 

Mechanism of the, 1U2. 

.Scales on the, i09, 

— 97, 103, 104 (plaU-B). 

Ditals, or Tlinmh-keys, 98. 

Donaldson .Museum, 136. 

Egan’s Portable Harp in, 145. 

Har])-Lutc in the, 70 (jilate). 

Dowling, Edward, 14$. 

Downes, R. L., Professor of Music at Chelten- and Bath, 79. 

writer of music for the Harp- Lute, 

69, 70. 

Dublin, National Portrait Gallery at, 5. 

EniNBuniiu, Keyed Guit.ars in, 14. 

University, Instrument in, 30, 31. 

Egan, Charles, Instructions for the Royal Port- 
able Irish Harp liy, 148. 

.Tubii, Portable Harp by, 144 (plate). 

Portable Harp. Melodies for, 149-ICO. 

Engel, Carl, 32, 135. 

English Guitar, Claus and Co. patent keyed, 15. 

Instruction Book, by Bremner, for 

the, 8. 

Keyed, in Edinburgh, 14 (plate). 

Melodies for the. 18-24. 

Music published for the. 16, IT. 

Picture of lady playing the, 7. 

Pitch of the, 13. 

Scales for the, 5. 

.Smith’s patent box for, 15. 

Specimens of the, by Preston, Perry, 

and Gibson, 4, 6. 

Finokr-boarI) and Scales of the Harp-Lute, 73. 

of the fIar[)-Guitar, 28. 

of the Harp-Lute-Guitar, 57. 

Fitzgerald, S. J. A., 80 footnott. 

Galpin, Rev. F. W,, Harp-Lute-Guitar in collec- 
tion of, 53 footnott. 

Gibson, W., Guitar by, 6. 

Gibsou and Woffington, makers of Guitars, 6. 





Glea. Harp-Lute-Guitar iu collection of Mewr!*. 
J. and R., o3/oo(nofe. 

Grisi and Mario, with the Harp-Lute, 70 (plate). 
Guildhall Exhibition, 1S95, 5. 

Guitare- Har|>c, 41. 

Air with various accompauiments for 

the, 45. 

Melotlies for the. 47-52. 

Music published for the, 40. 

Guitar. Carulli'g lostnictioas for the Spanish, 33. 

Complete Tutor, bj Osw-dd, for the English. 


Diagram of Finger-board of the English, 9. 

Guitar, the Spanish, 2. 

Harp, Egan's Portable, ilescribed, 145, 146. 

Specimens noticed, 145. 

Strings for, 147. 

Harp-Guitar. 24 (plate). 

— Finger-board for the. 28. 

Improved by Levien, 29. 

Instructions by F. Chabran for the, 27. 

matle by A. Parry, 25. 

Melodies for the, 34-411, 

Picture of lady playing the, 27. 

Harp-Lute, as represented by artists. 114. 

Cadences for the, 74. 

Described, G9, 

Directions for stringing the, 71, 72. 

Finger-board and scales of the, 73. 

Grisi and Mario with the, 76 (plate). 

— Instructions for the improved, 31. 

— - Light’s Instructions for the, 80a, 80f«. 

Melodies for, 81-96. 

Music published for the. 80A. 

with sixteen strings, 70 (plate). 

.Stops used on the. 67. 

Thumb-key for G-string on the, 80«. 

Tuning of the, 70. 

Twelve-stringed, 66 (plate). 

with fourteen strings. 68 (plate). 

Harjt-Lute-Guitar. art of playing on the, 53. 

the, 52 (plate), 53. 

— — Fingerdward of the, 57. 

i” collection of Messrs. J. and R. Glen 


Galpin’s Collection, 53 Joo>- 


.Music published for the, 56. 

— Preludes, eU-., for the, 58-66. 

~ - .Scale of the, 54. 

Specimens by Hariby, of the, 161. 

Harp-Lyre, invented by Edward Light, the. 77. 
the, 73 (plate). 

Harp, Portable, 144 (plate). 

Harpsichords, Kirkiuan, maker of, 5. 

Harp-Ventiira, 128 (plate). 

described, 131. 

Canzonets for the, 138-143. 

Mechanism, 132 (plate). 

Scales of the. 133, 134. 

Speciheation for the, 1211. 

Hatton, J. L., 77. 

Haxby, R., 17. 

Holderucss (Messrs.), Loudon, Harp-makers, 146. 

Honstou, R., engi'aver, 5. 

Jokes, G., article Music, by, T"* footnoit. 

Diagrams of a Harp-Guitar by, 29. 

Joumet, H., London, 30, 41 footnoU. 

Kirkmas, Harpsichord-m.aker, 5. 

Leviek, .Mokdadkt, of London, 26, 41. 

Light, E. G., Instruction Book to the Harp-Lute- 
Giiitar, 5. 

Edward, Inventor of musical iustruments, 

25 /ootnote, 

His place of resideuce ; his first instru- 
ment the Harp-Guitar, 25 ; his second instru- 
ment the Hari.-Liite-Guitar, 53 ; his third 
inslrument the Harp-Lute, 67; his fourth in- 
strument the Harp-Lyre, 77 ; his fifth instru- 
inent the British Lute-Harp, afterwards called 
the Dital Harp, 97. 

Longman, Lukey aud Co., Music Publishers, 17. 

Lute, scale of the, from Chabran, 30. 

Lute-Harp, Britisli, or Dital-Harp, 97 (plate). 

Music published for the British 115 


Lyre, in Royal Scottish Museum, Edinburgh, an 
Apollo, 161. 

Music published for the, 33. 

said to have belonged to Marie Antoinette 


the Apollo, 32, 33. 

the French, 33. 

Lyres, 32. 

Marella, Guitar-jilayer and composer, IG. 

Marie Antoinette, Lyre «.u.l to luve belonged to, 

.Melodies for the Dital Harp, 119.128. 

for Egan’s Portable Harp, 149-160. 

- — for the Harp-Lute, 81-96. 

Guitare-Harp, 47-52. 

English GuiUr, 18-24 

■ * Harji-Guitar, 34-40. 

Moore, 79. 



Morley, J. G., 

Music pubHabedfo. the British Lutc-Har,„ „ 5, 

English Guitar, IG, 17. 

Harp-Lute, 80//. 

~ ' ^^it'iro-Harpe, 46. 

Harp-luite, 79. 

^^n^-t/Ute-Giiitar, SG. 

■ 138-148 

Lyre, .33. 

Niecks, Professor. 26./bo(iiotr. 

ScA,.K.s^s.s„ Cuitar-Har,,,, 

on the Dital.ilarp, lO'J. 

^crguel, maker of the Portable Harp, UC 
SmitK patent l,ot attachment for English Guitar 

St, Martin’s Lane, London 2 
Steuart, Neil, 10. ’ 

Stewart, .Sir IJoberl P„ 1. 

^a used on French Pedal Harp, 67. 
Harp-Lute, 67. 

Oswald, J., Guitar Tutor by, 15, ig. 

^’‘bros.'^^rno’.' M Harp-Lute 

Parry, John, 69. 

Perry, Janies, Guitar-maker, 6/or,/)io/c. 

■ English Guitar by, 6, 

Puoio T maker of a ilarp-Lute, 71./bol„ofr. 

1 owell, Mias Harriet, portrait, by Ueid 5 
Preludes, ete.. for the Harp-Lute-GuitaJ. 58.60. 
for the English Guitar, 18-22. 

for the Guitare-Harpo, 43. 

for the Harp-Lute, 76. 

for the Dital Har]), 11“. 

Preston, of London, English Guitar by, 6. 

Pyne, Dr. Kendrick, 80. 

J. Kemlriok, Catalogue of iMusieal Inatrii. 

uients by, 41/oot7io(e. 

Reoe.n-cy H.\ri*-Lutk, the, 79. 

Reid, C., portrait of Mies Powell by, 5. 

Reynolds, portrait of Hon. Mrs. Charles Yorke 
by, 5. 

Rutherford, David, 16. 

rp, , i^ugiisn uiutar, 1 7. 

I heorbo, or double-headed Lute 30 
Thompaon, C. and S., publishers, 17. 
rhumh-key for G-atriug r.u the Harp-Lute, 80a. 
innity College, Dublin, 1. 

Tuning of the Harp-Lute, 70. 

Ventuua, .32, 69, 70, 71. 

\'ictoria and .Albert Museum. 2, 15, 25. 

R^n'-Lute-Guitiir in the. 

Wales, Pi{Inces.s C'iiakloitk op, taught by Ven- 
tura, 79. 

Walsb, J., 16. 

Wheatstoue. C., additions to Harp-Lute by. 68. 
lustriictinns for the improved Harp-Lute 
by John Parr}', 31. 

VSilson, William, publisher, 17. 

Woflingtou, English Guitar-iunker, G /'ooltiolt. 

Wornum, R., inventor and maker of the Anollo 
Lyre, 161. 

Yorke. the Hii.s. Mrs. Chaklbs, portrait by 
Reynolds of, 109. 

Printed by T. and A. Constable, Printers to His Majesty 
at the PNlinburph I'niversity Press 


P. 6, 20th line, delete “Thomas.” 

P. 76, title of Plate, for “Gresi” read “Grisi.” 

P. 132, last line, delete “both the instrument and.” 
P. 133, 1st line, for “are” read “is.” 

P. 145, 5th line from foot, read “Culwick.” 

P. 148, 3rd line from foot, read “ Culwick. 


■1 !■ ■