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Aeolina (chord harmonica)

Simple three-chord mouth organ made of an elliptical brass plate with indented ends at the long axis, which contains three sets of thin brass lamellas (reeds) riveted to the main plate. Each set has five (six on central set) reeds of different lengths, tuned to the chords of A, D and G. Most probably meant to be mainly used as a tuning device, the player would hold the plate at the indented ends against his mouth and blow air through a set of reeds, which would vibrate freely through the closely-fitting slots and sound the reference chord. This instrument is clearly a French version of the German-style Aeolians that became popular in England around 1830. The name "Aeolina" is associated with Aeolus who, in Greek mythology, was the keeper of the winds.

  • Date:
  • Maker:
    Isoard, Mathieu François
  • Collection:
    Gloucester Life
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  • Place of production:
    Paris (Timezone: Europe/Paris)
  • Hornbostel-Sachs classification:412.132 Sets of free reeds
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  • Inscriptions:Stamped on top of plate: ISOARD.F|Musical notes stamped on plate, next to each reed: - A set: UT LA MI UT LA; - D set: RE LA FA RE LA FA; - G set: SI SO(L) RE SI (S)O(L)"
  • Hornbostel-Sachs category:412.132 Sets of free reeds
  • Repository:Gloucester Life
  • Measurements:Length: 98mm; Height: 39mm