Mandolin Harp

Name: Mandolin Harp.
Type: Chordophones > Zithers > Box > Fretless.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 314.122.4
Inventor: Friederich Menzenhauer [1858-1937].
Patent Date: May 29, 1894
Country: Germany, United States.
Region: Western Europe & North America.

Description: A mandolin harp is a fretless box zither. This musical instrument consists of a sound box with two sets of unstopped strings. It has a double strings tuned in unison courses producing a mandolin-like sound then other zithers. As it is a fretless zither, there are no frets. Making it such that players can only play one note on each string.

Invention: The mandolin harp was first patented by Friedrich Menzenhauer on May 29, 1894 and came into use in the late 19th century. It was then mass produced in the United States and Germany. Later, Oscar Schmidt Company and others began mass producing the mandolin harp.

The Phonoharp Company used “Columbia Zither” as both a brand name and a generic name for the instrument as seen in the Sears 1902 Catalog. A unique feature called a gizmo, contained small buttons in a panel over the strings. This was present on many mandolin harps however, some mandolin harps may not have one.

Citations: Bibliography: Websites: This Just In! Mandolin Harp / Historical Museum ;

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