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Keywords

Musikmuseum, harp, harp-guitar, nyckelharpa

Abstract

Basel, Switzerland thrives with a rich musical culture and history, and the Museum of Music at the Basel Historical Museum is truly a rare gem demonstrating the influence of instruments in Swiss cultural development. The museum houses an exquisite collection of instruments which beautifully encompasses an extensive timeline of musical and instrumental diversity. Unique beauty of the uncommon and the experimental is showcased in a manner that educates and inspires. The span of genre and style demonstrated by the array of composers and instrument builders recognized imparts just how important a role music plays in Basel. For one museum to weave so many different threads of musical significance into one magnificent tapestry is a significant achievement both musically and culturally. Following is a brief synopsis of a few select instruments from the collection. This discussion includes a harp built by renowned French musician and master craftsman Sébastien Erard. An overview of Erard’s inventive contributions to the musical world and the functions of his harp offers a greater understanding of the significance and capabilities of this instrument. Also included is a closer look at the fascinating harp-guitar. Following the development of this unique troubadour instrument through history offers a glimpse at a lesser-known side of the strings family. Finally, the museum houses a beautiful memory of the medieval: the remarkable strings and keys of the nyckelharpa. The range of sound and song this instrument is capable of producing is given a brief highlight at the end of this discourse. Basel’s Museum of Music offers a priceless gift of music, history, and insight, illuminated by a few of the exquisite instruments in the following offering.

Article Number

4

DOI

10.15385/jmo.2019.10.2.4

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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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