Here are my suggestions concerning The History and Origins of the Bowed Psaltery. To begin with the most ancient form of a stringed instrument was just a single string tune to a tone now called a “monochord”. An interesting version of a single string monochord instrument from fairly ancient times still being played today is the Vietnamese Bo Dai. One stringed instruments quickly developed into multi stringed instruments with the earliest evidence found on "Keros by archeologists being a seated male Harpist from the Cyclades Mediterranean culture 2700 -2500 B.C. in the National Museum of Athens" and a "wooden doll figure of a girl playing a harp dating from the 19th dynasty about 1200 B.C. in the British Museum” The British Museum also houses the large Assyrian bas relief showing a triumphal procession of men carrying and playing “Trigonons” with long sticks. Beside monochords, harps and psalteries, psalteries also being called Box Harps and Fretless Zithers, being plucked some designs like the Hammer Dulcimer were plucked or hit with mallets. The Korean Anjaeng is an instrument which in ancient times was bowed but not with a bow but instead a rosined stick of wood. Another Asian version of the Bowed Psaltery is called the yacheng, a small multi stringed instrument played with a bow one string at a tiime. Please see my YouTube Play list “Bowed Psaltery Related Instruments” to see these and others. Although the standard dogma states that “There were no Bowed musical instruments in Europe before the 10th century the Welsh Crwth, the Balkan Bowed Lyres, Organistrum (two person Hurdy Gurdies), “Trumpet Marine" style Bowed Monochords and the Bumbass suggest some folks didn’t get that memo. All see able on my YouTube playlist "Bowed Psaltery Related Instruments”. Now about the Violin-Zither: Google images has a wide selection of various designs of Violin-Zithers with one of the oldest, yet still manufactured in Germany through the 1930’s being the “Fischer Fidola Mandolinette” designed to be Bowed on individual strings and strum chords it also had a removable box holding Marxaphone like springy hammers! See one being demonstrated on “Zither Girls” channel video.In the 1925 German patent issued to Clemens Neuber mentions certain design improvements but in no way claims invention of the Violin-Zither. Oscar Schmidt did not invent the push button Chord Harp but in his patent came up with calling it the Autoharp and denied the right to call any other chord harp by that name for many years. The Violin-Zither with its attached strum chords obviously derived from an earlier version with the individual strings bowed on at a time in a probably diatonic and then latter chromatic design. One of the reasons no earlier German patents exist is because a unified Germany was still under construction. Prussia, Saxony, Franconia, Bavaria,Westphalia, all together more than 210 autonomous bishoprics, cities, estates, and regions, not to mention large German populations in Latvia, Czechoslovakia,Northern Italy, and a colony in Russia invited in by Catharine the Great, and a large population in America since the 1600’s. One of the Kings of Saxony had a large collection of fancy Harpsichords, Harps, Lutes, Serpent Horns etc, that also included many rare folk instruments. Hitler had it transported to Berlin where it suffered through the bombing. The Hopf musical instrument company has a copy rited history. Some crib notes: “C.Robert Hopf (1871-1937) Founded Hopf Musical Instrument Manufactory in 1901 in the then independent Municipality of Brunndoebra. In 1918 he bought the former hydro electric power station of Brunndoebra including a saw mill which operated till 1965. The firm grew and in 1929 C.Robert’s son Arno Willy Hopf (1904-1959) became full partner. In 1931 they celebrated their 30 year anniversary with about 50 employees. At that time they were building Autoharps, Pianochordia, the “Jazz Trio Harp”, Large Aeol-Harfen Zithers, other fretless zither designs as well as Violin-Zithers. From 1930 Max Lausmann (1904-1994) worked closely with the Hopf Co. as an independent sales representative for 26 years. “Max Lausmann Concert Violin-Harp”. These Violin-Zithers were built by the Hopf Co. in A specially equipt factory in Wilhelmstabe in Klingenthal. They were sold under different brand names: "Max Lausmann", “Hopf’s Jubelklange”, "Klingenthal’s Glory”, “Suitzer-Harps, and others. All brands were the same model as “Detaches Reich Utility model “DRGM 90081” and DRGM 990 081 with patent protection for 10 years. Very popularly sold in France, Switzerland, and Austria. In his career Max Lausmann is credited to have personally sold over 60,000 Violin-Zithers and other fretless zithers. The company history continues, surviving through the Communist East Germany period and still flourishing to this day.(end of Hopf history). Read more at …firstname.lastname@example.org Next we turn to Henry and Charles Marx and the Marxochime Colony in New Troy Michigan. Besides the Ukelin and the Marxophone the Marx Colony built larger upgrades to the Ukelin leading to the “Deluxe Pianolin”, a big red box that the lid folded over and made a stand for a standard Violin-Zither instrument. They also made a few triangular models including the very strange “Aqua-lin with marxolin hammers meant for sound effects! Built like a normal present day Bowed Psaltery but designed to be held and played backwards like Paulette Lucas prefers to play her Bowed Psaltery. The Marx Co. was not the only company manufacturing Ukelin and other fretless zithers in America, Jersey City New Jersey, Brooklyn NY, and Chicago Ill. all had thriving industries making cheaper “anybody can play’ instruments. Now we turn to Edgar Stahmer (1911-1996) Stahmer started teaching music with Triangular Chromatic Streichpsalters (Bowed Psaltery in German) built in various sizes in the 1930’s through the 1940’s and into the 1960’s. Google Images has two pictures of him from a 1960’s german television appearance. One photo of him full face and one of him with small girls holding larger sizes Bowed Psalteries….Tag-TV-Programme-Retro Media-TV.De Walter Mittman seems to have designed the very smallest size Bowed Psaltery intended to be usable by small children in the 1950’s and incorrectly declared its inventor by George Kelichek.
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