A Violin Trio in One Antique Machine
2017-07-06 String Instrument News
It is challenging to play two violins at the same time, how much more when you do it in three or four. That can be a tough challenge. But the Hupfeld Phonoliszt Violina Machine can do it very easily. This violin playing machine can play three violins at the same time. Ludwig Hupfeld (which the name of the machine from) is the inventor of the machine. He invented the machine in Germany and introduced it in 1910 in Brussels for World’s Exhibition.
This violin playing machine is made up of an automatic and sophisticated mechanism which is very difficult for average and even professional musicians to understand. Only those who are mechanically inclined might be able to comprehend the device.
The bow of the machine is circular so that it can reach the strings of the three violins which are systematically in place. The bow is composed of 1300 threads of horse hair. With the sheet music programmed for the machine, the small bellows can power up the tiny keys to play the programmed music accurately. It is operated electronically with an electronic engine so it can move all its rotating and moving parts. The electronic piano attached to the machine plays the accompaniment part of the piece played by the three violins. Thanks to a Dutch restorer named Fred who restored the device. We can now see this antique machine play beautiful music today.