NAMM: Antiquity Music Wheelharp

There are analog synthesizers, and then there are instruments that are even more analog than analog. The Wheelharp from Antiquity Music falls in this category.

The Wheelharp is an electromechanical instrument in which a performer accesses 61 bowed strings via the keyboard. There is a cylindrical version, as illustrated in the photograph below, as well as a standard linear-keyboard version:

The instrument evokes the Baroque era in its appearance, both the reversed coloring of the keys and the details of the construction and wood finish. The sound of the bowed strings in response to pressing the keys is quite eerie.

This video shows part of the mechanical system that drives the Wheelharp as it is being played.

A very unusual and specialized instrument indeed.

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One Response to “NAMM: Antiquity Music Wheelharp”

  1. meowmeowmans Says:

    So eclectic! I’m really enjoying your reportage from NAMM.