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date: 12 November 2019

Mount, William Sidneylocked

  • Alan Buechner
  • , revised by Laura Moore Pruett


(b Setauket, NY, Nov 26, 1807; d Setauket, NY, Nov 18, 1868). American painter, violinist, composer, and inventor. Best known today as a genre painter of the Hudson River School, Mount’s paintings include some significant examples of banjo and fiddle iconography, such as Dance of the Haymakers (1845) and The Banjo Player (1855). A country fiddler himself, Mount composed a number of dance tunes, such as “The Musings of an Old Bachelor” (1845) and “In the Cars on the Long Island Railroad” (1850). Likely motivated by the desire for a more powerful sound in a dance hall, he created an “improved” model of the violin, which he named “The Cradle of Harmony” and patented in 1852. The patent model, a ⅞ instrument, featured a boutless, trapezoidal body, a concave or “hollow” back, shortened soundpost, and rectangular soundholes. At the 1853...

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