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date: 12 July 2020


  • Arian Sheets


An electric sostenente piano developed by Melvin L. Severy (1863–1951), an inventor and author, in Boston, and produced by the Choralcelo Manufacturing Company, founded by Severy and his brother-in-law George B. Sinclair in 1901. The choralcelo employed direct current, in which regular pulses were created with a rheotome, to excite piano strings and other resonating bodies by means of electromagnets. The current was routed to the electromagnets through complicated switching mechanisms operated from a piano keyboard or organ console with rocker switches and pedals. The earliest versions of the instrument resembled large upright pianos. Later versions employed numerous additional groups of resonating bodies, including those made from ferrous bars, ferrous ribbons, wood and aluminum bars with ferrous weights, and additional strings. Electric pulses with a harmonic relationship to the fundamental pitch of a resonating body could be employed to obtain additional tone colors.

The Musical Age reported in ...

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