Harding, Rosamond Evelyn Mary
- Anne Beetem Acker
(b Doddington, Cambridgeshire, England, 6 April 1898; d Southwold, Suffolk, England, 6 May 1982). English organologist and instrument collector. Harding entered Newnham College, Cambridge, in 1922 to read for a never-completed bachelor’s degree; nevertheless, she began doctoral research about 1927 under Edward J. Dent. Subsequently she travelled in Britain, Belgium, France, and Germany, meeting museum curators and piano manufacturers and collectors, notably Evelyn Broadwood and Hanns Neupert. The published outcome of her thesis, The Piano-forte: its History Traced to the Great Exhibition of 1851 (Cambridge, 1933, rev. 2/1978) remains an essential reference. Having learned mechanical drawing from her father, she illustrated her thesis with detailed (although sometimes inaccurate) drawings, particularly of piano actions, and provided copious lists of piano patents. Also in 1933, Harding published a facsimile edition of Ludovico Giustini’s 12 sonatas for piano (1732), the occasion marked by a performance by Katherine Stewart of six of the sonatas on a Longman & Broderip square piano....