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date: 19 November 2019

Lyrachordlocked

Extract

Name for a piano built by Broadwood for the Rev. J. Rogerson Cotter of Donoughmore, Co. Cork, with the striking point halfway along the vibrating length of the strings. The intention was to adjust the overtone balance by suppressing the even-numbered overtones; the tone was likened to that of a clarinet. Cotter reportedly developed the concept between 1840 and 1865. In 1862 he introduced the instrument at the Hanover Square Rooms in London; at that time it was described as having a device like a finger and thumb that pinches each string, giving a tone like that of a harp.

The name Lyrachord-Symphonia was later used for an electrified piano attachment developed by the American electrical engineers George Breed and Frank A. Decker and produced from 1912 by the Lyrachord Co. in New York. The strings are vibrated by electromagnets and the sound sustains for as long as the keys are depressed. The device does not interfere with the normal piano hammers....

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