- Laurence Libin
Keyboard idiophone invented in 1818 and patented on 15 Feb 1819 by the Viennese clockmaker Franz Schuster. Shaped somewhat like a square piano, it had six octaves of plucked steel tongues or rods instead of strings and its sound was described as between those of an organ and a glass armonica. It was claimed not to need tuning. Contemporary writers mentioned that it lacked sonority and strength of tone, and complained of excessive resonance and blurring of notes....