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date: 22 November 2019


  • Laurence Libin


Keyed zither invented by the brothers Leander F. and David P. Boyd and manufactured by their Symphony Manufacturing Co. (later the Toledo Symphony Co.) in Toledo, Ohio, from 1903 to 1908. The mechanism was patented in 1903 and in an improved version in 1907. L.F. Boyd had previously patented (1895) a pitman valve mechanism for the organ, and in the same year both brothers patented a novel guitar bridge. The Dolceola is a tabletop zither of wing shape, about 57 cm long, over which at one end is mounted a detachable down-striking hammer action with a two-octave chromatic keyboard for the melody strings (c–c′′′) and other keys for the left hand controlling seven accompanimental chords, each sounded by five strings. The chord keys form unconventional groups of three: one raised black key sounding the root of the chord, and to its right, two adjacent white keys sounding the remaining notes of each chord. A special notation was devised for the ...

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Journal of the American Musical Instrument Society