Lyre piano [Lyraflügel]
- Anne Beetem Acker
Type of upright piano made primarily in Berlin from about 1815 to 1845. A popular Bidermeier model, its entire front above the keyboard is shaped symmetrically like a Grecian lyre, evoking Apollo and Orpheus, musicians in classical mythology. Typically, gilt wood parts on the frontal cloth panel represent the lyre’s arms and strings, As in a pyramid piano, the piano strings are angled upwards towards the right to fit behind the lyre; the wrestplank follows the right-side curve. Additional decoration commonly includes gilded ornaments, lion’s paw feet on the legs, and carved eagle, dog, or griffin heads terminating the lyre’s arms. Pedals or knee levers operate the dampers, una corda, and (often) bassoon stop. Johann Christian Schleip was the principal maker....