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date: 21 October 2020

Ventura, Angelo Benedettolocked

  • Stephen Bonner


(bc1781; d 1856). Inventor, composer and teacher. He worked in London from at least 1813 and taught Princess Augusta Charlotte from that year until her death in 1817. This opportunity, and an early partnership with Edward Light, enabled him to create and market eight harp-lute-guitar hybrids, for which he gave lessons and published simple song arrangements and 16- or 32-bar compositions, mostly in binary form.

His most important invention was the ‘Harp Ventura’, patented in 1828, a 17–19-string harp-lute, measuring about 83 × 33 × 13 cm, and apparently tuned diatonically from e to b′, with three notes on the fingerboard: c″, c‴ and a‴. This was perhaps the most flexible harp-lute for song accompaniments with awkward modulations, or in unusual keys. Its seven pushstops (later levers) raised the open strings by a semitone, using forks similar to Erard's fourchettes of the 1780s. An attractively decorated example is displayed in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London (no.248)....

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