Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Double Chromatic Harp

Maker:
Henry Greenway (American (born England), Birmingham 1833–1903 St. Louis, Missouri)
Date:
after 1895
Geography:
Brooklyn, New York, United States
Culture:
American
Medium:
Spruce, maple, metal, gilding, brass
Dimensions:
Height: 66 1/8 in. (168 cm) Width: 18 7/8 in. (48 cm)
Classification:
Chordophone-Harp
Credit Line:
The Crosby Brown Collection of Musical Instruments, 1889
Accession Number:
89.4.1235
Not on view
This harp has two sets of strings that cross near their midpoint. One row of strings has the naturals for a C major scale, like white notes on a modern piano, while the second set of strings has the accidentals, or black notes. The design built by Greenway is an exaggerated version of a cross-strung model built by the Pleyel & Wolff Company of Paris in the late nineteenth century, and a way to address increasingly chromatic music in the orchestral repertoire without adding pedals. The greenway harp, with its two columns standing quite far apart, is much more difficult to play and it was probably not made for orchestral repertoire (glissandi in any key but C would be impossible). Only two harps by Greenway, both with the cross stringing design, are known to survive. Very little is known about this builder, but it is believed that he is Henry Greenway who was located at 545 Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn, a Civil War veteran and a piano repairer active in the last quarter of the nineteenth century.
Marking: (on metal plaque on inside of right harmonic curve) H. Greenway/ Inventor (G-clef)/ Sole Manufacturer/ Brooklyn, NY/ CHROMATIC HARP
Mary Elizabeth Adams Brown
Written by. Classical & Romantic Instrument Marvels. Robert Mandel 2010; Kossuth Publishing 2010. Budapest, 2010, pg. 36-37, ill.

A Checklist of American Musical Instruments. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1989, pg. 27, ill.

Ed. Barbara Burn. A Checklist of European & American Harps. revised. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1989, pg. 14.

American Musical Instruments in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1985, pg. 139, fig. 165, ill.

Written by. A Checklist of European Harps. 1. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1979, pg. 13, 12, ill.

Catalogue of the Crosby Brown Collection of Musical Instruments: Europe. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1904, vol. I, pg. 21.

Catalogue of the Crosby Brown Collection of Musical Instruments of All Nations: I. Europe, Galleries 25 and 26, Central Cases of Galleries 27 and 28. Catalogue., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, vol. 13.



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