Keyed Guitar (Tastengitarre)

Matteo (Mathias) Sprenger German
Franz Fiala German

Not on view

This guitar has a shield-shaped body associating it with the early 19th century Austrian school known as Wappengitarre. However the most striking feature of this instrument is the piano mechanism fitted within the body, whereby the strings can be struck with hammers as on a pianoforte, not just plucked with the fingers on the right hand. There are only a few examples of keyed guitars such as this, and this instrument by Sprenger is the latest known example. (Daniel Wheeldon 2017)

Technical description: Originally a six string guitar with a shield shaped body, but converted to a keyed guitar with a cutout on the lower left for six ivory-topped keys; two-piece soundboard (replaced) with rosewood binding and p/r/p/r/p purfling; trapezoidal-shaped opening for hammers to rise through the soundboard and strike the strings in lieu of a soundhole; ebony pin bridge; two--piece maple back; maple ribs; ebonized hardwood neck and head; ebony fingerboard with seventeen brass frets (twelve on the fingerboard, five on the soundboard); friction tuners (Daniel Wheeldon 2017)

Keyed Guitar (Tastengitarre), Matteo (Mathias) Sprenger (German), Ebony, metal, strings, varnish,, German

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