Phonoliszt Violina

Orchestrion
Date of appearance: 1908
Trademark: Ludwig Hupfeld A.G.
Manufacturer: Hupfeld, Rönisch
Made in: Leipzig, Germany
Circulation: more than 10 000
Dimensions: 170 × 80 × 253 cm
Tags: music


This is the Hupfield Phonoliszt Violina, a pianola with three playing violins at the top. It works by using a combination of pneumatic fingers which press the strings of the violins, and a circular rotating ‘bow.’ Each of the three violins only has one string, the strings D, A and E from left to right, which is how it’s possible for the circular bow to work. This mechanical marvel can be found at the Speelklok tot Pierement Museum in Utrecht, The Netherlands. Hupfeld Phonoliszt Violina Model B. The Phonoiszt Violina was first presented at the Leipzig trade fair in 1908 and was the sensation and for the company an instant commercial success. For the first time the inventors achieved, to reproduce mechanically the sound of a violin with all the fine details. Staccato, legato, glissando, vibrato, tremolo etc. are reproduced by complicated, technical devices, which control the speed of the bow, the pressure of the violins against the bow and the simulation of the human fingers. It was a revolutionary invention to replace the bow with a bow-wheel, which turned in different speeds and was strung octagonal with 1336 horsehairs. Each of the 3 violins is only playing one note; D, A, and E, while the Phonoliszt Piano plays the accompaniment and melody. Over 10’000 Violinas have been produced between 1908 and 1928 and only approximately 85 did survive. Hupfeld designed three types of cases in those years, whereby the Mode B was and remains the most popular. The price for a Phonoliszt Violano at the time was more than the cost for a house. Never the less at the right location the investment paid back within 2 years and was therefore a big commercial success for all the parties involved. In the past 20 years 3 different projects came up with about 24 reproduction Phonoliszts. The Wendel Phonoliszt is the only one, which can also play standard Phonoliszt rolls. Only with huge financial and time investment did they achieve the same results as Hupfeld 80 years ago. With 50 rolls. Museum's quality. 170 x 80 x 253cm. Siegfried Wendel, Rüdesheim, Germany, circa 1988.

Phonoliszt Violina