1,200 keyboard monochords came out of the pierrats workshops from 1886 to 1896.
On July 2, 1891, Joseph Poussot drowned in the Moselle at the age of 29 and a half. His manufacturing workshop closed in 1896 despite the continuity of production ensured by his wife until that date.
Today, this instrument can be seen in the Michel-Hachet Museum of Art and History in the city of Toul, as well as in the Lorraine Museum in Nancy. An instrument was donated by Joseph Poussot’s daughter, Marie Deloge, in 1960.
How does the keyboard monochord sound?
An ingenious instrument, the keyboard monochord consists of a single metal string, made up of several very fine steel or copper wires, joined in a bundle, stretched at both ends and supported by a bridge on a resonance box. A keyboard is placed on the neck and each key mechanically determines the pitch of the sound. A varnished wooden soundboard, the volume of a large violin, completes this instrument. The monochord rests on folding legs, between which the musician sits. The most common use is to vibrate the string with a bow.
The invention of this half-violin, half-piano instrument, with a single string but with different timbres, is completed with the “figurative notation”. This notation system makes music easy to read and gives amateurs the opportunity to quickly learn the monochord practice.
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