-- Museum of Musical Instruments
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   The term "harp-guitar" has been applied to a variety of musical instruments from the early nineteenth century to the present, but seldom as accurately as with this French creation. Here, a six-string guitar neck is cleverly mounted to a harp-shaped body, which includes a characteristic fluted column. The strings of a true harp intersect its hollow, resonant body at an oblique angle, but on this crossbred instrument the strings lie parallel to the wood's surface, as is typical of guitars. It is a little surprising that the maker did not add any extra, openly tuned strings to the side of the fingerboard, a common feature of other harp-guitars. Presumably this composite experiment was played in a vertical position, resting on its base. This would free the player from having to support the instrument, but would also require a rather unusual playing posture. Mast was a maker of both violins and guitars, the backs of which he sometimes embellished with female figures. It is unknown whether his harp-guitar was intended to possess a unique tone quality, but he certainly succeeded in fashioning an object with unusual visual appeal.

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