The discussion of the past days, "What's a hurdy-gurdy," brought me
to the idea to introduce to you the Monocorde de V.J. Poussot.
V.J. Poussot was a French "inventeur et fabricant" who invented and
built a unique instrument at the end of the 19th century. The instrument
consists of the body of a violin with one string (monocorde). Above
the string there is a keyboard (19 keys, 1 1/2 chromatic octaves) which
presses tangents against the string, one tangent for each key. The
string is bowed with a normal violin bow.
V.-J. Poussot says in an advertisment of 1889: "It's very easy to play
my Monocorde. A few minutes of exercises without teacher nor textbook,
is enough. The Monocorde is an instrument to be played in the saloon;
its outfit, its decoration and its sound, which harmonizes well with
the piano, will entertain the audience. Some "chef de musique" are
using this instrument in their orchestres exclusively. Different types
of the Monocorde are available: fifre, soprano, baryton, basse and
To play this instrument I had to exercise much more than "a few
minutes" and my audience does not enjoy very much the sound of my
Monocorde -- but I enjoy having this "semi-mechanical music instrument"
in my collection of mechanical music instruments.
Please enjoy the attached picture of my soprano Monocorde.
Greetings from Germany
[ See the photo at http://mmd.foxtail.com/Pictures/ -- Robbie