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APOLLO LYRE

The above illustration is from the Allgemeine Musikalische Zeitung of January 1833 and shows the Apollo Lyra, also sometimes spelled Apollo Lyre. It was invented in 1831, by Ernst Leopold Schmidt of Heiligenstadt (also home to Johannes Weinrich, inventor of the psallmelodikon) and is claimed to be an improvement of Weinrich's instrument. Made in the shape of a lyre, the free reeds contained within it were sounded by means of a blowpipe. It had six fingerholes and 42 keys, was capable of polyphonic play over a four octave range and was claimed to reproduce the sounds of the clarinet, oboe, bassoon and horn.

There seem to have been numerous versions of this instrument. Some sources mention small bellows being used to supply air to the reeds and the example in the Metropolitan Museum of Art looks rather different from the AMZ illustration.


A Brief History of Mouth Blown Free Reed Instruments
What Is A Free Reed?
Origins Of The Free Reed
Eastern Free Reed Instruments
A Selective Discography Of Asian Free Reed Instruments
Western Free Reed Instruments
Bibliography


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