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Question: Phonofiddle

Life in general: Does anyone of you know more about this instrument, composers who wrote for this instrument and perhaps recordings of these works?

From Tobias Bröker
Posted April 25, 2004 at 02:24 AM

Hello,

I am looking for compositions and recordings for an instrument that is nearly forgotten: The phonofiddle (or violonfon, or is that something different?). Invented 1899 by Johannes Matthias Augustus Stroh in London, so in Germany the name is Stroh-violin.

Does anyone of you know more about this instrument, composers who wrote for this instrument and perhaps recordings of these works?

Thanks!
-Tobias

From Mattias Eklund
Posted on April 25, 2004 at 06:03 AM
The phonofiddle or violonfon is the same thing, but the technical name is Stroh-violin.

If you search on the web for recordings of violin around 1910, most popular themes and American/Brittish tunes were recorded with this kind of violin.

Close up, as it were recorded, and with the bad stuff they recorded it with, you don't hear much diffirence.
With modern microphones the sound would be totally different. The Stroh reminds of a fusion between violina an clarinet with a much larger voice, cloce there is. at a distant if sounds ever more like a clarinet, and most people actully get confuced and guesses that it is a clarinet.

Ilya Gringolts

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