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Schiedmayer Transposing Scale-Changer Harmonium

Item #AM00186
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This rare Schiedmayer harmonium in in good cosmetic condition and sounds incredible. This harmonium was originally built for an affluent Chilean family and was shipped from Schiedmayer in Stuttgart, Germany to Chile back in the 1880s. At some point in its life, it was transported to Toronto, which is the location from where be bought it.

It has highly figured, gorgeous walnut burl throughout; its timbre ranges from delicately sweet to breathtakingly regal, with a sound that contrasts greatly to the typical American harmonium. Part of this is due to the fact that this harmonium operates on positive pressure rather than negative pressure, which causes it to have a faster response/attack than the typical American reed organ.

Importantly, this harmonium has the Percussion feature throughout: one Percussion knob for the bass half and one Percussion knob for the treble half. Percussion is a stop/feature that consists of a series of hammers (yes, hammers) that hit the reed upon the playing of the key, exciting the reed so that it starts resonating/vibrating more quickly than it would otherwise. The resulting timbre has a strong attack and long sustain similar to that of an electric piano, like a Rhodes. It's an truly unusual and beautiful sound; it is difficult to find a harmonium that has this feature, at least in the Americas.

More importantly, this Schiedmayer has an even rarer scale-changer function. With its movable transposing keyboard, this allows you to easily play in different keys without adjusting the scale. For example, if you are used to playing a song in C major but want to play it in D major, you can physically lift the keyboard up and shift it up a whole step and the harmonium will sound in D while you are still playing in C, and you don't have to adjust your hand position or add sharps or flats. In non-music theory terms, this means you could just play the white keys and adjust the scale changer to play whatever song or melody you want in any key. Many famous musicians have used transposing pianos and organs, perhaps the most famous being the Tin Can Alley composer Irving Berlin.

The bellows in this organ are in excellent condition, and keep their pressure well.

There is one note that is currently ciphering (i.e. constantly playing) on this organ: the E6 reed in the Flute rank. This should be a very easy fix; we can have it fixed for only $200 extra if you want it fixed.

This organ is an extremely beautiful and rare find. Unfortunately, it currently has a crack in the right side panel, which we have analyzed and determined can be repaired by cleating it. This crack has no functional implications or issues; it is merely a cosmetic flaw. We can have that crack repaired for only $500 extra if you buy this harmonium and want that service. After that repair, you would have an extremely rare Schiedmayer harmonium in excellent cosmetic condition for its age.

This Schiedmayer harmonium needs its action regulated, but all of the reeds play and sound to be in tune very close to A=440. In particular, the Percussion section needs the most regulation work done.

The stop list is as follows:
S Sourdine
0 Forte
5 Subbass
4 Basson
3 Clarion
2 Bourdon
1 Coranglais
P Percussion
G Grandjeu

E Expression
P Percussion
1 Flute
2 Clarinette
3 Flageolet
4 Hautbois
5 Musette
0 Forte
T Tremblant

Condition Used / Vintage

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