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Physharmonica

PHYSHARMONICA, a keyboard instrument fitted with freereeds, a kind of harmonium much used in Germany. The physharmonica resembles a small harmonium, but is differentiated from it by having no stops; being without percussion action, it does not speak readily or clearly. As in the harmonium, the bellows are worked by the feet by an alternate movement, which also affords a means of varying the dynamic force of the tone according as more or less energetic pedalling increases or decreases the pressure of the wind supply. The physharmonica was invented in 1818 by Anton Hackel, of Vienna; in the original instrument the bellows were placed right and left immediately under the shallow wind-chest, and were worked by means of pedals connected by stout wire. A specimen, having a compass of four octaves and a very sweet tone, is preserved in the collection of Paul de Wit, formerly in Leipzig, now transferred to Cologne. (K. S.)

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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