Acousmata logo


Friedrich Kaufmann’s Trumpeter-Automaton (1810)


"A visible hand crank controlled two spiral springs, covered by the decorative shirt, powering two bellows and the spiral, wooden cylinder containing two sets of pegs. Four levers and two toothed segments transferred the motion of one of the sets of pegs to two rotating brass trumpets containing six pulsating reeds. The turning of the cylinder resulted in the movement of both sets of pegs, which determined the rhythm of the piece performed. The cylinders also controlled the movement of air from the bellows through the reeds. In 1812 Carl Maria von Weber traveled to the Kaufmanns’ workshop and was pleasantly surprised by the automaton, claiming that it possessed a ‘beautiful tone’…" (Myles W. Jackson, Harmonious Triads: Physicists, Musicians, and Instrument Makers in Nineteenth-Century Germany)

May 13, 2012, 8:47pm

Comments (View)
blog comments powered by Disqus