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farmerboy
09-20-2010, 09:48 AM
Any ideas about this? It looks crazy to me. The only similarity I can see to a uke is vaguely in the shape and size. Any one played one?

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/1920s-Oscar-Schmidt-Ukelin-Ukelele-Violin-Psaltery-Harp-/250699829329?pt=UK_Musical_Instruments_Sting_Instr uments&hash=item3a5edfd051

armytrucker77
09-20-2010, 10:01 AM
it looks very interesting....would like to see how it would play

SailingUke
09-20-2010, 11:31 AM
these were sold door-to-door. Thousands were sold during the depression as they were realtively cheap, easy to play and provided hours of entertainment.
After the initial investment it was cheap entertainment, money was tight and of course no TV.
They are played with a bow, there are guides and letter/numbers where to play for the notes. Kind of like a autoharp violin.
They sound more like a violin than a uke.

armytrucker77
09-20-2010, 01:04 PM
I was looking on ebay at them and now I have to buy one..thanks farmerboy

farmerboy
09-22-2010, 10:33 AM
my pleasure. It'd be great if you could put a video up or even just an audio file once you get one. I'm intreagued to hear what it sounds like.

armytrucker77
09-22-2010, 10:46 AM
here you go farmboy.... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=392lYUNR9tY

hoosierhiver
09-23-2010, 09:08 AM
I'm not so sure about the "easy to play" part. I've never heard anyone play one well, but they were sold as a "way to play violin without learning violin."

penel
09-30-2010, 03:11 PM
Let me guess. A bit like a bowed psaltery?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bowed_psaltery

Miss Michele
10-20-2010, 04:25 PM
Where would you start to learn to play something like that? :O

TwoTrax
11-17-2010, 08:15 AM
Here's a link to a site that show many variations of these. They are basically fretless zithers.

http://www.fretlesszithers.com/bowed.html#index

One of these companies was here in SW Michigan, The Marxochime Colony in New Troy, MI. The workers lived in company provided housing on the grounds of the factory. It wasn't far from the "House of David" folks in Benton Harbor, MI. I think very few people ever learned to play these, and I hear that tuning them is a nightmare.

http://i1189.photobucket.com/albums/z429/TwoTrax/Banjo/colony.jpg