The harp-lute enjoyed its heyday in the early 19th century, when its unusual form, technical ingenuity and luxurious finish provided an irresistable combination for domestic music making.
Erddig, in North Wales, is one of only four National Trust properties to have a harp-lute in its collections; it is unique in preserving the instrument in fine condition along with its original case and several books of music that were used to play it. In this video series, which includes a short documentary and a set of complete pieces for the harp-lute, we explore the history of this strange and fascinating instrument. Taro Takeuchi, among the very few players to cultivate the harp-lute today, performs a variety of pieces from Erddig's collections and provides a tour of some of its features, while researchers and conservators delve into the instrument's history.
To find out more about Erddig's instrument, see our page The Harp-Lute at Erddig: Music, Fashion and Technology. To hear more sounds and music, visit Sounding Erddig, where you can find out how to playback and download a wide range of recordings made on site.
These films were made for the "Music, Home, and Heritage: Sounding the Domestic in Georgian Britain" project, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and produced in collaboration with the National Trust, the University of Southampton, and the Royal College of Music. The project is directed by Jeanice Brooks and Wiebke Thormählen.