Blüthner is a piano manufacturing company founded by Julius Blüthner in Leipzig in 1853. This instrument is in its original condition, and is an example of Blüthner’s ‘Aliquotsaiten-System’. This ‘system’ involves the normal three strings for each key, but with a fourth string that is tuned an octave higher. This extra string is not dampened, and creates an overtone that sounds through sympathetic vibration. It creates a diverse texture and sound, and is best suited to vocal and chamber music accompaniment.
This instrument has a long history with Canberra. Originally, this instrument was housed in the West German Embassy, and was owned by the Ambassador’s wife. The piano was loaned to the School of Music on behalf of the Former Ambassador’s family in 2007, which was organised through Mr Cristian Fabricius and Dr Geoffrey Lancaster. It forms a vibrant and important part of the ANU Keyboard Institute.