Is That A Gun In Your Pocket Or Do You Play The Phonofiddle

What on earth is this?  A cross between a sawn off shotgun and a giant metal mushroom?

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No!  It’s a Phonofiddle!  Made by A T Howson in London around 1950, and of which I am now the proud owner.  After watching him on ebay I scooped him up, and although he’s a bit old, he still makes the crazy sound I was hoping for.  There is a similar model at the Horniman Museum, London.

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It has one string and one neck with a few harmonic notches like an acoustic guitar, and the horn amplifies what is essentially a string vibrating against a stick.  Clever!  My intention had been to post a video, but Im going to need some practice first – you play it with a bow in a cello position, and once you go up the string, there’s only one way down.  If you fancy looking on youtube then I recommend finding ‘Bennet & Williams’.

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Im hoping to use him in the future with a project that is currently under wraps, but which also involves musical saw, and a National Trust house in North Wales….watch this space!

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