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The Heckelphone: A Window into the History of Music

by Holger Hoos

The heckelpone is a woodwind instrument invented at the dawn of the 20th century. Inspired by Richard Wagner and prominently used by Richard Strauss, it soon rose to prominence in its native Germany and far beyond. In this book, the history and use of this curious and obscure instrument serves as a thread running through the history of music, from the romantic period to the late 1960s.

From the invention and making of musical instruments to the origins of widely known and all-but-forgotten composers and their works, from New Orleans jazz to atonal music, from 19th-century Germany to 20th-century Mexico, "The Heckelphone" provides glimpses into "a past of which one has been ignorant" - a past made of music, musicians, conductors, composers, instrument makers and collectors, who all play their parts in a series of intriguing, interweaving stories, told here to educate and entertain.

"Music [...] creates for one a past of which one has been ignorant." - Oscar Wilde (1891)

Annotated Table of Contents

New: Excerpts (English print edition)

New: Reviews

New: Interactive Map

Under construction: List of Works

Now available in English and German, in print and on Apple Books. Ordering information can be found here.

The Heckelphone: cover