Historical Harp Society 2021 Virtual Conference

Across Time

Thursday, August 5, 2021

All Times indicated in Eastern Daylight time zone


12:00 noon – The Design, Education, and Sociability of the Single Action Pedal Harp in Ancien Regime Paris, 1760-1789 (Eve Zaunbrecher)

This paper will examine the relationship between single-action pedal harps and luxury furniture in both production and consumption from 1770 to 1789 in Paris through the lens of design history. These two luxury items were connected from their creation in guild workshops to their social lives in French households by artistic collaboration, the transfer of guild-restricted techniques, and the desire of affluent Parisians to communicate their taste and social status through highly specialized and highly ornamented objects of leisure.

Eve Zaunbrecher received her M.A. in History of Design from the Royal College of Art, London, for a dissertation on the design and sociability of the single-action pedal harp in late eighteenth-century Paris. Her research interests include the intersection of science and music, the reception and use of French instruments in Britain before the French Revolution, and the use of the harp in literature as a facilitator for sexuality and romance.

A designer, developer, and design historian, she is passionate about creating vivid, unique designs, exhibition curation, and musical instrument research.

Her current academic research focuses on the pedal harp in 18th-century France and its relationship to the luxury furniture trade. Her interest includes museum curation with the goal that her work will bridge the disciplines of art, science, and design to provide a better understanding of the impact of musical instruments on our lives.


1:15-2:15 – The Development and Use of the Single-Action Harp, panel (Paul Knoke, moderator)

Masako Art, Maria Cleary, Mara Galassi, Lorenzo Montenz, and Mike Parker join Paul in a lively panel discussion about the 18th -19th century single-action pedal harp.

Paul Knoke began his work with historic musical instruments while a student at Brighton High School. He spent two years working with the collection of instruments at the Rochester Museum and Science Center as an Independent Studies course. His Junior year whilst earning a degree in history at the University of Rochester included a semester abroad as an intern with the musical instrument collection at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. While there, he organized and catalogued the museum’s files of reference photographs of instruments, and designed and implemented new display techniques for the instrument gallery. In addition to piano, organ, and harpsichord, Paul studied harp with Marie Goossens and Nan Gullo. While studying with Dr. Gullo he spent several years working through all available 18th century French harp method books, studying the technique of the period. He has been the principal harpist of the Brighton Symphony Orchestra for 24 years. Mr. Knoke is a charter member and past president of the Historical Harp Society, and has lectured and performed at several of their conferences. In 2007 he was invited to act as guest curator for the Mildred Dilling Harp Collection, now on permanent display at Indiana University. In 2012 he performed in concert at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and at the 40th Conference of the American Harp Society on an 18th century harp from his collection.


1:30-2:30 – Open Mic Session


2:45-3:45 – Closing Reception