The Telharmonium

This is the first section of a video documentary on the Thaddeus Cahill’s Telharmonium, an early music synthesizer.

via audiolemon:

It was 1906. “Get Music on Tap Like Gas or Water” promised the headlines, and soon the public was enchanted with inventor Thaddeus Cahill’s (1867-1934) electrical music by wire.

The Telharmonium was a 200-ton behemoth that created numerous musical timbres and could flood many rooms with sound.

Beginning with the first instrument, constructed in the 1890’s, and continuing with the installation of the second instrument at Telharmonic Hall in New York, the rise and fall of commercial service, the attempted comeback of the third Telharmonium, and ending with efforts to find a home for the only surviving instrument in 1951, this documentary provides a definitive account of the first comprehensive music synthesizer.

Note that the soundtrack appears to be a modern approximation of the sound of the Telharmonium.

If got any additional information on the soundtrack or the Telharmonium, leave a comment!

4 thoughts on “The Telharmonium

    1. Can you get back to me please. I have been trying to find more info on my Grandfather Karl Schulz. What did they do for a living after the Teleharmonium went bknkrupt ?
      Would you know where my Grandfather died ?

  1. My Grandfather was the Musical Director at Telhamonic Hall. His name was Karl W. Schulz.
    He started with Mr Cahill in Holyoke, Mass.

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