A Pianoforte Classic

Originally published in 1933 and a reprint in 1989 of the revised 1978 edition book by Rosamund E.M. Harding. A comprehensive development of the pianoforte until the middle of the nineteenth century at which point the instrument which we know today was almost completely evolved. The book starts with the almost simultaneous invention of the pianoforte in Germany, France, and Italy easily in the eighteenth century and traces the technical development over the next 150 years. The text in the book is illustrated with vast amounts of diagrams, pictures and information about the piano players and makers of this time.

Copies are now available from Lucy Coad, via her website.

The price is £15 plus postage

The Zumpe & Buntebart Piano of the

Museu de la Musica de Barcelona

This is the first book solely devoted to Zumpe and Buntebart, and is written around one piano in particular.  Unusually, it has three authors, Pablo Gomez Abalos (historian and pianist), Michael Cole (technical expert and historian), and Kerstin Schwarz (restorer).

The book begins with an introduction by Marisa Ruiz Magaldi (museum curator) to the 1776 piano in the Museu de la Musica de Barcelona.


A section by Michael Cole, the well-known restorer, maker, and historian, deals with the historical context of the small piano in London.  The importance of Johannes Zumpe’s experience with the ‘English Guittar’ and Gabriel Buntebart’s royal connections are discussed.  We remember that Zumpe’s workshop was ‘at the sign of the Golden Guittar’.   Michael also discusses the materials used in these instruments, and their construction.  There is also a short section on ‘Organised Pianos’ – combinations of these early instruments with a small organ.


Pablo Gomez Abalos deals with the early piano from the point of view of the keyboard.  This section explores the characteristics of the ‘single action’, and the importance of setting it up correctly.  This is a topic of great importance to all of us interested in early pianos, and it needs further discussion.


The eminent restorer Kerstin Schwarz gives full coverage of the ethical considerations behind the decision to go ahead, and the restoration itself. 


Pablo is a skilled player, and demonstrates these early instruments at their very best.  We look forward to recordings on the 1776 piano, but in the meantime please listen to his performance of the CPE Bach Rondo in C minor in which he demonstrates the variety of colour achievable through the use of the handstops.  This is performed on a 1777 Zumpe & Buntebart, restored by Andy Durand.


1777 Zumpe


The 274-page book is copiously illustrated, and will take its place as a standard work on the early evolution of the square piano, and the importance of Zumpe and Buntebart in particular.


Copies may be obtained directly from the museum by following the link 


Order Book


With shipping and VAT, the price comes to €50.59 (about £46 at today’s rates). 

The Colt Collection Original Catalogues - Last 10 copies remaining.

  Amongst the lots in the sale of the Colt Collection were the remaining stocks of the two booklets about the instruments, published in 1969 and 1981.  Why the second of these, 1944 - 1981 is called the 'Golden Jubilee' edition remains a mystery to me!  Do please let me know if you have any ideas.

  Anyway, our friend Luke Bradley was the successful bidder for the remaining stocks, and he now offers these for sale at £5 each or £10 for the two.  Note that these are the last ten copies remaining  - there will never be any more!

  Postage and packing (the same for one or two) will be £3.00 UK, £10.00 Europe, £20 Americas, £25 Asia and Australasia.

  Please contact Luke

The Colt Collection -

The 'Missing' Instruments 

At the final viewing of the Colt Collection, some of us had the feeling that we had not seen some of the instruments before.  Indeed, it was widely known that at various times some instruments had been on loan to museums in Germany or Switzerland.  

  Sabine Klaus made a study of seventeen instruments which were on loan to the Stadtmuseum in Munich, and wrote a book about these.  Copies are now available at the very reasonable price of €6 or £5, plus postage from Germany.

Please note that the book is in German.  If you would like a copy, please contact Sabine

Michael Hannon has written a very entertaining and informative book tracing the history and restoration of 'Mrs Findlay's Broadwood Square Piano'.  The book includes a CD recording of the piano.


If you would like to buy a copy at the half price of £10 plus postage, please contact Michael



You can also listen to a one-hour radio documentary based on the book that Michael made with Ireland’s LyricFM at:


It features many of the characters in the book.

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© David Hackett