NINETEENTH-CENTURY INSTRUMENTS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO

The University of Toronto owns one of the largest collections of historical acoustic instruments in the world. The instruments, designed and built in the nineteenth century by the German physicist Rudolph Koenig, were acquired by the U of T in 1878, and formed the basis of the first teaching laboratory in Canada. In addition to hundreds of resonators and organ pipes, the collection features a functioning Helmholz Synthesizer and a gas-powered Koenig Analyser. In the coming years, scholars at the Centre for the Study of Nineteenth-Century Music will work together with graduate students and the curators of the U of T’s Scientific Instruments Collection to form a research project around these instruments, their design and materiality, and what they reveal about how sound was understood and studied in the nineteenth century.